Have at it!
By Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.
Historically, the Trump administration has never given people the impression that it believes climate change is an urgent, significant threat to the planet and its inhabitants. For one thing, Donald Trump has claimed that global warming is a hoax created by China to hurt the United States. For another, over the course of the last 20 months, the government has:
But, as it turns out, it’s not that the administration is unaware of how bad things are. According to a new report from The Washington Post, it’s that it just doesn’t give a s–t:
Last month, deep in a 500-page environmental impact statement, the Trump administration made a startling assumption: On its current course, the planet will warm a disastrous 7 degrees by the end of this century.
A rise of 7 degrees Fahrenheit, or about 4 degrees Celsius, compared with pre-industrial levels would be catastrophic, according to scientists. Many coral reefs would dissolve in increasingly acidic oceans. Parts of Manhattan and Miami would be underwater without costly coastal defenses. Extreme heat waves would routinely smother large parts of the globe.
But the administration did not offer this dire forecast, premised on the idea that the world will fail to cut its greenhouse gas emissions, as part of an argument to combat climate change. Just the opposite: the analysis assumes the planet’s fate is already sealed.
In fact, the statement, issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, appears to be crafted specifically to justify Trump’s decision to roll back the fuel-economy mandate set by the Obama administration, dumping an addition 8 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere this century. “The amazing thing they’re saying is human activities are going to lead to this rise of carbon dioxide that is disastrous for the environment and society. And then they’re saying they’re not going to do anything about it,” Michael MacCracken, a former senior scientist at the U.S. Global Change Research Program, told the Post.
While U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres warned leaders this week that failing to “change course in the next two years” would be a mistake of epic proportions, the Team Trump’s take is more or less, there’s nothing more we can do here, might as well let the president’s buddies cash in.
The environmental impact statement cites “evidence of climate-induced changes,” such as more frequent droughts, floods, severe storms, and heat waves, and estimates that seas could rise nearly three feet globally by 2100 if the world does not decrease its carbon output. . . . The world would have to make deep cuts in carbon emissions to avoid this drastic warming, the analysis states. And that “would require substantial increases in technology innovation and adoption compared to today’s levels and would require the economy and the vehicle fleet to move away from the use of fossil fuels, which is not currently technologically feasible or economically feasible.”
Enjoy the planet for now, everyone! It won’t be long until it fully resembles the fiery depths of hell!
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Brett Kavanaugh may be out of multiple jobs
Should the one-week investigation that Senate Republicans and Donald Trump are so graciously allowing the F.B.I. to conduct turn up enough evidence to convince the G.O.P. not to give Georgetown Prep’s most illustrious alum a lifetime appointment, he’ll be out of the job he so clearly believes is his birthright. And probably his gig at Harvard Law, too:
In response to student protests over the sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee and Harvard Law School visiting lecturer Brett Kavanaugh, John F. Manning, dean of the law school, sent an email to students with an assurance: Should any concerns arise about “individuals in our teaching program,” the school will take them seriously.
Whether Kavanaugh will continue teaching, Manning wouldn’t say.
Speaking of law schools, Yale Law—admission to which Kavanaugh suggested yesterday was proof he couldn’t have been a big drinker back in the day, as though there aren’t scores of highly successful people who are functioning alcoholics—was one of the institutions calling for an investigation into the allegations on Friday, before Senate Republicans begrudgingly grew a pair. Weirdly, it turns out that alternating between yelling, crying, asking a senator if she’s every blacked out from drinking, professing your love of beer dozens of times, peddling conspiracy theories about the Clintons, blatantly lying about the meaning of terms like “Devil’s Triangle” and “boof,” and having several sexual assault allegations against you doesn’t make for the best impression.
Judge says Trump can be sued for profiting off of foreign governments
This is unlikely to please the man who believes “the president can’t have a conflict of interest”:
A federal judge on Friday gave the go-ahead to a lawsuit filed by 200 congressional Democrats against President Trump alleging he has violated the Constitution by doing business with foreign governments while in office.
The lawsuit is based on the Constitution’s emoluments clause, which bars presidents from taking payments from foreign states. Trump’s business, which he still owns, has hosted foreign embassy events and visiting foreign officials at its downtown D.C. hotel.
The decision opens up yet another legal front for the president, who is now facing an array of inquiries into his business, his campaign and his charity.
The president, who has literally been sued thousands of times over the course of his career, is also facing a separate emoluments suit from the attorneys general of Maryland and Washington, D.C., plus the special counsel for the Russia investigation, plus a lawsuit from the New York Attorney General alleging his charitable foundation was little more than a slush fund. (The Trump Organization has called the New York A.G. suit “politics at its very worst.”)
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