Of all the dangers posed by the continued election of Republicans to positions of power, few are as existentially dire as that of global climate change, a topic which somehow still fails to receive the adequate degrees of depth or urgency of coverage it deserves in mainstream media coverage.
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The GOP is so deeply sunk into the oily pockets of the fossil fuel lobbies that there is no hope of it climbing out in time to curtail, combat, or even moderately dampen the coming catastrophes. The leader of their party’s record on climate change disqualifies him from guiding us through these dangerous times, and yet barring impeachment we are saddled with him for at least two more years.
Donald Trump has, in the past, called climate change a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese, and as recently as yesterday demonstrated his profound ignorance by falsely conflating a recent wave of cold weather in the northeast as a categorical refutation of anthropogenic climate change. It might be laughable if it weren’t so fundamentally dangerous.
Brutal and Extended Cold Blast could shatter ALL RECORDS – Whatever happened to Global Warming?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 22, 2018
Now, a new report has demonstrated just what a terrifying prospect Trump’s continued leadership and accompanying climate change denial poses. The federal government has released its “Fourth National Climate Assessment,” which warns that the current efforts being undertaken to stop the risks posed by climate change are insufficient.
It is the first such report released with Trump as president, and it states that climate change will affect mankind on an individual, daily level. The overwhelming takeaway is that climate change poses a serious, life-or-death problem for the human species, that its acceleration is the fault of mankind, and that we are currently not doing enough about it.
“Climate change creates new risks and exacerbates existing vulnerabilities in communities across the United States, presenting growing challenges to human health and safety, quality of life, and the rate of economic growth,” the report reads in its grim opening.
Mass flooding along coastal regions is expected to exacerbate in coming years, a problem which, outside of the obvious humanitarian concerns, will pose a serious problem for some of the most economically productive and dense regions in the country. Infrastructure and real estate will be hit particularly hard. Damages in numerous sectors across the country could cost hundreds of billions of dollars every year.
This prediction alone destroys the right-wing argument that we can’t combat climate change because reducing emissions through carbon taxing or other methods would hurt the economy: if climate change is left unchecked there will be no economy to protect.
In a report littered with disturbing facts and observations, several stand out: the global average temperature is at the highest level it’s ever been recorded, sea levels are rising, and natural disasters are growing worse and more frequent. The recent string of hurricanes and wildfires in the United States spring to mind, but they are far from the only examples.
The report — which was written before the recent Northern California “Camp Fire” tragedy — predicts that wildfire seasons could worsen substantially, burning through six times more forest each consecutive year by 2050.
The report is deeply sobering and so thorough that is should be the final word on climate change. If we lived in a sane country, this would not be a partisan issue. We would recognize the inarguable problem for what it is and unite to do what can still be done. Instead, the Republican Party continues to exploit the coming destruction of our planet as a political bargaining chip.
To put it bluntly, a vote for Trump in 2020 is a vote to ravage the world at the cost of future generations and to hasten the eradication of the human species. Regardless of one’s political beliefs, there can be no justification, no economic or domestic argument in favor of Trump, that outweighs the apocalyptic threat he poses to planet Earth.
In New York, March was the coldest month in recorded history – we could use some GLOBAL WARMING!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 1, 2014
For those that constantly say that “global warming” is now “climate change”—they changed the name. The name global warming wasn’t working
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 19, 2014
They call it "climate change" now because the words "global warming" didn't work anymore. Same people fighting hard to keep it all going!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 15, 2013
The coolest story is that John Beale, the man who headed up CLIMATE CHANGE for the government, is a proven con man and total phoney.ARRESTED
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 19, 2013
Record snowfall & freezing temps throughout the country. Where is Global Warming when you need it?!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2014