Sick and Deadly Executive Order on Climate Change
Trump Says “Fuck You” to the Planet and Humanity
March 30, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
"Not Fit Caretakers of the Earth," a clip from the film Revolution: Why It's Necessary, Why It's Possible, What It's All About, a film of a talk by Bob Avakian. Learn more about BA here
With the stroke of a pen, Donald Trump has moved to eliminate what small measures the U.S. had in place to limit the emission of greenhouse gases, the main cause of the climate change that is driving the planet toward environmental catastrophe. Trump’s executive order of March 28 directs the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to essentially rewrite or rescind Obama’s Clean Power Plan (which promised to cut greenhouse gas emissions by modest amounts), open up public lands to leasing for coal mining, eliminate regulations limiting greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants, do away with standards to limit methane gas emissions, and get rid of a number of other environmental protections.
The executive order puts into practice the rollback of environmental regulations passed in recent years under Obama that Trump has been threatening and promising. Obama himself had actually enormously increased the production of oil and gas in the U.S., expanded oil pipelines, lifted the restrictions on export of crude oil, and taken other measures that amounted to injecting more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. At the same time, the official position of the government under Obama was that human-caused global climate change was a major problem and had to be addressed. And Obama took certain environmental measures, like the signing of the 2015 Paris climate agreement and putting in place the Clean Power Plan that aimed to moderate and slightly cut U.S. contributions to the build-up of greenhouse gas emissions that are causing dramatic transformations in Earth’s climate system.
The approach of the U.S. rulers under Obama was to try to mitigate the crisis and adapt their system as best they could to the realities of climate change. They hoped to manage a roaring crisis that is threatening to leap out of control. And Obama aimed to position the U.S. to put itself forward as “leading” the world on combating climate change, as part of a strategy to enhance U.S. global dominance. But none of the steps taken under Obama with the stated goal of combating climate change was anywhere near what is actually needed to seriously deal with the environmental disaster humanity is facing. And the climate crisis continues to intensify.
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- the dimensions of the emergency...
- the source of its causes in the capitalist system, and the impossibility of that system solving this crisis...
- a way out and way forward for humanity—a revolutionary society in which we could actually live as custodians of nature, rather than as its plunderers.
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Now, Trump has said “fuck you” to even those half measures, to any pretense of doing anything or caring about the climate crisis. And this denier of human-caused climate change is saying “fuck you” to the scientific process and scientists who have come to an overwhelming consensus, through decades of research, about the dangers of global climate change caused by greenhouses gases and other human activity under the way human society is organized now. His actions signal that under his regime’s fascist madness, there will be no intention of meeting U.S. obligations to cut emissions under the Paris climate accords, as inadequate as those proposed cuts were. And this may cause other imperialist and capitalist powers, worried that the U.S. will gain a competitive advantage, to also abandon the Paris treaty—leading to even more greenhouse gases pouring into the atmosphere.
This is taking place when Earth’s whole climate system is increasingly in a state of emergency. Global temperatures are spiking year after year. Unprecedented changes in the oceans, weather patterns, and polar ice caps that regulate climate are raising increasing alarm from scientists and people worldwide about a threat to human survival and the ecosystems that support life. Recent scientific studies of past natural climate change in Earth’s history that annihilated major portions of life indicates the current human-caused climate change could spiral completely out of control. A planet-wide emergency is in full swing.
And as the planet burns, Trump and his fascist cabal are tossing more fuel on the fire. What will get burned up is major portions of planetary life, with the poorest and most oppressed sections of humanity already suffering the most from droughts, more powerful storms and other extreme weather, rising seas, and other consequences of global warming.
Trump played up his executive order as a big move for “America first” in energy security and independence, and to save “American jobs.” For the signing of the executive order, some coal miners were brought in to clap, while he told big lies about how this was going to bring their jobs back. The truth is, as Raymond Lotta has written at revcom.us, “Donald Trump Is Not Going to ‘Bring Back American Jobs’... But in the Name of American Jobs He Will Bring on New Horrors.” What kind of a sick system is it that would have people scramble for jobs in an industry that is contributing to a threat that endangers all of humanity and all life on the planet? And what does all this say about this capitalist-imperialist system that, driven by its inexorable thirst for profit and its expand-or-die dynamic, has brought forward a “Trump” who is now rushing ahead to make things even more horrific for billions of people around the world?
That the president of supposedly the “most advanced” country in the world is a man who claims climate change is a “hoax” and who is tearing up even the inadequate environmental measures that existed is another sharp example, among many, of why he and his whole fascist regime are totally illegitimate. For this, and for all of the Trump/Pence regime’s other myriad crimes, there is urgent necessity to drive them from power.
There is widespread outrage about Trump’s moves on the environment among environmental organizations, scientists and many others who care about the planet’s future. People are mobilizing and resisting in various ways. The month of April will see two very important ways that people are going up against the Trump/Pence regime’s attacks on the environment and science and other assaults on the people. The April 22 March for Science on Earth Day and the April 29 People’s March for Climate, Jobs and Justice are calling people into the streets to resist in the U.S. and worldwide. (For more on the significance of these marches and how to relate to them, see the revcom.us article “The March for Science on April 22—Why It Matters“ and “April 29 People’s Climate March: ‘We will resist attacks on our people, our communities and our planet’”)
It’s crucial these protests become powerful outpourings of hundreds of thousands that will be part of heightening the struggle to actually drive this regime completely out. Without driving them out, the deadly course they’re on cannot be stopped. But if they are driven out through massive societal upheaval, real possibilities for a radically different future can open up.
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