Credit: The White House

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.

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.

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.

And last month, he rolled back fuel efficiency goals beyond 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.

www.wsj.com

This is what it looks like when a Texas oil boom busts

A year ago, the Permian Basin region was one of America’s hottest labor markets, fueled by a fracking gold rush. Today, the oil field has all but shut down, and everyone is feeling the pain, from restaurant owners to landlords to barbers.

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www.inquirer.com

PFAS testing planned for 1,300 adults, children in Bucks, Montgomery Counties (PA)

The national study presents the opportunity for more Horsham, Warrington, and Warminster residents to get their blood tested, after many had already taken part in an earlier pilot study. That 2018 study showed residents tested had elevated levels of PFAS in their blood compared to average Americans.
edition.cnn.com

Global temperatures could exceed crucial 1.5 C target in the next five years

There is an increasing chance that annual global temperatures could exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels over the next five years, new climate predictions from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) say.
www.nytimes.com

In parched Southwest, warm spring renews threat of ‘megadrought’

Rapid melting this year showed that good snowpack doesn’t necessarily translate into full reservoirs.
www.chicagotribune.com

Chicago air is dirtier in July than smog-choked Los Angeles. More bad air is forecast.

After missing out on cleaner air during the coronavirus lockdown, the Chicago area just suffered its longest streak of high-pollution days in more than a decade.

Beyond the “silver lining” of emissions reductions: Clean energy takes a COVID-19 hit

In early March, the Washington state legislature passed a community solar incentives bill meant to help meet renewable energy goals and increase low-income communities' access to solar technology.

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