Nature Abhors a Vacuum

The dominance of climate-change deniers in the Trump cabinet, and Trump’s own dismissal of science and expertise–exemplified by his withdrawal from the Paris Accords–has rational people understandably depressed and worried.

Fortunately, policy is not made or implemented exclusively at the federal level.

Earlier this month, the New York Times reported that California Governor Jerry Brown had announced his own global summit.

Gov. Jerry Brown of California on Thursday reinforced his reputation as America’s de facto leader on climate change, announcing to cheering crowds in Hamburg, Germany that his state would gather leaders from around the world for a global warming summit next year.

Speaking by videoconference to the Global Citizens Festival in Hamburg, where President Donald Trump is joining other world leaders for the Group of 20 economic summit, Governor Brown said the president “doesn’t speak for the rest of America” in pulling out of the Paris agreement on climate change.

Governor Brown announced a Climate Action Summit, to take place in San Francisco in September of 2018. The California meeting will include leaders of states, cities, businesses and a variety of other organizations pledged to the goals of the Paris Accords. Organizers anticipate thousands of attendees from among those who have been galvanized by Mr. Trump’s decision.

It isn’t just Jerry Brown, either. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has  published a letter to the United Nations that has been signed by more than 1,200 mayors, business leaders, university presidents and others who confirmed that “we are still in” the climate deal.

The response has been overwhelmingly positive.

“With the Trump administration’s rather comprehensive moves to reverse the Obama administration’s suite of climate policies, the potential importance and the prominence of all these subnational actions and actors is greater now than ever before,” said Robert Stavins, an energy economist at Harvard University….

Governor Brown maintained that his goal was not to antagonize the president, but to urge everyone to do more. “It isn’t being cooked up because of Trump,” Governor Brown said in an interview Wednesday. “No nation or state is doing what they should be doing. This is damn serious, and most people are taking it far too lightly than the reality of the threat. You can’t do too much to sound the alarm because so far the response is not adequate to the challenge.”

He predicted the opposition to climate change policies by Mr. Trump and many Republicans would shift as evidence of the consequences of climate change mounted. “If the whole world except the U.S. is sufficiently galvanized, it will only be a short period before the U.S. falls in line,” he said. “I think President Trump unwittingly is serving to stimulate the movement toward decarbonization by his very public, idiosyncratic resistance to both the science, the diplomacy and the politics.”

To characterize Trump’s resistance as “idiosyncratic” is incredibly diplomatic. But I entirely agree that any positive results of Trump’s election have been entirely inadvertent…

Addendum: For readers inclined to enjoy nature and our national parks while we still have them and the latter are still affordable, I’m passing along a message from Betty:

You may want to let your readers 62-over know that they can get a Lifetime Senior Pass to all national parks/monuments right now for $10. The pass jumps to $80 on Aug. 28, 2017. Passes are available online at ($10 service fee added, still a bargain) or by a visit to a Visitor Center at any national park/monument.
I got mine at Shiloh National Military Park and it stays in my vehicle. The pass comes with a hangtag and a plastic card for the owner to sign, insert on the hangtag, and display on the rearview mirror at any national park/monument.
Your readers have a month before the price goes through the roof.


  1. Trump’s foolish removal of the United States from the Paris Accord did not – or has not yet – put a law into effect denying us the right to continue our individual practices to protect Climate Change from Global warming. We can still conserve power to cut down on some highly polluting emissions (IPL is Indiana’s largest offender); we can still recycle, individually or share recycling. My next door neighbor invited me to share his Republic recycle bin; every two weeks we cram his bin full of all recyclable materials. I have purchased cloth grocery bags and use them; had to stop cashiers from bagging in plastic then putting into my cloth bags.

    Trump is not yet controlling our every action like the puppets in the White House which he has made his personal family domain. Is any recycling done by or from the White House?

    “To characterize Trump’s resistance as “idiosyncratic” is incredibly diplomatic.” The only way to describe Trump’s “resistance” is “idiotic”; “idiosyncratic” as being diplomatic is not only too kind, it misses the mark entirely. I prefer Stephan King’s comment about Trump; “You can frost a turd but it is still a turd.” He is not yet circling the bowl but our government and this county are; often due to the inexplicable thought processes and actions coming from the White House. Reince Priebus (sp?) does not control the U.S. Senate; so why the connection of his “resignation” to the denial of the ACA repeal – in whatever form was presented last? Anyone who does not make the connection between Global Warming and our escalating health issues is as big a fool as Trump. There is also the basic connection of polluting businesses saving money by no longer having regulations to control their emissions and health care providers escalating their costs due to our health issues, many of which are caused by pollution. Both get down to FOLLOW THE MONEY…same as the connection between Trump, Putin and Russia.

  2. I’m just thankful that I will have healthcare.
    We have weekly recycling pickup in my neighborhood. It’s cheap too.
    We are the laughing stock of the world now.
    That is all. Enjoy the last weekend in July.

  3. Earth Charter Indiana, while not convening an international meeting, has launched a state wide
    initiative, Resilient Communities Campaign. Its Four Year Goal: Twenty Municipalities on a Fast-Track to Resiliency by 2020 as measured by Climate Recovery Resolutions; Goals and Benchmarks for New Green Jobs, Carbon Neutrality, Zero Waste, Local Food Security, Safe and Sufficient Water, and Public Participation. For more information go to

  4. Curbside re-cycling is part of our property tax assessment, so everyone in this ultra-red area recycles. As far as the White House is concerned, there is a five cents fee for each plastic bag you use at the grocery store and at all retail establishments in DC and in Maryland. Not sure about the Virginia side of the equation. It’s good policy. I just hope that global warming takes Mar A Lago quickly and painfully.

    I just bought my $10 tag at Ding Darling. There’s no processing fee if you buy it in person and you can get it at nearly all National parks and preserves. I saved $6.00 the first day I had it and I got some great pictures, since the roseate spoonbills were feeding as I went through the preserve. Remember, it’s good for a lifetime.

  5. “Half his tweets show utter weakness. They are plaintive, shrill little cries, usually just after dawn,” Peggy Noonan wrote in Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal in an article entitled “Trump Is Woody Allen Without the Humor.”

    This was written before the Trump Obamacare repeal fail and subsequent White House whines and tantrums.

    It gets worse. The President’s primary problem as a leader isn’t that he is brash and stupid, “It is that he is weak and sniveling. It is that he undermines himself almost daily by ignoring traditional norms and forms of American masculinity.”

    “He’s not strong and self-controlled, not cool and tough, not low-key and determined; he’s whiny, weepy and self-pitying. He throws himself, sobbing, on the body politic. He’s a drama queen”.

    For conservatives, Trump was supposed to be the BMOC, the Decider, Big Daddy in the White House, Clint Eastwood cleaning up crime with the heart of a vigilante. Instead, he is a whining little drama prince throwing tantrums on an hourly basis, in public, because someone won’t give him the candy he wants right now.

    The Trumpet is loyal to no one, other than members of his own family, The Trumpet trusts no one. The Trumpet trusts his family, because I suspect in his mind his family is simply an out of body representation of himself. The Trumpet’s instinct is: How can use you, I will cut you off at the knees once your usefulness is gone. Friendship for Trump is a word, the totality of the word friendship or comradeship is lost on him. The Trumpet is suspicious of everyone, because he projects his own egocentric motives to others.

  6. I just wrote a piece due to be published shortly on Trump’s problem with chaos in the West Wing. It’s not about the scapegoats he fires; it’s about Trump, who is the source of the chaos, and it won’t make any difference how many political chattels he hires and fires. His whole idea of governing is in having his appointees first cover his posterior for his shortcomings and adulation for how well he is making America great again, and oh, they can do a bit of governing on the side. He is not well and needs help, but meanwhile, we have to take his stands on the Paris Accords, the saber-rattling of North Korea, chronic wage inequality, and love of Putin seriously, and resist his idiocies without the excuse of, “Oh, that’s just Trump.” Just Trump doesn’t get it; when he speaks as president the world listens and responds to his words not as products of his narcissistic otherworld but as words defining American policies – and so far the responses have been understandably negative. He has to go before we do, and I don’t look forward to his successor’s reign, either, who will have to contend with keeping Trump’s base intact while keeping the Bible belters in line in an unholy mix for the 2018 and 2020 elections, a daunting task which I hope fails.

  7. One of the things that has been moved from the “speculation” column to the “confirmed” column is that the Republican mash up in DC is not up to solving problems, just creating them.

    Nothing beneficial will come from their denial of reality and the science that reports it. Coal and oil are still dead men walking, it’s just a matter of time, the world will have an unprecedented climate and sea level as a huge economic load to carry, but the opportunity to build an offsetting sustainably energy business will he harvested by other countries.

    All they have accomplished is to kick the can down the road to hopefully more capable minds.

  8. @Sheila and Peggy: Thanks, Sheila, for letting folks know about the Lifetime Senior Pass to the National Parks. It is, as Peggy says, only ten bucks (one time, for a lifetime!) when you visit the Visitor Center in a national park or monument in person. It’s $20 online because of processing. ( By this date next month, expect to pay $80 for the same pass!

    Peggy, enjoy the pass and the roseate spoonbills! Ken Burns said it best, as he usually does: “The National Parks…America’s Best Idea!”

    Everyone here understands what can happen, even to our incredibly beautiful national parks, during this fiasco of an administration.

  9. Gerald, if possible, we’d appreciate your sharing a link to the article you referenced earlier today.

    “I just wrote a piece due to be published shortly on Trump’s problem with chaos in the West Wing.”

  10. BSH – I’m a blogger; the piece is a recent contribution to my blog, and I don’t know whether it is appropriate for me to give you and our other contributors the access code to such blog. This is Sheila’s blog and I would not make access to my writing known here without her express consent. I presume you are reading this, Sheila, and will go no further in identifying access to my efforts until word from you, if then, ’cause this is your show, not mine.

  11. Some other fake science the deniers may want to consider:
    1. Smoking is not harmful.
    2. A fast food diet is healthy.
    3. Staring at the solar eclipse will not harm your eyes.

  12. When the evidence didn’t support the man is causing dangerous global warming theory, the theory was conveniently changed to “climate change.” Of course, the climate has been changing for the entire 4.5 billion years of our planet so of course the evidence always supports the theory. It is a very disingenuous way to approach science. Sadly the issue has become so politicized, that it is virtually impossible to have an honest debate about the issue anymore. Indeed the alarmists don’t want a debate. They want our science done by “consensus” instead of using the scientific method to test and evaluate theories.

  13. Paul; trying to force understanding on many people that the terms “Climate Change” and “Global Warming” are NOT interchangeable is like trying to force toothpaste back into the tube…or change the minds of members of the Flat Earth Society. Scientific facts do not figure into their equations because they are not found in creationism as explained in the Bible; their guide to all facts regarding this 6,000 year old earth. To them; we simply need the salvation of Jesus’ blood to pour over us and bring about our awakening to their reality. How Trump’s actions figure into this area of science denial is unclear; of course how Trump himself figures into their belief in God’s creation of man boggles the mind of thinking people. Maybe when Pence takes the helm of the current ship of state, he will explain it all before we are nuked by Kim Jong Un. By the way; I saw a winter storm warning for parts of the U.S.; totally unseasonable in July.

  14. Gerald, thanks for your response. I understand your hesitance to post your personal blog’s link on another’s blog. However, I’ve noted that several other regular posters have provided access to their personal web pages w/out obvious or public fallout from Sheila. I will leave your decision up to you and to Sheila should she wish to speak.

    At any rate, Gerald, thank you for replying.

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