By further revealing his administration’s incredibly backward looking energy policy, Donald Trump has once again made it clear that he’s only concerned about maintaining the status quo. In an effort to cement wealth in the hands of an elite few, he and his minions are seeking to give away even more taxpayer dollars to the corporate robber barons, especially in the field of energy.

Troglodytes like Trump still seem stuck in the Iron Age while many of the USA’s largest and most profitable industries have radically changed…

Antiquated policies that reward and support the oil, gas and dirty-burning coal industries at the expense of emerging energy-producing technologies will, over the long term, create fewer American jobs, make the US more energy-dependent and continue contributing to the warming of a planet that’s seriously close to its ecological tipping point.

But, oh, wait—to comprehend the scientifically verified damage fossil fuels have already done to our planet, one would have to first believe in the merits of scientific data analysis which the Trump administration ignores at every turn. More pseudo-science and fake news as he and his minions would label it.

Dawning of an old age

Welcome to the dawning of the new Dark Age in America—a time when scientific inquiry is publicly chastised, while the line between reality TV and public policy becomes more blurred each day. However, Donald Trump is no fool. In fact, he’s a master of deception, having hustled his way through years of making business deals inside the hyper-capitalistic business environment of the USA, where attention to the bottom line is deemed to be far more important than ethical considerations and humanity is seen as being expendable.

According to NASA’s analysis, of the several causes of Global Warming, the burning of fossil fuels has been ‘the most important long-lived forcing of climate change’. The US President, in all his ‘tremendous’ ignorance, even has the gall to refute what the greatest scientific minds of our day have been saying now for at least a decade: it may already be too late to hold the status quo, much less reverse environmental damage.

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Another American export–gridlocked traffic–as seen here in Bangkok

 

While other countries such as China, Germany and the UK pour funds into the development of newer clean and sustainable technologies—in a quest not only to secure their own future energy independence but in order to also become the leaders in these future job-creating industries—the Trump administration seems set on backtracking on decades of energy policy that has significantly improved the air quality in our nation’s most polluted cities and made life in general much healthier for millions of Americans.

How can such short-sighted policies–stepping up the production of traditional carbon-based fuels—be instituted by the government of a country that touts itself as being the world’s leading technology innovator? How can such backward ideas be proposed in a land that spawned the likes of Google, Microsoft, Apple and many of the world’s other dominant technology companies? It’s all too ironic and simply boggles the mind!

The developing world

Under the guise of economic development for all, our country’s con-man/snake oil salesman CEO even went so far this week as to say that we can’t deny the developing world the opportunities to create their own prosperity, as if humankind has advanced in the past by remaining static.

Is it inevitable that the developing world must follow the same well-trodden development path to economic prosperity as the ‘West’? This seems to be the conclusion in the minds of energy company executives as they see this as the way to help repay their huge investments in new extraction methods within the traditional oil, gas and coal industries.

However, the historical records of civilization and human development reveal a very different story. From the Stone Age right on through Post-industrial civilizations, humankind has periodically been forced (out of necessity) to make giant leaps in the advancement of technology that in each instance radically changed the way civilization functioned.

But, I doubt Trump cares any more about learning from history than he does about comprehending scientific data. He’s only interested in hearing the echo of his own voice reverberate off the walls of the White House.

Hell on Earth: A scene often repeated in the developing world because of poor government policies and over-population (Photo credit: Lucie Foundation)

Government needs to catch up

Troglodytes like Trump still seem stuck in the Iron Age while many of the USA’s largest and most profitable industries have radically changed the way we work and live. For the past couple of decades, an increasing number of American individuals and families have chosen (albeit belatedly) to live in the heart of our nation’s largest urban centers, forgoing the need to own a private car and therefore reducing America’s thirst for fossil fuels.

As this trend of repopulating central cities has picked up steam, metropolitan areas all over the USA have been scurrying to build and upgrade mass transit systems in an effort to protect the air we breath as well as give people more transit options which in turn enhance the quality of life for everyone. Main-stream Americans are also finally waking up to the fact that moving via car rather than moving one’s body (ie-walking, cycling etc) is one of the largest contributing factors to the obesity epidemic in the USA.

I’ve read a great deal about the demise of America’s well-developed street car systems before they were systematically run out of business by the tire and auto manufacturers (in conjunction with the national government) during the first half of the 20th century. The backward-looking era that we’re now experiencing feels like the beginning of another such ‘tremendous’ mistake.

Correcting mistakes is costly!

Instead of preserving the right of ways for rail mass transit and saving billions of dollars in future public expenditures, Americans became enamored with owning private cars and paving the landscape with concrete freeways while the existing street car systems were almost universally disassembled in major cities all over the USA. Decades later, when traffic gridlock brought commerce to a halt, American cities began scrambling to recreate mass transit systems similar to the ones that had been destroyed.

Seattle, my home from 1988-2003, is spending $1 Billion per mile to build a light rail system that will cover less of the metropolitan area than the formerly dismantled street car system did at the turn of the 20th Century. Short-sighted government policies eventually end up negatively affecting citizens’ wallets as well as their physical health.

Regardless of your opinions on Trump’s other policies, I urge everyone who reads this to carefully consider the errors in judgement that are systematically taking US energy and environmental policies back decades to a time when our air and water were far more polluted, despite the fact that the national population was considerably smaller at that time. We have made progress on the environmental front, but this is certainly not the time to reverse the positive gains by instituting poor public policies that only benefit a given few.

The health of our planet simply cannot be negotiable, nor should the health and well-being of Americans or the citizens of any other nation!

peace~henry

Posted by Henry Lewis

Unconventional artist, writer, videographer and teacher. Personal Quote: It isn't easy being me ;-)

4 Comments

  1. Am wracking my brain for an intelligent comment, but alas you’ve already said it. You’ve provided many quotable words, like “Troglodytes” and phrases, like “economic development for all” in this article, and a helluva wake-up call at the end. Great read! I don’t think you are the only one paying attention, but sometimes I wonder. Peace.

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    1. Thanks Kristy! I agree there are lots of other Americans who are equally concerned about the future of our planet, but we just need to be making more noise. Reporting on Trump’s antics (from a love him or hate him personal point of view) seems to be the main obsession for the main stream press these days, instead of presenting viable alternatives to his policies and then whipping up support for them. Thanks again for your support of Quest Blog!

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    2. Well stated comment, Christy…..I agree whole-heartedly.

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  2. Henry, this is a brilliant piece of writing (as per usual). I am going to put the link to this article on my Facebook wall. Everyone should read this. You have brought up critical points in a powerful and lucid way. Thanks a million for sharing this with us. xoxooxoxoxxo

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