Saturday, January 16, 2016

The Donald Trump Blizzard of 2016, Rubio, Bush and Climate Change ... by gimleteye

Marco Rubio is joking about climate change. Jeb Bush says it's not on the list of things that keep him awake at night. They say climate change is "a distant threat". Both candidates,  raising hundreds of millions from corporate America, presumably have the needs of business foremost in mind.

A recent report by the UK Guardian casts that presumption in doubt. The World Economic Forum, about to meet in Davos Switzerland, puts climate change in first place among threats to the world economy in 2016. The first time that happened. Apparently, Rubio and Bush haven't gotten the news in their daily clippings file.

The GOP candidates for president are too busy chasing Donald Trump for whom climate change is a problem to solve like walling off Mexico. Climate change is like that wall Mexico will pay for when he is elected president because that's what tough negotiators do.

More accurately, they are chasing the supporters of Donald Trump. As David Frum recently discussed in his provocative essay for The Atlantic, "The Great Republican Revolt", those supporters are primarily angry, white males without a college education who have trended to vote Republican even though the historical record is clear: Republican priorities -- favoring large corporations and corporate power -- have put the lower middle class in the greatest jeopardy since the Great Depression.

The US economy may be doing OK, Frum writes, but those male Republican voters are decidedly not. They want their country back. They want their status back. That's what Donald Trump is promising with a Tweet-based campaign for the hearts and minds of the greatest country on earth whose national and state politics are in deep, deep denial how climate change could quickly unravel safety and security of all Americans.

Donald Trump has overtaken the Republican Party's plan to insert another anodyne candidate like George W. Bush into the White House. Trump is channeling the Tea Party revolt of 2008, that was itself effectively usurped by mainstream Koch-backed American Crossroads and other conservative political accounts. This year the revolt of angry, white males is like a river overflowing its banks. Trump supporters will not be placated by the GOP's corporate boosterism, in part because they do see the impacts of climate change all around them. They see, but they don't see.

After all, the deepest of the Red States are most affected by severe weather. This is not, as Ted Cruz imagines, the effect of being "beaten into submission by the progressive left". Climate chaos is the deepest threat to the stability that Donald Trump supporters crave, and it is the one being pushed hardest and furthest away. If the World Economic Forum is right -- and this is where the world's largest corporations go for intelligence -- climate change impacts are at the doorstep in 2016.

The Washington Post reported this morning on mass die-offs of species, being observed around the world: "Mass Mortality Events (MMEs) are “rarely placed in a broader context,” the study’s authors reported. But they seem to be happening at an increased rate for birds, marine invertebrates and fish since the 1940s — even when researchers took into account that such events are more likely to be reported now than they were 75 years ago. These die-offs matter not just because of the inherent value of the creatures involved, the authors said, but because whole ecosystems may depend on that species to survive. MMEs, they wrote, “can reshape the ecological and evolutionary trajectories of life on Earth."

This is clearly not news that Donald Trump supporters care to hear; and so, the Trump blizzard of 2016.

Sentient Republicans should carefully weigh the benefits of control of Congress and the White House, not to mention state legislatures and executive offices, against the threat of mass extinction. Because there is no evidence of that happening, judged by the quality of the GOP presidential primary debates, the rest of American voters -- that includes Democrats -- are going to have to get out to vote in 2016.

Corporate America is not in denial about climate change. It is just furiously at work locking down prerogatives before being overtaken by the exceedingly long winter of climate change.

(For the UK Guardian article, click "read more")

Climate change disaster is biggest threat to global economy in 2016, say experts

A catastrophe caused by climate change is seen as the biggest potential threat to the global economy in 2016, according to a survey of 750 experts conducted by the World Economic Forum.

The annual assessment of risks conducted by the WEF before its annual meeting in Davos on 20-23 January showed that global warming had catapulted its way to the top of the list of concerns.

A failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation was seen as likely to have a bigger impact than the spread of weapons of mass destruction, water crises, mass involuntary migration and a severe energy price shock – the first time in the 11 years of the Global Risks report that the environment has been in first place.

The report, prepared by the WEF in collaboration with risk specialists Marsh & McLennan and Zurich Insurance Group, comes a month after the deal signed in Paris to reduce carbon emissions. The WEF said evidence was mounting that inter-connections between risks were becoming stronger. It cited links between climate change and involuntary migration or international security, noting that these often had “major and unpredictable impacts”.

Espen Barth Eide, the WEF’s head of geopolitical affairs, said there was a risk of Europe fragmenting as a result of “people on the move”.


Cecilia Reyes, Zurich’s chief risk officer, said: “Climate change is exacerbating more risks than ever before in terms of water crises, food shortages, constrained economic growth, weaker societal cohesion and increased security risks.

“Meanwhile, geopolitical instability is exposing businesses to cancelled projects, revoked licences, interrupted production, damaged assets and restricted movement of funds across borders. These political conflicts are in turn making the challenge of climate change all the more insurmountable – reducing the potential for political cooperation, as well as diverting resource, innovation and time away from climate change resilience and prevention.”

The WEF said the broad range of risks – from environmental to geopolitical and economic – was unprecedented.

It added that risks appeared to be rising, with global average surface temperatures increasing by more than 1C over pre-industrial levels for the first time, and the number of forcibly displaced people at 59.5 million – almost 50% more than in 1940, when the second world war was being fought. “Data from the report appears to support the increased likelihood of risks across the board, with all 24 of the risks continuously measured since 2014 having increased their likelihood scores in the past three years,” the WEF said.

They live at ground zero, but Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio say climate change is distant threat

Miami’s two presidential candidates live surrounded by signs of sea rise
But they don’t advocate urgent government action
They do acknowledge the climate is changing


Not 15 miles from the homes of Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush on the mainland, Miami Beach work crews elevate the streets, turning ground floors effectively into windowed basements, to try to stave off the implacable rise of sea water. Up comes the powerful ocean, threatening people, property and the underground freshwater supply.

Can’t control nature, Rubio quips with a smile. Got bigger problems, Bush insists with exasperation.

“I don’t have a plan to influence the weather,” Rubio said dismissively at a town-hall style meeting in New Hampshire last month.

“It wouldn’t be on my first page of things that wake me up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat,” Bush said in the same state on the same day.

Miami’s two Republican presidential candidates don’t sound much worried about one of their hometown’s most pressing environmental problems.

They’re not “deniers” who question climate change’s existence, as some of their presidential rivals do, though both say they’re skeptical about how much of it is man-made. Bush has gone further than Rubio, acknowledging sea rise’s long-term effects for Miami; he said in New Hampshire even a five-inch increase “would create some real hardship.”

But they sound markedly different from their local politicians who have resigned themselves to a harsh reality. Even if some of them don’t want to talk about how mankind’s thirst for fossil fuels is to blame for global warming, city and county leaders of both political parties have stopped debating whether South Florida is going under water.

“Nationally, climate change — with the exception of some regions in the country, like ours — is an abstract issue. Here in South Florida, where we have chronic flooding and where we live essentially at sea level, it’s not,” U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo, a Miami Republican and Bush supporter, told the Miami Herald from one of the most vulnerable parts of his district, Key West. “Politicians, whether from Miami or not, should be sincere about it. Even if they don’t believe humans are mostly at fault, which most of the science say they are, they should really be seeking adaptive solutions.”

“Are we all going to move out of South Florida?” continued Curbelo, who has signed on to a proposed resolution in Congress acknowledging climate change’s existence. “On behalf of their fellow Floridians, they should be talking to the country in a serious way about this issue, looking for conservative solutions.”

Read more here:


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately the state of Florida is under siege by these same politicians channeling angry white men to justify their probusiness antinature agenda. Just look at the so-called water bill that the Governor says he is all to eager to sign. It is a proindustry polluter bill. And there are so many more like it in all areas - profracking, proroadbuilding, prodevelopment - all to benefit the special interests that care about short term profits at the expense of our longterm environmental health.

phiberman said...

Angry white men without their peaked white hoods over their heads...and some women too. When I saw that vile display at that rally for the author of "Mein Drumpf" where the woman was verbally assaulted and removed by Drumpf's SS guards, it Sent a chill up my spine

Anonymous said...

Like pharmaceutical companies the proponents of global warming-sea level rise-the more politically correct climate change fudged the numbers. In the UN, the UK, NASA and NOAA. Remember Obama's mantra if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor, if you like your healthcare plan you can keep it.
When you change the statistics and the message you don't get taken seriously especially when caught in a web of deceit. When the founder of Greenpeace said the numbers were being manipulated I thought he was a kook, then he was supported by several scientists. Once this went political lines were drawn and it's unfortunate.

Anonymous said...

Trump's ridiculous comment about Mexico paying for the wall he wants built mirrors a comment of "W's about Iraq using its oil money to rebuild. The physical, mental, emotional suffering inflicted by US hubris overwhelms sensibilities. And oh yes, not to forget the thievery inherent in recent wars: the millions, if not billions of US dollars that disappeared into thin air.

Not to get off-subject: Trump makes a show out of being an A-H. He isn't anyone, anyone with any sense, would want to see in office. I suspect Trump's idiot comments are aimed at highlighting the Cuban ancestries of 2 candidates, not to mention the Mexican wife of another candidate. Trump is the outstanding All-American candidate of the Right's blustering stuff?

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