President Trump today issued an executive order that any scientist in the United States of America using the term “client change” will be jailed. Speaking in the Rose Garden and flanked by energy billionaires Carl Ichan, Harold Hamm and Robert Mercer on one side and a smiling Lindsay Graham, Mike Pence and retired Princeton physicist, William Happer, on the other, the president lashed out at what he called “fake science.”
“The whole thing is a hoax, a total hoax, perpetrated by the low IQ fool, Sleepy Joe Biden, and the Deep State gangsters of the Obama Administration. It must be stopped, and I am stopping all so called climate change initiatives right now. I am sick of them. Sick, sick, sick. Just like my good friend here with me, Bill Happer, says, those who are attacking carbon are just like Hitler attacking Jews. Now Bill is a real scientist, not a fake one. He taught at Princeton and knows more than anyone on this subject.
“So called climate change initiatives are killing American industry. Trying to kill the oil business is terrible. Even worse for coal. It is hurting the economy, as my friends Carl, Harold and Bob, up here with me, know all too well. It is costing us real jobs. Besides jailing any scientist using this fake term, my executive order will put a 50% nuisance tax on any company in the United States manufacturing solar panels or wind turbines or promoting un-American ideas like mass transit. We are putting a stake through their hearts right now, and if this does not work, we will jail them too, all of them. This is a great day for America and the world. Ending all so called, fake and treasonous research that tries to keep America from staying on the top of the heap as the number one carbon producer, using as much carbon as we want, when we want and where we want, and keeping us from cutting down all the trees we want is what will make America great again. And it will end the so called climate change debate forever.”
The president’s brief address was met with cheers from the several hundred invited guests, most wearing MAGA hats and carrying Trump 2020 placards. Except for Faux News no reporters were admitted to the event.
Democrats quickly responded by pointing out that the president does not have the authority to take these actions without legislation or Congressional approval. Nancy Pelosi stated that the actions would immediately be challenged in court. A spokesperson for the president responded to an inquiry by Faux News, “Well, good luck, Democrats. It is now 5-4 on the Supreme Court in our favor. Game over, baby. End of story.”
It is not clear what the response will be from the American public or the scientific community engaged in climate change and global warming research. Many scientists have pointed out that the climate issue is without question the most important issue of our time and that the time to act decisively is now. If significant steps right now are not taken to reduce carbon emissions and protect forests, there will come a time when devastating global warming will be inevitable and catastrophic, resulting in rising sea levels of 30 feet or more and massive human displacement.
The response of the Republican Party and supporters of the president has been a collective “ho hum” with few dissenters to the president’s rhetoric or actions. While Democrats are supportive of initiatives to reduce carbon emissions and protect the environment, only one of the 60 declared candidates for president, Governor Jay Inslee of Washington, has made climate change the centerpiece of his campaign. Yet his campaign has not gained traction, and his polling is near the bottom of the list of candidates.
Some pessimists argue that it is already too late and that the actions by the president will essentially “seal the deal,” only accelerating what they say is already a trajectory to disaster. Others argue that technology and changes in human behavior can make a huge difference. They say that we have the ability to wean the planet of excessive carbon generation by switching to electric cars, extensive use of wind, hydro, solar and nuclear power, smart forestation practices, phasing out all use of coal, greatly reducing the use of oil and using new technologies that have not yet been invented. They point out, for example, that if the technology behind “Impossible Burger” that makes food that tastes like meat but has no meat proves to be successful and universally accepted, that it could have a profound impact, reducing destruction of forests to make way for pastures and reducing the amount of methane, a powerful global warmer.
Based on the Faux News interviews with numerous scientists and policy makers, the consensus appears to be that Trump’s actions, if implemented, would be significant. One observer noted, “Perhaps in the history of all humankind we as humans have never faced such an ensuing crisis. If we do act now decisively to reduce carbon emissions, maybe there is a chance of the survival of the planet as we know it. If we don’t, God help us. If there is anyone left to write history a century or two from now, the actions we take now will go down big time in the history books for better or for worse.”
Note to readers: If you think this story is outlandish, read the front page NY Times story, Tuesday, May 28, 2019: “In Climate Fight, Trump Will Put Science on Trial” by Coral Davenport and Mark Landler.