By Nathaniel Rich, author of “Losing Earth”:
By Nathaniel Rich, author of “Losing Earth”:
Colin Hanks @ColinHanks
If he’s so damn impressed with the swept floors of the forests of Finland someone tell him about their healthcare system.
After touring some of the fire damage in Northern California, President Donald Trump was asked whether seeing the devastation changed his opinion on climate change.
“No, no I have a strong opinion. I want a great climate. We’re going to have that, and we are going to have that are very safe because we can’t go through this. Every year we go through this. We’re going to have safe forests and that’s happening as we speak,” he told reporters during a briefing at a command center in Chico, California.
He reminds me of “Professor” Irwin Corey, World’s Foremost Authority and the master of double-talk.
From The New Yorker by Peter Kuper:
From the Washington Post:
WILMINGTON, N.C. — It took a giant laurel oak puncturing her roof during Hurricane Florence last month for Margie White to consider that perhaps there was some truth to all the alarm bells over global warming.
“I always thought climate change was a bunch of nonsense, but now I really do think it is happening,” said White, a 65-year-old Trump supporter, as she and her young grandson watched workers haul away downed trees and other debris lining the streets of her posh seaside neighborhood last week, just as Hurricane Michael made landfall 700 miles away in the Florida Panhandle.
Trump on climate change, from his AP interview:
AP: But scientists say this is nearing a point where this can’t be reversed.
Trump: No, no. Some say that and some say differently. I mean, you have scientists on both sides of it. My uncle was a great professor at MIT for many years. Dr. John Trump. And I didn’t talk to him about this particular subject, but I have a natural instinct for science, and I will say that you have scientists on both sides of the picture.
From New York Magazine:
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson has come under fire for purchasing a $31,000 dining set for his office, and misleading the public about his involvement in the decision. But, according to Jonathan Swan, chief of staff John Kelly today defended the purchase to reporters as a wise long-term investment:
Kelly said $31,000 sounds like a lot of money, but to put it in context he asked a reporter how much they think the chair they’re sitting on costs. Kelly said it’s probably worth hundreds of dollars but it will last a long time. He rationalized Carson’s $31,000 outlay by saying the table could last for 80 or 100 years.
Trump’s administration isn’t always big on long-term planning when it comes to things like climate change, where the 100-year picture is not exactly foremost on anybody’s mind. But at least they’re thinking long term about the executive dining needs of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Our grandchildren may lose some coastal cities we currently enjoy, but they can rest assured they will never need to fund another dining set for the HUD secretary.
Homeland Security adviser Tom Bossert today on CNN:
He said the Trump administration was mindful of predictions of future floods, and doesn’t want federal dollars used to rebuild structures that will come under increasing threat from rising sea levels.
“We continue to take seriously climate change — not the cause of it, but the things that we observe,” Bossert said.
In other words, we recognize it’s happening, but we refuse to recognize why.
This is like the cigarette companies acknowledging people got lung cancer after years of smoking but it couldn’t possibly have been because of their product.
From New York Magazine, by Jonathan Chait:
In his speech announcing his plans to withdraw from the international climate agreement, President Trump highlighted the city in which the pact was made as a central argument against it. “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris,” he said. “It is time to put Youngstown, Ohio, Detroit, Michigan, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — along with many, many other locations within our great country — before Paris, France.” The administration deems this rhetorical sally against France so successful it is following up with a “Pittsburgh, not Paris” rally.
Whipping up nationalist anger against France is not a strategy Trump invented. The Republican party used it to some effect in the run-up to the Iraq war, which France opposed (and was vindicated). The conservative media was filled with anti-French diatribes, including a book portraying France as America’s “oldest enemy,” while the GOP-controlled House renamed “french fries” as “freedom fries.” Since the strategy worked before — until the war it was being used to sell turned into a catastrophe — the plan is to try it again.
In fact, France is not the “enemy” here, or even the major protagonist of the agreement Trump is denouncing. The Paris climate agreement is not designed for Parisians any more than the Yalta Treaty was designed to help Yalta or the surrender at Appomattox was constructed for the citizens of a small town in Virginia.
But perhaps the most hilarious aspect of the Trump rally is its location: Lafayette Square. Lafayette is named for the Marquis de Lafayette, a French general who played a crucial role in helping the American revolution. Lafayette is a symbol of French sympathy for the United States and its ideals. There is literally no stupider location in the entire world to stage an anti-French American rally.
Juliette Kayyem @juliettekayyem
The only upside of today is that no legitimate reporter will write another story to tell us women how Ivanka will save our kids.