New Conservative Argument: Climate Change Is So Awesome, You Guys

 

http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/42868-new-conservative-argument-climate-change-is-so-awesome-you-guys

Saturday, December 09, 2017By William Rivers Pitt, Truthout | Op-Ed

2017 1209 Pitt(Photo: Chase Dekker Wild-Life Images / Getty Images)

In my worst post-apocalyptic imaginings, there is a place in my mind where a ravenous sea has encroached over every surface, ankle to knee to thigh to belly to throat. On a lone and desolate promontory clings one last living human who shrieks into the maelstrom a final defiance even as the pitiless rain clogs his throat: “In the church of climate alarmism, there may be no heresy more dangerous than the idea that the world will benefit from warming.”

His name is Jeff.

Not “may benefit,” mind you. “Will benefit.” The power of positive thinking meets the end of everything. And in conservative circles, many of the denials that climate disruption is really happening are now being seamlessly replaced with guarantees of coming greatness.

It gets better.

“Polar melting may cause dislocation for those who live in low-lying coastal areas, but it will also lead to safe commercial shipping in formerly inhospitable northern seas,” says Jeff Jacoby in his Boston Globe article titled, “There Are Benefits to Climate Change.”

Istanbul. San Francisco. Helsinki. Philadelphia. Dublin. New Orleans. Venice. Perth. Bangkok. Edinburgh. Honolulu. New York. Oslo. Lisbon. Los Angeles. San Diego. Hong Kong. Miami. Tokyo. Sydney. Washington. Copenhagen. Vancouver. Barcelona. Mumbai. Nagoya. Tampa. Shenzen. Guayaquil. Khulna. Palembang. Tampa. Kochi. Abidjan. Boston.

Low-lying coastal areas, all.

Cities, housing hundreds of millions of people, home to countless architectural wonders, each in itself a living history in mortar and stone and stucco and steel, wreathed in treasure and art of infinite value and absolutely, positively not waterproofed … all happy fodder before the prospect of new commercial shipping lanes.

One must ask: Shipping to whom? From where? All the places to park the ships will be underwater. When all those cities fall to the sea, there will be no commerce because civilization itself will be crumbling. In its stead, there will be starving wet survivors on the run to high ground and Jeff Jacoby’s boats happily puttering along plying their wares to people who died below the water line before the good news about climate change could properly cheer them.

“Shifts in climate are like shifts in the economy,” writes Jeff, as if he has seen such seismic shifts before. “They invariably spell good news for some and bad news for others.” According to him, all the new warm weather will keep people from freezing to death, which is a good thing.

Yet Jacoby somehow missed the explosion of diseases that will come with widespread excessive heat. He missed the massive ecological die-offs on land and in the ocean that will be caused by high heat. He missed the crop disasters that will be caused by high heat. He missed the population displacement that will make our current refugee crisis seem like a longer than usual walk in the park by comparison. And then there is the methane bomb waiting to detonate once the northern permafrost finally melts from all this fortunate heat.

“The effects of climate change,” concludes Jacoby, “range from the obvious (lower heating bills) to the subtle (more habitat for moose and endangered sharks). Territory formerly deemed too forbiddingly cold will grow more temperate — and valuable. Delicacies from lobster to blueberries may become more plentiful. Bottom line? Global warming will bring gains as well as losses, upsides no less than downsides. Climate science isn’t a good-and-evil morality tale. Climate discourse shouldn’t be either.”

There it is, folks. The bridge from climate change denial to acceptance, long deemed unpassable, has been traversed by none other than Boston’s own mini-Rush Limbaugh. Mr. Jacoby has dutifully hauled water for every bad conservative idea since the Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act, but here, he is road-testing what to do when denial and obfuscation are no longer viable tactics. It’s as if he’s deploying an evil version of the “Stages of Grief.” Last comes acceptance … but with a catch.

One can go on only so long denying the obvious before something has to give. Here, Jacoby accepts the premise that climate change is upon us, but rather than face the grim and dangerous reality of it, he chooses instead to look on the bright side. Sure, Republicans colluded with the energy industry for decades to deny the threat of climate change so their friends could get rich and now we’re all going to suffer for it, but blueberries! Heat bills! Lobster, so you can pretend to be rich!

Jacoby and other conservatives  who now accept climate change have opened a window into our future. He and the people he represents will fight as hard as they can to get what they want — which is the loot, always the loot, the loot every single time — until the moment comes when they sound foolish even to themselves. When that happens, they will turn on a dime and begin talking up the advantages to be found in the disasters they have created. Jacoby shows them the way by moving from “it’s not real” to “no big deal” in one sideways shuffle, locating the financial upside — valuable new land! — and managing to sound like a scold all at once.

When the harrowing effects of the GOP tax plan begin bleeding all over Main Street, when the true nature of Donald Trump’s relationship with Russia is revealed, when the attacks on Medicare and Social Security wreak havoc on the lives of elderly Americans, when all the lies no longer have a place to hide, this will be the new gospel, preached from the promontory by the likes of Jeff and his friends.

God help us all.

Copyright, Truthout

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Good News: Trump puts elephant trophy imports on hold

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-42035832

  • 18 November 2017
Elephants at Mana Pools, ZimbabweImage copyrightSPL
Image captionThe US Fish and Wildlife Service argues hunting “will enhance the survival of the African elephant”

President Donald Trump has suspended the import of elephant hunting trophies, only a day after a ban was relaxed by his administration.

Imports of trophies from elephants legally hunted in Zambia and Zimbabwe had been set to resume, reversing a 2014 Obama-era ban.

But late on Friday, President Trump tweeted the change was on hold until he could “review all conservation facts”.

The move to relax the ban had sparked immediate anger from animal activists.

“Your shameful actions confirm the rumours that you are unfit for office,” said French actress and animal-rights activist Brigitte Bardot in a letter to President Trump.

Protests spread on social media with many sharing images of President Trump’s sons posing with dead animals during their hunting trips in Africa.

One photo of Donald Trump Jr shows him holding the amputated tail of a dead elephant.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) had argued that hunting fees could aid conservation of the endangered animals.

Experts say that populations of African elephants are plummeting.

Their numbers dropped by about 30% from 2007-14, according to the 2016 Great Elephant Census.

The non-profit group’s report found a population drop of 6% in Zimbabwe alone.

Despite their listing under the Endangered Species Act, there is a provision in US law that allows permits to import animal parts if there is sufficient evidence that the fees generated will actually benefit species conservation.

In 2015 a US dentist from Minnesota killed a famous lion named Cecil in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park.

Cecil’s death triggered an outrage in the US and Zimbabwe, and briefly forced the hunter into hiding.

Brigitte Bardot says Trump ‘unfit’ after permitting elephant trophies

 https://www.modernghana.com/news/817234/brigitte-bardot-says-trump-unfit-after-permitting-elephan.html
AFP
French actress and animal rights activist Brigitte Bardot had previously criticized US President Donald Trump over his administration's move to loosen restrictions on hunting bears and wolves on federally protected land in Alaska.  By ERIC FEFERBERG (AFP/File)

French actress and animal rights activist Brigitte Bardot had previously criticized US President Donald Trump over his administration’s move to loosen restrictions on hunting bears and wolves on federally protected land in Alaska. By ERIC FEFERBERG (AFP/File)

French screen legend and animal rights activist Brigitte Bardot on Friday slammed US President Donald Trump as “unfit for office” after his administration’s “shameful actions” in authorizing the import of Zimbabwean elephant hunting trophies.

The move Thursday reverses a prohibition imposed under former president Barack Obama, permitting the import of “sport-hunted trophies from elephants hunted in Zimbabwe” between January 21, 2016 and December 31, 2018. Zambia will also be covered under the revised rule.

“No despot in the world can take responsibility for killing off an age-old species that is part of the world heritage of humanity,” Bardot said in a letter to Trump, released through Fondation Brigitte Bardot.

The move is “a cruel decision backed by Zimbabwe’s crazy dictator and it confirms the sick and deadly power you assert over the entire plant and animal kingdom.”

“Your shameful actions confirm the rumors that you are unfit for office,” the 83-year-old added.

According to the Great Elephant Census project, African savannah elephant populations fell by 30 percent between 2007 and 2014, while Zimbabwe saw a drop of six percent.

Donald Threw His Sons a Bone.

As you’ve probably heard by now, U.S. President Donald Trump just threw his trophy-hunting, bloodthirsty billionsire sons a major bone by making HUNTING AFRICAN ANIMALS AND BRINGING THEIR HEADS TO THE U.S. IS LEGAL AGAIN.

What a thoutful early Christmas gift from daddy dearest to do for a pair of savage sons, one of whom was quoted recently enjoying the sport of hunting [and therefore, presumably, killing] even better than golfing.

But what if one of them were to follow in daddy’s footsteps and get themselves elected president, as Geoge W. Bush did?

In other words, What If Junior Takes Over?

A scary thought indeed–especially for the wildlife!

TRUMP OFFICIALS JUST PROVIDED ‘A GIFT TO TROPHY HUNTING’ IN THE FORM OF YELLOWSTONE GRIZZLY BEARS

http://www.newsweek.com/yellowstone-grizzly-bear-trump-hunting-628432?utm_source=internal&utm_campaign=right&utm_medium=related2

grizzly bear
A grizzly bear roams through the Hayden Valley in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, on May 18, 2014. Conservation groups have slammed the decision to remove the Yellowstone grizzly bear from the Endangered Species Act.JIM URQUHART/REUTERS

The decision by President Donald Trump’s administration to remove the Yellowstone grizzly bear from the list of endangered species has been called “a gift to trophy hunting” by conservation groups.

Related: Killing of famed Yellowstone grizzly intensifies protection debate

The bear has enjoyed protected status for 42 years, during which time its numbers grew to more than 700 from just 136. On Thursday, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke said it is now time to call the operation a success and to remove the bear from the Endangered Species Act, instead allowing states to take control over its future.

“This achievement stands as one of America’s great conservation successes; the culmination of decades of hard work and dedication on the part of state, tribal, federal and private partners,” Zinke said in a statement. “As a Montanan, I am proud of what we’ve achieved together.”

The move, which was first proposed by the previous administration of President Barack Obama last year, will go into effect 30 days after it is published in the federal register. At least immediately, it will not lead to open season on grizzly bear hunting. As well as being restricted to the bears that travel outside of the park’s boundaries, hunts will only be allowed if the number of bears remains above 600.

However, many conservationists argue that Thursday’s decision adds yet another threat to the future survival of the bears, whose habitat they say is already endangered by climate change.

“The Trump Administration’s delisting maneuver is a gift to trophy hunting and oil and gas interests,” Wayne Pacelle, president and chief executive officer of the Humane Society of the United States, tells Newsweek in an email. “The bears continue to face an array of threats, and the last thing they need are wealthy elites chasing them down and shooting them for trophies.”

The action will not affect the nearly 1,000 grizzlies inhabiting Glacier National Park in Montana. But experts have said protections for those bears could soon similarly be removed, according to The New York Times.

Prior to the 1850s and the onset of widespread hunting and trapping, grizzly bears across North America numbered around 50,000. And some conservationists have argued that placing their conservation back in the hands of states, which can use hunting as a form of population control, is an unnecessary risk. Indeed, Tim Preso, an attorney for environmental law firm Earthjustice, has said that legal action to prevent the change is already being considered.

“We’re certainly prepared to take a stand to protect the grizzly, if necessary,” he told the Associated Press. “There’s only one Yellowstone. There’s only one place like this. We ought not to take an unjustified gamble with an iconic species of this region.”

In addition to conservation groups, the move has also been opposed by Native American tribes, for whom the grizzly bear is a sacred animal. A treaty opposing hunting of the bear has been signed by 125 tribes.

Zinke, a former senator from Montana, has a lifetime score of just 4 percent from the League of Conservation Voters, with the group indicating that of 73 votes on bills with environmental impact, only three were pro-environment.

Trump’s two sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, are known to be fond of big-game hunting and have previously attracted criticism for posing for photos alongside dead animals, including a leopard and an elephant.

What went so wrong with Trump sons that they could kill this beautiful creature

HUNTING AFRICAN ANIMALS AND BRINGING THEIR HEADS TO THE U.S. IS LEGAL AGAIN UNDER TRUMP

http://www.newsweek.com/hunting-african-animals-legal-us-trump-712988

Elephant and lion trophies can be imported from Africa again, in a reversal of an Obama-era policy that prohibited the importation of endangered animals.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Wednesday that it will allow trophy hunters to bring back legally hunted wildlife, removing restrictions on permits that were put in place to discourage the hunting and poaching of animals that are on the threatened species list.

The International Wildlife Conservation Council, a newly created arm of the Department of the Interior, wants to bring a focus to the “economic benefits that result from U.S. citizens traveling to foreign nations to engage in hunting.” Plus, it believes “human populations” could benefit from having Americans visit and hunt.

99602245Philip Dixie (L), a professional hunter from Blaauwkrantz hunting reserve shows a trophy during a hunting Safari in the Blaauwkrantz game reserve some 70km from Port Elizabeth, South Africa.GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

The council has determined that hunting in Zimbabwe and Zambia will help with conservation efforts, though its announcement does not include research that supports that view.

“By lifting the import ban on elephant trophies in Zimbabwe and Zambia, the Trump Administration underscored, once again, the importance of sound scientific wildlife management and regulated hunting to the survival and enhancement of game species in this country and worldwide” said Chris Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action in a statement on the NRA-ILA website.

“This is a significant step forward in having hunting receive the recognition it deserves as a tool of sound wildlife management, which had been all but buried in the previous administration.”

In 2015, the Fish and Wildlife Service suspended the import of sport-hunted elephant trophies, citing a lack of evidence that the practice helped conservation efforts.

The expanded import policy will likely be welcome news to Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr., who have posted photos of themselves after a trophy hunting expedition. The photos showed them with a leopard and an elephant, and drew criticism from animal rights groups. They have continued to take big-game hunting trips across the U.S. and in Canada, though they haven’t posted photos.

What went so wrong with Trump sons that they could kill this beautiful creature

Trophy hunting may be popular with the Trumps, but not everyone is on board. When Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer shot Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe in 2015, he sparked international outrage for targeting one of the most well-known and beloved African lions. Palmer had a permit to hunt in Zimbabwe, and paid around $50,000 to a professional hunter-guide to kill the lion.

Zimbabwe’s elephant population has declined since 2001, and Zambia’s populations have declined in some regions. Hunters often choose the healthiest or strongest members of animal populations, to have a more impressive trophy, but this can have negative effects on the species overall.

A 2015 poll showed that 86 percent of Americans oppose big-game hunting, and six out of 10 respondents said it should be illegal.

Trump Jr. jokes about taking daughter’s candy to “teach her about socialism”

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/trump-jr-jokes-about-taking-daughters-candy-to-teach-her-about-socialism/

“teach her about socialism”

Donald Trump Jr. thrusts his fist after speaking at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio U.S. July 19, 2016.

REUTERS / BRIAN SNYDER

Donald Trump Jr., the president’s older son who is in charge of his father’s business responsibilities, joked on Twitter Tuesday night that he would take half his daughter’s candy from Halloween to “teach her about socialism.”

“I’m going to take half of Chloe’s candy tonight and give it so some kid who sat at home,” he tweeted. “It’s never too early to teach her about socialism.”

I’m going to take half of Chloe’s candy tonight & give it to some kid who sat at home. It’s never to early to teach her about socialism.

She was given candy for free.
You inherited all your money.
You met with Russian spies.
It’s “too”. https://twitter.com/donaldjtrumpjr/status/925495970032443392 

J.K. Rowling, the now-wealthy author of the Harry Potter series who was once so poor she had to write the first novel on napkins in a pub, wrote, “Fill her bucket with old candy left by her great-grandfather, then explain that she has more because she’s smarter than all the other kids.”

Like his father, Trump Jr. — the 39-year-old whom the president defended as a “good boy” in light of the June 2016 meeting he held with a Russia-connected lawyer — has become well-known for his frequent and bombastic use of Twitter. He often uses his account to defend his father and bash liberals.

Trump Jr. and his wife, Vanesa Trump, have five children — Chloe, Kai Madison, Spencer Frederick, Tristan Milos and Donald Trump III. They were married in 2005.

 

Trump Jr. heads to Iowa for hunting weekend and campaign fundraiser with Rep. King

 

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/trump-jr-heads-iowa-hunting-weekend-campaign-fundraiser/story?id=50792141&cid=share_facebook_widget

Donald Trump Jr. is the guest of honor at Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King‘s annual two-day Col. Bud Day Pheasant Hunt, which began Saturday.

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The hunt takes place at the Hole ‘N the Wall Lodge in Akron, Iowa and includes a campaign fundraiser for King, so having the president’s eldest son in attendance is undoubtedly a get.

“If Donald Trump Jr. defends 2nd Amendment as well as he shoots, we have nothing to worry about,” King tweeted Saturday, along with a photo of himself and Trump Jr. at the Hole ‘N the Wall Lodge.

According to the Des Moines Register, Trump Jr. didn’t bring his own gun because he flew to Iowa on a commercial flight, so he hunted with a loaned 12-gauge semi-automatic model.

The newspaper reported that Trump Jr. shot at least four pheasants and was joined by about 30 other hunters. “He is a very, very good shot,” King said. “It was a beautiful, clear day in Iowa, and the sky was so full of feathers that one could be convinced that the angels were having pillow fights.”

While King spoke to reporters on Saturday, Trump Jr. did not. But, that wasn’t the case with Trump’s hunting buddies.

“We sat up there for an hour and a half — maybe longer than that — and Don Jr. just held court. It was a lot of fun,” King told Sioux City, Iowa, ABC affiliate KCAU.

About a hundred guests turned up for the Saturday night pork chop and deep-fried pheasant dinner at the lodge.

“Tonight we’re going to have Iowa chops — these are special Iowa chops that are injected with the mysterious formula that comes out of the Remsen locker — they’re the best chops in the world and I’m already starting to drool,” King told KCAU. “And we’ll have a big batch of Iowa sweet corn, every kernel cut off with love in the kitchen by Marilyn or me.”

37 Percent

by Stephen Capra 

BOLD VISIONS CONSERVATION

 
We live in a country that I sometimes no longer recognize. It is a place where a large segment of our population has decided that wild nature and the conservation of our precious resources have no value. Let’s be clear, they still hunt, hike and visit our National Parks, but they are angry, religiously distorted, ignorant or devoid of caring, but they have put their faith in a monster that calls himself President. Their reasoning is varied, but it comes back to money and the delusion of grandeur that spills from the lips of a man that has made exploitation of our natural world a driving force in his presidency.

In less than a year, this White House in concert with the Republican majority have rammed through legislation that has allowed the killing of wildlife in their dens, pushed to open wild oceans to drilling, opened public lands to more fracking and drilling, opened wildlife refuges to trapping, while removing protections for our precious National Monuments. They have also set their sights on the priceless Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, in their endless genuflecting to the dying oil industry.

Perhaps even more alarming is the selection of people to fill positions designed to protect the environment. Using the Republican playbook, most selections are those with strong ties to the industries doing the most harm. From the EPA to Interior, from Department of Agriculture to anything based in science, this White House and Congress have made clear, its war!

Yet across our nation, 37 percent of the public is content with this direction. Recent months have made clear that this year’s- Time Person of the Year, will not be a person, but once again a raging planet that is showing, without question, the impacts of such kamikaze policies and the crushing of bi-partisan efforts at sanity for the earth.

What is it like to be that 37 percent? How can you use our public lands and then ignore their peril? How can you sit on a beach and disregard the discharges in Florida that support Big Sugar, or live in southeast Alaska and not see the destruction of your beautiful and vital rainforest? How can you flock to Yellowstone to see and experience wolves and stand by silently as they are destroyed for ranching interests and Republican fundraising?

How can you perceive the world as us against them, rather than we are one? We are a divided nation like never before and it seems clear that those who support this President will allow him full reign and support even while it destroys the places and quality of life that they clearly take for granted. When will the drape finally be opened to expose the incompetence that we have created, a man devoid of empathy and emotion, a child leader that will destroy all that defy him and his interests. He sees our natural resources as a profit pool to be plundered for his personal enrichment.

It’s like a Jim Jones flashback to listen to supporters as they defend the undefendable. As we pull away from the Climate accords and the world watches they see a nation that no longer pretends to care. We have devolved into a nation that has sucked the world of its natural resources and now has made clear that it will continue to plunder and steal the right to life on this planet. When, many are asking, will we have the maturity and moral guidance to stop corporate special interests that are determined to drain the life out of our planet, for short-term profit.

What world does this 37 percent want to live in? They seem to believe in code words like cutting regulations, refusing to acknowledge that that means filthy water and foul air, less bees and more cancer. It is a Monsanto free world, more oil spills and mountains blown apart for cheap coal. Who wins in such a scenario, certainly not people or communities, not any part of our country or the world.

For our country to move forward we must use any measure possible to block the oil and gas industry. Time is on our side, not theirs. We must demand of our leaders that this President be removed from office. We must stop spending more on our military and focus on clean, renewable energy, not as an option, but as a human right. We must respect wildlife and stop their slaughter and we must fill positions in our federal agencies with qualified people who put our wild lands and the planet first and can never again have ties to corporate interests. Democrats must push for strong environmental goals, no matter the majority; they must use this time to stand on the principle of defending the morality of a healthy planet and its importance to our quality of life, communities and the peace and stability of our world.
We know so much more about our natural world than we did even fifty years ago. We must use our knowledge to defend and rewild our planet, not exploit it any further.

But perhaps the most important thing we can do is to awaken the 37 percent and if nothing else, shame them into making the protection of our natural resources a priority for Republicans. If they continue to ignore the reality before them, they are accomplices to destroying our nation’s best ideals- our land, water and wildlife. They are cheerleaders of their own ruin.

37 percent is not a majority, but they remain a voice filled by fear, ignorance has historically reared its ugliness, but this fight goes beyond a people or a nation, it’s about life and the planet that has been so giving.

Ignorance in this case cannot be tolerated. We fight for life, for beauty and for the freedom that comes from true wildness.

We are in a real fight now.

Donald Trump Jr. to join Steve King for Iowa pheasant hunt

Donald Trump Jr. to join Steve King for Iowa pheasant hunt
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Donald Trump Jr. will be in Iowa next month to join U.S. Rep. Steve King for the congressman’s annual pheasant hunt. “Happy to announce @DonaldJTrumpJr will be hunting with us this year at my annual Col. Bud Day Pheasant hunt on opening weekend of Oct. 28th,” King posted to Twitter on Monday. A campaign spokesperson confirmed Trump’s attendance at the event, which marks the start of Iowa’s pheasant season. Trump Jr. is President Donald Trump’s eldest son. He has been a prominent campaign surrogate for his father and took over management of the Trump Organization following his father’s inauguration. Trump Jr. has come under fire after it was revealed he met with a Kremlin-linked attorney during