Visit ArabTopics.com

The Trumpocene

by Judith Curry

Finding common ground in the Age of Trump.

Alan Longhurst sent an interesting article (in French) that was recently published in LeMonde (english translation year-1-of-the-trumpocene).

Here is what caught my attention:

At a time when most scientists think that the Earth has entered a new geological epoch – the anthropocene – characterised by the influence of a single species (ours) on the major biogeochemical cycles, perhaps we should consider a new terminology?  So, welcome to the ‘trumpocene‘ where the future depends not on the decisions of a single species, but on a single member of that species: Donald Trump. Unless, of course, this new chapter turns out to be just a sub-period of the anthropocene (a ‘stage’ as the geologists have it). In which case, it will be better to talk of the ‘trumpenian“.

The author Stephan Foucart voices the following concerns about Trump:

The “Trumpocene” will leave other footprints, too. Environmental policies are based on scientific knowledge, notably acquired by institutions such as NASA, NOAA and particularly the EPA: one of the primary preoccupation of the Trump administration will be to constrain as far as possible the acquisition of that knowledge.

And that this is going to happen is not in doubt. In his transition team, Mr Trump has handed the destiny of EPA to Myron Ebel who has had connections to Philip Morris and is also associated with the Comparative Enterprise Institute – one of the think-tanks that has contributed most to the attack on environmental science, and to drafting and distributing climatosceptic propaganda.

Placing the federal scientific establishments in the hands of such a person makes it perfectly clear that Trump’s ambition is to transform them as far as possible into institutions charged with fabricating facts, and selecting or changing them according to the wishes of the director.

So the war on the environment declared by Mr Trump risks not only aggrevating climate change: the “trumpocene” signals the start of an Orwellian distopia. 

In my opinion, Foucart is overly alarmed about the Age of Trump.

From ClimateChangeNewsLast year Trump’s pick to either lead or play a key role in dismantling the Environmental Protection Agency, Myron Ebell, told Climate Home he hoped the next president would “not rip up” the Paris Agreement. “I hope he or she will submit it to the US senate for its advice and consent,” he said.

Submitting the Paris Agreement to the Senate for a vote is exactly the right thing to do.

In terms of how much harm/good one individual as President can actually do, well we have some idea of this from President Obama, who amassed more power in the Presidency than anyone in recent history, particularly with regards to climate change and environmental regulations.  Now we are seeing how quickly all those executive orders might come undone in the Trump administration.

So whether we will have a Trumpocene, with long term impact, versus a 4-8 year trumpenium, depends on the extent that Trump can build broad political will for his proposals (as opposed to executive orders).

Finding common ground

There are some strong objections to Trump, that go well beyond his policies: some regard him as  autocratic, bigoted, vulgar, ignorant etc.

Ted Nordhaus of the Breakthrough Institute wrote a provocative article What is to be done? Trump and Ecomodernism. This article is receiving a lot of buzz in the twitosphere, and it speaks to the dilemma faced by people that not only disagree with Trump’s policies, but are concerned whether he is fully committed to democratic norms.

Trumpism, in any event, is likely to redraw the fault lines of American politics in ways that are difficult to anticipate. And so for ecomodernists, and fellow travelers, this moment offers opportunity and peril.

Are we taking pragmatic actions to encourage the best impulses of the new administration or are we legitimizing something much darker? The choice is not one that will be presented to us all at once or that we will make only once. Rather, we will be presented with it over and over again.

However we make those choices, it will be incumbent upon us all to do everything that we can to strengthen civil society, to fight for democratic norms and resist their erosion while simultaneously finding ways to turn down the rhetoric that has rendered so much of our civic life increasingly contentious and irreconcilable. We will also need to ask some hard questions of our own agendas and political commitments.

Here is hoping that we all make those choices well and that together, we can find new possibilities for social, economic, and environmental progress in this moment of fear and uncertainty.

The New York Times has an article along similar lines:   Senate Democrats’ Surprising Strategy: Trying to Align With Trump.  Excerpt:

Congressional Democrats, divided and struggling for a path from the electoral wilderness, are constructing an agenda to align with many proposals of President-elect Donald J. Trump that put him at odds with his own party.

On infrastructure spending, child tax credits, paid maternity leave and dismantling trade agreements, Democrats are looking for ways they can work with Mr. Trump and force Republican leaders to choose between their new president and their small-government, free-market principles. Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, elected Wednesday as the new Democratic minority leader, has spoken with Mr. Trump several times, and Democrats in coming weeks plan to announce populist economic and ethics initiatives they think Mr. Trump might like.

Democrats, who lost the White House and made only nominal gains in the House and Senate, face a profound decision after last week’s stunning defeat: Make common cause where they can with Mr. Trump to try to win back the white, working-class voters he took from them, or resist at every turn, trying to rally their disparate coalition in hopes that discontent with an ineffectual new president will benefit them in 2018.

JC reflections

I honestly don’t know what to expect from a Trump administration, and it may be that Trump doesn’t know either.

Ted Nordhaus poses a question that is profoundly important for those who find Trump appalling to consider:

Are we taking pragmatic actions to encourage the best impulses of the new administration or are we legitimizing something much darker?

The only rational option is to take pragmatic actions to encourage the best impulses of the new administration.  President Trump deserves a chance to succeed.  The onus is on those who wish to influence policy to find some common ground on policies that will move the country forward.

Lets see how this plays out.  Better yet, lets try to find some constructive ways to make the Trump administration a successful one in terms of making America better.  4-8 years is too long for half of the population to just keep throwing tantrums — lets try to help  the Trumpenium work.

 

 

Filed under: Policy, Politics

Source: 
Judith Curry

Dear friends of this aggregator

  • Yes, I intentionally removed Newsbud from the aggregator on Mar 22.
  • Newsbud did not block the aggregator, although their editor blocked me on twitter after a comment I made to her
  • As far as I know, the only site that blocks this aggregator is Global Research. I have no idea why!!
  • Please stop recommending Newsbud and Global Research to be added to the aggregator.

Support this site

News Sources

Source Items
WWI Hidden History 51
Grayzone Project 306
Pass Blue 288
Dilyana Gaytandzhieva 16
John Pilger 421
The Real News 367
Scrutinised Minds 29
Need To Know News 2988
FEE 5055
Marine Le Pen 391
Francois Asselineau 25
Opassande 53
HAX on 5July 220
Henrik Alexandersson 1090
Mohamed Omar 403
Professors Blog 10
Arg Blatte Talar 40
Angry Foreigner 18
Fritte Fritzson 12
Teologiska rummet 32
Filosofiska rummet 128
Vetenskapsradion Historia 177
Snedtänkt (Kalle Lind) 241
Les Crises 3247
Richard Falk 192
Ian Sinclair 119
SpinWatch 61
Counter Currents 10924
Kafila 557
Gail Malone 42
Transnational Foundation 221
Rick Falkvinge 95
The Duran 10473
Vanessa Beeley 176
Nina Kouprianova 9
MintPress 5817
Paul Craig Roberts 2187
News Junkie Post 59
Nomi Prins 27
Kurt Nimmo 191
Strategic Culture 5534
Sir Ken Robinson 25
Stephan Kinsella 107
Liberty Blitzkrieg 871
Sami Bedouin 65
Consortium News 2685
21 Century Wire 3846
Burning Blogger 324
Stephen Gowans 97
David D. Friedman 157
Anarchist Standard 16
The BRICS Post 1529
Tom Dispatch 577
Levant Report 18
The Saker 4772
The Barnes Review 559
John Friend 510
Psyche Truth 160
Jonathan Cook 162
New Eastern Outlook 4529
School Sucks Project 1790
Giza Death Star 2049
Andrew Gavin Marshall 15
Red Ice Radio 643
GMWatch 2471
Robert Faurisson 150
Espionage History Archive 35
Jay's Analysis 1089
Le 4ème singe 90
Jacob Cohen 214
Agora Vox 17650
Cercle Des Volontaires 446
Panamza 2389
Fairewinds 118
Project Censored 1072
Spy Culture 591
Conspiracy Archive 81
Crystal Clark 11
Timothy Kelly 607
PINAC 1482
The Conscious Resistance 931
Independent Science News 84
The Anti Media 6859
Positive News 820
Brandon Martinez 30
Steven Chovanec 61
Lionel 305
The Mind renewed 452
Natural Society 2626
Yanis Varoufakis 1054
Tragedy & Hope 122
Dr. Tim Ball 114
Web of Debt 158
Porkins Policy Review 447
Conspiracy Watch 174
Eva Bartlett 626
Libyan War Truth 354
DeadLine Live 1916
Kevin Ryan 64
BSNEWS 2101
Aaron Franz 254
Traces of Reality 166
Revelations Radio News 121
Dr. Bruce Levine 153
Peter B Collins 1689
Faux Capitalism 205
Dissident Voice 11381
Climate Audit 226
Donna Laframboise 480
Judith Curry 1160
Geneva Business Insider 40
Media Monarchy 2566
Syria Report 78
Human Rights Investigation 93
Intifada (Voice of Palestine) 1685
Down With Tyranny 12836
Laura Wells Solutions 46
Video Rebel's Blog 453
Revisionist Review 485
Aletho News 21841
ضد العولمة 27
Penny for your thoughts 3194
Northerntruthseeker 2592
كساريات 37
Color Revolutions and Geopolitics 27
Stop Nato 4808
AntiWar.com Blog 3298
AntiWar.com Original Content 7358
Corbett Report 2516
Stop Imperialism 491
Land Destroyer 1254
Webster Tarpley Website 1138

Compiled Feeds

Public Lists

Title Visibility
Funny Public