Clueless: SecState on Climate – “People should just move..”

June 9, 2019

Above, for me, 2012 felt like a watershed for climate – in that the impacts were becoming so clear, and to an increasing number of people.
I remember finishing the edit on this and wiping away tears.
I didn’t imagine then that the then-CEO of Exxon, who has a starring role, would become a climate-clueless Secretary of State years later – to be followed by an even more clueless replacement.
For both of them, the glib answer to any climate change is that the uncouth, unwashed masses will simply “adapt”.

Climatewise, 2019, so far, feels a lot like 2012.

Here, said clueless fake-religious hack SecState, Mike Pompeo glibly pronounces that populations affected by climate change will simply move, blithely oblivious, apparently, that those populations are moving, and the US is locking them up and destroying their families at the border.
It’s not going to get better any time soon.


Secretary of State Mike Pompeo downplayed climate change as a longstanding trend, suggesting that that modern societies could adapt to a changing environment, possibly with people moving to different places.

“The climate’s been changing a long time. There’s always changes that take place,” Pompeo said during an interview with the Washington Times published Friday, when asked whether he thought climate change was man-made and how best to address it. He did not mention anything about man-made pollution in his remarks.

“Societies reorganize, we move to different places, we develop technology and innovation,” he added. “I am convinced, I am convinced that we will do the things necessary as the climate changes.”

When asked about a potential technological solution, Pompeo replied that “it’s not just technological” and cited the Netherlands, which are partially below sea level, as an example of a successful response. 

New York Times:

The farmer stood in his patch of forlorn coffee plants, their leaves sick and wilted, the next harvest in doubt.

Last year, two of his brothers and a sister, desperate to find a better way to survive, abandoned their small coffee farms in this mountainous part of Honduras and migrated north, eventually sneaking into the United States.

Then in February, the farmer’s 16-year-old son also headed north, ignoring the family’s pleas to stay.

The challenges of agricultural life in Honduras have always been mighty, from poverty and a neglectful government to the swings of international commodity prices.

But farmers, agricultural scientists and industry officials say a new threat has been ruining harvests, upending lives and adding to the surge of families migrating to the United States: climate change.

And their worries are increasingly shared by climate scientists as well.

Gradually rising temperatures, more extreme weather events and increasingly unpredictable patterns — like rain not falling when it should, or pouring when it shouldn’t — have disrupted growing cycles and promoted the relentless spread of pests.

The obstacles have cut crop production or wiped out entire harvests, leaving already poor families destitute.

Central America is among the regions most vulnerable to climate change, scientists say. And because agriculture employs much of the labor force — about 28 percent in Honduras alone, according to the World Bank — the livelihoods of millions of people are at stake.

Last year, the bank reported that climate change could lead at least 1.4 million people to flee their homes in Mexico and Central America and migrate during the next three decades.

The United States has allocated tens of millions of dollars in aid in recent years for farmers across Central America, including efforts to help them adapt to the changing climate.

But President Trump has vowed to cut off all foreign aid to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador because of what he calls their failure to curb the flow of migrants north.

Critics contend the punishment is misguided, though, because it could undermine efforts to address the very problems that are driving people to abandon their farms and head to the United States.

“If Donald Trump withdraws all the funds for Honduras, it’s going to generate more unemployment, and that’s going to generate more migration,” said María Esperanza López, the general manager of Copranil, a coffee-growers cooperative here in western Honduras. “And that’s going to result in more abandoned farms.”

14 Responses to “Clueless: SecState on Climate – “People should just move..””

  1. jimbills Says:

    Meanwhile, at the EPA:

    Two major changes are taking or have taken place. The first is a ‘transparency rule’ that makes it necessary for any study used to impose a regulation must give full access to its sources. On the surface, this sounds fine, why not be transparent, but in effect, it negates a bunch of studies where personal data is kept hidden because the participants want it that way. A hypothetical example would be a study on mining runoff and medical records for the community. A hospital might not give access to those records if they knew they could be publicly released later. So, the revolving door industry insiders know they can eliminate a bunch of studies with one fell swoop, and thereby make it much tougher to impose regulations.

    Secondly, they have made it so that their advisory board cannot have members who have received EPA grants. Again, on the surface, that sounds okay, maybe there’s a conflict of interest there. However, many who would serve on that board have two main sources for grants – the EPA and industry. So, the board can be packed with people who have received only industry-backed grants. Apparently there’s no conflict there.

    • jimbills Says:

      On Pompeo, it should be noted that his first business was funded partially by Koch Industries, and subsequent businesses had tight ties with Koch. Andrew Wheeler of the EPA is a former coal lobbyist who also worked on the staff of James Inhofe.

      • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

        The first question for assessing DJT administration appointees is not whether there’s a conflict of interest, but which specific attributes make the appointee a good fox to guard the henhouse.

    • jimbills Says:

      Related to EPA:

  2. The Secretary of State featured in the video is Rex Tillerson.

  3. rsmurf Says:

    What Tillerson means is, I have enough money to go wherever I need to go, screw the rest of you!

    • jimbills Says:

      Pompeo. There are some people who live around wealth most to all of their lives and just assume everyone else is the same – and if they’re not, it’s their fault, so why worry about them.

    • grindupbaker Says:

      Rex Tillerson has said that it’s an engineering problem. What Tillerson means is that this, and everything, all change of any type, is an opportunity for sharp entrepreneurs to make a huge amount of money same as always was and nothing else. That’s why, the general mindset, I’m massively cynical re these various amazing Carbon Capture Storage science/technologies that Greenman shows for consideration, and elsewhere. Coal from CO2 !

      • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

        Tillerson is a smart man. When there’s cognitive dissonance between your job and a nasty reality, smarter people are better at creating internal rationales (applies to religious beliefs, too). I think when he became SoS he started to be exposed to different aspects of climate change, including the US military and the intelligence community’s practical acceptance of the huge non-engineering problems that CC creates, and had to reprogram his brain.

        The damage is already done, though.

  4. jimbills Says:

    Just re-watched the video. It’s a powerful one.

    With Tillerson to Pompeo, sadly, we’ve gone from bad to worse.

    I was in that hailstorm at 2:35. I managed to park under a tree and avoided the worst. I didn’t have any cracked glass like every other car in the area. It still totaled my 9 year old car at the time. Funny – I haven’t thought about it for a while – the video brought me back.

  5. indy222 Says:

    I wonder how smug the Pompeo’s of the world will be when Canada begins building their razor-wired machine-gun towered wall against those insane Americans fleeing the heat?

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