The Criminals who amplified Harvey: Trump & Cabinet must Resign

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –

The whole Trump administration should resign in shame, since they have lied to the American people about the disaster of burning fossil fuels.

The policies of climate change denial made Hurricane Harvey far worse than it would ordinarily have been, some scientists say by as much as 30%. If the US had started a crash program to curb emissions back in the 1970s when Exxon Mobil scientists confirmed the dangers of carbon dioxide emissions, which lead to global heating, the once in a 500-year year storm might not have been nearly as severe.

Who led the charge in denying manmade climate change and trying to muddy the waters about the menace of burning fossil fuels?

Exxon Mobil.

Where is Exxon Mobil?

The HQ is in Dallas and there is a big new state of the art campus in Houston. (The web page for it mentions “sustainability” but ExxonMobil is a master of greenwashing. Only about 1% of their research budget goes to renewables and almost everything they do involves finding, producing and selling petroleum, the burning of which in automobiles causes global heating.). In other words, Exxon Mobil is fouling its own nest and it expects you and me to pay for it.

And who was the head of Exxon Mobil?

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Tillerson may as well have been down on the shore scooping buckets of water from the sea and throwing them on Houston.

A new study shows that Exxon Mobil went to enormous trouble to deny climate change from 1977 right until today.

Tillerson, while CEO of Exxon Mobil, maintained a special email address for discussing climate change, under the name of “Wayne Tracker.”

Trump himself attempted to make climate change look like a Chinese plot.

The Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt is closing down the EPA for all practical purposes, leaving the rest of us open to being poisoned by amoral corporations. One of the poisons Pruitt is plotting to unleash on us is vastly increased carbon dioxide emissions.

Rick Perry was governor of Texas and he encouraged gas and oil interests and put billions of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which has now returned in the form of Harvey to bite his state in the ass. His Energy Department just instructed a scientist to take out mention of climate change from an application to the department for funding.

This is not an administration, it is a rogues gallery of environmental criminals.

Want to know why we’re having a once in a 500 years storm and flood in Texas?

Because of Trump and his buddies on the cabinet. They are creating a situation where Hurricane Harvey becomes the new normal.

They should resign.


Related video added by Juan Cole:

CBC News: “Tropical storm Harvey: Drone footage of flood damage”

Posted in Featured,Syria | 14 Responses | Print |

14 Responses

  1. We who grew up with the “gasoline economy” owe a great debt to our mother earth. Nobody wanted to think about pollution; there were no immediate consequences to all the dumping of waste and toxins that everyone needed to do to keep their workplaces and overall economy going.

    • Thank you for the subtle but true insight in your comment. I say there are two kinds of people in the country, with a few exceptions. Those who deny climate change so they can continue to rob carbon from the earth without guilt. And those who believe what the science tells us, but have a million reasons why they have to continue a high carbon lifestyle. Many of my colleagues moan about the horrors to come with climate disruption, but do not hesitate to fly from California to Paris for a nice two week vacation. We are all to blame.

  2. As The Man With No Conscience stood in front of the crowd in Houston wearing his $40 USA hat along side his wife wearing stiletto heels and her $40 FLOTUS hat (Both available on Trump’s website) his first comment was to brag about the size of the crowd who came to greet him.
    A comment that had to be so reassuring to the flood victims and first responders.

    Climate change to Trump is the thermostat on the wall.

  3. When adults, not petulant children, occupy seats of power they DO resign when they bring shame upon their institutions. The key word is “shame.”

    Neither Trump nor any of the climate criminals close to him are susceptible to shame since they all appear incapable of admitting error. They will only quit when staying on puts their wealth or their freedom at risk.

    The Pope claims infallibility only in matters of doctrine and morals. These truly exceptional guys believe they are inerrant in all things.

  4. We should have returned Texas to Mexico, from whom it was stolen more than 170 years ago. Now it’s too late.

    What we need to do is set up a special fund for Climate Change Deniers and most Republicans. The fund will pay all expenses to relocate Republicans and Climate Change Deniers to East Texas, southern Florida and coastal Louisiana. In fact we might consider building a “beautiful” wall (something like Hadrian’s wall) to keep them penned in.

    That will be voluntary of course. On the other hand Nazis would be dumped on the other side of the New Hadrian Wall. Conversely, those who wish to flee those flood-ravaged parts can do so. Maybe we can set up a one-for-one exchange program.

    Doing this will vastly improve the political situation in the rest of the United States and leave us all to experience satisfying levels of Schadenfreude.

  5. Naomi Klein on the corporate media not providing context that Houston was made worse by climate disruption.

    There is a lesson in that for Houston. The window for providing meaningful context and drawing important conclusions is short. We can’t afford to blow it.

    Talking honestly about what is fueling this era of serial disasters — even while they’re playing out in real time — isn’t disrespectful to the people on the front lines.

    In fact, it is the only way to truly honor their losses, and our last hope for preventing a future littered with countless more victims.


    The end of the article has a video of her discussing Trump’s Shock Doctrine.

    She published an article on this in January 2017 which recounted the role Mike Pence played after Katrina

    That’s relevant because of the central, if little-recalled role played by the man who is now the U.S. vice president, Mike Pence. At the time Katrina hit New Orleans, Pence was chairman of the powerful and highly ideological Republican Study Committee. On September 13, 2005 — just 14 days after the levees were breached and with parts of New Orleans still underwater — the RSC convened a fateful meeting at the offices of the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C.

    Under Pence’s leadership, the group came up with a list of “Pro-Free-Market Ideas for Responding to Hurricane Katrina and High Gas Prices” — 32 policies in all, each one straight out of the disaster capitalism playbook.

    To get a sense of how the Trump administration will respond to its first crises, it’s worth reading the list in full (and noting Pence’s name right at the bottom).

    What stands out in the package of pseudo “relief” policies is the commitment to wage all-out war on labor standards and on the public sphere — which is ironic because the failure of public infrastructure is what turned Katrina into a human catastrophe. Also notable is the determination to use any opportunity to strengthen the hand of the oil and gas industry.

  6. So, let’s see? An on-going flooding event on every continent. An iceberg the size of a state leaving Antartica, the first tanker makes the North Passage without an ice-breaker. Not good.

    Trump’s stupid policies and these particular henchmen will make things MUCH WORSE. For example:

    • Under three (3) terms of unable-to-count-to-three Gov. Rick Perry , Texas grabs the worst polluting State in the U.S. title (Recognized carcinogens to air.) by a huge margin.

    link to

    Frequent Ozone Alerts in Dallas/Fort Worth. (Ozone is the BS buzzword for CARCINOGEN)

    link to

    • CEO Tillerson has sold his soul to the Gods of Fossil Fuels and is now a demigod himself with major ties to Russia, a country which benefits from climate-change.

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    • The powers behind Scott Pruitt have managed to snatch the Earthquake Capital of America title away from either California or Alaska.

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    The Horsemen of the Apocalypse, ride forth as a group, with an angel heralding them, to bring Death, Famine, War, and Conquest unto man.

    Yeah, they need to RESIGN.

  7. These conservatives aren’t going to learn until they are constantly hit with natural disasters over and over. Until then, their opinions aren’t going to change. And even then, if there are natural disasters over and over, they will see it as more evidence of God returning and the end in near. So we are pretty much screwed. We might as well let the disasters happen. Scientists should shut up. Let Rome burn. Scientists are wasting their time talking to the American public.

  8. I’m very worried that Trump will not take anything like the damage G. W. Bush took from Katrina. Firstly, expectations are already rock-bottom for this regime. Secondly, the public seems more willing to buy into his rah-rah “you’ll all have to help each other” spiel despite the fortune we pay in taxes for the governmental functions that primarily benefit billionaires.

    Thankfully, water was not trapped the way it was in New Orleans 12 years ago, which caused the high death toll and abetted the politically suspicious behavior of the authorities in not letting urban homeowners back on to their properties for months, causing them to fall into irreparable ruin. White suburbanites, heavily Republican, with the right friends in Washington should face fewer barriers. Any other kind of Texan, well, who cares about them?

    The line of attack needs to focus on Trump’s recent executive order overturning tough new standards for Federal construction and reconstruction that would have made it harder to keep using tax money to reconstruct exurban homes built in high-risk areas. You can see why a real estate speculator like Trump wants developers free to build anywhere with Federal backup. This is the rare moment when suburban Americans have to ask the question about real estate that they still refuse to ask about fossil fuels: can we really trust ourselves with unlimited development? Destroy that trust, and you destroy what passes for Trump’s economic compact with his followers.

  9. While all criticism of Trump is obviously justified, I am beginning to suspect that his unpreparedness and general ineptitude in the role of President derives from the fact that he never thought, or even wanted, to win. It seems to me that for entirely business purposes what he wanted was to be, and later to have been, a candidate, to benefit from the pre-election publicity and bask in the post-election stature of having been a presidential candidate. There’s a character in Graham Greene’s Our Man in Havana who still has a certain respect for having once been such a candidate. This would explain a great deal. The whole thing was a mistake, a gamble against impossible odds that he supposed not to win but did. Doesn’t such a scenario join more dots than any other?

    • Or, he knew that he was headed for an arrest for many, many financial improprieties around the world. By being the nominee and thus “leader” of the GOP, he could claim any attempt by Hillary Clinton’s Dept. of Justice to arrest him was a political prosecution, and delay justice long enough to die in bed like Stalin. Note that his people were admitting to the media in October that they had big plans in case he lost, using the data they collected on his followers and preparing to create a “Trump News Network” aided by disgraced Fox News mastermind Roger Ailes. This permanent faction could be used to add to that pressure to keep him from prosecution.

  10. Sarcasm aside, these people r …[highly unlikely to] experience shame or resign. They’re right where they want to b. I, too, am angry, frustrated and yes, ashamed, of what my country is becoming.

  11. I wonder if Trump has realised that this ‘Global Warming’ thing isn’t a Chinese plot after this. Or maybe he now thinks the Chinese have invented a weather weapon to secretly make war on the US?

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