Let’s kick off the holiday weekend with a belly laugh. On the one hand, Donald Trump denies the reality of climate change; like his fellow trolls, he calls it a “hoax.” On the other hand, he wants to build a wall at his seaside Irish golf course – to protect it from the rising sea levels that he specifically attributes to climate change.
This is not a joke. This is the Republican presidential nominee, navigating the chasm that separates what he says and what he does. His hypocrisy is so thick, you need a chainsaw to cut it.
The golf course farce has received very little media coverage, but that’s no surprise. He disgorges so much garbage, it’s nigh impossible to track it all. Still, this particular story warrants a longer look, because it says something important about Trump: He doesn’t believe in climate change…unless his golfers are inconvenienced.
Yesterday, in North Dakota, he pitched his energy plan, reciting a speech drafted by energy adviser Kevin Cramer, a climate change denier. Trump called for the increased domestic production of fossil fuels, which would further accelerate climate change. He vowed to kill the various efforts, by President Obama and the EPA, to cut the carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to climate change. He said he will “cancel” the Paris international agreement that’s designed to combat climate change. In fact, during the entirety of his North Dakota speech, he never uttered the phrases “global warming” or “climate change.”
That’s basically consistent with what he has thumbed on Twitter. In 2012, he suggested that “the concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” A year later, “GLOBAL WARMING a total hoax!” A year after that, “GLOBAL WARMING bullshit has got to stop.” He’s like the idiot uncle you see once a year, firing off inane non sequiturs at the far end of the Thanksgiving table.
But apparently his denialism – which he has also voiced in debates and broadcast interviews – is just cynical pap for the credulous suckers. Because when it’s time to nurture his investments and his golfers, his ‘tude suddenly takes a U-turn. That’s when Trump truly “tells it like it is.”
Trump International Golf Links & Hotel Ireland is located in seaside County Clare. In his zoning application, filed with country officials, he says he wants to build a wall to protect the golf course from ongoing coastal erosion. And guess what he acknowledges is the likeliest cause of that ongoing erosion:
If the predictions of an increase in sea level rise as a result of global warming prove correct, however, it is likely that there will be a corresponding increase in coastal erosion rates not just in Doughmore Bay but around much of the coastline of Ireland. In our view, it could reasonably be expected that the rate of sea level rise might become twice of that presently occurring….As a result, we would expect the rate of dune recession to increase.
Yup. Apparently this global warming thing needs to be taken seriously. Which is why he needs to build that wall! Now!
A Do nothing/Do minimum option (is unacceptable)…the existing erosion rate will continue and worsen, due to sea level rise, in the next coming years, posing a real and immediate risk to most of the golf course frontage and assets….Predicted sea level rise and more frequent storm events will increase the rate of erosion throughout the 21st century.
Yup, we’ve gotta protect the golf course “frontage and assets” if we ever expect to Make The Resort Great Again.
But given Trump’s documented awareness of climate change – the rising sea levels, the reality of more frequent storms – it’s just a shame that he can’t extend his concern to the rest of the world. Like, perhaps, to the hundreds of millions of impoverished humans who live in vulnerable coastal regions. Like, perhaps, the “climate refugees” who have already been compelled to flee their homes. Granted, they don’t book rooms at Trump’s resort, and they don’t know a three-iron from a putter, but they do live and breathe, and they’d likely do better with a president who doesn’t tweet crap about hoaxes.
I’ll close with two quotes. The first is from Bob Inglis, a former South Carolina Republican congressman who lost his seat in 2010 after suggesting that climate change was real. Inglis, who has stayed active on the issue, reportedly says that Trump’s hypocrisy on climate change is “diabolical….You have a soft place in your heart for people who are honestly ignorant, but people who are deceitful, that’s a different thing.”
And yet, Trump’s fans willfully swallow his serial deceits. This quote is from P. T. Barnum, speaking from the grave:
“I used to say that ‘people like to be humbugged.’ I see now that it’s still true.”