Over the last couple of weeks, there have been reports from interviews with Donald Trump that should give any sentient being pause: in one, it became embarrassingly clear that he had never heard of the GI Bill; in another, challenged on his ability to push through a constitutional amendment to stop women from giving birth to all those “anchor babies,” he responded–wrongly– that birthright citizenship wasn’t in the constitution. (“It just takes a statute.”)
The Donald’s most recent policy pronouncement, however, is far more terrifying. As a number of media outlets are reporting, Trump says that if he is elected he will pull out of the Paris climate agreement and approve the Keystone pipeline.
Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, said on Thursday that he would pull the United States out of the U.N. global climate accord and slash environmental regulations on the energy industry if elected…
“We’re going to cancel the Paris climate agreement,” Trump said at the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference in Bismark, the capital of North Dakota, the second largest U.S. oil-producing state. It was Trump’s first speech detailing the energy policies he would advance from the White House.
Trump said he would invite TransCanada to reapply to build the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to the United States, reversing a decision by the administration of President Barack Obama to block the project over environmental concerns.
“I want it built, but I want a piece of the profits,” Trump said. “That’s how we’re going to make our country rich again.”
Trump is on record (not that being on record means anything in his case, since he changes his positions more often than most people change their underwear–but still) as repeatedly saying that climate change is a hoax. Whether he believes that or not, the policies he is promising to pursue are all based upon the increased use of fossil fuel and the rollback of regulations on energy.
As Ed Brayton wryly observed over at Dispatches from the Culture Wars, it may simply be another rather breathtaking exhibition of Trump’s hypocrisy:
Now remember, he said this literally two days after it was revealed that his company has applied to build a high sea wall at one of his golf courses in Scotland in order to protect the property from the rising seas resulting from global warming. So he knows damn well that global warming is real and has serious consequences. But he’s more than willing to screw over pretty much the entire world in order to get elected. Speaks volumes about the man, don’t you think?
At the end of the day, however, what Trump actually thinks (assuming, in the absence of evidence, that he actually does engage in that activity) is irrelevant. He is promising that on his watch, America will pursue policies having the foreseeable consequence of making the planet largely uninhabitable.