And for the Department of Head in the Sand….

Another day, another reason to view Donald Trump as a threat not just to the United States  and the rule of law, but to the entire globe.

As has been widely reported, Trump has called global warming “bullshit” and he has said that, if elected, he would “cancel” the Paris climate accord and reverse President Obama’s executive actions on climate change. Now, he has announced that Myron Ebell will head up his climate transition team, should he be elected President.

And who is Myron Ebell?

Ebell certainly is not a climate scientist. He is instead a disinformation specialist on global warming, working out of the D.C. offices of the right-wing, Koch-funded Competitive Enterprise Institute as chief of the Center for Energy and Environment. He is also chairman of Cooler Heads Coalition, a collection of propagandists that “question[s] global warming alarmism and oppose energy-rationing policies.” And now he’s been picked to head Donald Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency transition team.

The rest of this “environmental team” are equally frightening.

Also appointed by Trump: Mike McKenna to guide the Department of Energy transition team. He’s worked in the energy field for former Virginia Republican Gov. George Allen and in the George H.W. Bush administration. He’s currently a lobbyist for Koch Companies Public Sector LLC, Southern Company Services, Dow Chemical Co. and Competitive Power Ventures Inc. David Bernhardt, formerly with the U.S. Department of Interior, will be heading the DOI transition team. Bernhardt works the Natural Resources Department of the law firm Brownstein Hyatt Faber Shreck. Among other things, he has represented clients involved in energy development on American Indian lands and businesses accused of violating the Department of the Interior’s regulations.

There are two main categories of science deniers: those who place their immediate financial interests above the common good and their children and grandchildren’s futures; and people like Donald Trump, who live in a reality of their own construction.

As with other aspects of the real world, Trump and his ilk apparently believe that it is possible to ignore facts, science and empirical evidence if you simply put your fingers in your ears and go “la la la, I can’t hear you.”

The problem with childish responses to complex, adult problems isn’t simply that they don’t solve those problems. It’s that they make them much worse.

Whether the Donalds of the world want to believe it or not, climate change is not only occurring, it’s accelerating. The consequences–even if we begin to act responsibly–will be enormously costly, and will reshape global population patterns and politics.

If we don’t act responsibly, they will be catastrophic.

Another reason–as if we needed one– to reject the Orange Buffoon.


  1. Well, when Mar-a-Lago vanishes beneath the waves, it will be yet another tax write-off act of “genius.”

  2. And the general makeup of Trump followers will only read these names and their current and past connections with bigger, well known names and applaud Trump for his wisdom. We cannot reach the unreachable with facts, logic or common sense. Trump’s supporters, with the addition of the religious representation of Pence, now believe you can make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

    I am deeply concerned about the vast number of Trump’s supporters (with their heads in the sand), their racist, bigoted reasons for supporting him but my concern for the “Hillary is going to win this election by millions!” faction runs just as deep. That repeated, baseless philosophy will give many voters reason to sit at home on November 8th and lose the election for us. They did this in 2009 to allow the House takeover and again to lose Democratic Senate seats to the Republicans. Their heads are just as deeply buried in the sand as Trump campaign workers and reporters.

    It will take a total loss of this election on national and state levels to make believers of them that their vote is vital. And the aftermath will prove Trump’s inability to lead to his supporters when it is too late to undo their destructive action. And by then it will not only be too late but what will be left of this government and this country to salvage in four years? Who will salvage it in 2020? Can it be salvaged? I have serious doubts. A quote by Rhett Butler in “Gone With The Wind” has stuck with me since my teen years when I first read the book. “There is as much money to be made from the destruction of a country as their is to be made in the building of it.” Never in our history, until now, has this been more true than during the Civil War years; followed by the Reconstruction Period.

  3. “Head in the Sand”? I think it’s more like “head up a particular piece of anatomy” than anything else. I have to really wonder if these propagandists believe what they’re saying. I would hope that behind closed doors they are saying “Yep, looks like climate change is real and carbon emissions are the cause. But change in policy would kill our profits, so we have to wage war for the hearts and minds of the people, regardless of the consequences.”

    I say that only because it would be more disconcerting to me that people in these think tanks are so willing to reject established science or other evidence when they don’t like the results. I guess I’d rather have intelligent yet dishonest people at those positions rather than people who are unintelligent. Those who are intelligent yet dishonest might be persuaded to reverse their position whereas those who are unintelligent probably aren’t.

  4. Uh, make that last line “those who are unintelligent probably can’t be persuaded.”

    Talk about your moments of unintelligence…

  5. So, the vast right wing conspirators are setting up the Trump administration. Does that mean they’re sure he’s going to win in November?

  6. Pence has become the perfect running mate on the Repub team. The Koch brothers own him and I must assume that they are pumping their desires into the platform. They would like to completely destroy the EPA and have been working hard at it for decades. They have been able to reduce their budget and use ALEC to convince state legislatures to tie their hands of the EPA departments in states. It has been successful in Indiana. My state rep, Dave Wolkins, is a state chairman for ALEC and does whatever they ask him to do.

  7. I belong to many Facebook groups that purportedly discuss the general topic of climate change. I did that originally because I thought that teaching climate science which has become my retirement hobby and passion would change some minds from denial of science to understanding, and it has, some. But it turns out that most deniers just are not motivated to understand but rather to inflict their politics on as many others as possible. Those people know in their heart that the science is well done and the evidence and conclusions are compelling but can’t abandon the cultish fear of collaboration that’s been instilled by media underground advertising for oligarchy.

    It strikes me that that problem could be viewed as a pyramid.

    At the top are the Trumps who view the world as theirs for the picking. The entitled economic aristocracy who seem to me to be the same folks who occupied Versailles under the Louies. We are not like you. This is our world and our position and you all have yours. They need to maintain that world and use the number one tool of business, advertising, to remain the aristocracy.

    In the middle of the pyramid are the subjects and victims of that advertising. They have been completely branded. They believe that the past that privileged them to serve the aristocracy is under attack by a host of others. All those who live off the work of this mid group. In Downington Abbey terms the top of the pyramid are the upstairs and the middle are the downstairs.

    The great base of the pyramid are all “others”. Largely deplorables to the downstairs group as the downstairs are the deplorables to the base “others”.

    Society properly organized and held in mythical fear by, and in support of, the aristocracy.

  8. “They” keep saying that he will surround himself with experts to balance his lack of experience. Sounds like we are being introduced to the occupants of the clown car.

  9. I thought that there was a period when the Koch brothers said they weren’t happy with Trump. What happened, other than their stating that they’d concentrate on electing the House and then the Senate?

  10. He has and will continue to surround himself with those who bolster his narcissistic view of himself by telling him what he wants to hear while manipulating the system to suit their dark money handlers. They have a classic example in the tobacco industry of propagandizing to discredit science and undermine the public good for the sake of profits.
    The people listed in his campaign are propagandists, not administrators. The Kochtopus has reached heights only dreamed of by its familiars. And the rubes who have been conned and bought the scam will find “elites” to blame for their own obstinate ignorance. By denying their mistakes, they may achieve a short term goal while condemning the future generations to a life of reduced circumstances and lifespans among other disastrous things.
    The demonization of science and scientists has gone on for decades and carried over into the same kind of mistrust and animus of government. Someone posted a comment yesterday that shows that Republicans have been in control of the majority national and state governments positions for many years. Yet the same propagandists have convinced millions of Americans that the progressives are to blame for what the obstructionist, racist, Republicans in power have been perpetrated with those same Americans’ complicity.

  11. There is to me more and more agreement that the Republican Party has rendered itself irrelevant. In fact it’s one of the explanations for Trumpmania. He’s clearly not anything.

    So nobody should be surprised that we are in, and will be in for awhile, turbulence.

    How long will it last and how chaotic will it get before cultural and political evolution resolve it?

    I think the answer to that will be understood better after this election and by way more than who’s President.

  12. JD,

    Well said and your final sentence summed up the main problem…….

    “Yet the same propagandists have convinced millions of Americans that the progressives are to blame for what the obstructionist, racist, Republicans in power have been perpetrated with those same Americans’ complicity.”

  13. Another really big department in a Trump administration (God forbid!) will be the Department of Walking Back Everything That Comes Out of Trump’s Mouth.

    The misbehaving, temperamental child in the too-tight (albeit expensive) suit simply must not become President of the United States. It’s up to the voters, and staying home on November 8 is NOT the answer.

  14. Elections are in the final analysis all about arithmetic, otherwise known as turnout. It matters not about the screaming and hollering and alley fights leading up to the day; what is important is that voters show up. Usually around half of qualified votes vote, including many who did a lot of the screaming and hollering leading up to the election. Perhaps we should imitate the example of Australia, where voters are fined for not voting, forcing citizens to protect what is left of their democracy.

  15. The Koch brothers are NOT high on Trump but are heavily invested in Todd Young and against Evan Bayh.

  16. The Big Orange Buffoon will have help from congress: did you hear what Jim Banks, who’s running for congress in Indiana’s 3rd district (my district) said about climate change?

    “I believe that climate change in this country is largely leftist propaganda to change the way Americans live and create more government obstruction and intrusion in our lives.”


    Oh, and he’s going to win. The Democrats in the 3rd, in a fit of confusion, nominated a local perennial candidate nut case. Think I’m exaggerating?

  17. Gerald,

    “Elections are in the final analysis all about arithmetic, otherwise known as turnout. It matters not about the screaming and hollering and alley fights leading up to the day; what is important is that voters show up.”

    I strongly disagree with you. Maybe in the past, but not this time. In the FINAL ANALYSIS, this election is all about psychological warfare and propaganda. The real battle for the minds of the voters, the one which the Democrats are INCOMPETENT to fight, will determine who will be the next President, not arithmetic.

  18. This presidential election will continue on and after November 8th; there will be no clear winner. I believe there will be a recount or contested beginning-of-the-end to this mess and the current Republican Congress, in control till January 1, 2017, will continue their full control of this country by deciding in their favor. It would take a clear, decisive win by Hillary to prevent the end I see ahead; and can any of you picture in your mind Trump conceding this election.

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