Saturday December 21st… Dear Diary. The main purpose of this ongoing blog will be to track United States extreme or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials).😉
Main Topic: Why A Grest U.S. Economy Might Sink The Climate
It’s rather ironic that a good time in human history might sink our climate and humanity as a whole in the process. After all, there have been very few prolonged good or great times as described by historians. If the U.S. economy remains good through 2020 Donald Trump may ride this only factor keeping his presidency afloat to a second term lasting through January 2025. Keep in mind, of course that Trump was just impeached by the House of Representatives this week, but that stain may not be enough to keep him from being reelected.
In the past 30 years the only big factor changing ruling parties in the United States has been a downturn in the economy. A rather mild recession put Clinton in office after the 1992 election. The Dotcom bust of 2000 was one factor that barely put Bush in office over Gore in the election of that year. The Great Recession was the primary factor that convinced America’s electorate to switch parties, aiding to give Obama and the Democrats a landslide election in 2008.
Obama saved our economy in 2009 and tried to pass landmark climate legislation. It was Obama’s Administration that signed onto the Paris Accords in 2015. Trump and his brown energy cronies have tried to undo every bit of the good that Obama put in place.
Will Trump be convicted in the U.S. Senate via impeachment in early 2020? With Mitch McConnell controlling the strings there I seriously doubt it no matter how good a case the Democrats are allowed to present. Corruption will probably rule the day. So, it will be up to the U.S. electorate to remove Trump in 2020, but will enough care due to improved personal finances?
Now, I’m not writing that a good economy is necessarily a bad thing for us in the short term despite associated higher fossil fuel use. For the long term, though, due to unintended consequences we may find ourselves in a giant pickle due to the good times now. Here is why.
We have all heard from many pundits that “it is the economy stupid” when it comes down to elections. Certainly during good times, such as the roaring 1920s, the electorate was not prone to change political parties. Incumbents can always claim that they are responsible for keeping the good times rolling, with seemingly no scandal big enough to get them out of office. Does anyone remember from history the Teapot Dome Scandal from 1921-1923 involving President Warren G. Harding? This scandal didn’t dislodge the Republicans due to an economy that was beginning to roar during the 1920s. Calvin Coolidge easily won the election of 1924. Not incidentally, a mild recession just after World War I aided Republicans to come into power during the election of 1920.
Fast forward exactly 100 years and we might see history repeat itself. I cringe at the thought of another four years for Trump. An immoral Trump is on the wrong side of history concerning the climate and many other issues. I and many other writers are thinking that if the U.S. completely pulls out of the Paris Accords in January 2021 that’s it for the climate. There won’t be enough time left during the remainder of the 2020s or 2030s for an administration after Trump to make necessary adjustments to mitigate carbon pollution before those tipping point factors I’ve been mentioning lately on this blog kick over in earnest.
Oh, and if Trump gets reelected just forget about that Green New Deal.
Laissez faire policies put in place by the Republicans during the 1920s helped to sink the U.S. economy, sending us to our worst depression during the 1930s. The Republicans through their lack of leadership and denial of science may sink our climate during this century, sending the entire planet into a new dark age that will make the Great Depression of the 1930s look like tiddledywinks child’s play. A Hillary Clinton Presidency would at least have continued Obamas greener climate policies. One reason why she was not elected was because too many poorer whites perceived that they were being left behind economically. By the end of 2016 the U.S. economy was not strong enough to float all boats, so there was a party switch. With only a 3.5% unemployment rate and a roaring stock market the economy is very good going into 2020, though.
The climate here in the U.S. is not perceived to be bad enough as of 2019 to rocket the issue to number one in most polls crossing my radar, although the issue is now making the top ten. It hasn’t helped that the U.S. has had an overall relatively cool year while the rest of the planet fries like Australia recently.
So, what will happen in 2020? Will the future of humanity hinge on just one election in just one country? I think so. I sincerely hope that the U.S. electorate as a whole votes to change parties despite a good economy. Let’s not be “stupid.”
For more on Trump’s abominable record on the climate read this Inside Climate News piece:
Here is more of Saturday’s news in association with Australian heat:
Here is more climate and weather news from Saturday:
(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity. In most instances click on the pictures of each tweet to see each article.)
(If you like these posts and my work please contribute via the PayPal widget, which has recently been added to this site. Thanks in advance for any support.)
Guy Walton- “The Climate Guy”