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And So It Begins



We may never fully recover from what is about to hit us.

Donald Trump has selected one of the best-known climate skeptics to lead his U.S. EPA transition team, according to two sources close to the campaign.

Myron Ebell, director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute, is spearheading Trump’s transition plans for EPA, the sources said.

The Trump team has also lined up leaders for its Energy Department and Interior Department teams. Republican energy lobbyist Mike McKenna is heading the DOE team; former Interior Department solicitor David Bernhardt is leading the effort for that agency, according to sources close to the campaign.

Ebell is a well-known and polarizing figure in the energy and environment realm. His participation in the EPA transition signals that the Trump team is looking to drastically reshape the climate policies the agency has pursued under the Obama administration. Ebell’s role is likely to infuriate environmentalists and Democrats but buoy critics of Obama’s climate rules.

Ebell, who was dubbed an “elegant nerd” and a “policy wonk” by Vanity Fair, is known for his prolific writings that question what he calls climate change “alarmism.” He appears frequently in the media and before Congress. He’s also chairman of the Cooler Heads Coalition, a group of nonprofits that “question global warming alarmism and oppose energy-rationing policies.”

Goodbye American nature. Goodbye pollution controls. Goodbye livable climate.

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  • timb

    I will remind everyone, that Indiana is far from the coasts, that recent climate change has pushed us toward almost sub-tropical summers, but beautiful springs and autumns with livable winters. I could sure use you soon-to-be flood victims here in Hoosierland. BYOC (Bring your own culture)

    • Denverite

      Ditto the Mountain West. Colorado is full, but global warming has made Wyoming much more livable, and it’s empty. And even in the summer, it’s a dry heat.

      I will caution potential migrants, though, that when the water starts to run low, that interstate compact won’t be worth the paper it’s printed on. We’re keeping the water first.

      • CrunchyFrog

        There is water in Wyoming? I mean, outside of Yellowstone?

        Could have fooled me. If there were the Great Divide Basin would be an inland sea.


        • Denverite

          I just went for a run along the North Platte river on Monday in Casper. Wild deer were everywhere. So were gunshots. There were other people on the trail so I figured it was safe.

          • njorl

            I’m sure the deer think the same thing when they see other deer.

          • CrunchyFrog

            So, before the forest service eliminated shooting on national forest lands near populated areas in El Paso county I would jog up Mt Herman road on a Saturday with extremely visible clothes and at every notch in the winding road there would be a pack of wingnuts blasting away at anything and everything, but at least not pointing at the road. (And to be clear – I’m not exaggerating for effect – I grew up with gunsmith step father and know of what I speak.)

            Happily the forest service stopped this about 4 years ago. It’s so much nicer. However, I think we can count on the forest service having what little funding it gets slashed and those restrictions removed under the coming Fourth Reich.

      • Brett

        You’ll have to share it with us Utahns – you don’t have the population to defend it against our devoted religious foot soldiers.

        • Schadenboner

          The beautiful thing about the use of infantry in resource conflicts is that it’s part of the solution in two ways!

    • CrunchyFrog

      Spent much of the summer in eastern PA, plus a few trips to Tampa. Was surprised how similar PA felt to Tampa in August, clearly due to the record heat. Running through forests in PA it felt weird – as if the vegetation simply did not match the climate. And it doesn’t, of course. Note that this wasn’t one heat wave, it was June-August inclusive.

      So yes, during the hot years we’ll be able to physically sense the transformation as it happens.

      2016 is far and away the hottest year on record, but it’s probably a local outlier. Probably 2017 will be somewhat cooler again. But here’s something to realize. Some of us remember the summer of 1998 as outrageously hot – and it was! The hottest in recorded history. It too was an outlier – we didn’t another summer like that until 2005, which also was “hotter than a monkey’s bum”, to quote someone. Well, if 2017 is the same as 2005 or 1998 it will seem much cooler than most of the last 10 years. Yes, what less than 20 years ago was outrageously hot is now considered normal or even a bit cooler.

      Which is why most wingnuts can deny global warming – our senses adapt and we don’t remember just how it used to be.

      Except old time farmers of course, who (if they are wingnuts) have developed some very strange and complex rationalization mechanisms to explain the changes in their annual planting and harvest calendars.

      • Denverite

        Some of us remember the summer of 1998 as outrageously hot – and it was!

        I spent the summer of 1998 in Texas parking my car in an uncovered black asphalt lot. I’d have to turn the AC on and run it for 15 minutes before I could drive home after work because the rubber composite steering wheel would have partially melted and it would warp if I tried to drive it before it cooled down.

    • erick

      70 degrees in Portland, OR yesterday.

      The Vineyards are starting to experiment with Syrah and other varietals because Pinot requires a very specific climate and they don’t think it will last much longer

    • I appreciate the invitation, but when rising seas swamp San Francisco, Oakland, and Richmond, I figure the Sonoma County rivers will turn Santa Rosa and Petaluma into deep channel ports with ocean access. My property value is going to soar!

  • CrunchyFrog
  • Domino

    Honestly surprised he hasn’t floated Ammon Bundy to head the Department of the Interior.

    I’m in my mid 20s, it is going to suck to watch this slow moving train wreck unfold.

    • science_goy

      Don’t watch. Fight it every step of the way. We’re the majority, after all.

      • CP

        We’re the majority, after all.

        So were black people in South Africa. Look how long it took them to get to this point, and how far the country still has to go.

        Exaggeration, obviously, but the point is that history is full of well connected minorities maintaining power over demographic majorities through a variety of ways.

  • jpgray

    Jesus fucking Christ.

  • CrunchyFrog

    Wondering what the team lineups will look like during the national anthem at this weekend’s NFL games. Guessing we may have a few more polite protests.

    • Mike G

      The characteristics of leaders leach into the wider culture, especially for authoritarians who are adept at taking cues from their superiors.

      Look forward to maximum police-state mentality from all government departments, and lots more police brutality, unless it’s “favored” groups.

      Trumpanzees who expected the fascist orangutan to rein in an overbearing government are in for a surprise. Of course they never wanted a restrained and professional constitutional government, they wanted one that would crush people they don’t like while leaving THEM alone.

      • hylen


      • CrunchyFrog

        This election means open season.

      • CP

        Most of them won’t experience it, just like most of the militia freaks who spent the 1990s protesting the Secret New World Order Zionist Occupation Government didn’t suffer from Bush’s abuses.

        This is how fascism works. As horrendous as Nazism might have been to all the many different categories of people who ended up in concentration camps, most Germans never saw the inside of a concentration camp.

    • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

      I’m wondering how soon we have all-white major league sports teams.

  • BobOso

    There is the moral of all human tales;
    ‘Tis but the same rehearsal of the past.
    First freedom and then Glory – when that fails,
    Wealth, vice, corruption – barbarism at last.
    And History, with all her volumes vast,
    Hath but one page…

  • DY4483

    Any business looking to build a new coal power plant (or expand) or a pipeline has to consider the chance that the next administration reinstates crippling, draconian environmental regulations. If and when Trump proposes the abolition of various CAA rules, Democrats must unify around a program of tough, retroactive policies not only reinstating prior pollution control policies, but strengthening them. That might at least give the fossil fuel billionaires some uncertainty before they make their investment decisions — it won’t fix the problems we already have, but it might reduce the additional damage such regs will do.

    • BigHank53

      Nobody’s ever going to build a new coal plant in North America. The price of natural gas is too low, it’s a cleaner fuel, it doesn’t leave tons of ash behind, and it doesn’t corrode the boiler from the inside. (All those nasty sulfur and nitrogen compounds that we don’t like in the air aren’t any nicer when they’re at 800 degrees.) There’s a market for export coal…from the West Coast. The coalfields of Appalachia are done.

      • dogboy

        Y’all want to buy a power plant? I know where you can get one cheap.

      • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

        You’re assuming the government doesn’t enact massive subsidies to build more coal-fired plants. Remember, some of his supporters are those idiots who love to “roll coal”.

        I’m assuming nothing about Trump’s administration.

  • Phil Perspective

    Anyone want to bet how fast Manchin switches parties, or how often he votes to override a Democratic filibuster on anything?

  • Brett

    It is going to be such a pleasure to be in the mid-2020s belatedly trying to put in adaptations to deal with mounting climate change damage, knowing that it’s too late to prevent a 3-4 degree Celsius rise. Will any of these Republican weasels be around and own up to getting us there? I doubt it – they’ll either be dead, retired, or acting like they were for climate change prevention all along.

    • Lit3Bolt

      Pfft. Who cares about sea levels rising? The Left will finally get what it deserves when they drown! Game and match, libtard!

      I think 6 degree C rise is now possible.

      At least I can say I had elephants and tigers in my lifetime.

      • SNF

        Isn’t just 4 degrees enough to end human civilization?

        If you’re talking about 6 degrees, it kind of stops mattering at that point.

        • Brett

          Even 6 degrees wouldn’t end human civilization – the planet has been through abrupt multi-degree climate shifts before, and for most of its history since the Cambrian it was much warmer than it is today. Not all areas are going to be equally badly affected by the shift, either.

          It’ll be horrifying for a lot of humans, though. Think fortress states in Europe, North America, China, Japan, Korea, Russia, etc while in the Third World they get fortress cities. Outside of which the population slowly withers from an elevated death rate due to heat, disease, and hunger.

          Or maybe I’m wrong about that latter one as well. Maybe we’ll all be living in somewhat more uncomfortable conditions, spending more time indoors in air-conditioned spaces, and eating more of our crops from sheltered areas and greenhouses. Plenty of people live in Dubai, after all. I’ve underestimated currently dysfunctional states in the past, too – how many times, for example, has either Nigeria or Pakistan been declared dead as a state?

    • SNF

      Do we have many predictions on how bad targets like 3 degrees would be?

      The focus has been on 1.5 degrees and 2 degrees. But we’re gonna have to let those go. Those targets are gone unless if we do some kind of geoengineering or something.

      • Brett

        3 degrees Celsius warming puts us on track to melt much of the remaining northern hemisphere ice, and take a chunk out of Antarctica (in fact, it might be enough to start the gradual thawing out of Antarctica). The last time the Earth’s Global Mean Temperature was three degrees Celsius warmer than today, the coastline of the Arctic Ocean was forested instead of tundra or ice.

  • Ebell, who was dubbed an “elegant nerd” and a “policy wonk” by Vanity Fair, is known for his prolific writings that question what he calls climate change “alarmism.”

    Fuck you, Vanity Fair.

    • Katya

      Demonstrating the aptness of its name.

  • twbb

    He will gut the EPA. However, an extra four years to implement a rational CO2 emissions regime is not necessarily permanent destruction. I understand that you all are in shock, and I can understand the despair, but you have to stop extrapolating out to decades of misery. This election was ridiculously close. 2020 is eminently winnable. I don’t know about 2018 but we’re can at least try. Wallow today, wallow tomorrow, but some point it is counterproductive.

    • Brett

      It’s not the end of the world, but it might be enough so that any chance of hitting the 2 degrees Celsius target is gone. Even if the US belatedly tries to start fixing things again after 2020 or 2024, we might be well on our way to 3-4 degrees warming.

      I’ll second the folks who think that the Democratic Party needs to make it super-clear that we’ll be implementing rules to stop climate charge, so as to give any investors in natural gas or oil pause before giving the greenlight.

      • twbb

        You think so? I haven’t crunched the numbers but considering the Clean Power Plan only impacted certain CO2 sources in the United States, I don’t know if its overall impact would have such global effects.

        • guthrie

          It’s not just one specific plan, it’s the signal it sends to the rest of the world “hey america isn’t interested, so you might as well stop trying too!”, and about other environmental concerns, as well as what will go extinct or be pushed too far in the meantime.

    • Donalbain

      Gutting the EPA is just the start. What happens when a court find that since climate change is junk science, any attempt to regulate it is unconstitutional?

  • Linnaeus

    A big part of my job encompasses dealing with environmental regulation. it will be interesting – in the Chinese curse sense – how things will change for me and my employer going forward.

    • Coastsider

      I’ve been working on environmental issues for over 20 years and I am really concerned about my future job prospects. During W’s administration I was a consultant and there was still work but it took effort to find. I’m more concerned now because I think Trump doesn’t give a f**k about any of these issues and will let whoever he brings in gut the EPA and DOE.
      When Trump won the nomination, I made a comment here that I was more concerned with his cabinet than I was with him, since I don’t get the sense he has the interest or stamina to do the work of a president.

      • ResumeMan

        There’s gonna be tons of work unwinding all those permits and regulations! We’ll have plenty to do, at least for a few years…

      • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

        I was more concerned with his cabinet than I was with him

        You don’t mean to say you have concerns about Palin being in Trump’s cabinet, as is rumored?


  • dogboy

    What would be involved in revoking the Clean Water Act? Endangered Species Act? The Antiquities Act? I’m pretty sure these are the burdensome regulations so often discussed.

    • West of the Cascades

      An Act of Congress, passed by a majority of members of the House of Representatives and passed by a majority of members of the Senate, and signed by the President.

      Pretty much sure the Antiquities Act will be gone and the ESA severely amended within a year. CWA might survive because it has protected human beings, e.g. by not having burning rivers any more.

      • Linnaeus

        CWA might survive, albeit I could see it being reduced in scope. There are a lot of programs created under the auspices of the CWA that I could see a Trump administration getting rid of because they’re regulations that “hinder entrepeneurs” or some such bullshit.

        • ResumeMan

          They won’t just up and repeal those laws. And they won’t have to. The implementing regulations (I’m familiar with the ones related to the CWA and CAA, not the others) have PLENTY of requirements that could be loosened, gutted, or eliminated without even glancing at the text of the law.

          • Linnaeus

            Right, that’s what I was getting at – the CWA is pretty broadly written, so not everything authorized by it is something that has to be formally repealed. The administration just has to say, “We’re not doing this anymore”. And that’s that.

      • N__B

        I know a lot of people who have devoted their lives to working on historic buildings and landscapes protected by the National Park Service. I was at a conference last week with a bunch of them. Their life’s work may well be gutted in the next year.

        It’s less critical then people losing the supposed promise of equal protection or losing their healthcare* but it’s still horrible.

        *A friend who came over for the election-noght dinner will lose his healthcare the moment the ACA is repealed.

  • thispaceforsale

    It says something that this thread has far fewer comments than other post-eleciton threads.
    Nothing is going to change the 2016 election at this point, I hope that the focus and passion will switch from the 5 stages of grief to a 6th stage of activism and sunshine. The trump administration should not be able to get away with anything that the Bush administration did. There should be no letting up, or chasing shiny stories such as wall-building to the exclusion of actual stories.

    Myron Ebell is more important than Benghazi, or wrong polls. And there are thousands of Myron Ebells coming. It is the job of the media and citizen-journalists to better solve how to change the discourse.

    • blackbox

      How do you propose we get the media to do that?

      • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

        I don’t know, but I personally have decided to stop supporting our so-called news media and will no longer watch any of the networks (including all their affiliated entertainment shows). I will communicate to them that this is because they have committed journalistic malpractice.

        I know this will have a negligible effect, and what effect it has may well be to make their coverage even more FOX-like. But I am no longer willing to support them via my cable TV dollars, nor watch any of the ads from the companies which advertise on them.

        I’m sorry this will hurt a small number of decent journalists, but the signal to noise ratio is far too low.

    • Redwood Rhiadra

      Your belief in activism and sunshine is not the 6th stage. That’s the bargaining stage.

      Acceptance means realizing that human civilization is on its last legs, and cannot be saved.

  • Coastsider

    In addition to environmental regulations, you can bet that E.O. 13627 “Strengthening Protections Against Trafficking in Persons in Federal Contracts” and Section 1502 of Dodd-Frank on Conflict Minerals will be scrapped. It’s going to be like starting over…

    The only hope is that there are no big right-wing gains in the EU over the next few years that leads to weakening of the EU environmental and social responsibility Directives. Even if shit goes backwards in the US, most global companies will still have programs to meet EU requirements and they’ll keep moving forward. I hate to say it, but we may have to rely on corporate voluntary actions to continue any progress on renewable energy, GHG reductions or labor trafficking. That is, unless the economy tanks and companies decide these programs are too costly…

    • mds

      Section 1502 of Dodd-Frank on Conflict Minerals will be scrapped.

      Probably just as a side effect of scrapping all the sections of Dodd-Frank.

    • Citywide and state initiatives are still feasible. Massachusetts could emulate California and impose vehicle fleet and electricity generation emissions standards. In fact, such wealthy communities could easily also afford to rescue the federal research effort on renewable energy that Trump’s hatchetmen will shut down.

      • Redwood Rhiadra

        Nope. The Trump EPA will argue that their new (non-)regulations preempt all state and lesser laws, and the Supreme Court will back them up.

  • Yankee

    I’m sure he’ll reach across and bring a few representative Democrats on board in responsible positions, in the spirit of being everybody’s president as he said this morning. Yup.

  • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

    One of the great mysteries of the universe is why if intelligent life happens frequently it hasn’t contacted us.

    Various theories have been proposed. The most pessimistic is that intelligent life evolves to the point where it enters the industrial age, but intelligence doesn’t develop enough to be able to use technology safely, and the advanced species all kill themselves in wars or pollution or overpopulation depleting all their resources.

    We have yet to disprove this theory, and IMO we’re getting closer to it happening with this election.

    • wengler

      Every civilization rises to its own level of incompetence and then destroys itself. After the human extinction, I hope this planet is able to repair itself and support a diverse collection of life once again.

    • The optimistic alternative solution to Fermi’s paradox is that the civilisations that do survive elsewhere in the galaxy have learnt to live by the Golden Rule, which prohibits reckless interference with civilisations on other planets. So no messages.

      • Redwood Rhiadra

        Once you reach a certain stage of technology, you really can’t stop sending out signals (we’ve been sending them out for 75-80 years) unless you regress to below that level of technology like we soon will.

  • The photo is of Lethabo power station in South Africa. It has its share of troubles:

    On Friday, South African state-owned power utility Eskom, announced that its Lethabo coal-fired power plant has returned to full operation following an extended planned outage where major work was done on the turbine, boiler pressure parts, ash handling and condenser.

    South Africa is moving rapidly to renewables (and, on paper, Russian nuclear – unlikely to see the light of day). A recent expert report:

    New power from solar PV and wind today is at least 40% cheaper than that from new baseload coal today.

    Cheer up. Donald Trump will severely damage international policy cooperation on climate change, though he can’t stop it. More important, he can’t stop the technical progress and awareness of local air pollution that is killing coal everywhere, including China and India. The Monticello coal plant is Texas runs at a loss-making 29% capacity factor. What can Trump do to save it? It would need an actual cash subsidy for coal, which would not pass Ryan’s Randite Congress.

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