Donald Trump has reshuffled his campaign team, again. While the exact reasons for this latest realignment, in which he hired a top executive from ultra conservative Breitbart News and promoted a senior adviser, remain debatable, one thing is clear: Climate change will be more maligned, misconstrued, and relegated to obscurity than it was even before the shift.
Trump, in his own words, is “not a big believer in manmade climate change."
He thinks that, over the Earth's billions of years "certainly climate has changed." But he would say "it goes up, it goes down, and I think it’s very much like this over the years…we’ll see what happens. I mean, we’ll see what happens."
These are not some old cherry-picked remarks, but statements he made earlier this month in an interview with the Miami Herald.
While speaking about climate change in such a careless manner is both uninformed and irresponsible, for Brietbart News these statements are notable for their lack of direct climate change vitriol.
A Google search for "Brietbart climate change" displays the tip of the iceberg of the site's extreme views. Top results include:
My understanding was that global warming was actually rapidly accelerating in 2016. My knowledge of this comes from NASA and other temperature-tracking outlets informing me that the last 10 months have all been the hottest on record, with July being the hottest month ever in recorded history dating back almost 150 years. On top of all that, an entire hemisphere broke an all-time heat record when a city in Kuwait hit 129.2°F (54°C) in July.
So it was with great confusion that I clicked "1001 Reasons Why Global Warming Is So Totally Over In 2016". Once my browser loaded through all the ads, what I found was a lot of hot air.
There's a list of 10 bullet points, including things like:
9. Glaciers have been melting for more than 150 years
Not sure how that contradicts global warming. The article goes on to list other frequently refuted and not-very-convincing-in-the-first-place reasons that we shouldn't worry about manmade climate change, before summing up what's really going on:
…the whole global warming scare isn’t really about “the science” and never was about “the science.” Always, but always, it has been about the cynical exploitation of mass crowd hysteria and about the sly manipulation by activists and crony capitalists of the political system in order to advance the cause of global governance.
None of the people involved in this scam deserve the merest scintilla of respect. They are pure scum. They have not a single redeeming quality and everything they do is worthless—as I shall not hesitate to remind them from now on.
I don't have the energy to engage in a diatribe about how nauseating this all is, but suffice to say that 97% of climate scientists believe that fossil fuel emissions are warming the atmosphere. The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (which, to be fair, advances the cause of global governance) has stated that if we don't cut carbon emissions there will be “severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems.”
Speaking of exploiting mass crowd hysteria, another recent Brietbart article titled "Why Conservatives Will Always Lose The War On Climate Change" starts off with the assertion that if a "Democrat gets the keys to the White House next year it’s game over for the US economy."
Why, you ask?
Because the left has "got its hands on the magic formula that enables it to do at both federal and local level all the things that lefties love to do – the meddling, the nannying, the taxing, the regulating, the confiscating, the cronyism – virtually unopposed by the people who should be opposing them."
This formula is: “We’re saving the planet.”
In explaining why Democrats who want to save the planet actually want to destroy it, Brietbart author James Delingpole goes on to compare the strategies of the left to those of the Taliban:
Scientifically, politically, emotionally the climate change debate has been framed by the left in such a way that it can never really lose.
The left is cunning. Like the Taliban – “you have the watches, we have the time” – it plays a very long game. The tactics it has been using in the environmental wars date at least back to Saul Alinsky and probably as far back as the Cultural Marxists of the 1930s Frankfurt School.
Then, earlier this month, Delingpole explained why Trump's approach of not wanting to save the planet will actually do more to save it than Clinton's well-intentioned efforts:
A Donald Trump presidency would be way more beneficial to the environment than a Hillary Clinton presidency.
Consider just one example: the hundreds of thousands of rare birds and endangered bats slaughtered in the US every year by the wind farms that Hillary Clinton applauds (and will no doubt go on subsidising) and that Donald Trump loathes (and will no doubt starve of subsidies and cause to become as extinct as the Dodo).
It's true, Trump hates wind farms. And with his campaign’s new chief executive Stephen Bannon, the executive chairman of Breitbart News LLC, he's likely to hate them even more.