I’ve been watching Democracy Now’s coverage of the Conference of Partners in Morocco. Every topic seems to hover in regard to Trump, particularly the climate. And there’s a sense that the Paris agreement made between 195 nations, supported by President Obama will be legally binding during the Trump administration. In spite of climate change denier Myron Ebell being part of the transition team to appoint an EPA administrator who will replace Obama’s third appointee, Gina McCarthy. McCarthy followed a heated chapter in which Obama’s initial appointee, Lisa Perez Jackson, resigned due to Obama’s support for the Keystone pipeline. Her statements about fracking have been used by the media to support the practice. She was criticized by her support for BP’s Corexit method of dealing with the Deep Horizon oil spill. It wasn’t a good eight years for the environment, although the Paris accord did get signed.
From what’s been discussed with officials and representatives at COP 22, Trump can’t legally pull out of the agreement, but he can be a deadweight. Should this be his approach, we can only hope that his actions will impact his business in those countries (existing or planning in Canada, Panama, India, Germany, among others).
We can only hope that, like most of his promises, Trump won’t actually follow through with his plans to revitalize the coal industry and dirty energy. One of the highlights of COP 22 has been China’s vice foreign minister, Liu Zhenmin, pointing out that China had not invented the idea, but that it started during the Reagan/Bush senior Republican administration. The Washington Post found this memorandum dated February 9, 1989 that lays out the concern for climate change’s impact on the environment, health and natural resources. Thanks G.H. Bush.
When Leonardo di Caprio was appointed UN Messenger of Peace, I wonder if they already has his role in the National Geographic documentary, Before the Flood, in mind. The most riveting, attempt at inspiration in the film is his visit to President Obama, who frankly states that people will make the rational decision to curb climate change once they have to start fight for resources. I wonder how many conflicts and civil discontents have already been caused by climate change. There’s a contentious theory that the Syrian civil war was linked to an unusually bad drought. The immigrant crisis of Europe follows, and the rebirth of fascist politics there and in the U.S. Currently, we think of climate change in regard to a static, human-friendly ecosystem that has been influenced by form of pollution, waste, and activity–mostly rooted in one way or another to industrialized production. Would a more expansive view put not only the direct conflict caused by quantified climate change include, say, Japan’s invasion into China in World War II along that continuum. That is, rather than viewing just the impact of production, like factories and products, like cars, and the byproduct of greenhouse gases on the environment, include also the era in which acquisition of raw materials was a sort of exotic foreplay to climate change. The narrative that is being undermined (and it is a narrative because what else other than an abridged story can encompass the irrational actions of war) is the ethnographic, economic or patriotic explanation for state-conflict.