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November 17th, 2018 - 4:38 pm § in Donald Trump

As usual, Trump doesn’t know what he’s talking about, and that’s a problem

(Reader Alert: This article contains naughty language)

President Trump visited California on Saturday to see the devastation wrought by wildfires. There’s nothing new about California burning, but this year’s fires are bigger and more destructive, which some attribute to climate change. And it’s unusual about his visit; it’s SOP for presidents to visit disaster zones to assess federal assistance needs and boost citizens’ morale. In fact, Trump was criticized for not going to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria (and for his ineffective and indifferent response to that disaster).

But once in California, Trump wasted no time putting his stupidity stamp on what he saw there.

First, he denied climate change has anything to do with these fires. To him, climate change doesn’t exist, and more severe wildfires won’t change that, any more than more violent storms will. Even if he intellectually understands that humanity needs to throttle back use of fossil fuels, he’s politically invested in them. (Even Exxon now admits climate change is real, but don’t expect that to dent Trump’s thinking, either.)

As for the fault behind wildfires, it’s probably safe to say Trump would like to blame it an illegal immigrant’s campfire, if he could find one, but in this case the culprit was powerlines, and what flows from that is we need more logging because, in Trump’s mind, trees can’t burn if they’re not there. Also, Trump loves extractive industries, and doesn’t give a shit about eagles or owls.

This, of course, is bullshit. Blaming fires on trees is just an excuse to call tree-huggers “terrorists,” as Trump’s corrupt and soon-to-be-gone Interior Secretary, Ryan Zinke, did recently. Trump simplifies things by leaving out the middleman and going directly to the trees in his search for pro-environment villains.

The short and long of all this is, “It is deeply troubling that Trump and his administration would support logging as a way to curb fires when studies have shown it’s ineffective.” To wit, scientific studies reveal that “forests with the fewest environmental protections and the most logging actually tend to burn much more intensely, not less.” But Trump disdains science in all its forms, so don’t expect him to be swayed by scientific reality. If he wants more logging on public lands, and needs to demonize standing timber to make it happen, then he’ll blame trees to gin up public support from ignorant voters for cutting more trees.

It probably wouldn’t do any good to try explaining to him that Easter Island’s population fell from 30,000 to 130 at the time of first European contact because they had deforested their island (according to Jared Diamond). There are plenty of other deforestation disasters in the historical record, too. And don’t bother telling him the so-called “Camp Fire,” which has caused so much death and destruction in California’s latest round of annual wildfires, is burning up logged areas almost exclusively. Trump is deaf to anything he doesn’t want to hear, so don’t trouble him with hard facts, especially those that debunk his contentions.

It’s obvious our public forests should be managed by professional forest managers who know what they’re doing. It’s nearly as obvious that Trump should keep his mouth shut about things he knows nothing about, but we all know that’s asking too much. The less this incorrigible ignoramus sticks his nose into anything, the better off we’ll be, so let’s hope he’s back on the golf course soon.

Unfortunately, this won’t be the last disaster we ever face, and barring God’s or Mueller’s intervention, we’re stuck with him for two more years. It may take decades to repair the damage.

Read story here and commentary here.

 


November 17th, 2018 - 12:19 am § in Misc.

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November 16th, 2018 - 12:55 pm § in Religion

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November 16th, 2018 - 8:23 am § in Donald Trump

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November 16th, 2018 - 12:07 am § in Donald Trump, Foreign Affairs, Hypocrisy, Politics

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November 15th, 2018 - 1:28 am § in Science

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November 15th, 2018 - 12:26 am § in Donald Trump

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November 14th, 2018 - 7:16 pm § in Donald Trump

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November 14th, 2018 - 10:48 am § in Environment

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November 14th, 2018 - 8:58 am § in Donald Trump, Foreign Affairs

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November 13th, 2018 - 11:17 am § in Donald Trump, Foreign Affairs, Hypocrisy

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November 13th, 2018 - 8:49 am § in Misc.

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November 11th, 2018 - 3:08 pm § in America, Hypocrisy, Religion, Religion

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August 24th, 2018 - 5:59 pm § in Misc.

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November 16th, 2018 - 7:11 pm § in Donald Trump

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November 15th, 2018 - 9:18 pm § in Misc.

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November 15th, 2018 - 9:09 pm § in Donald Trump

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[...]


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