Peter Dykstra: Trump’s Midsummer Night’s Hallucination
With his normal Shakespearean aplomb, the president rattles off a list of his green credentials.
Before this week, President Donald Trump's most glaring enviro-delusion has been his imaginary effort to revive the domestic coal industry.
There have been a few others, but most of the mainstream glare has been reserved for other things, like coddling dictators, threatening the news media, and blaming Obama and Hillary for the extinction of the dinosaurs and the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby.
Then last Monday, possibly inspired by Republican pollsters who see Trump's environmental oblivion as a vulnerability with younger voters, Trump delivered a self-congratulatory speech on his environmental accomplishments.
Lewis Carroll ingesting six tabs of Timothy Leary while smoking a bagful of Stephen King, mainlining three Picassos and snorting a full reel of Quentin Tarantino could not have conjured a more bizarre image.
In his Monday remarks, Trump crowed about how his administration has pushed to perfect America's "crystal clear" water and air, despite a flurry of rules and budget cuts designed to undermine the half-century-old laws that have enabled our national cleanup.
Two dozen environmental NGO's, and nearly as many Democratic presidential candidates, responded. Rolling Stone, Los Angeles Times, Politico, New York Times, Washington Post, Mother Jones, CBS News, The New Yorker, and others set a record for fact-checking a speech that was utterly bereft of actual facts.
Fact-checking President Trump's speech on the US environment https://t.co/O0Np68NznD pic.twitter.com/Vp0E5aW35e
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) July 8, 2019
James Freeman, Assistant Editorial Page Editor for the Wall Street Journal, was a lonely, if not unsurprising, voice of dissent, leaving Trump's facts blissfully un-checked.
Here's another environmental accomplishment that POTUS was too modest to mention: Only days before his green victory lap, Trump filched a reported $2.5 million from National Park entry fee revenues to help pay for a military-themed July 4 hoedown. The Park Service, chronically underfunded and years behind on meeting its maintenance and infrastructure needs, falls that much farther back.
If I'd submitted Pres. Trump's outrageous speech on the environment to my high school English teacher, she would have spilled so much red ink marking it up it would have looked like a crime scene. And indeed it was a crime, against facts, science, and the health of our planet.
— Dan Rather (@DanRather) July 10, 2019
POTUS covered a lot of ground, but he could barely find the time to mention the single environmental issue that dominates global discussion, climate change. The Trump administration stands alone, having pulled out of the Paris Climate Accord and rolled back Obama-era restriction on power plant emissions.
Donald Trump's speech will be filled with lies: He's done as much to help the environment as the Continental Army did to secure our airports. https://t.co/V4JhBpLosV
— Jay Inslee (@JayInslee) July 8, 2019
And last month, he rolled back fuel efficiency goalsbeyond what automakers were asking.
This isn't mere hypocrisy, nor is it just catering to friendly industries, nor blind anti-science spite. It's something deeper, and quite pathological.
Earth to Donald: WTF? This is serious. Earth to the Republicans: Your pollsters are warning that ignoring this issue could cost you the White House and the Senate next year. And it could cost us all far more dearly.