The problem is that when general policy failure happens, it is unjustifiable to conclude that the general policy failures are caused by affirmative action, writes Ralph Mathekga.
are plenty of very good reasons to intensely dislike the idea of Donald Trump
being elected as the next president of the United States – his rabid xenophobia
and racism, his scare-mongering jingoism, and much else. What often falls by
the wayside in discussions of a possible Trump presidency is his attitude towards
might think that his ascendancy would have little impact on green issues half a
planet away at the southern end of Africa, but unfortunately things like
climate change and pollution don’t respect national boundaries. Trump’s
environmental policies (or the lack thereof) and those contained in the
Republican Party’s election platform will affect us both directly and indirectly,
which is yet another reason to keep a close eye on what’s going to happen in
the USA on the 8th of November.
sections of the Republican Party platform dealing with energy and environmental
matters might as well have been written by a public relations hack from the
American fossil fuel industry. Among other things, it:
promises to bring an end to President Obama’s “war on coal” and “the Democratic
Party’s radical anti-coal agenda”;
coal “an abundant, clean, affordable, reliable domestic energy resource”
instead of the chief cause of climate change;
undertakes to complete the construction of the controversial Keystone XL
pipeline designed to connect Canadian oil sand facilities – perhaps the most
environmentally destructive mining project in the world – to refineries and
export terminals on the US Gulf coast;
pledges to negate federal regulations on fracking and to facilitate an increase
in the export of liquefied natural gas;
oil and gas drilling on publically-owned land, including offshore on the
opposes “any carbon tax” intended to lower carbon dioxide emissions;
rejects popular calls for the mandatory labelling of genetically modified food;
to hand responsibility for much environmental policy, regulation and
enforcement from the national government to the states while converting the
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – a potentially powerful and meddlesome
regulator – into “an independent bipartisan commission” (and we all know how
much work gets accomplished by commissions);
“the agendas of both the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement”; and
proposes to stop funding for the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change.
comes to climate change, Trump himself has changed his tune completely since before
his election campaign. While he has in the past joined calls for effective
international action on carbon emissions, he now rejects climate change as
little more than a hoax, opining that “global warming was created by and for
the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive”.
with the official Republican Party platform, he plans to abolish the EPA and
“save the coal industry”, while cancelling the USA’s commitment to the Paris
climate agreement and stopping “all payments of US tax dollars to UN global
the Sierra Club, a prominent American environmental organisation, reported that, if elected president, Trump would be the only world leader to entirely
reject the scientific consensus on the reality of human-caused climate change –
a distinction he would no doubt embrace enthusiastically.
green credentials of Trump’s running mate and would-be vice president, Indiana
Governor Mike Pence, are no less depressing. When he was a member of the US
Congress he consistently voted against eco-friendly legislation and according
to him, “global warming is a myth”.
help us if these people are allowed to assume the mantle of world leadership at
the end of the year.
- Andreas is a freelance writer with a PhD in geochemistry. Follow him on Twitter: @Andreas_Spath
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