Peter Dykstra:  Nobody does it better
Credit: The White House

Peter Dykstra: Nobody does it better

According to Donald Trump, Donald Trump is the least racist person anywhere. He has the best words. Nobody loves the Bible more. He was always the best athlete. There's nobody bigger or better at the military – and remember, he had to overcome those bone spurs to achieve that.


There's no one who respects women more, or is better to disabled people. He has an excellent brain and terrific hands (the better to grab things with).

Need a second opinion? His personal physician assured us that he's the healthiest president we've ever been fortunate enough to have. And his erudite son, Eric, tweeted that "he has more energy than any human being," and that "95 percent of Americans" agree with his dad's politics.

So it should come as no surprise that, according to Donald Trump, Donald Trump knows "more about the environment than most people."

He said this by way of explaining why he blew off the climate change meeting of the G-7 economic summit last week, lobbing a my-dog-ate-my-homework excuse that was quickly contradicted by the facts.

It all came at the end of a week where Trump lobbed a couple of hallucinatory grenades into green circles. He reportedly floated the idea of purchasing Greenland from Denmark. The mega-island's commercial potential is growing as the global warming hoax melts away its ice cover. Greenland, and Denmark, were not amused. (My personal theory: The president is thinking in a golf/imperialism motif — today Greenland, tomorrow Tee Land, Fairway Land, and Sandtrap Land.)

According to unnamed White House sources, Trump also spitballed the idea of disrupting Atlantic hurricanes by detonating nuclear warhead inside them. This is the type of idea that hasn't been raised since the most dangerously zealous of the Cold Warriors died off.

These ideas came as the Administration unveiled its plan to cut the regulation of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. (This despite many large oil and gas companies calling for a tightening of such regulations.)

Let's not forget, months ago Trump opined that last year's Northern California wildfires could have been prevented by "raking" the forest floor. That's how the Finnish president told him it's done over there. When questioned about this, His Excellency Sauli Niinistö politely said his nation's lush forests are not normally raked.

To be sure, Trump may have the goofiest environmental notions, but he didn't invent them. Join me for a quick trip down Faulty Memory Lane to meet some of Trump's inspirational ancestors:

  • J.R. Spradley, a U.S. delegate to a 1990 climate change delegation, tried to assuage the concerns of his Bangladeshi colleagues concerned that its nation would be underwater (quoted in the Washington Post, 12/30/1990): "This is not a disaster, it is merely a change. The area won't have disappeared, it will just be underwater. Where you now have cows, you'll have fish."
  • Talkshow blowhard Rush Limbaugh has been a prolific source of off-the-wall declarations, but his 2010 conspiratorial rant that the Deepwater Horizon oil spill was staged by headline-seeking environmentalists is a keeper.
  • A decade after the Oklahoma City bombing and more than a decade before a spate of mass shootings by far right loners, the FBI settled on its Number One domestic terrorism threat: Radical environmental and animal rights activists. To be sure, groups like the Earth Liberation Front have claimed responsibility for large-scale arson and property destruction, but they've been dormant for years.
  • Patrick Moore, an early leader of Greenpeace who turned to become an apologist for chemical, nuclear, fossil fuel and timber interests in the 1980's, famously described an old growth clearcut as a "temporary meadow."

So, say what you will about President Trump, but when he praises "beautiful, clean coal," just think about those who inspired him in Making America Groan Again.

President Trump adds the environment to the long list of things he's really good at. But his loopy environmental opinions have a long history.

puffin tern recovery climate change
Credit: Derrick Z. Jackson

Good news: A good year for puffins and terns, despite climate change

A visit to a remote Maine island finds puffins and terns rebounding despite climate change

The title of supervisory wildlife biologist for the United States Fish and Wildlife Service does little justice to Linda Welch (pictured above). In practice, she is the housing and unusual development secretary for seabirds on Maine’s Petit Manan Island.

Keep reading...Show less
Sunrise in the woods

Get our Good News newsletter

Get the best positive, solutions-oriented stories we've seen on the intersection of our health and environment, FREE every Tuesday in your inbox. Subscribe here today. Keep the change tomorrow.

John Podesta to oversee $370B in U.S. Climate Spending
www.nytimes.com

John Podesta to oversee $370B in U.S. Climate Spending

Mr. Podesta, a Democratic stalwart, will oversee $370 billion in clean energy investments. Gina McCarthy, the president’s domestic climate adviser, is stepping down.
electric cars and mining of rare minerals
Pixabay

Peter Dykstra: Forty years of “just around the corner”

We’re seeing some big signs that electric vehicles (EV) may be ending their decades-long tease.

Keep reading...Show less
The reason behind the slow hurricane season and what’s next
www.wfla.com

The reason behind the slow hurricane season and what’s next

fter a 60 day gap between Danielle and the last named storm, Colin, the 2022 hurricane season seems to be finally coming alive. This is likely only the beginning as a more favorable pattern for tro…
California takes steps to battle climate change
calmatters.org

California takes steps to battle climate change

Five of the six bills that the governor pushed at the last minute were approved by the Legislature. But one ambitious one fails.
The beauty industry is a climate disaster
heated.world

The beauty industry is a climate disaster

The beauty and oil industries are inextricably linked, argues beauty reporter and critic Jessica DeFino.
Underwater Seismic Testing Off South Africa
Matt Hrkac/Flickr

A court blocks oil exploration and underwater seismic testing off South Africa’s ‘wild coast’

A judge found that Shell and Impact Africa had failed to engage in a “genuine, bona fide substantive two-way process” with Indigenous tribes “aimed at achieving, as far as possible, consensus.”

From our Newsroom
Ruth Greenspan Bell: Wealth and the climate dilemma

Ruth Greenspan Bell: Wealth and the climate dilemma

Developing countries that increase their fossil fuel production are at a crossroads: securing their own long-term well-being or earning revenue to finance programs to support immediate economic growth.

Optimism in the climate change fight

Optimism in the climate change fight

So much is happening so quickly. With the climate bill now law, here's what you need to know.

Colorado fracking

How Colorado is preventing PFAS contamination from the oil and gas industry

And how other states, including Pennsylvania, could do the same.

fracking kids health

PFAS: The latest toxic concern for those near fracking

The “forever chemicals” are used by the oil and gas industry, but a lack of transparency and accountability makes it impossible to know how widespread contamination could be.

supreme court climate change

Op-ed: Reflections on the Supreme Court’s Decision in West Virginia v. EPA

Danger resides in the majority’s having invoked a sweeping “Major Questions Doctrine” to justify its decision in this relatively narrow case.

children health

Derrick Z. Jackson: Children will suffer the consequences of recent Supreme Court rulings

A rash of recent decisions by the high court will irreparably impact our children's health.

Stay informed: sign up for The Daily Climate newsletter
Top news on climate impacts, solutions, politics, drivers. Delivered to your inbox week days.