Trump Tosses Red Meat to Red States

Cornered by the expanding Russia-gate investigation, President Trump reached back to his hardcore “base” by tossing out the Paris climate accord, but the move may hurt U.S. interests, says JP Sottile.

By JP Sottile

President Trump just yanked the Yanks from a treaty that was intentionally designed to be mostly non-binding because the Senate would never pass a binding treaty on climate. It was, however, a significant global political agreement to move toward goals that would create a working framework built on an unprecedented consensus. Mostly, Paris was an important admission that there is a problem … like an environmental AA meeting.

The run-down PIX Theatre sign reads “Vote Trump” on Main Street in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota. July 15, 2016. (Photo by Tony Webster Flickr)

So, what just happened?

Trump used the Paris Climate Agreement as a buttress. This was a political ploy to shore up support among his loyalists out in the vast swath of Red on that electoral map he recently hung in the White House. This was a move meant to give the President a chance to say he’s fulfilling promises. This was about serving red meat to demoralized Trumpist media outlets. This is about generating a much-needed point of agreement with increasingly uncomfortable conservatives in Congress. This is about selling a new catchphrase: “Pittsburgh before Paris.” And this speech signaled the return of Steve Bannon.

Trump rehashed the grievances of his campaign with all its incessant whining about the ways the world is taking advantage of America. It doesn’t matter that the global system was constructed by the U.S. … in the interest of the U.S. … and with American corporations and financial “leaders” always benefiting from this system.

It doesn’t matter that the American people have benefited mightily from this system, too. America is less that 5 percent of the global population, but it consumes over 26 percent of the world’s resources. America’s middle class was enriched by America’s domination of the global system it created. But now the world is leveling out a bit and Trump is telling the people they should moan and groan because the benefits of the post-World War II system are waning … because America isn’t getting everything.

Yet the truth is that America’s wealth isn’t being stolen by wily Chinese or shady Indians or conniving Europeans. The people who’ve hoarded the wealth are not only a lot like the people in Trump’s cabinet … some of them are in Trump’s cabinet. Ivanka and Jared are hoarders, too. And so, too, have the oil industry and the defense industry held a death-lock grip on this system. In fact, the intersection of weapons and crude is the nexus of the system Trump slags-off as some global conspiracy to deny Americans their birthright. And it is a big reason why the Paris Agreement was needed in the first place.

But that’s okay. Why? Because Trump is unintentionally creating space for the rest of the world to finally have a real say in the way the global system works. He’s catalyzing even more leveling-off of an imbalanced system long tilted by America in America’s favor.

Chief White House Strategist Steve Bannon speaking at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland.

Trump has been totally played by President Xi of China. Outmaneuvered by Vladimir Putin of Russia. Dismissed by Chancellor Merkel of Germany. And now he’s shown the world that America is more fallible than ever. It is moving backwards. It is retreating. And that’s more room for China and Europe and Russia.

Maybe that’s not so bad. Maybe it is a good thing that America is the laughingstock that Trump, in a perfect moment of solipsistic irony, said he wanted to forestall. One thing is for sure, the rest of the world shouldn’t wait around for America to clean up its own mess … because that’s something it was loath to do well before Trump body-slammed the body politic and put the future in a headlock. Alas, that’s a wrestling match America is now having with itself … and the rest of the world should just head for the exits.

JP Sottile is a freelance journalist, radio co-host, documentary filmmaker and former broadcast news producer in Washington, D.C. He blogs at Newsvandal.com or you can follow him on Twitter, http://twitter/newsvandal.

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39 comments for “Trump Tosses Red Meat to Red States

  1. Sleepless In Mars
    June 7, 2017 at 09:43

    “As Dr. Sigmund Freud has observed, it can not even be said that the State has ever shown any disposition to suppress crime, but only to safeguard its own monopoly of crime. … Taking the State wherever found, striking into its history at any point, one sees no way to differentiate the activities of its founders, administrators and beneficiaries from those of a professional-criminal class.” Nock

    They want the silence of the press. We are not lambs. We’re in a purple state.

    Had a sudden revelation
    The heights that I’ve sunken down to
    And I don’t mind I can’t find
    My way out of this witch’s brew
    Livin’ for the lizard life
    Livin’ for the lizard life
    I stumbled on the way around
    My own reality

    Support your local witches!

  2. Walid Hammami
    June 5, 2017 at 21:13

    With all his actions, Trump will force everybody to rethink things. He is opening up the debate on the leadership of the US in the world. He forced that. He forced us to think outside the box,and just for that alone we should be grateful that he won the US elections.

  3. Wm. Boyce
    June 4, 2017 at 21:37

    Good column. Can’t wait to hear Director Comey’s testimony, but I predict that it will be blocked under “executive privilege” if the creature listens to Boy Bannon.

  4. mild-ly - facetious
    June 4, 2017 at 00:56

    Be Warned, Donald Trump: Ghosts Are Everywhere

    Harry Truman understood the importance of allies in Europe. President Trump does not.

    BY MICHAEL WINSHIP
    JUNE 1, 2017

    http://billmoyers.com/story/be-warned-donald-trump-ghosts-are-everywhere/

  5. Kalen
    June 3, 2017 at 13:51

    It is all delusion. Paris Accord was a sham, a massive bribery and sanctioning some small restrains in greenhouse emission effects due to regular technological progress the corporations would have done anyway without being bribed by cash credits in 3rd world government bribed supposedly to mitigate devastating consequence of global change that is real but turned into money making machine for oligarchy and a sham for environmentalist groups at least those who are not bribed enough to deny it.

    The issue of global change has been turned from scientific problem into field of political opportunism of phony NGO and dead political platform of political establishment, corporate greed and careerism for some stooges of already pauperized and neutered scientific community, all that noise to obfuscate the key issue namely scarcity of natural resources solely due to their usurpation by global oligarchy and their greed motivated abhorrent, destructive means of ripping resources out of nature with no thought of any kind of sustainability but the balance of their bank accounts.

    None of those hypocrites would tell the truth that collapse of our environment, which only in part is due to global change so far, is not an ecological problem only or even mostly. It is overwhelmingly a political problem, a problem of classism and racism and oligarchic rule. It is a problem of disregard to humanity of seven billion human beings by those disgusting, despicable corporate captured governments, corrupted academia, fake charities, NGOs, special interests and “corporate advocate” groups like Sierra Club became in recent years and plethora of other insidious characters tree hugging for media, “Green” Wall Street weasels speculating for money, land and forest destroying for profit, abhorrent ignorant or touchy feely billionaire megalomaniacs, phony saviors of the world they raze, presiding over nothing but as they truly see it, an exercise of slow drowning of billions of cockroaches with human faces.

    • Zachary Smith
      June 3, 2017 at 20:51

      ….Paris Accord was a sham….

      Your remark, and the essay title, pretty well summarize the situation.

      Only the slower-witted of the Red Staters are going to be impressed though. People who are getting informed about the situation want something concrete actually done, and for that neither “Paris” nor “Trump” are worth thing.

      The Zero Hedge site is publishing a lot of garbage these days, but they nailed it with this one:

      “Trump Didn’t Kill The Paris Agreement – It Was Already Dead”

      http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-06-03/trump-didnt-kill-paris-agreement-it-was-already-dead

  6. R Davis
    June 3, 2017 at 10:49

    “the US is moving backward in retreat”
    Is that so ……… I read an interesting article earlier this evening – Is America On The Path To Suicide? – Darkmoon.
    It sounds like Donald Trump is not going to stand for “being played” anymore.

  7. rosemerry
    June 2, 2017 at 17:25

    Excellent analysis-thanks JP!!!

  8. Joe Tedesky
    June 2, 2017 at 17:15

    Being a Pittsburgher I was happy that Mayor Bill Peduto showed up on the cable news networks speaking to the Now Pittsburgh, and not dwelling on an era gone by. What people should acquaint themselves with is Rachel Carson who was born and raised in Springdale, Pa. which is about eight miles outside the Pittsburgh limits. Among the many books Ms Carson authored her most well known book was ‘Silent Spring’, which was published in 1962. James W Douglas in his book ‘JFK and the Unspeakable’ even made note that JFK was highly impressed with Rachel Carson’s book. Although Rachel Carson is thought more about ecology, I think that the earth’s ecology is where the issue of climate change should be centered. But trust me Pittsburgh doesn’t need the kind of help President Trump mentioned.

    In addition to what I said above I thought that when Trump ordered the dismemberment of the Dakota Access protesters, that that said everything we need to know about our American society’s frame of mind, Oil over life needed Water….now what could be wrong with that mentality?

    • backwardsevolution
      June 2, 2017 at 17:29

      Joe – “Oil over life needed Water….now what could be wrong with that mentality?” Unfortunately, this is the way it has always been. Just wait until the world has 12 billion people who are all looking for water, for oil, for something to eat. Just wait until the U.S. farmers suck the aquifers dry, all done under the guise of “we’ve got to feed the Third World”, but really done merely for profits.

      And just wait until the Chambers of Commerce, along with the humanitarians, want to up the level of U.S. immigration to oh, let’s say three, four, five million a year, just to alleviate overpopulation in the Third World, who are growing because we are sending foreign aid and free food their way. Of course, the Chambers of Commerce just want more consumers (they don’t really give a rat’s ass about the immigrants), and the humanitarians want to go to bed under the delusional thinking that they actually solved something.

      It’s going to get ugly, but no one – no one – addresses overpopulation at all.

      • Joe Tedesky
        June 2, 2017 at 23:25

        Over population scares the heck out of me, as well backwardsevolution. While I don’t have any studied solutions, I also don’t see or hear any body doing anything about it, or talking about it in anyway. This is what concerns me most, is the lack of attention over population gets. If only we would start spending our tax dollars on other things such as the environment, over population, and such things as are needed to live amongst each other in peace, instead of always spending our hard earned money on war.

        When it comes to our water, well just look at all the people purchasing bottled drinking water. What we all should do is throw the bottled waters at our city water providers, and demand they start doing what needs done until we get good drinkable water out of our facets. Besides our paying top,dollar for healthcare, we are now buying our drinkable water in bottles. Boy, it sure must be great to be a mega corporation in the U.S. Of A..

        • backwardsevolution
          June 3, 2017 at 06:02

          Joe – yes, war dominates our lives, foreign policy too. The important stuff never gets looked at, like single-payer health care, clean drinking water, infrastructure, environment, shelter, families. Something I never envisioned when I was younger was that people would one day be buying bottled water. Who knows, maybe in the future they’ll be buying oxygen tanks. What do you think about that? Wouldn’t that be bizarre?

          Yes, Joe, we are all being held hostage by the large multinational corporations and the big banks. The larger companies are buying up the smaller companies, and monopolies are becoming the order of the day (which is not what was supposed to happen). Laws already exist to stop this, but they’re not enforced. Once these companies are able to gain total monopoly, they can keep their prices up by surrounding themselves with new laws and regulations (provided for by the bought-off politicians) which serve to keep small start-ups from competing against them.

          This will all come to an end, and it won’t be pretty when it does. Over-population will be addressed when we are in a crisis stage. Nature is going to take care of that.

  9. backwardsevolution
    June 2, 2017 at 17:05

    Thank goodness Trump is throwing something at the Red States. Those goddamned deplorables have the audacity to want jobs, and they’re tired of paying through the nose so that other countries get to have them.

    “Air pollution in China has gotten so bad that a study by the World Bank found that air pollution kills 750,000 people every year in China. […] China is now the number one producer of carbon dioxide, responsible for a full quarter of the world’s CO2 output. According to a recent study, ‘even if American emissions were to suddenly disappear tomorrow, world emissions would be back at the same level within four years as a result of China’s growth alone’.”

    So if the West stopped everything and stood perfectly still, in four years time CO2 emissions would be right back up, anyway. And I’ve read that China is closer to 30% of world CO2.

    “China is already the largest emitter of GHGs in the world. In its INDC, it made no commitment to reduce emissions. According to the International Energy Agency, by 2030 China’s emissions will be two and a half times those of the United States. Those emissions will continue to grow after 2030.

    India is now the third largest GHG emitter, after China and the U.S. In its INDC, India also made no commitment to reduce emissions. Climate Action Tracker projects that the policies India is adopting will increase emissions to 3.6 GtCO2e in 2020 and 5.4 to 5.5 GtCO2e by 2030. This would mean a doubling of GHG emissions from 2010 levels by 2030. By then, India’s emissions would match or exceed those of the United States.

    In the name of “climate justice”, China, India, and other developing countries will increase GHG emissions to 2030 and beyond, increasing the global level, while citizens in developed countries like Canada incur the financial burden. The environmental benefit, if any, which will result from this is unclear.”

    • rosemerry
      June 2, 2017 at 17:32

      Backwards, have you not seen the latest info-China is way ahead on reining in emissions? It is advanced in clean energy technologies and is committed to exceed expectations, AND is one of the few countries to have a serious population policy that worked.
      India is now turning to more solar power and is successfully abandoning the construction of 14 coal-fired power plants.
      The USA never had any intention to accept mandatory limits- Obama made sure of that, though he is praised for his contribution to the agreements.

      • backwardsevolution
        June 2, 2017 at 17:51

        rosemerry – I know that China is trying hard and I know that they have cancelled plans for some of their future coal-burning plants, although I’ve read that this had more to do with them having too many plants that were under-utilized. They were having to lay people off.

        India might be turning to more solar, but solar is not going to cut it. Something to do with effective grids. I’ll try and find some articles on it.

        rosemerry, it’s not going to work unless the whole world cuts back. We should not be getting our products from Asia, halfway around the world. That’s nuts. Things should be produced locally (within reason). Look at the amount of planes flying every single day, the cruise ships, the freighters, the cars, trucks, buses. It’s insane. Then add the war machine on top of that.

        And why should people in the West, who have already lost their jobs, then be asked to fund the Green Climate Fund to the tune of $100 billion/year? That just leaves China, who is exempt from emissions control, to upgrade their factories to environmentally-friendly standards, using the Climate Fund money, and you still don’t have your jobs! That’s insanity too.

        The people who are benefiting are the multinational corporations, big business. I, for one, don’t want to pay for them to be able to continue to rape the planet.

        China has at least addressed some of their population problems, but I’ve heard lately that they’ve now abandoned their “one child” policy. Great. And India, well, they don’t even want to talk about their population problems. Fingers in ears!

        Had there been controls put on both the developed AND the developing countries, I’ll just bet that Trump would have signed it, but he’s not going to sign a one-sided affair that does not benefit the U.S.

  10. backwardsevolution
    June 2, 2017 at 16:34

    Open your eyes, people. We all need to cut back, the whole world. The overpopulation question needs to be addressed, pronto. Why isn’t there a Paris Accord on that? By building up and subsidizing Asia (through foreign aid, the Green Climate Fund, and hundreds of other programs) you just pull population forward (people have more children because times are good).

    But the neoliberals and multinational corporations don’t want to seriously talk about overpopulation because surplus people means more consumers for them. They want to build up the East to produce more consumers. It’s as simple as that, and they want you to help pay for it.

    It’s all packaged up pretty and sold to you under the guise of being a good humanitarian. “We’ve got to help the developing world. It’s not ‘fair’ that we get it all.” They could give a crap about anyone from the Third World. The only thing they care about is developing it, raping it, sucking it dry and profiting.

    If China and India are held to the same standards as we are, then jobs will return. Yes, we might get more pollution here, but at least products would be shipped locally (instead of coming by ships or planes from halfway around the world). China’s economy would go down (at least as far as exports to the West) and our economies would increase.

    And look at the trade surpluses in these countries, and then look at the trade deficit of the U.S. Trump wants them to balance out more instead of being so one-sided.

    And for this he is called a fascist! How ridiculous is that?

    Open your eyes; Trump is right on this. Either we all cut back on emissions, or no one does. Just moving it offshore doesn’t help at all.

  11. Bill Bodden
    June 2, 2017 at 15:41

    Cancelled duplicate comment

  12. Bill Bodden
    June 2, 2017 at 15:40

    “Will Trump’s Slow-Mo Walkaway, World in Flames Behind Him, Finally Provoke Consequences for Planetary Arson?” by Naomi Klein – June 1 2017 – https://theintercept.com/2017/06/01/will-trumps-slow-mo-walkaway-world-in-flames-behind-him-finally-provoke-consequences-for-planetary-arson/

  13. ADL
    June 2, 2017 at 15:17

    The Paris agreement was historic mostly in finally getting almost all countries to acknowledge climate change/global warming by human activities, and pursue movement away from fossil fuels to renewables. As Naomi Klein writes: “Pretty much everything that is weak, disappointing, and inadequate about that deal is the result of U.S. lobbying since 2009.”

    https://theintercept.com/2017/06/01/will-trumps-slow-mo-walkaway-world-in-flames-behind-him-finally-provoke-consequences-for-planetary-arson/

    Some points. First everything that Trump and Republicans do is about anti-Obama. For Repubs that was their only goal since 2009, stop the N—–. That is repulsive to say and think, but it is also reality. Make America White again was T’s official slogan.

    Maybe the world, and those in this country, will better rise up in Anti Trump and USA rage and sanity for real changes. Maybe rage will do what commitment and knowledge seemed unable – unite countries, people and businesses in solving the issues we face concerning the immense problems associated with CC/GW. You know if our Military is planning on a daily basis on how to plan and prepare for those consequences hopefully sometime soon our Repub politicians will be either buried or swept out by the coming tsunami of action based on knowledge instead of ideology.

    Lastly it is pretty pathetic to see our country lead by a man and a party that want the USA to keep making and selling typewriters. SAVE the typewriter industry!! Save those typewriter jobs ! Ignore all of the air, water, and soil pollution those typewriters cause – Save our economy and good ole USA.

    • backwardsevolution
      June 2, 2017 at 16:15

      ADL – “First everything that Trump and Republicans do is about anti-Obama. For Repubs that was their only goal since 2009, stop the N—–. That is repulsive to say and think, but it is also reality. Make America White again was T’s official slogan.”

      I’ll bite. Every single white I know was rooting for Obama in 2008, and again in 2012. They voted for him. Yes, whites voted for the black man. Go figure!

      Whites voted for Trump (over the white Hillary) because they have lost their jobs. It’s as simple as that and has nothing to do with race. Obama continued on with the offshoring of jobs, just as Bush and Clinton did. They allowed the U.S. multinationals to take the jobs to Asia so the multinationals could get cheap labor and no environmental controls, and then sell the product back to the consumers in the U.S.

      No difference in pollution. It was just moved offshore, like the jobs were. So we pollute China, and then the prevailing winds blow it all back our way, anyway. Of course the multinationals want China and India to be exempt from the Paris Accords. Of course the multinationals want taxpayers in the West to pay for the Green Climate Fund ($100 billion/year). See my posts above. That way the West pays for the Chinese and Indian factories to become environmentally friendly AND they still lose their jobs.

      Subsidize the polluters, build them up, while you hold your own country down. Trump wants fairness. You can’t have controls on the West while allowing the East to pollute like crazy, and then ask the West to pay for any pollution controls on the East. With that, what company is ever going to move back to the West? They get to build their factories in the East, and you get to pay for these beautiful, state-of-the-art environmentally-friendly factories (through the Green Climate Fund).

      Sounds like Obama had a good time on his 450 foot yacht cruise, though. Imagine the pollution that spewed out of Geffen’s yacht while the martinis were flowing!

      • ADL
        June 3, 2017 at 01:19

        W had the worst job record of any 2 term prez in US history. Obama had a very good record even taking the Great Recession into account. Jobs were not the issue when unemployment was under 5%.
        2008 Obama wins with 53% vs 45 % total – but McCain wins white vote by 55% vs 43%
        2012 Obama wins with 51% vs 47% total – but Romney wins white vote by 59% vs 39%

        You play the ‘poor white man’ lament – actually just parroting Fox. 8 years of certain segments of the media propagandizing on where that black man was born had more bearing on the last election than jobs. 5 years of same lies by Trump AFTER Obama provided his birth cert – pandering to his white supremacist base – is whitewashed away. Never happened?
        Was any other politician questioned on their birth cert last campaign, or for 8 years? Has your birth cert been questioned ever? My white friends and I have not been questioned, nor I am sure will we ever be. That’s not a card to be used against a white man, or politician.

        Fear mongering plain and simple. I don’t remember any people waving the Confederate flag at Hillary/Obama rallies. Or White Supremacists as top advisers. Or Attorney Generals whose whole political and legal career has been based on rolling back Civil Rights laws. Or all of the Confederate States of the Repub Party passing voting laws aimed directly at stopping the minorities ( the stated reason for laws of stopping voter fraud was laughable and completely undocumented). I could write for another day about such stuff. Let’s not live in a alternate reality and act like this did not happen, and is not still.

        Hard to follow what you are saying. If you want jobs, instead of maintaining the typewriter/coal/oil industry – it would be wise to invest heavily into renewables. The World is going to change, or die. And it will mightily try to change, whether willingly or dragging and fighting. The new great technological and manufacturing Industry will be renewables. Yes the change will be difficult, some places will gain and others lose, like every other time new industries emerge. The USA can lead, and be THE major force in new Energy industries, just like we have lead in the past. Or we can bury our heads, blame those ‘other’ people who don’t have white skins or aren’t christian. And protect the typewriter industry. You want jobs – T just gave the rest of the world an enormous job incentive, head start, and advantage. And China, Europe say thank you ! Utter stupidity !

        • backwardsevolution
          June 3, 2017 at 05:33

          ADL – I’m not going to get into a white/black argument. Obama totally caved to Wall Street, bailed them out. And Eric Holder, fresh from defending white collar crooks at Covington & Burling, comes marching into his Attorney-General position and does – what? He fines the bankers who blatantly committed fraud; no jail time for them. Where is he now? Why, he’s back at Covington & Burling again. Revolving door. Next up, Loretta Lynch. Last seen on a tarmac in Arizona somewhere, before she had to recuse herself from the Hillary Clinton email fiasco.

          Just heard tonight that Virginia had 5,000 known voting violations where illegals were caught voting. Talk about foreign intervention in the voting process.

          Whites don’t own bad thinking. It appears to be everywhere, at least if you’re looking.

          Renewables? Not going to cut it, but you can do your own research on that.

          “Or we can bury our heads, blame those ‘other’ people who don’t have white skins or aren’t christian.” Oh, man, where to begin. White skin, black skin, brown skin, yellow skin, pick a color – we all need to smarten up. Without addressing over-population, we just end up dicking with the symptoms and never get to the cause.

          Yeah, we’re going to run out of fresh water too at some point. But don’t worry, crank up that growth, over-populate the planet, because good old technology is going to solve everything. One Belt One Road, here we come!

    • Virginia
      June 2, 2017 at 18:09

      What I observed was day 1 after Trump was elected, Obama went into accelerated mode to undermine everything Trump had campaigned on: Moved troops up to Russian borders earlier than planned; expelled Russian diplomats; made gossip and slander a part of national security that could be leaked/shared expansively; tried to trump Trump from every angle! I thought Obama had gone insane with vindictiveness but now believe he was just doing what his handlers demanded. (Well, maybe a little of both; he was likely a willing player.) And now the same handlers have handled Trump at times and are working on handling him totally. He sent them a curve ball with his Paris Climate agreement exit. We need a few more curve balls like, how ’bout communicating with Putin, Mr. Trump!

      • backwardsevolution
        June 2, 2017 at 20:53

        Virginia – it’s going, it’s going, it’s gone. Right out of the park, Virginia! Good comments. Yes, Obama, along with Hillary, most Democrats, too many Republicans, the media have been out to get Trump from the beginning. Sometimes it’s good to be pushed. If Obama had been pushed, he might have stood up and become a real man. Instead, they laid off him and threw him nice soft lobs. Putin in the White House? Go for it!

  14. June 2, 2017 at 15:16

    I can agree that pulling out of the accords makes the US look bad, but it’s overdue for the world to recognize that the US is and has been the most rogue nation of the whole bunch, bombing and busting up everybody’s life and reality all over the globe while piously acting like it is the leader who should be followed. But the real bottom line, the elephant in the room, is corporate capitalism which fosters greed, overconsumption, waste, and unlimited growth on a finite planet. Does any leader talk about that? I have never heard Al Gore mention it, not in his books either, and it seems he birthed this movement.

  15. BannanaBoat
    June 2, 2017 at 14:57

    Hello People !!!! We need to think overall strategy, do not focus on individual issues, especially bogus ones as Russia Gate.Trump is a symptom of a violent corrupt system, only systematic improvement will have positive results, not support of the duopoly, both parties obey greedy violent masters. Trump is malleable and erratic. Think how to maneuver T to do what you wish, Russia Gate only serves the NeoCon Globalists and elicits negative actions from T. We did not impeach the last handful of Presidents who commanded Wars Against the Peace, a capital war crime. Use this opportunity to aim the T lose cannon in the correct direction. Make it profitful in any sense , ego, financial, political etc. for him to do good. Unreflected opposition is harmful. Think out of the box and think very large.

  16. mike k
    June 2, 2017 at 14:40

    Climate change may be able to finish us off all by itself, but of course it’s getting plenty of help from other factors going critical. They all help each other to become more deadly. Underlying all our problems is the disease of more, more, more of everything without limit. When the orgy is over, what will be left will be a mostly dead planet, without the now extinct party people. Do you really think we will wisely back off to forestall disaster? Dream on, have fun while it lasts…… Humankind is a self-destroying mutation.

    • Zim
      June 2, 2017 at 15:00

      Yup. I give us 10 years, 20 at the most. 50 gigaton methane hydrate bomb is going to go off at any moment. It’s been fun.

  17. susan sunflower
    June 2, 2017 at 14:31

    The biggest thing that I saw emphasized in the news yesterday (BBC) was that the limitations of the Paris Accord are SELF-IMPOSED … they are not, were never designed to be imposed on the USA by Paris or the Accord. There was no reason to pull out — except cynical on so many levels theatrics.

    • backwardsevolution
      June 2, 2017 at 15:16

      Susan – oh, there’s a reason to pull out – $100 billion per year reasons!

      “Representatives of developing countries, and especially India, have said that their ability and willingness to reduce emissions intensity will depend heavily on the developed countries honouring their promises to build up a Green Climate Fund. The Green Climate Fund, established initially at a level of $100 billion per year, is supposed to rise with time and come from contributions over and above existing foreign aid levels. The citizens of developed countries, already coping with the additional costs of carbon taxes will be asked to pay increased income taxes to pay for the Green Climate Fund.”

      You are going to pay so that U.S. multinationals (set up in developing Third World countries) can reap profits. It’s all done under the guise of “we need to help developing countries,” but what it really is is “we want you to cut back, pay through the nose, so that we can reap outsized profits”.

      Follow the money. Ever hear about this $100 billion per year?

  18. susan sunflower
    June 2, 2017 at 14:29

    Elon Musk and Disney’s Iger have bailed on Trump … who’s next? The number of coal-mining jobs this will “allow” are meager and — as with nonrenewables — relatively temporary as the multiple benefits of renewables make them first choice.

    Every parent with an asthmatic child understands why this is a bad trade …. Lots of cities are dealing with “bad air” … as citizens demand cleaner air, the market for coal is diminished.

    • backwardsevolution
      June 2, 2017 at 15:34

      Elon Musk would not survive if not for taxpayer money.

      “Then there’s Elon Musk, who stomped off in “indignation” when the announcement was made. The truth is a bit more complex; Musk is a welfare queen and Tesla, including all that it produces (batteries, solar panels and roofs and of course cars) is utterly dependent on both government subsidy and force to make you buy them under penalty of paying more. Tesla loses money on every car it sells and without both government subsidies and a belief they will continue the company is literally at risk of collapse. […] Tesla is a money-losing firm. It always has been. There are no profits. It exists because it can steal from the taxpayer.”

      Tim Cook doesn’t want jobs to come back to the U.S. He wants them to stay in China because he gets cheap labor there. Of course, the difference is never passed on to you as consumers. Prices are still high, along with their profits. If he wants to sell that phone for the same price, using U.S. workers, he’s going to make less profit. Yikes, can’t have that!

      “Among the complainers is Tim Cook who I remind you makes his iPhones in China which was immune from mandatory carbon emission cuts.”

      And the banks who were going to issue bonds for the Green Climate Fund, to the tune of $100 billion per year (see my post below), are not happy with this development.

      “Then there’s Goldman’s Blankfein. He, of course, was looking forward to financing “opportunities” (underwriting bonds and similar) for the trillions of dollars that America was going to be forced to give to other nations such as India. You don’t really think they’ll just wait for the money, do you? Oh no, here comes Goldman with the “opportunity” to get that money now — for a price, of course. That just went “poof” like a fart in the wind.”

      Follow the money.

  19. Bill Bodden
    June 2, 2017 at 14:17

    After Trump’s announcement of a U.S. exit from the Paris accord there was a lot of talk – probably wishful thinking – that the rest of the world would stand in opposition to Trump and other U.S. climate change deniers and we would all live happily every after breathing clear air and drinking crystal-clear water all over the world. Nice thought, but the human condition remains constant and greed will remain determined to prevail – climate change, be damned.

  20. Bill Bodden
    June 2, 2017 at 13:54

    One of the interesting points of the climate change debates on television talks shows is the way in which defenders of Trump’s action ignore the threats of climate change and focus instead of their perceptions of the economy. “Stupid” is telling us it’s the economy, stupid.

  21. backwardsevolution
    June 2, 2017 at 13:49

    JP Sottile – I agree we’ve got a real problem with CO2 emissions, but to exempt China and India (and the rest of Asia) from the Paris Accord absolutely borders on the ridiculous.

    Indonesia alone, with its slashing and burning of the land, meets or often exceeds the CO2 emissions produced from all U.S. economic activity on a daily basis. That’s just Indonesia and that’s just CO2, never mind methane. Over half of the land burned is peatland. They’re burning and draining this land to put in palm oil or pulpwood plantations.

    “The burning of tropical peatlands is so significant for greenhouse gas emissions because these areas store some of the highest quantities of carbon on Earth, accumulated over thousands of years. Draining and burning these lands for agricultural expansion (such as conversion to oil palm or pulpwood plantations) leads to huge spikes in greenhouse gas emissions. Fires also emit methane, a greenhouse gas 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide (CO2), but peat fires may emit up to 10 times more methane than fires occurring on other types of land. Taken together, the impact of peat fires on global warming may be more than 200 times greater than fires on other lands.”

    No doubt, once the slash and burn is over and done with years from now, when half of Asia has choked to death, the U.S. multinational corporations will be the beneficiaries as they probably own this land. In order to continue to burn the land so that they can make gross future profits, the West is supposed to cut back in order to allow this to happen.

    Follow the money.

  22. Sally Snyder
    June 2, 2017 at 13:46

    As shown in this article, Russia has become extremely concerned about one key American issue:

    http://viableopposition.blogspot.ca/2017/05/russias-fear-of-nuclear-war.html

    It is fascinating to see that this story was severely underreported because it doesn’t fit “the New Cold War narrative”.

    • hostoricvs
      June 2, 2017 at 22:40

      Also unreported in the media is Washington’s ultimate plan for Russia. It was outlined by Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter’s former National Security Advisor and a highly influential neocon strategist, when he wrote in 1997, “Given (Russia’s) size and diversity, a decentralized political system and free-market economics would be most likely to unleash the creative potential of the Russian people and Russia’s vast natural resources. A loosely confederated Russia — composed of a European Russia, a Siberian Republic, and a Far Eastern Republic — would also find it easier to cultivate closer economic relations with its neighbors. Each of the confederated entitles would be able to tap its local creative potential, stifled for centuries by Moscow’s heavy bureaucratic hand. In turn, a decentralized Russia would be less susceptible to imperial mobilization.” (Zbigniew Brzezinski, A Geostrategy for Eurasia, Foreign Affairs, 76:5, September/October 1997)

      This is the American game plan for Russia, regime change to create a pretend-democracy faux free market (not unlike our own), fragmenting the country in order to eliminate a fearsome economic rival. The US and NATO pioneered nation dismembering in Yugoslavia and perfected it in Iraq and Libya, and are busy at it in the Ukraine and Syria today, with the ultimate target being imperialism’s ancient adversary, Russia.

  23. Sleepless In Mars
    June 2, 2017 at 13:32

    Export
    “I reverently believe that the Maker who made us all makes everything in New England but the weather. I don’t know who makes that, but I think it must be raw apprentices in the weather-clerk’s factory who experiment and learn how, in New England, for board and clothes, and then are promoted to make weather for countries that require a good article, and will take their custom elsewhere if they don’t get it.”
    – “The Weather” speech, 1876

    We don’t export much to France. Trump blew our chance to export better weather. We could of talked them into sending wine for weather and hired more clerks. All we have are more jerks. Such is par for the course with Washington. Encourage more golfing. France will now turn to China for weather needs. Expect more lost factory jobs for New England.

    • cmack
      June 5, 2017 at 09:34

      for the deeply programmed.

      fair use excerpt.

      if you scream SCIENCE! everytime someone questions climate alarmism, this is for you.

      seriously. a good read. take the time people.

      From “The Real Global Warming Disaster” by Christopher Booker: (bold emphasis added)

      Nothing alerted us more to the curious nature of the global warming scare than the peculiar tactics used by the IPCC to promote its orthodoxy, brooking no dissent. More than once in its series of mammoth reports, the IPCC had been caught out in very serious attempts to rewrite the scientific evidence. The most notorious instance of this was the extraordinary prominence it gave in 2001 to the so-called ‘hockey stick’ graph, mysteriously produced by a relatively unknown young US scientist, which completely redrew the accepted historical record by purporting to show temperatures in the late twentieth century having shot upwards to a level far higher than had ever been known before. Although the ‘hockey stick’ was instantly made the central icon of the IPCC’s cause, it was within a few years to become one of the most comprehensively discredited artefacts in the history of science.

      Similarly called into serious doubt was the reliability of some of the other temperature figures on which the IPCC based its case. Most notably these included those provided by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), run by Dr James Hansen, A1 Gore’s closest scientific ally, which were one of the four official sources of temperature data on which the IPCC relied. These were shown to have been repeatedly ‘adjusted’, to suggest that temperatures had risen further and more steeply than was indicated by any of the other three main data-sources.

      …Out of the blue in 1998 Britain’s leading science journal Nature, long supportive of the warming orthodoxy, published a new paper on global temperature changes over the previous 600 years, back to 1400. Its chief author was Michael Mann, a young physicist-turned-climate scientist at the University of Massachusetts, who had only completed his PhD two years before. In 1999 he and his colleagues published a further paper, based only on North America but extending their original findings over 1000 years.

      Their computer model had enabled them to produce a new temperature graph quite unlike anything seen before. Instead of the previously familiar rises and falls, this showed the trend of average temperatures having gently declined through nine centuries, but then suddenly shooting up in the twentieth century to a level that was quite unprecedented.

      In Mann’s graph such familiar features as the Mediaeval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age had simply vanished. All those awkward anomalies were shown as having been illusory. The only real anomaly which emerged from their studies was that sudden exponential rise appearing in the twentieth century, culminating in the ‘warmest year of the millennium’, 1998.

      As would eventually emerge, there were several very odd features about Mann’s new graph, soon to be known as the ‘hockey stick’ because its shape, a long flattish line curving up sharply at the end, was reminiscent of the stick used in ice hockey. But initially none might have seemed odder than the speed with which this obscure study by a comparatively unknown young scientist came to be taken up as the new ‘orthodoxy’.

      So radically did the ‘hockey stick’ rewrite all the accepted versions of climate history that initially it carried all before it, leaving knowledgeable experts stunned. It was not yet clear quite how Mann had arrived at his remarkable conclusions, precisely what data he had used or what methods the IPCC had used to verify his findings. The sensational new graph which the IPCC made the centrepiece of its report had been sprung on the world out of left field.

      …Yet when, over the years that followed, a number of experts from different fields began to subject Mann’s two papers to careful analysis, some rather serious questions came to be asked about the basis for his study.

      For a start, although Mann and his colleagues had cited other evidence for their computer modelling of historical temperatures, it became apparent that they had leaned particularly heavily on ‘proxy data’ provided by a study five years earlier of tree-rings in ancient bristlecone pine trees growing on the slopes of California’s Sierra Nevada mountains. ‘Proxies’ used to calculate temperature consist of data other than direct measurement, such as tree rings, stalactites, ice cores or lake sediments.

      According to the 1993 paper used by Mann, these bristlecone pines had shown significantly accelerated growth in the years after 1900. But the purpose of this original study had not been to research into past temperatures. As was made clear by its title – ‘Detecting the aerial fertilisation effect of atmospheric C02 enrichment in tree-ring chronologies’ – it had been to measure the effect on the trees’ growth rate of the twentieth-century increase in C02 levels.

      Tree rings are a notoriously unreliable reflector of temperature changes, because they are chiefly formed during only one short period of the year, and cannot therefore give a full picture. This 1993 study of one group of trees in one untypical corner of the US seemed a remarkably flimsy basis on which to base an estimate of global temperatures going back 1000 years.

      Then it transpired that, in order to show the twentieth-century section of the graph, the terrifying upward flick of temperatures at the end of the ‘hockey stick’, spliced in with the tree-ring data had been a set of twentieth-century temperature readings, as recorded by more than 2,000 weather stations across the earth’s surface. It was these which more than anything helped to confirm the most dramatic conclusion of the study, that temperatures in the closing decades of the twentieth century had been shooting up to levels unprecedented in the history of the last 1,000 years, culminating in the ‘warmest year of the millennium’, 1998.

      Not only was it far from clear that, for this all-important part of the graph, two quite different sets of data had been used. Also accepted without qualification was the accuracy of these twentieth-century surface temperature readings. But the picture given by these was already being questioned by many expert scientists who pointed to evidence that readings from surface weather stations could become seriously distorted by what was known as the ‘urban heat island effect’. The majority of the thermometers in such stations were in the proximity of large and increasingly built-up population centres. It was well-established that these heated up the atmosphere around them to a significantly higher level than in more isolated locations.

      Nowhere was this better illustrated than by contrasting the temperature readings taken on the earth’s surface with those which, since 1979, had been taken by NASA satellites and weather balloons, using a method developed by Dr Roy Spencer, responsible for climate studies at NASA’s Marshall Space Centre, and Dr John Christie of the University of Alabama, Huntsville.

      Surprisingly, these atmospheric measurements showed that, far from warming in the last two decades of the twentieth century, global temperatures had in fact slightly cooled. As Spencer was at pains to point out, these avoided the distortions created in surface readings by the urban heat island effect. The reluctance of the IPCC to take proper account of this, he observed, confirmed the suspicion of ‘many scientists involved in the process’ that the IPCC’s stance on global warming was ‘guided more by policymakers and politicians than by scientists’.

      What was also remarkable about the ‘hockey stick’, as was again widely observed, was how it contradicted all that mass of evidence which supported the generally accepted picture of temperature fluctuations in past centuries. As was pointed out, tree-rings are not the most reliable guide to assessing past temperatures. Scores of more direct sources of proxy evidence had been studied over the years, from Africa, South America, Australia, Pakistan, Antarctica, every continent and ocean of the world.

      Whether evidence was taken from lake sediments or ice cores, glaciers in the Andes or boreholes in every continent (Huang et ai, 1997), the results had been remarkably consistent in confirming that the familiar view was right. There had been a Little Ice Age, across the world. There had similarly been a Mediaeval Warm Period. Furthermore, a mass of data confirmed that the world had been even warmer in the Middle Ages than it was in 1998.

      The first comprehensive study to review this point was published in January 2003 by Dr Willie Soon and his colleague Dr Sallie Baliunas of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. They had examined 140 expert studies of the climate history of the past 1,000 years, based on every kind of data. Some had given their findings only in a local or regional context, others had attempted to give a worldwide picture. But between them these studies had covered every continent. The question the two researchers had asked of every study was whether or not it showed a ‘discernible climate anomaly’ at the time of (1) the Little Ice Age and (2) the Mediaeval Warm Period; and (3) whether it had shown the twentieth century to be the warmest time in the Millennium.

      Their conclusion was unequivocal. Only two of the studies they looked at had not found evidence for the Little Ice Age. Only seven of the 140 studies had denied the existence of a Mediaeval Warm Period, while 116 had confirmed it.

      On the crucial question of whether or not the twentieth century had been the warmest of the past thousand years, only 15 studies, including that of Mann himself, had unambiguously agreed that it was. The vast majority accepted that earlier centuries had been warmer. The conclusion of Soon and Baliunas was that ‘Across the world, many records reveal that the twentieth century is probably not the warmest nor a uniquely extreme climatic period of the last millennium.’

      But if Mann and his colleagues had got the picture as wrong as this survey of the literature suggested, nothing did more to expose just how this might have come about than a remarkable feat of analysis carried out later in the same year by two Canadians and published in October 2003. (S. McIntyre and R. McKitrick, 2003, ‘Corrections to the Mann et al. (1998) proxy databse and northern hemispheric average temperature series’, Energy and Environment, 14, 752-771. In the analysis of McIntyre and McKitrick’s work which follows, reference will also be made to their later paper, McIntyre and McKitrick, 2005b, ‘The M & M critique of the MBH98 Northern Hemisphere climate index, Update and applications’, Energy and Environment, 16, 69-99, and also to McKitrick (2005), ‘What is the “Hockey Stick” debate about?’, op. cit.)

      Stephen McIntyre, who began their study, was a financial consultant and statistical analyst specialising in the minerals industry, and was later joined by Ross McKitrick, a professor of economics at Guelph University. Neither made any pretensions to being a climate scientist, but where they did have considerable expertise was in knowing how computers could be used to play around with statistics. They were also wearily familiar with people using hockey sticklike curves, showing an exaggerated upward rise at the end, to sell a business prospect or to ‘prove’ some tendentious point.

      Intrigued by the shape of the IPCC’s now famous ‘hockey stick’ graph, in the spring of 2003 McIntyre approached Mann and his colleagues to ask for a look at their original data set. ‘After some delay’, Mann ‘arranged provision of a file which was represented as the one used’ for his paper. But it turned out not to include ‘most of the computer code used to produce their results’. This suggested to McIntyre, who was joined later that summer by McKitrick, that no one else had previously asked to examine it, as should have been required both by peer-reviewers for the paper published in Nature and, above all, by the IPCC itself. (This account of the ‘hockey stick’ saga is based on several sources, in particular Ross McKitrick’s paper already cited , ‘What is the “hockey stick” debate about?’ (2005), and his evidence to the House of Lords Committee on Economic Affairs, ‘The Economics of Climate Change’, Vol. II, Evidence, 2005. See also David Holland, ‘Bias and concealment in the IPCC Process: the “Hockey Stick” affair and its implications’ (2007), op. cit.)

      When McIntyre fed the data into his own computer, he found that it did not produce the claimed results. At the heart of the problem was what is known as ‘principal component analysis’, a technique used by computer analysts to handle a large mass of data by averaging out its components, weighting them by their relative significance.

      One of the first things McIntyre had discovered was that the ‘principal component analysis’ used by Mann could not be replicated. ‘In the process of looking up all the data sources and rebuilding Mann’s data set from scratch’, he discovered ‘quite a few errors concerning location labels, use of obsolete editions, unexplained truncations of various series etc.’ (for instance, data reported to be from Boston, Mass., turned out to be from Paris, France, Central England temperature data had been truncated to leave out its coldest period, and so forth).

      But the real problem lay with the ‘principal component analysis’ itself. It turned out that an algorithm had been programmed into Mann’s computer model which ‘mined’ for hockey stick shapes whatever data was fed into it. As McKitrick was later to explain, ‘had the IPCC actually done the kind of rigorous review that they boast of they would have discovered that there was an error in a routine calculation step (principal component analysis) that falsely identified a hockey stick shape as the dominant pattern in the data. The flawed computer program can even pull out spurious hockey stick shapes from lists of trendless random numbers. ’ (McKitrick, House of Lords evidence, op. cit.)

      Using Mann’s algorithm, the two men fed a pile of random and meaningless data (‘red noise’) into the computer 10,000 times. More than 99 per cent of the time the graph which emerged bore a ‘hockey stick’ shape. They found that their replication of Mann’s method failed ‘all basic tests of statistical significance’.

      When they ran the programme again properly, however, keeping the rest of Mann’s data but removing the bristlecone pine figures on which he had so heavily relied, they found that the Mediaeval Warming once again unmistakably emerged. Indeed their ‘major finding’, according to McKitrick, was that Mann’s own data confirmed that the warming in the fifteenth century exceeded anything in the twentieth century.44

      One example of how this worked they later quoted was based on comparing two sets of data used by Mann for his second 1999 paper, confined to proxy data from North America. One was drawn from bristlecone pines in western North America, the other from a tree ring chronology in Arkansas. In their raw state, the Californian series showed a ‘hockey stick’ shape; the other, typical of most North American tree ring series, showed an irregular but basically flat line with no final upward spurt. When these were put together, however, the algorithm emphasised the twentieth-century rise by giving ‘390 times as much weight’ to the bristlecone pines as to the trees from Arkansas.45

      In other words, although Mann had used hundreds of tree ring proxies from all over North America, most showing a flattish line like that from Arkansas, the PCAs used to determine their relative significance had given enormously greater weight to those Californian bristlecones with their anomalous ‘hockey stick’ pattern.

      Furthermore, McIntyre and McKitrick found that Mann had been well aware that by removing the bristlecone pine data the ‘hockey stick’ shape of his graph would vanish, because he had tried it himself. One of the files they obtained from him showed the results of his own attempt to do this. The file was marked ‘Censored’ and its findings were nowhere mentioned in the published study.

      What, however, concerned McIntyre and McKitrick as much as anything else about this extraordinary affair was what it revealed about the methods of the IPCC itself. Why had it not subjected Mann’s study to the kind of basic professional checks which they themselves had been able to carry out, with such devastating results?

      Furthermore, having failed to exercise any proper quality control, why had those at the top of the IPCC then gone out of their way to give such extraordinary prominence to ‘the hockey stick data as the canonical representation of the earth’s climate history. Due to a combination of mathematical error and a dysfunctional review process, they ended up promoting the exact wrong conclusion. How did they make such a blunder?’

      Continue reading The Real Global Warming Disaster by Christopher Booker (Continuum, 2009), available at BN.com, Amazon.com and Audible.com.

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