Everyone enjoying a healthy relationship with reality knows at least three things about climate change – (1) it’s real, (2) it’s happening far more rapidly than anyone had anticipated, with devastating consequences, and (3) our only hope of staving off ever-worsening impacts (including, quite possibly, our own species’ extinction) is to radically reduce the emission of heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere.
So what is the latest action of the Paris Accord-hating Trump administration? To reduce restrictions on the emission of methane, perhaps the most potent of all the planetary heat enhancers. Why? Because those pesky regulations are imposing an undue burden on “business” (for business one may safely substitute the fossil fuel industry). Of course! Regulations – generally despised by the right as industry-hostile government overreach – are crimping profits! Ergo, they-must-go, and pronto. Damn the consequences for people and planet. Damn not merely the sophisticated findings of legions of climate scientists, but the sense experiences of billions of ordinary people facing rising sea levels, extreme weather events, drought-driven crop failure, and the like. Damn reality itself.
It seems more evident by the day that the president and the fossil fuel profiteers who support his mad denialism share a death wish, a mysterious life-negating hunger for annihilation at their own hands. That would perhaps be sad, but certainly not tragic on a monumental scale, were they only to keep it to themselves.