Does Trump’s Planned “Green” Speech Show White House Jitters on Climate Issue?

July 7, 2019

Sneaking suspicion that following this spring’s devastating, and still ongoing anomalous rain event across the midwest, (subject of an upcoming vid) – there are a lot more minds open to climate’s role in clobbering farmers and rural areas across the heartland.
Today the President is giving a speech highlighting, of all things, his environmental record.

Any possibility the White House is nervous about the potency of climate and green issues in 2020?


The president is giving a speech on the environment on Monday. And some people think that’s a little weird. Two senior administration officials told me they were surprised when they first heard that President Trump would be giving a speech about his administration’s “environmental leadership.” Both said the president probably won’t win a public debate on environmentalism, given he’s spent much of his time in office proudly repealing President Obama’s environmental regulations.

“I don’t know why we’d spend any time talking about their issue,” one of the senior officials told me. By “their,” the source meant Democrats.

The other official described the speech as a “Javanka Special” (a phrase some conservative administration officials use to describe liberal moves they blame on Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump).

White House response: Judd Deere, a WH spokesman, pushed back on this characterization, saying there was “broad consensus at the leadership level” of the White House and the EPA “to put the facts out on the president’s record and what this administration is doing. There should be no surprise about this speech. We’ve been discussing internally for weeks.”

Behind the scenes: Administration sources with direct knowledge confirmed that Ivanka Trump encouraged the president to make a public case for his environmental record. These officials also said Brooke Rollins, a presidential adviser who is close to Kushner, has helped with Monday’s speech.

Between the lines: Aides say we shouldn’t expect Trump to do a backflip and declare that, suddenly, he’s become deeply concerned about climate change. When Axios interviewed the president in October, he pooh-poohed the findings of his own government’s scientists, who reported that human activities are the dominant cause of global warming observed since the mid-20th century.

Perhaps foreshadowing themes we might hear on Monday, Deere added: “We are the party of conservation, environmental protection and expanding responsible clean energy technologies while the Democrats’ radical Green New Deal would outlaw cows, cars and planes, crippling America’s economy and crushing the poorest communities across the globe that rely solely on fossil fuels to survive.” (Fact check: The Green New Deal resolution does not outlaw cows, cars and planes.)

A senior administration official said the White House crafted the speech to present the president as pragmatic and to appeal to suburban women, a demographic that has moved away from him and which his advisers believe he needs to win back to be re-elected in 2020.

Yale Program on Climate Change Communication:

In our April 2019 national survey, we found that the American public underestimates how many other Americans think global warming is happening (i.e., they underestimate the social consensus on global warming). Americans on average estimate that only 54% of other Americans think global warming is happening, when in fact, 69% of Americans do.


Mother Jones:

In early March, just a week before the Midwest was inundated by catastrophic flooding, a dozen farmers gathered at the First Presbyterian Church in Grinnell, Iowa, for an event billed as a conversation about “Faith, Farmers, and Climate Action.” “How is God calling you to use your farm to improve the world?” asked the evening’s facilitator, Matt Russell. “We’ve got this narrowing window of time in which we can act,” he said. “When we think about climate action—are you feeling any call to that?”

Russell directs the Iowa branch of Interfaith Power and Light, a nonprofit that promotes a religious response to global warming. A fifth-generation farmer who runs a livestock operation with his husband in nearby Lacona, Iowa, the 48-year-old nearly became a Catholic priest in his twenties but then got a degree in rural sociology. Now he preaches that America’s farmers—a demographic seen as religious and conservative—are a secret weapon in the climate fight.

Russell thinks growers care about global warming in “far bigger numbers than past polling, research, and conventional wisdom recognize.” According to a 2013 survey, 75 percent of Iowa’s farmers believe in climate change, yet only 16 percent think the shift was due to human activity. It’s not known if those opinions have held: When Iowa State University researchers were putting together an updated version of the same poll in 2017, President Donald Trump’s Department of Agriculture told them they could not include a question about climate change. But Russell acknowledges that many farmers are reluctant to champion a progressive talking point.

“When I have a private conversation with a farmer, they are generally not skeptical about human-caused climate change. They just know they can’t talk about it publicly,” he says. He views faith-based workshops as a “safe space” where growers can discuss the issue. As TV crews and pundits descend on Iowa for the 2020 caucus season, Russell’s goal is to round up a 100-strong squad of farmers who are willing to speak publicly about agriculture as a climate solution.

New York Times:

MIAMI — New water pumps and tidal valves worth millions of dollars are needed to keep the streets from flooding even on sunny days. Septic tanks compromised by rising groundwater leak unfiltered waste that threatens the water supply. Developers are often buying out residents of established communities, hoping to acquire buildable property on higher ground.

Climate change became a daily reality long ago in Miami, where both rich and poor have been forced to grapple with the compounding effects of warmer temperatures and higher sea levels. The evidence is everywhere of a city under siege by the rising sea.

“Climate change is really the issue that sits on all other issues,” said Rachel Silverstein, executive director of Miami Waterkeeper, an environmental research and activist group. “It affects security. It affects drinking water. It affects tourism. It affects public health. Property values. It’s a part of the discussion of almost any topic that might come up.”

So imminent is the prospect of a warming climate in Florida that the state’s new Republican leadership has acknowledged it and taken some action, even as President Trump and his administration have refused to join international climate treaties and attacked climate science.

21 Responses to “Does Trump’s Planned “Green” Speech Show White House Jitters on Climate Issue?”

  1. Have we forgotten Trump once claimed climate change was a hoax instigated by China to manipulate the economy? Sigh.

    • jerrydogood Says:

      He was talking about man caused climate change claims, not actual climate change.

      • neilrieck Says:

        How would we know? Trump seems to talk/tweet off the cuff. Many times he will contradict himself in the same conversation; (Art of the Deal?)

      • rsmurf Says:

        You are right I saw “man made climate change” in my front pasture and it was different from the “actual climate change” in my adjacent pasture.

      • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

        Which aspect do you disagree with:
        (1) CO2 is a greenhouse gas
        (2) extracting fossil fuels and burning them adds to the CO2 content of the atmosphere much faster than natural mechanisms can pull it out

  2. jerrydogood Says:

    Two years ago this very blog was talking about drought, permanent drought in the country caused by climate change, Now after it rained it is flooding caused by climate change. The average climate has not changed at all. This is weather.

    • earl Says:

      @Jerrydogood… the “weather” has already moved into a chaotic state. The planet has *already* tipped over the tipping point. It is doing now, what the climate models predicted decades ago. It is going from one reasonably steady state – where seasons are predictable and which has been steady since the end of the last ice age – into a state of chaos where nothing is predictable, except that it will be swinging from one extreme event to another. So drought turning into floods is, and will be, ‘normal’. It’s *all* weather but that is just a dismissive & meaningless comment, designed to obfuscate and mislead. A rash of 100 tornados – out of season, is “just weather” – a 1 in 500 years flood is “just weather” (even when it happens several years in a row) – a super Hurricane is “just weather” – but when you put them all together and with increasing frequency and intensity, then it becomes something else.
      And FYI “actual climate change” (by which I will assume you mean “natural” climate change), happens of tens of thousands of years, and it is driven by the carbon cycle on this planet & the wobble of the planet on its axis… but neither of those “natural” cycles can account for the changes we see going on now.
      So here’s a statistic for you… every year we (mankind) emit 800X more CO2 than *all* the volcanoes on Earth emit (including eruptions). That means we are driving “natural” climate change to go 800X faster than it would if we didn’t pollute the skies & seas. That means in the last 100 years we have emitted 800,000 years’ worth of (un-) “natural” carbon (on top of all the volcanoes emissions). Nearly a million years worth of carbon dumped into the atmosphere in just over 100 years. Thing is – there is only one other “natural” event which might release that much carbon that fast – and that is an asteroid strike like the one that killed the dinosaurs – Go Figure Einstein!

      • earl Says:

        correction – in the last 100 years we have emitted 80,000 years’ worth of carbon… and the last ice age ended about 11,700 years ago.

    • Bryan Ackerly Says:

      Yes, it’s weather. On steroids!!!!

      • neilrieck Says:

        You are correct. Scientists said the main result of climate change would be unpredictable whether. Some places might get more rain (because a warmer world is a wetter world) but rain torrents here would, paradoxically, cause droughts there. They also said that temperature would rise faster in polar regions which would then destabilize the jet-stream and this has been happening in spades this side of y2k. It is the main reason for all the deaths this month from Spain to Russia.

        Everyone who claims that climate change is normal seems to ignore the fact that 7.6 billion humans are responsible for the current spike in CO2 where humans have added to all the existing natural processes.

        Now I run into a lot of people who claim that CO2 has nothing to do with warming but their non-scientific opinions conflict with the 200 years of science starting with Fourier and Tyndall. They seem to not know that CO2 acts like a thermal blanket. Throw a blanket on a corpse and nothing will happen. Throw the same blanket on your wife and she will be happy. Throw five blankets on her and she will kick off some of them before morning.

    • greenman3610 Says:

      Ironically, the increase in large precipitation events will coincide with net drying of the soils in many areas. there are several reasons.
      One, the atmosphere will be generally warmer and thus absorb more moisture, so soils when uncovered will dry faster.
      We are seeing very well documented retreat of snow cover earlier in the spring across the temperate zone Northern hemisphere – so this makes for a longer time that soil will not be protected by snow cover, leading up to the generally dryer months later in summer.
      Harder rains will wash more topsoil away, when that soil is not protected or somehow augmented against erosion, thus degrading further the soil’s ability to hold moisture and resist drying.
      When dry spells come, as they always do – more vulnerable soils will dry out faster, and warm up, bringing drought and heat waves on more quickly.
      Finally, as I’ll show again in a new video, the jet stream appears to be changing in a way that makes more “stuck” patterns, such as we’ve seen the last 5 months across the midwest, more likely.
      This year, it was rain – in 2012, it was heat and drought – that “stuckness” will tend to create more extreme events – of all types, when it sets up in the future.

      • dumboldguy Says:

        A very informative comment—info that many people may not be aware of. Add in the deleterious effects of industrial farming methods and clear cutting of forests on the water cycle and the picture gets even worse.

    • rsmurf Says:

      And after you average all the weather you get climate. And it is changing!

    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      Even though the whole of the United States covers ~2% of the planet’s surface, it’s still a lot of area. The Southwestern states of the US is expected to have long-term drought, and we’re seeing that. The New England area is expected to have a total +75% increase in precipitation (rain and snow) through the end of the century, and we’re seeing that, too.

  3. colettebytes Says:

    Trump will probably talk about new moves like biomass… The US is selling its trees as wood pellets into the biomass market in UK and Europe, for burning in power stations. Anything with $$$$ signs attached, is fair game. Meanwhile, the natural world deteriorates. Trump is a deal maker… That’s it. Nothing else comes out of his limited skill set. All about the ‘deal’ folks.

  4. jimbills Says:

    I missed the speech, but it seems to have been a campaign event rather than a policy reveal:

    • jimbills Says:

      I was curious about Trump’s Everglades mention in the article above and looked it up. A restoration plan called CERP was passed by Congress in 2000, which called for billions of dollars over a three decade plus period. Apparently, Congress was expected to approve $200 billion a year over that course, but it’s had problems getting that amount approved each budget.

      Trump apparently earmarked just $63 billion in the recent budget, which angered a lot of Floridians. In fact, a number of Florida’s Republicans, including Marco Rubio, pressured Trump to go back to the $200 billion mark. Super bad politics there it seems to not be in favor of the restoration project. Trump, in a tweet of course, said in March of this year that he was now in favor of the $200 billion. So, basically, the Trump ‘accomplishment’ on protecting the Everglades was to basically agree with the already enacted CERP plan from 2000. Quite the achievement.


      Ironically, the project is vital for Florida’s agriculture in mitigating sea level rise.

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