Sir David Attenborough (whom we all know from such documentaries as Planet Earth and Blue Planet) had this to say to delegates from some 200 nations at the United Nations Climate Summit in Katowice, Poland, (12/2018):.
(See BBC News,
“Right now,” he says, “we’re facing a man-made disaster of global scale. Our greatest threat in thousands of years is now climate change. If we don’t take action, the collapse of our civilizations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon.”
At the time, and given President Trump’s well known love of coal, it was even reported that the White House would once again organize a side event promoting fossil fuels. That didn’t go over very well.
The climate refugee crisis is not a “dystopian hypothetical, but a metastasizing reality.” Every year, desertification chases hundreds of thousands from Mexico’s drylands, while cyclones and hurricanes force other thousands to emigrate from the low-lying islands. Already, worldwide, about 26.4 million people are displaced by extreme weather events each year, a figure that is certain to rise in tandem with global seal-levels and air temperatures….
While World War II uprooted roughly 60 million Europeans conservative estimates suggest that climate change will have displaced upwards of 140 million people by mid-century. Although much of this displacement will be internal within nation states thousands will become nation-less, stateless. The U.S. is both better-equipped to absorb such people, in material terms, and more responsible for the climate disruptions that will uproot them, than just about any country on Earth, both conditions denied, or ignored by President Trump
Given the danger that unbounded climate change represents to all of us to why is it that President Trump and his Senate followers deny the reality of climate change? I can only think of one reason, and it’s pretty much the same reason that for me explains most the President’s reckless policies.
President Trump, along with the Republican Senators who kowtow to him, is probably thinking primarily of himself, and what he needs to assure his own reelection, and that what he most needs is simply this, that he keeps his people, his base with him, at least by what he says if not by what he does.
And he has well learned that he is most successful when he tells people what they want to hear. No mention of sacrifices in his speeches, at his rallies. And in regard to climate change his people don’t want to hear that their and their ancestors’ hundreds of years of unbridled exploitation of the natural environment has to stop. “No, it doesn’t ,” says Trump. “Leave it to me to take care of things for you.”