After arguing that sensible renewable energy policies and sticking to president Obama’s Clean Power Plan is all we need to do to save the planet from catastrophic climate change, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman goes after Donald Trump and other conservative males who reject it on the basis of personal inconvenience:
There are some men — it’s almost always men — who become enraged at any suggestion that they must give up something they want for the common good. Often, the rage is disproportionate to the sacrifice: for example, prominent conservatives suggesting violence against government officials because they don’t like the performance of phosphate-free detergent. But polluter’s rage isn’t about rational thought.
Which brings us to the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, who embodies the modern conservative id in its most naked form, stripped of the disguises politicians usually use to cloak their prejudices and make them seem respectable.
For Krugman, Trump isn’t your regular conservative blowhard with a disdain for the environment — he takes passion for the destruction of the biosphere to a completely new level:
No doubt Donald Trump hates environmental protection in part for the usual reasons. But there’s an extra layer of venom to his pro-pollution stances that is both personal and mind-bogglingly petty.
For example, he has repeatedly denounced restrictions intended to protect the ozone layer — one of the great success stories of global environmental policy — because, he claims, they’re the reason his hair spray doesn’t work as well as it used to. I am not making this up.
He’s also a bitter foe of wind power. He likes to talk about how wind turbines kill birds, which they sometimes do, but no more so than tall buildings; but his real motivation seems to be ire over unsuccessful attempts to block an offshore wind farm near one of his British golf courses.
And if evidence gets in the way of his self-centeredness, never mind. Recently he assured audiences that there isn’t a drought in California, that officials have just refused to turn on the water.
The earth is in crisis because of humanity’s greed and short sightedness, so it is paramount that we keep those who embody those traits out of positions of power. It’s not as if the current crop of global leaders are anything to get excited about, but there are levels of narcissism and greed that can be contained. Krugman, like every other sane person in the world, sees just how dangerous Trump would be to life on earth should he become president in November — or as Andrew Sullivan recently put it “an extinction level event“. Because anyone who prioritizes their hairdo over the ozone layer doesn’t deserve to be president of the United States — they deserve to be in a mental institution.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.