So the Donald has pulled out of the Paris agreement and the world is doomed. At least that’s the initial reaction I see from many. If you believe in science — how anyone can not believe in science baffles me — then you already realize this hardly makes any difference. Climate change will happen regardless of how we try to stall it. Say goodbye to the east coast of North America.
Before we all drown, we will become poorer. At least Americans will, the populace anyway. The rich will keep on getting richer. I am talking about oil. Trump is committed to maintaining fossil fuels as America’s fuel: oil, coal, and gas. No need for all these windmills and solar farms. No need for more dams. No need for new alternative fuels like algae oil. No need for clean, safe nuclear power.
The world is moving to new fuels. I now see wind farms in my remote corner of the continent, and “net-zero” solar homes are making the news here. Some countries, like Germany, are targeting 60% of their energy from renewables in the very near future. One day in 2016 they achieved 95% and even hit a point of negative cost where they paid people to use electricity. Current estimates have the USA meeting their energy demands from only 19% renewable energy sources.
What’s amazing is that the economics are so clear. It costs a hell of a lot of money to extract fossil fuels, and it’s only going to get more expensive. New coal is deeper than old coal was, and new oil is in more hostile environments. Can you imagine drilling in the arctic where the oil runs as thick as tar? Can you imagine American workers revelling in -40c conditions to ensure their muscle cars run cheaply? While the rest of the world moves to alternative fuels, the economies of scale will make it cheaper. In summary, economic growth is in renewable fuels, whether America gets on board or not. I can see a future in the not too distant where the only major oil production is in the middle east and the American arctic. And of course Russia. They sail the same model of idiot boat that America’s alt-right does.
But corporations understand this. Oil companies are all engaged in algae research: algae oil can theoretically plug into much existing infrastructure like pipelines and refineries. It is a direct replacement for fossil fuels, a renewable fossil fuel. We are all moving forward to combat climate change anyway, regardless of anything President Trump does. And it’s because that is where the money is now focused.
So why all the opposition to the new money-making machine? Can the alt-right not bear to engage in change? Change is what made America supposedly great. My answer is, in part, American exceptionalism. I fight for tax freedom from American extra-territorial taxation, a practice completely at odds with its raison d’être — taxation without representation. But there are other areas America refuses to change. It sticks to its backward imperial measurement system; because, you know, it was devised by Americans. The USA refuses to consider changes to food guidance, despite the overwhelming evidence that sugar kills, not fat; because, you know, that will mean less money in their pockets. The country refuses to control guns, yet every other advanced country does. It refuses to supply universal healthcare, despite it making economic sense; because, well, it’s socialist, and we can’t have socialism. Fascism is fine, but fuck socialism.
What this decision comes down to, in my opinion, is power. The religious, alternative right thrive on slanting reality, and the only purpose is to achieve and maintain power. The attacks against the press, against the judiciary, the dismantling of institutions (like education), is nothing but megalomania. And this walking away from the Paris Agreement feeds into the alt-right propaganda machine. All the little Trumpian rednecks out there are ejaculating wildly over this victory, over the proof they are right and the lowly libtards are once again proven wrong. It’s a propaganda dance, and it’s dangerous. The danger here is not the planet being wiped out by the climate but being wiped out by our loss of freedoms. Donald Trump, the alt-right, the religious right, and any group who tries to impose their ideals on humanity is our real enemy. Anyone who cannot think, assess alternatives, and make decisions based on fact rather than stupid ideals (and yes, this includes much of the left wing, but they don’t hold the dice right now) is our real enemy.
Wake up and smell the real threats.