It’s as if somebody said, “Hey, I know. What’s the absolute worst possible administration we could come up with? Crooks, con artists, cashiered generals, Nazis, nepotism, treason, polluters, war mongers, science deniers, ignorant shit shakers and religious nuts, I mean the absolute worst. What would THAT look like? Yeah.”
And then we actually did it.
Over the last few years, if nothing else, Republicans have sent one message to the rest of the world: Sign a treaty with the United States at your own peril. We can’t be trusted. Our word is worthless and whether or not we keep it depends entirely on the arbitrary whims of the most greedy, self-serving, faithless, untrustworthy sons of bitches in our society.
I mean, you have to be one gullible idiot to sign a treaty with the US.
Native Americans have known this for literally centuries?
Well, yeah, that’s probably true, but then nobody cares until it happens to them.
And so, here we are.
Our president announced yesterday that the United States is pulling out of the Paris Accords. He says he’s open to reentering the treaty, IF the signatories agree to renegotiate the agreement in a manner more favorable to the United States — which, given Republicans’ love of money and hatred of science, apparently would involve removing any mention of actual climate change, science, people, the future, or, you know, actually doing anything about it.
It seems that in Trump’s mind, a handful of West Virginia votes from a dying industry outweigh the future of eight billion people.
It’s easier to keep digging coal out of the ground than actually investing in education, retraining, science, engineering, and new technologies. An equation based on creation science math, I guess.
But I digress.
Now, every single day it becomes more and more difficult to deny the effects of climate change. Climate is a heat engine and you can see it all around you. Growing seasons are changing. The weather has become more violent, hurricanes more powerful and frequent. Drought. Blight. Wildfires. Flooding. Erosion. Biosphere collapse.
Nowhere is this more evident than in Alaska where the permafrost is melting and native villages have fallen into the warming seas and the negative effects on the wildlife from polar bears to caribou are obvious to even the most thick headed conservative. Alaska is the canary chirping in alarm as the coal mine fills with toxic gas and explosive vapor.
Alaska is not just an example of the environmental effects, but the political ones too.
Nowhere are the moral and intellectual failings of modern conservatism more evident than Alaska, where the government is firmly in control of Republicans and even the liberals in Alaska are conservative.
Yesterday, Alaska’s politicians reacted to Trump’s announcement in predictable fashion:
Alaska Governor Bill Walker isn’t really sure about climate change, but he’s pretty sure it can be fought with military power and more oil drilling:
“In spite of the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris climate accord today, Alaska will continue to work to boost national defense and security measures for our 6,640 miles of Alaskan coastline, increase resilience for Arctic communities, and provide energy leadership for the nation.”
It’s a shame about that climate treaty, but we’ll get to work on national defense anyway.
Maybe it’s just me.
Walker went on to say that Alaskans are actually witnessing “social and economic upheaval caused by shrinking sea ice, rising sea level, increasing intensity of storms and increasing coastal erosion.” I mean, he admits climate change is not only real AND it’s directly impacting his state in a negative way, but his chief concern is how shifting coastlines and melting permafrost might endanger MILITARY operations.
“We stand ready to assist the Trump Administration in achieving the goal of protecting Americans, their communities, and their way of life.”
And there you have it, Alaskans. When your village falls into the sea, we’ll be ready to assist with … F-22s and a super cool Ballistic Missile Defense rocket. Yeah.
Senator Dan Sullivan said, the Paris Accords “significantly disadvantaged the U.S. economy and American families and workers relative to other nations, especially China.”
THEN he declared that CLIMATE CHANGE can be fought with the development of Alaska’s fossil fuels. Sullivan readily admits to the negative effects of climate change on his state. I mean, he actually believes it’s actually happening, BUT he thinks the way to reverse the impending disaster is pull out of the United Nations and go it alone by selling natural gas to China. Sure, we can pretend to give a damn and get rich in the process, whoo hoo! Banking on the hope that by the time it all goes to hell we’ll be dead and it’ll be the future’s problem.
Alaska’s other Senator, the queen of nepotism, Lisa Murkowski, describes herself as “agnostic” on climate change.
And man, if THAT isn’t a Republican for you. Agnostic. Creation science. As if rising seas and melting glaciers were dependent on BELIEF. Agnostic, that’s Murkowski’s entire political career, sitting on the fence, terrified to actually take a stand, to actually DO something. I mean she believes climate change is “real” (her word), buuuuuut well, um, maybe we should wait and see. It’s concerning, yes, but we shouldn’t actually commit to any action or, you know, stand up to our party.
Lisa Murkowski, John McCain Lite.
No word from Don Young, Alaska’s only Representative, but you can safely assume that when he returns from his latest hunting trip shooting endangered wildlife in Africa, his eventual comments will involve misogyny, racial slurs, and a folksy description of how climate change is a series of tubes. Tubes!
As goes Alaska, so goes the nation.
The simple truth of the matter is this: with this decision, Trump has declared to the rest of the world that the United States can not be trusted to live up to our sworn obligations and America led by Republicans has informed its own citizens that profit for a few TODAY is more important than a future for all TOMORROW.
But science doesn’t require belief.
Nature doesn’t give a damn about profit.
And gravity will kill you whether you believe in it or not.
Featured image via treatiesmatter.org