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article imageOp-Ed: Environmental ‘threat to freedom’? Regressionism vs. reality

By Paul Wallis     Jan 30, 2017 in Environment
Washington D.c. - According to Trump advisor Myron Ebell environmentalism is “the greatest threat to freedom and prosperity in the modern world”. This rubbish is sadly not fake news. It’s normal in the far right Post-Everything world.
Publicly available versions of Ebell’s various statements include a total rejection of even the idea of expertise, and a shopping list of further information regarding dismantling of environmental protections.
At a time when heat waves are killing thousands of people worldwide, water supplies in the U.S. are being compromised, and pollution is affecting hundreds of millions, the Trump administration is ignoring everything. Climate, pollution and all other environmental issues are considered some sort of scam by the right, which has done everything possible to obstruct basic regulation at all levels of government.
The air in Delhi is so bad you can taste and smell it.
The air in Delhi is so bad you can taste and smell it.
Twitter #DelhiSmog
(The theory is that solar and other clean power sources are simply being promoted by a climate change scare campaign. So the hellish, toxic environments now being experienced by most of the world’s population are just marketing. Makes sense, doesn’t it?)
The superlative-challenging level of denial of actual deaths and economic devastation being caused by climate is interesting. It’s interesting because it’s easy to compare this position with the rest of the world. No other country on Earth, except possibly Russia, has achieved such a total regression to pre-environmental standards.
The U.S. takes the lead in returning to the past
WHO data shows that outdoor pollution is responsible for more than three million fatalities annually
WHO data shows that outdoor pollution is responsible for more than three million fatalities annually
Dimitar Dilkoff, AFP/File
In one week, the Trump administration has dismantled every environmentally-related rule, or tried to gag agencies on environmental issues. No other country has been so blatantly subservient to corporate lobbying.
Even China, which works on a cost base for industrial production which makes the U.S. seem very laid back, has acknowledged climate issues. China is also one of the world’s largest producers of solar panels and claims that its environmental measures are already delivering significant benefits. The Trump administration claims that solar power leads to higher electricity prices. (One of the reasons costs for solar are higher in the U.S. is the number of Republican/ALEC state regulations imposing costs on solar power sources.)
America has also succeeded in doing everything possible in terms of dealing itself out of the gigantic, clean energy markets around the world. Everyone else is investing heavily in clean energy. Scotland, for example, has just produced good, proven metrics on what clean energy can do to power local communities.
To end American world leadership, keep being anti-expert for a while
China's ruling Communist party has tried to cut pollution through the courts  but efforts have ...
China's ruling Communist party has tried to cut pollution through the courts, but efforts have been hampered by corruption and low levels of fines
Johannes Eisele, AFP/File
The grotesque anti-environmentalism ideology is a typical symptom of the sudden, obscene senility of America. For those of us who grew up with America as the epitome of a free-speaking, highly advanced, scientifically brilliant nation, this is a very strange experience. It’s like watching Einstein turn in to a Where’s Waldo cartoon.
In the past, people who promoted intolerance, hatred, and anti-science/ anti-intellectualism were considered nuts. They were considered nuts, and dangerous nuts, by conservatives, too. (Old conservatives figured that anyone that crazy shouldn’t be a business issue, let alone a mandatory fixture in their own lives.)
Now they’re running America? Maybe not. Let’s do a little analysis:
1. How many major U.S. patents were created by morons? Short answer, none. They may be owned by morons, but not invented by them.
2. How many of the global-scale technologies, including Big Data used by the Trump campaign, were created by lobbyists?
3. If you break your leg, do you write a policy or go see a doctor? Think it’s a great choice of options?
The bottom line here is that modern America simply can’t be operated by idiots. You need experts just to do the basics. You can bleat pathetic, outdated ideologies until you’re red, white, blue and comatose, but it doesn’t change the fact you need the working machinery of a modern society.
Ignoring experts is like shooting your doctor. The anti-fact platform will have a very short shelf life. No amount of denial will have any effect on real disasters. If a plane crashes in to a building, there are a lot of inescapable facts. Political singalongs don’t solve fires, deaths, and air safety issues, either. Nor does pretending it didn’t happen.
Ignoring facts and technologies, historically, would have prevented the evolution of modern America. Imagine America without Tesla, Edison, Bell, and a literal encyclopedia of experts. America was the development environment for everything from frypans to air conditioning and core technologies in every sector. American technology and science created the basic lifestyles of the modern world.
Mexican authorities have recommended suspending outdoor activities and ordered reduced traffic due t...
Mexican authorities have recommended suspending outdoor activities and ordered reduced traffic due to the first air pollution alert in 14 years
Ronaldo Schemidt, AFP
That incredible range of global effects wasn’t achieved by mindless adherence to obsolete thinking by rustic geriatrics. There’s no going back now. The future will require real facts, not alternate facts. It will need real information, not spin from lobbyists.
Equally and perhaps more important to America’s bottom line – The ability to compete with the rest of the world will reduce very quickly, if science and expertise are ignored. That’s particularly the case in high value technologies like advanced space drives, and other truly new technologies. The bottom line is getting closer with every mistake and bad call on major issues. Failure to relate to facts will be catastrophic.
(The irony with the Chinese EM drive is that it was invented in America. The bean-counting bozos in the States didn’t even look at it seriously for a decade, and now China’s got it. There’s a few trillion in patents thrown out the window by the same, dogmatically stupid mindset that’s pretending there’s no environmental issues.)
Iran says the exhaust fumes of five million cars make up 80 percent of Tehran's air pollution
Iran says the exhaust fumes of five million cars make up 80 percent of Tehran's air pollution
Atta Kenare, AFP/File
One more thing - Environmentalism was also originally an American initiative. It was about all kinds of pollution, and was welcomed around the world as a way of preserving quality of life for the future.
The pictures in this article are from all around the world, not some old people's rest home in a Washington think tank. No amount of talk is going to make them go away. No environment = No future. Clear?
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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