Let’s state the obvious: Donald Trump is a climate change denier. And this is for political as well as petty reasons. When it comes to his investments, his resorts, he is not stupid enough to deny the evidence of his own eyes. As I wrote a year ago:
On global warming, Trump is essentially a skeptic on whether it exists (“hoax” and “con job” are expressions of choice), even as he seeks to protect his resorts from its effects. Along with this rank hypocrisy, Trump is advocating an energy plan that is vintage 1980, calling for more burning of fossil fuels, more drilling and digging, more pipelines, as if fossil fuel consumption was totally benign to the environment and to human health.
His climate change skepticism is politically motivated and calculated to appeal to his base. No surprise there. But Trump also revels in anti-intellectualism, which has a strong tradition in the U.S.
Sure, intellectuals mess up, and more than a few can find a fourth side to every three-sided problem. But Trump only sees one side to every three-sided problem. His side. Like a temperamental child, he thinks he can create his own reality, regardless of facts. And the rest of us now have to put up with the spoiled brat until 2020 (or impeachment, which is unlikely before 2018, at the earliest).
Trump reminds me of the spoiled kid in the famous “Twilight Zone” episode, “It’s A Good Life.” In that episode, a six-year-old kid prone to temper tantrums and getting his own way rules with absolute power over his parents and the townfolk of “Peaksville.”
Anyone who offends the petty tyrant (played memorably by Billy Mumy) is punished, often in gruesome ways. A more merciful result is to be “sent to the cornfield,” a euphemism for death.
Welcome to Peaksville, America. And think only good thoughts of our six-year-old leader. Unless, of course, you prefer the cornfield.