Trump’s Climate Cuts Will Add Millions of Extra Tons of CO2 to the Air

GR: Even if the next U. S. president reverses Trump’s policies, there will still be a large quantity of extra greenhouse-gas emissions. Moreover, simple reversal will not meet our commitments under the Paris treaty; we had much left to do when Obama left office. The effect of our leadership failure on emissions by other countries is hard to calculate. Will our bad example will inspire the others to excel?

President Trump’s efforts to roll back existing climate change policies will have a delayed but prolonged effect, according to a new analysis. Credit: DOMINICK REUTER/AFP/Getty Images

“President Donald Trump’s planned climate change policies could lead to an extra half a billion tons of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere by 2025, according to a new analysis. That is equal to the annual electricity emissions of 60 percent of U.S. homes.

“Climate Advisers, a Washington consultancy, predicts that U.S. carbon emissions, which have been falling, will begin to flatten or increase by 2020 if the Trump administration succeeds in repealing the Clean Power Plan and other Obama-era regulations.

“In other words, decisions made today will have a delayed effect—but a prolonged one.

“We found that the ‘Trump Effect’ really begins to bite into the U.S. emissions trajectory in 2025—since many of the factors influencing today’s emissions trajectory can’t be reversed quickly,” the report said.

“The analysis assumes that some regulations are more vulnerable than others to rollbacks. The Clean Power Plan to curb carbon emissions from power plants, methane rules covering the oil and gas industry and a handful of efficiency regulations are “highly vulnerable” in the consulting firm’s view, either because they’re high profile or because they haven’t been fully implemented. If these are the only rules the Trump administration is able to repeal, it would erase 332 million metric tons of carbon pollution cuts, Climate Advisers projected.

“If, however, the Trump administration succeeds also in eliminating “moderately vulnerable” rules—those controlling landfill emissions, potent refrigeration gases such as HFCs and several energy efficiency standards—another 229 million tons of projected emissions cuts would not happen, the report finds.

“Although the Obama administration policies alone were not enough to get the U.S. to its goal under the Paris climate agreement, Climate Advisers said Trump’s policies would stall or increase the nation’s decline in emissions. The U.S. pledged to cut its greenhouse gas emissions 26 percent from 2005 levels by 2025, and it’s currently only a third of the way there.

“The Climate Advisers report is one of several recent efforts to quantify the potential climate impact of the Trump administration’s energy and environmental policies. InsideClimate News previously compiled a chart showing how the U.S. would have virtually no chance of meeting its Paris promise under Trump, based on estimates by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory of the emissions cuts achievable with each of Obama’s policies.” –Marianne Lavelle (Continue:  Trump’s Climate Cuts Could Result in Half-Billion Extra Tons of CO2 in the Air | InsideClimate News.)

Trump’s climate-hoax demands roil U.S. allies

GR: The U. S. is not a leader in global efforts to stop climate change. Under Bannon and the conservative Congress, the U. S. has become the leader in retreat from many economic, environmental, and social necessities. Stupid.

President Donald Trump is considering whether to pull the United States out of the climate change accord that the Obama administration and other world leaders negotiated in Paris in 2015. | AP Photo

“President Donald Trump’s abrupt turnaround on U.S. climate policy is fueling tension with several of America’s closest allies, which are resisting the administration’s demands that they support a bigger role for nuclear power and fossil fuels in the world’s energy supply.

“The dispute blew up at this week’s meeting of G-7 energy ministers, at which Trump administration officials pushed to include stronger pro-coal, pro-nuclear language in a proposed joint statement on energy policy. The fight had been simmering behind the scenes for weeks as the White House, Energy Department and State Department clashed with negotiators from other G-7 countries over the statement, according to an internal document obtained by POLITICO and interviews with diplomats.

“After a tense back-and-forth at the meeting in Rome on Monday, the G-7 energy ministers — including representatives from Canada, Great Britain and several European Union countries — wound up scuttling the statement altogether.

“The feud comes as Trump, who often touts his “America first” approach to foreign policy, is considering whether to pull the United States out of the climate change accord that the Obama administration and leaders of nearly 200 other nations negotiated in Paris in 2015. Some Trump advisers have suggested that he should remain in the deal — but in return, should demand concessions to aid the fossil fuel sector.

“G-7 officials, led by the Europeans, refused to agree to stronger language touting fossil fuels without assurances from the United States that it would stay in the Paris climate change agreement, according to officials briefed on the discussions.” –Andrew Restuccia (Source: Trump’s climate demands roil U.S. allies – POLITICO).

Experts respond to Trump’s climate blitzkrieg | Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

GR: Of course, Trump and his band of nature trolls will ignore the experts. Nevertheless, the thoughts of each one are worth reporting. And remember, global warming is one of the reasons that the doomsday clock is at two and a half minutes to midnight.

“President Donald Trump’s March 28 Executive Order on Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth is but the latest in a series of rollbacks intended to dismantle the Obama administration’s climate change policies. Although Trump never uttered the words “climate change” during the signing ceremony, his order will have profound effects on programs and environmental protections intended to rein in global warming—primarily by reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

“Among other things, Trump’s order lifts a moratorium on coal leasing on federal lands, removes restrictions on fracking on federal and tribal lands, directs the Environmental Protection Agency to rewrite the Clean Power Plan regulations designed to limit emissions from power plants, and eliminates the requirement that climate change be considered in federal environmental reviews and decision making. The White House claims that these moves will bring back jobs in coal mining and foster energy independence.

“The order does not entirely obliterate Obama’s climate legacy. The Clean Power Plan is not yet in effect, and will have to go through a lengthy rule-making process that will likely include legal challenges. Vehicle fuel-efficiency standards are still standing, although the White House says a rollback is coming soon. State mandates for renewable energy, along with other efforts aimed at reducing emissions, will continue. And the White House is thus far silent on whether the president intends to withdraw from the Paris Agreement.

“Some critics say the Trump administration’s environmental rollbacks are even worse than they expected, and that it will be impossible for the United States to achieve its Paris pledges without the programs and protections that are being cut. Others see a silver lining for the Paris Agreement: Maybe the failure of US leadership will clear the way for other nations to work toward a more ambitious shift away from fossil fuels.

“We asked leading experts on climate change to weigh in on what the Trump rollbacks mean for climate change, and for the Paris Agreement in particular. Here are their thoughts.Invited

“Expert Commentary” — Dawn Stover (Continue: Experts respond to Trump’s climate blitzkrieg | Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

The Fires of History Yet Rage — Climate Change and the Authoritarian Assault on Liberal Democracy

GR: Robert Scribbler writes about history and the forces prompting a downward spiral of modern civilization. He is writing about the greed and politics that I believe will lead to a collapse that is far greater than the regional falls over the past thousands of years. In western India, the Middle East, and north Africa, local societies destroyed their forests, soils, and water and then they faded away. The danger we are in now is not regional, it is global.

Critics called the 1972 book Limits to Growth, which predicted our civilisation would collapse this century, a doomsday fantasy. Back in 2002, self-styled environmental expert Bjorn Lomborg consigned it to the “dustbin of history.” It doesn’t belong there. Research from the University of Melbourne has found the book’s forecasts are accurate, 40 years on. If we continue to track in line with the book’s scenario, expect the early stages of global collapse to start appearing soon.
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Scribbler: “Some have said that history ended with the fall of Soviet Russia and the subsequent virtuous spread of liberal democracy. Now, with a fossil-fueled dictator at the Kremlin conducting information wars to topple western democracies and with the various and many-fanged monsters of climate change howling at the gates of a world besieged, that notion seems both ignorant and laughable.

“Pshaw — history ended? Clearly not.

(The glaciers and snows of the Himalayas are dwindling — just one of the obvious impacts of human-forced climate change. Video source: Google Earth Engine.)

“A good segment of the world now acts like their brains have been hacked. Bots and trolls masquerading as real people try to shout down valid out-crys for divestment-from and resistance-to worsening abuses. And Elon Musk has a point when he says we’re all cyborgs now.” –Robert Scribbler.

“But it is, perhaps, possible for us to sympathize with the now-faded false comfort of our brief fantasy that abusive powers were defeated — never to rise again. For, in 1989, the difficulties were seemingly more remote — walled off in perceived blocks of East vs West, segmented by large, set-piece armies and mostly impermeable spheres of influence. With the collapse of one sphere — the side of totalitarianism and the authoritarian state — it seemed that the advance of liberal western democracy and with it justice, freedom, and equality was inevitable.

“Now, 28 years later, the trouble and chaos jumps right out at you through the screen of your computer, tablet, or smart phone. Authoritarianism splintered. But then its various shards metastasized, becoming smarter, more nimble, more in your face, and more linked to global monetary and information power centers. Meanwhile, the West, caught up in the illusions of conservative thought, failed to advance and was therefore unprepared when new threats inevitably emerged both from within and without (See how Trump’s actions boosted effectiveness of Russian information warfare against US).

(NASA shows Arctic rate of warming per decade through 2012. Putin hopes for an ice-free Arctic so he can drill for more oil. His assault on western democracy is also related to a climate change denial based attack on renewable energy. Image source: NASA.)

“You may today be cajoled — through the internet — by none other than oil billionaire, petrostate dictator, former KGB agent, democracy saboteur, and Trump-supporter Vladimir Putin who’d try to use his supposedly legendary charm (or the merciless intimidation of his online agents and surrogates) to convince you of the false notion that the climate is changing but humans aren’t the cause (see — Putin Defends Climate Deniers and Looks Forward to Arctic Melting). If you’re one of those strong-willed enough to wrench your mind from the grasp of a man and his army of 15,000 information warfare trolls spreading misinformation aimed at the advancement of his destructive wealth and power, you could use the same powerful tool to actually directly contact real scientists — who’d tell you that about 100 percent or more of present warming is now being caused by human beings. So you could then give Putin a very justified big, fat middle finger salute.

“And who knew that an honest man (or, in this case, seventeen honest women and men) would be so hard to come by in the age of mass and easy to access factual information?” –Robert Scribbler (Continue: The Fires of History Yet Rage — Climate Change and the Authoritarian Assault on Liberal Democracy | robertscribbler.)