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Trump’s Carbon-Obsessed Energy Policy and the Planetary Nightmare to Come


Trump’s Carbon-Obsessed Energy Policy and the Planetary Nightmare to Come

Michael T. Klare

Scroll through Donald Trump’s campaign promises or listen to his speeches and you could easily conclude that his energy policy consists of little more than a wish list drawn up by the major fossil fuel companies: lift environmental restrictions on oil and natural gas extraction, build the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, open more federal lands to drilling, withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, kill Obama’s Clean Power Plan, revive the coal mining industry, and so on and so forth ad infi


No one else is doing what is required in any case.

I very much liked Michael Klare's 2013 article on the Third Carbon Age - "Unconventional Oil".

This was, and is, the path we are on - and not Obama, nor Clinton, nor, with the rare exception, any other political leader on the planet is opposed to this - not on the ground - in actions - where it counts.

Abe in Japan wants nuclear - France is already nuclear - and on and on. Except for those actually going underwater now, Florida, say, or some in Oceania, and Bolivia's Evo Morales - 'all is desert'.

No - the Trump fiasco is a wake-up call - democracy is so far a failed experiment.

Green - or extinction.

Half the Earth needs to be set aside to preserve biodiversity - including us - we are in fact a part of nature.

Nuclear has to go - it is mutagenic and spectacularly stupid.

Population has to come down - or at least level off.

CO2 needs to be removed from the atmosphere, asap, with machines.

And, if Joseph Tainter is correct, we need to go to space for more energy and resources - and to protect ourselves from bolide impact.

Problem solving skills need to increase - i.e., complexity, and that requires energy. (see link below):

Energy, complexity, and sustainability: A historical
Joseph A. Tainter



When it comes to energy Trump will create two Americas, one trying hard to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the other extracting fossil fuels like crazy as if every natural laws of chemistry and physics had been magically repealed. Trump's madness could send the climate past tripping points for positive feedbacks that would make all efforts to limit global warming futile. Being now at 1C we may all ready be on the verge of passing such tipping points but maybe it will actually take 3C to reach them in which case a Hillary Clinton presidency would have given us some hope. We are basically walking into a minefield with no idea where the mines are. Therefore, we need to stop as close to where we are as possible. Thanks to so many voters out there in rural America we might be running into the minefield instead.


" Green-or extinction." That is it in a nutshell!

Too bad Trump; the economic elite; the fossil fuel, oil/garchy; and the rest of the climate deniers have chosen extinction. And the sad part is their greed has made them oblivious to the climate disasters. in the future, that so many climate scientists have warned us about.


The only hope against Trump, was a Sanders nomination, that would have happened if the DNC and MSN wouldn't have systematically crushed Sanders and elevated Trump.

Atcheson's article points out truths that I have also stated time and time again. It is time you take some notes and get up to speed on corporate governance.

You wrote to me recently asserting that I overstate corporate influence.

Until you get up to speed on this, your otherwise decent posts on ACD ring hollow.


I think the strongest candidate would have been Martin O'Malley. He was more progressive than Hillary and had a good record as governor of Maryland. I think Sanders blocked his nomination by running. I thought Sanders ran a great campaign and was really good speaker at rallies. However, running against Trump I would have been worried about Sanders labeling himself as a socialist but even more worried that Sanders is Jewish. Much of Trump's most enthusiastic support came from the antisemitic alt-right. Had a Jew run against Trump it would have been even uglier than the campaign against Clinton. I am not at all convinced Sanders would have won.

My feeling is that the Left in general overstates the influence of corporate power. It seems to me that too much legislation is passed that corporations don't like for them to have all of the influence attributed to them. But they do have far too much influence. In my view it is largely the Republicans who are blocking campaign finance reform as well as Wall Street reform.


It seems to me that too much legislation is passed that corporations don't like for them to have all of the influence attributed to them.

And Lrx drones on apologizing for corporate governance, over and over and over again.


How well will $100/barrel oil sell in an economy that can only support $50? Excess production always drives prices down and in the case of US oil not only is the price for new extraction fixed at more than $100/barrel, it has to compete with Mideast oil at $10/barrel. If energy is the dynamo driving economic expansion and so when the price of oil exceeds the price the economy can afford, both demand and production fall until they achieve equilibrium. But in the case of the US, the low hanging fruit (cheap to extract oil), has already been plucked. The US does not have any significant amount of either oil or gas that can be afforded by the economy because all of the new US oil and gas production requires fracking or deep ocean drilling and the costs are in excess of $100/barrel to be profitable. When you look at the average cost to produce US oil, remember that it is an average but that all the new production comes at a cost on the high end of the cost distribution curve.

Trumps energy policy is the equivalent of taking a predictably damaging path that leads to a dead end with no chance to retrace. This is it. We either begin to address global warming in a significant manner or we let any chance at all slip away in the cascade of feedback loops and turning points.


Corporations have purchased the entire Congress lock, stock and barrel. They write and promote legislation and they have the lobbying and financial power to block anything they don't like.


Well you need not convince me of that, but you might try convincing Lrx, who I quoted.


Aldo Leopold, Rachel Carson, Edward Abbey and other warriors are now spinning in their graves (Or maybe Abbey as now vulture reincarnate, looking down at the unfolding climactic apocalypse).

The world is in the very situation (headed towards "dead end" climactic apocalypse) that Abbey was asked about in this question in 1983. :

Jack Loeffler: "When it becomes apparent that we are not gaining philosophically fast enough in the wake of big business and political maneuvering what steps do you think are justifiable in trying to turn the tide that seems to lead to literally a dead end not just for our species, but the whole planet?"

(The title for this video was chosen poorly, I think)


Climatic, not climactic. Totally different!


I have a hard time believing the climate denialists, the oligarchs etc... have 'chosen extinction' ?

Rather they are not that smart, or perhaps courageous - and they are, many of them, perhaps all, insecure on this mystery planet.

This is a touchy subject, for it impinges on the core beliefs of so many people, and it involves religion in no small part, and upbringing, even one's health as a result of the environment, in total, that one was brought up in.

For example, there have been studies which indicate a large percentage of the US population is not on board with the findings of modern science, many believing for example that the world is only some 6,ooo years old - bible thinking as it were.

There are military leaders at the highest levels who are, in effect, fundamentalist Christians.

The separation of church and state is not a reality, in other words.

John Gofman, the author of "Irrevy", a 1979 publication on the inadvisability of nuclear power, even in commercial and 'new' reactor designs, was, as a young man, a brilliant physicist on the Manhattan Project, involved in the first synthesis of plutonium for the atomic bomb.

Later he became an actual medical doctor, specializing in radiation, and an anti-nuclear activist for the rest of his life.

He believed, as a medical man, with exposure to the nuclear community at the highest levels, that "power & privilege" seekers were in fact diseased in some way. And to my way of thinking, that would include people such as Obama, Trump, Rex Tillerson, and on and on.

'The money touch' is not a guarantee of true brains, if I might phrase it so, nor is the ascent to political power. It may well be that those with brains, to continue the analogy, shy away from these pursuits, abhor them even ?

I suppose I could go on for a very long time on this theme, which is, in effect, understanding human nature.

Unfortunately, I don't think anyone can claim to understand human nature, except in narrow circumstances.

What did the election of Trump really signify ?

The airwaves and cyberspace are full of opinion, of course, and we each have our favorite take on this - but really - do we, if there is a we, really and truly understand the situation, given the spectacular complexity of the lives of three hundred million plus American citizens ?

I read just the other day, of a five or six year old child, who died in the arms of Santa Claus, literally ! He was being visited in the hospital, and after a big hug by Santa, asked - "Can you make me better" ? - and then he died - right there.

How are we to think about the many gods so many worship - of the world which sees this type of event, and worse, every day ?

I'm afraid fear is 'the only darkness' - and I think many of us are very afraid - and this includes leaders of state, military commanders, Popes and people...


Thanks for your reply.