letter to the editor: beverly Roxby

Behind the Scenes in last week’s headlines

Sun, 06/02/2019 - 8:00am


As Maine, part of the nation’s tailpipe, prepares for summer, here are four environmental announcements Trump made just this past week:  

William Happer, a man who compares climate scientists to Nazis and warns that CO2 is in critically short supply, has been appointed to head up the administration’s new climate review panel.  Described as a “red team/blue team debate,” Trump appointees will debate the existence of human induced climate change.  

Mr. Trump has approved additional exports of liquid natural gas from fracking.  He says it’s a commitment for promoting clean energy.  Assistant Secretary for Fossil Fuel Energy Steven Winberg says “DOE is doing what it can to promote an efficient regularatory system that allows for molecules of US freedom to be exported to the world.”    

The Obama era rule that limits amounts of ethanol in gasoline  during the summer months, in which smog is more prevalent and can lead to health alerts, has now been rescinded.  Reasons?  To benefit Midwestern corn farmers suffering from the Chinese tariffs Trump’s policies have created.  Also, to compensate for this spring’s devastating flooding (attributed largely to increasing climate chaos).  Farm states are largely red states—a potential coup for the presidential campaign he launched in January 2017.  

Mr. Trump also revisited the 4th National Climate Assessment report, first created in 2000 and commonly used as a baseline for assessing future threats from climate change throughout the country.  (Belfast’s climate change committee used this assessment as an important guide in its 3-part report for advising the City Council about sea level threats to the city’s waterfront.)  Future reports will no longer cover worse case scenarios beyond 2040.  In Maine, this means valuable input on long range forecasts gathered by U/Maine scientists, NOAA, Gulf of Maine Research Institute, the Island Institute and others will be minimized or curtailed.     

There may be a fifth update, but it’s hard to keep track of all the damage this commander in chief can unleash in one week.   For those who mistrust mainstream media--warning:  I got some of this information from the “failing NY Times.” 

By the way, in last week’s op ed in the Republican Journal’s Another View, Jan Dolcater wrote that the Green New Deal “would do away with air travel” and cause the “elimination of all cattle because of their flatulence.”  He didn’t cite the source for her information.     

Pollution is not patriotic and environmentalists aren’t the enemy.  

Beverly Roxby lives in Belfast