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While the Arctic sea ice is in turmoil, the EPA has a new plan to boost the profits of coal-fired generating companies. Are there any adults in the Trump maladministration?

Air Quality

Trump Calls For More Coal Emissions While Arctic Sea Ice Breaks Up For First Time In History

While the Arctic sea ice is in turmoil, the EPA has a new plan to boost the profits of coal-fired generating companies. Are there any adults in the Trump maladministration?

Forget about all the craziness that pours out of the White House every single day. That’s just noise to distracts us from the real issue — Trump and his lunatic friends are plotting to kill us all with fossil fuel emissions for the sake of profits while the signs the Earth is under extreme stress pile up around us.

EPA Plan To Boost Coal

The Buffoon In Chief will travel to West Virginia today to unveil the EPA latest death dealing device — a proposal to blow up the Obama-era Clean Power Plan and replace it with plan that will let individual states decide how much emissions coal-fired generating plants within their borders may emit. If they choose to impose no restrictions whatsoever, they are free to do so.

It’s another example of the double-speak that spews forth from the Trump administration on a daily if not an hourly basis. If a state like California wants to regulate emissions from the vehicles that use its roads, it must be prevented from doing so at all costs. But if West “By God” Virginia — the state with the highest coal emissions in the nation — wants to spew unlimited amounts of toxins into the atmosphere to drift downwind across its neighbors to the East, it should be free to do so.

States rights for states that support the Trumpenator but none for those that do not. It’s another example of how the Trump administration operates to support its base while ignoring the needs of the rest of the population.

The United States is currently the second largest emitter of carbon dioxide. Apparently, the Trump “America First” boast includes being number one in carbon emissions. As the rest of the world is working feverishly to reduce emissions, the US is now firmly in the grip of people who worship fossil fuel emissions. How “great” is that?

The new EPA plan is 300 pages long but fails to set any national goal for decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. According to a report in The Guardian, documents from the EPA show “carbon dioxide emitted from US power plants over the next decade will be at least 12 times higher than they would be under the Obama plan.”

The replacement plan also would also relax pollution rules for power plants that require upgrades. After all, why should utility companies have to take money out of executive compensation to pay for those pesky upgrades?

“This is all about coal at all costs,” said Gina McCarthy, who was the EPA administrator in the Obama administration. “There is no other country in the world looking to coal for its future. They are looking to clean energy.” The new plan will give industry a “free pass to increase not just carbon pollution but also conventional smog and soot pollutants that will directly harm our health today, not to mention our children’s future.”

Piffle. Always the same tired arguments about people who are not even born yet suffering poor health outcomes because of pollution. Why worry about them? We need corporate profits now, dammit.

Arctic Sea Ice Breakup

All those profiteers could care less about another story making headlines today. According to another report by The Guardian, “The oldest and thickest sea ice in the Arctic has started to break up, opening waters north of Greenland that are normally frozen, even in summer. This phenomenon — which has never been recorded before — has occurred twice this year due to warm winds and a climate change driven heatwave in the northern hemisphere.”

Stuff and nonsense, Trump and his henchmen would say. Fake News! More attempts by the Chinese to bankrupt the United States with an elaborate hoax.

“Almost all of the ice to the north of Greenland is quite shattered and broken up and therefore more mobile,” says Ruth Mottram of the Danish Meteorological Institute. “Open water off the north coast of Greenland is unusual. This area has often been called ‘the last ice area’ as it has been suggested that the last perennial sea ice in the Arctic will occur here. The events of the last week suggest that, actually, the last ice area may be further west.”

Walt Meier, a senior research scientist at the US National Snow and Ice Data Center, says, “The ice [in northwest Greenland] usually has nowhere else to go so it piles up. On average, it’s over four meters thick and can be piled up into ridges 20 meters thick or more. This thick, compacted ice is generally not easily moved around. However, that was not the case this past winter and now. The ice is being pushed away from the coast by the winds.”

Should we be alarmed that ice that has never before been known to break up is now fractured and being pushed out to sea? Only if we care about our children, our grandchildren, and other generations of humans yet to be born. But if you are a corporation with only one objective — maximizing shareholder value (and executive compensation) — all of this is just an annoying distraction from the real meaning of life — profits! — and can be safely ignored.

 

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Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his homes in Florida and Connecticut or anywhere else the Singularity may lead him. You can follow him on Twitter but not on any social media platforms run by evil overlords like Facebook.

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