Trump’s Climate Hypocrisy

November 22, 2016



LONDON — When President-elect Donald J. Trumpmet with the British politician Nigel Farage in recent days, he encouraged Mr. Farage and his entourage to oppose the kind of offshore wind farms that Mr. Trump believes will mar the pristine view from one of his two Scottish golf courses, according to one person present.

The meeting, held shortly after the presidential election, raises new questions about Mr. Trump’s willingness to use the power of the presidency to advance his business interests. Mr. Trump has long opposed a wind farm planned near his course in Aberdeenshire, and he previously fought unsuccessfully all the way to Britain’s highest court to block it.

The group that met with Mr. Trump in New York was led by Mr. Farage, the head of the U.K. Independence Party and a member of the European Parliament. Mr. Farage, who was a leading voice advocating Britain’s exit from the European Union, or Brexit, campaigned with Mr. Trump during the election. Arron Banks, an insurance executive who was a major financier of the Brexit campaign, was also in attendance.

“He did not say he hated wind farms as a concept; he just did not like them spoiling the views,” said Andy Wigmore, the media consultant who was present at the meeting and was photographed with Mr. Trump.

Washington Post:

In January 2014, he publicly wondered how the United States could be spending money to combat what, in his words, was a “GLOBAL WARMING HOAX.” In October, when Trump was bitten by the autumnal chill, the Republican presidential candidate snarked on Twitter that he could use “a big fat dose of global warming.” He told The Washington Post editorial board in March that he is “not a great believer in man-made climate change.”

But when it came to protecting his own investments from global warming’s effects, Trump canned the screaming capital letters and jokes. Instead, Trump wants to curtail climate change with a wall.

The Trump International Golf Links Ireland, a golf course by the sea in Ireland’s County Clare, faces the Atlantic’s pounding waves and coastal erosion. As Politico reported Monday, the Trump Organization has submitted a permit to build a sea wall, which cites rising sea levels from climate change as a threat. Not just any wall will do — one plan called for a limestone barricade 20 meters wide, what Friends of the Irish Environment’s Tony Lowes described to CNBC as a “monster sea wall” in March.

As part of the approval process to build the sea wall, Trump International Golf Links filed an environmental-impact statement. It includes specific concern for erosion, beyond one governmental study that did not take into account sea-level rise from climate change, according to Politico.

“If the predictions of an increase in sea level rise as a result of global warming prove correct, however, it is likely that there will be a corresponding increase in coastal erosion rates not just in Doughmore Bay but around much of the coastline of Ireland,” the application notes. “In our view, it could reasonably be expected that the rate of sea level rise might become twice of that presently occurring.”



14 Responses to “Trump’s Climate Hypocrisy”

  1. Gary Evans Says:

    On his opposition wind, Trump seems at least to be consistent. He hates any form of clean energy in fact.

    Regarding climate change and his golf course, he shows himself to be opportunistic as well as being hypocritical.

    Expect things to deteriorate further over time.

    • otter17 Says:

      Or, with long odds, we could expect things to get better, after a powerful backlash against such madness finally surfaces.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      A U turn? No, it’s just more of the “keep them guessing” game that Trump plays. His unreal “reality show” of staffing his administration includes talking to Romney, Perry, and other “people who haven’t agreed with him” so that he can look “presidential” and appear to “mend fences”. It is all TOTAL BULLSHIT and as big a scam as Trump University was.

      He is now talking to Ben Carson about being HUD secretary, a post that Carson is totally unqualified for, just as he was unqualified to be president. If course, all those evangelicals will love it, and maybe it will take out some of the sting when Trump reneges on more of the things they liked about him. (Or maybe Carson can get his close friend Jesus to forget about loaves and fishes and instead do a magical instant urban renewal of every slum in the country).

      Yes, the latest word is that Trump no longer thinks climate change is a hoax and is thinking about NOT scrapping the Paris Accords. Oh, and he’s not going to prosecute Hillary in the emails either. Stay tuned for the next thing he goes back on.

      Trump is just one huge steaming and smelly pile of fermented hypocrisy. He stands for NOTHING. I am looking forward to the backlash he gets from his base when they realize that he fed them nothing but BS n order to get their votes.

  2. There is a direct correlation between GDP and energy consumption.. yes solar panels and renewables do indeed change that… but they are late on the scene and the scale up time is not feasible at this point… sooo that mean that to slow climate change.. co emission will have to be reduced and is will have to be (in the short term) a significant reduction in energy consumption… which means lower GDP… which means… economic hardship, collapse and political blow back… and in “comes the fall guy” The Donald (could not have happened to a better guy)…

    Good… I hope the world put a CO emission tariff on US goods… question is can they enforce it??? (good luck with that…)

    • otter17 Says:

      This notion that the only way to resolve this issue is economic collapse is one that feeds into denial talking points.

      There are certainly some economic reforms and conservation efforts that will probably need to be made in order to come out at the end with a reasonably stable outcome, but economic collapse is not a requirement that is highlighted in any research I have ever seen on the subject.

      • dumboldguy Says:

        RESEARCH? You haven’t seen any that “highlights economic collapse as a requirement”? And there are “certainly” reforms that “probably need to be made” in order for a “reasonably stable outcome”? Why do you insist on such naive over-intellectualizing when the truth is there for anyone to see?

        And who ever said that economic collapse was a “resolution”—–it’s a freaking RESULT, and the concomitant reduction in the burning of fossil fuels and the likely reduction of the human population (and its destructive life style) WILL be good for the planet.

        Read The Great Disruption by Gilding, or The End of the Long Summer by Dumanoski, or any of Jared Diamond’s or Stern’s or Naomi Klein’s work. It is NOT a denial talking point to recognize that we are highly unlikely to stop doing BAU until it’s too late and planet-wide mayhem ensues.

        • otter17 Says:

          I have read Gilding, Diamond, and Stern.

          My point isn’t that economic hardship cannot occur. In fact, like Gilding suggests in The Great Disruption, looking at humanity’s behavior so far we may very well procrastinate too much on this until an economic collapse occurs or a billion casualties. That is a possibility. Then, with our backs to the wall, humanity summons a surge of effort that resolves the issue within a couple decades. I disagree with Gilding in the regard that there would need to be some means to filter GHGs out of the air in order to prevent feedbacks like permafrost from swamping our efforts to kick the fossil fuel habit.

          My contention with Louise is that if we started a significant effort to reduce GHG emissions and concentration now, we would not necessarily create a man-made economic collapse. That is what feeds into denial talking points, that we cannot touch the economy or BAU even with a feather-weight pricing mechanism without their knee-jerk fears of economic ruin running amok.

          Economic collapse by human hands trying to solve the root of the problem, that is probably not going to happen. Economic hardship leading to collapse from natural disruptions? Sure, my comment above doesn’t rule that out. I never have. I simply don’t place absolute certainty in that outcome (and neither do , and I don’t find it a stance that is exactly helpful.

          • dumboldguy Says:

            “Then, with our backs to the wall, humanity summons a surge of effort that resolves the issue within a couple decades”. WHAT? What makes you think that humanity will be able to do that? Once the tipping points are exceeded and positive feedback mechanisms kick in, it will be TOO LATE for anything but half-assed last ditch efforts like SRM through spraying sulfur compound into the atmosphere. Gilding speaks of “surges of effort” only because he is timid and doesn’t want to be treated like another Guy McPherson (who may soon be proved correct if things don’t take a turn for the better in the Arctic).

            You say you “disagree with Gilding in the regard that there would need to be some means to filter GHGs out of the air in order to prevent feedbacks like permafrost from swamping our efforts to kick the fossil fuel habit”. That’s not clearly stated. Are you supporting Gilding’s idea that technology can save us IF we apply it in time? And what is a “feedback like permafrost” that can “swamp us”? Do you really think we can “filter GHG’s out of the air”?

            Your contention with Louise is that “…if we started a significant effort to reduce GHG emissions and concentration now, we would not necessarily create a man-made economic collapse”. Really? When is “now”? I ask because we have been dragging our feet for too many years now, and IMO we will not take adequate steps until the SHTF and we are in crisis mode, and that WILL lead to significant economic collapse for many on the planet.

            The denier talking point that “we cannot touch the economy or BAU even with a feather-weight pricing mechanism without knee-jerk fears of economic ruin” is one that has worked for a long time and is STILL on the tip of Trump’s and many Repugnants’ tongues. They have been and will continue to be “running amok” with it. We need to turn that around to getting people to believe that NOT dealing with AGW will in the long run prove more costly and harm “the economy” even more.

            I think you misunderstand Louise and show confusion when you say “Economic collapse by human hands trying to solve the root of the problem, that is probably not going to happen” and “Economic hardship leading to collapse from natural disruptions? Sure…”. How can you separate the two so neatly and imply that we will suffer only HARDSHIP from natural disruptions rather than the disaster of economic, societal and planetary ecosystem COLLAPSE ?

            (I don’t find a stance that oozes too much bright-sidedness exactly helpful).

          • otter17 Says:

            Right, and that is a point where I (and I suspect most climate scientists) would disagree with Gilding. His book and other writing does a pretty good job of covering the human aspects of this problem that climate scientists cannot, but I disagree with the notion that humanity would be able to turn things around so quickly with our backs against the wall facing feedbacks. If we wait until there is an emergency, then sure I would agree it would be too late to reverse the processes underway. It even begs the question what specifically will humanity consider an “emergency”. Haven’t we already seen events that would qualify? Does the emergency have to be global in scale and/or impact the emitting population? All valid criticisms of Gilding’s writing in that chapter.

            Do I think we can filter GHG’s out of the air? From my limited technical expertise on the subject, it looks like a longshot to be able to scale up the existing prototype efforts to a planetary scale to sequester that which has already been let out into the atmosphere. The process is potentially sound, and isn’t something to rule out of the question when considering how nations ought to be allocating R&D funds. Check out Gwynn Dyer’s book “Climate Wars: The Fight for Survival as the World Overheats”. As he puts it, paraphrasing, this is a deadly serious matter, and all forms of methods to solve the problem, including geo-engineering, ought to be considered as fallbacks, moral hazards be damned. In our current planning, we can’t let SHTF scenarios spiral out of control without having at least a couple potential fallback plans awaiting deployment. The stakes are too high to just conclude that human nature will never solve this problem, so the “too late” outcome is already set in stone. Dyer paints potentially grim future, but even as a world politics and national security expert, he is not claiming that future is a certainty. I think you would like his book, and the military conflict angle, very gripping read.

            I’m not separating economic hardship from the sources that you describe. I am not misunderstanding. I am simply discounting the notion that tackling the task of reducing GHG emissions according to the scientific recommendations will somehow crash the economy, as the denial talking point goes. Yes, full agreement with you (and in agreement with economists like Stern and Nordhaus) that waiting to reduce GHG emissions offers a future with far more economic hardships and existential risks.

            Some of the scientists that have spoken on the subject of solutions at the recent Marrakesh conference know that the path forward is indeed a narrow one. If you can find a majority of experts on the subject of climate or its economic solutions, etc, that make the claim that collapse is a certain outcome, then you have some standing in making that claim. Until that point, it isn’t brightsidedness to merely point out that there is a path forward (maybe not pretty, though) that avoids total collapse. That is just ACCURATE based on the current state of the science, and that probably isn’t because they are all too timid to be Guy McPherson. Until the point we have scientific disciplines claiming that the only outcome is collapse, with certainty, it isn’t exactly helpful claiming certainty.

  3. Interesting that you criticize one of the few bright spots in Trump’s environmental portfolio. At least he’s willing to admit that those machines don’t belong in any scenic locations (which is mostly where they end up). The general smugness about wind turbine damage vs. older forms of damage has run its course and needs to be called out. Evil is not too strong a word for the hypocrisy.

    The urban, quasi-environmental crowd sits around sipping propaganda and pretending landscapes are trivial. They seem to prefer viewing edited scenery on computer monitors, or even just CGI. Some future geek might invent special turbine-shrinking glasses for VR software. “Just pretend they’re not 500 feet tall, and don’t forget your earplugs. We’re greening up the world by building all over it!”

    Below is a random article that really gets to the point about wind power. That’s what environmentalists are supposed to be doing, rather than championing gigantic construction projects that barely reduce fossil fuel use.

  4. mboli Says:

    “There is a direct correlation between GDP and energy consumption.” What an amazingly stupid denier meme this is. Anybody who yammers this ought to log out and swear off commenting out of sheer embarrassment.
    There is a direct correlation between EVERY ONE of civilization’s waste products and GDP. Until we as a society decides that the waste is causing a problem and stop it.
    There was a direct correlation between soot-drenched air and GDP, until we decided to stop burning coal for residential heat and most industrial processes. (And residential waste incinerators.)
    There was a direct correlation between waste piling up in city streets, until we decided to institute landfills and garbage pickup. Ever hear about Dead Horse Bay in New York City?
    There was a direct correlation between fecal matter in the drinking water and GDP, until we decided that was a bad idea and instituted MASSIVE changes to our physical culture and social customs to stop it.
    There was a direct correlation between smog and GDP until….
    CO2 is a waste product. It has reached the point that it is causing a problem. If we had the common sense that previous generations did, we will decide to stop drowning ourselves in it before the damage becomes dire. Allowing us to continue having an advancing civilization and growing GDP.
    And future generations will wonder what the bleep was going through the little minds of people who wrote like above.

  5. redskylite Says:

    Interesting observation by the BBC in the attached arcticle.

    Breitbart: The web that connects Trump and Farage

    And note Breitbart has France and Germany in it’s sights.

    Take care and be alert mes alliés; meine Verbündeten

    Breitbart: The web that connects Trump and Farage

    Future expansion targets include France and Germany.

    “Their model is to identify areas where there are two ingredients, the potential to exploit or inflame racial anxieties, anti-Muslim sentiment, anti-feminist sentiment.”

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