Thursday, December 27, 2018

Why Gaia weeps - the answer is in the Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day: "We strongly believe that no country should have to sacrifice their economic prosperity or energy security in pursuit of environmental sustainability.” – Wells Griffith, Mr. Trump’s international energy and climate adviser.

The NY Times editors follow on: “The administration is full of zero-sum philosophers like Mr. Griffith. The idea that sustainability may be a necessary condition of future economic growth appears never to have crossed their minds.”

That is the short answer to why Gaia weeps. Following are some details.

The Editorial Board of the New York Times says Trump Imperils the Planet. Endangered species, climate change — the administration is taking the country, and the world, backward.

Tump’s Christmas gifts to the nation - and to the planet.

This holiday season has brought more gifts to fossil fuel interests; every day is Christmas Day for the likes of Murray Energy and Exxon Mobil. This month, the E.P.A. proposed killing an Obama rule that would effectively block the construction of new coal-fired power plants. The Interior Department relaxed restrictions on oil and gas drilling in areas inhabited by the sage grouse, a threatened bird. Also in December, the department released an environmental-impact statement that would open all or part of the 1.5 million-acre coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to leasing and exploration. The area had been off limits to drilling for decades until Congress, late last year, approved an amendment sponsored by Senator Lisa Murkowski, an Alaska Republican, to open it up.

All this is fundamentally Mr. Trump’s doing. A series of early executive orders established the pro-fossil fuel policy framework; Scott Pruitt, the E.P.A. administrator, and Ryan Zinke, the interior secretary, filled in the details. Mr. Pruitt has left Washington and Mr. Zinke is in his final days, both finishing under ethical clouds. They will deserve, along with Mr. Trump, history’s censure for doing virtually nothing to move to a more responsible energy future — and for not doing so at just the moment when the world needed the kind of leadership that Mr. Obama and his secretary of state, John Kerry (and Bill Clinton and Al Gore before them), tried to provide.

Light at the end of the tunnel is a freight train

The bottom line, according to the Global Carbon Project, is that after three years in which emissions remained largely flat, global levels of carbon dioxide increased by 1.6 percent in 2017 and are on pace to jump by 2.7 percent this year. Some scientists have likened the increase in emissions to a “speeding freight train.” That has a lot to do with economic growth. It also has a lot to do with not moving much faster to less carbon-intensive ways of powering that growth. Or in Mr. Trump’s case, moving in the opposite direction.

Gaia defined: In Greek mythology, Gaia (/ˈɡeɪ.ə/ or /ˈɡaɪ.ə/; from Ancient Greek Γαῖα, a poetical form of Γῆ Gē, “land” or “earth”),[1] also spelled Gaea (/ˈdʒiːə/), is the personification of the Earth[2] and one of the Greek primordial deities. Gaia is the ancestral mother of all life: the primal Mother Earth goddess.

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