Friday, April 28, 2017
People's Climate March
Saturday April 29th a few thousand of America’s finest citizens will descend on Washington DC to march down Pennsylvania Avenue to draw attention to the dire straits of our climate. The People’s Climate Movement began in 2014 with a march in New York City ahead of the United Nations Climate Summit. Local events were organized in subsequent years, but this year there is new fervor among organizers. There will be local events again, but this year the movement has gone national with a message to “resist, build and rise up against threats to our communities.”
Trump and his cabinet of ‘climate change deniers’ have sparked widespread alarm among scientists, environmentalists and the general public. Trump wasted no time in undoing a number of actions taken by the Obama administration to protect the environment. Both the Dakota Pipeline and Keystone Pipeline were given swift go ahead despite major concerns about the consequences of oil spills along the pathways of both lines. With these two actions, Trump promised more support for the oil and gas industry as well as the mining industry.
The new administration has wasted no time in fulfilling those promises. Federal land is off limits to mining, oil and gas developers. In recent weeks, Trump made promises to remove protections for federal monuments that will open vast natural resources to exploitation. For the time being he has only asked the Department of Interior to review national monuments and their protected lands created by the George W. Bush, Clinton and Obama. There is already some question about the legality of the proposed action, but that is not likely to deter Trump, who is willing to show considerable contempt for the code of law and the judicial system if that serves his purpose.
Resource development is not the only interest group that has got Trump’s ear. The new president is also moving forward with plans to approve aerial hunting of wolves and bears on federal lands, including breeding stock. Such hunting practices typically lead to higher kill rates of females and young animals potentially reducing the gene pool for these animals. Both bears and wolves are considered keystone species in their native lands, playing a critical role in the ecological system. Impacting water supplies and food chains, that system is vital to humans as well as wild animals.
Unfortunately, the Trump administration is willing to go further than just sacrificing wilderness and wild animals. Trump has made clear his disdain for the Paris Climate Agreement, a multistate accord aimed at limiting global warming through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The new Environmental Protection Agency chief, Scott Pruitt, has called the Paris Accord a “bad business deal” - as if that was the primary objective. Trump himself has called global warming a hoax by the Chinese government intent on undermining U.S. competitive position. We note that he has also admitted plans to build a seawall to protect his Mar-a-Lago golf course situated on the Florida coast. Thus he has apparently observed the reality of rising sea levels for himself even if he denies the broader environmental threat to the rest of us.
It should be clear to everyone that the Trump loves green - just not the green of trees. Trump loves the color of money. Any policy decisions from the current administration will likely be for the sake of business, especially those that advance Trump’s interests. The viability of the environment, the health of our citizens, the stability of wild creatures, even the ones that play a critical role in the food chain - be damned.
See you in Washington DC. My sign will read “There are no jobs on a dead planet.”
Neither the author of the Small Cap Strategist web log, Crystal Equity Research nor its affiliates have a beneficial interest in the companies mentioned herein.
Posted by Debra Fiakas