We can fight climate change even under Trump and a polluter-run petrocracy
By Dan Becker and James Gerstenzang
Rather than shunning science and their constituents’ health as they do today, key Republicans once worked with Democrats to fight pollution. President Richard M. Nixon signed the Clean Air Act and other celebrated environmental laws that Congress passed unanimously. The gap between Congressional Democrats and Republicans on major environmental votes, now roughly 85 percentage points, was about 10 points in the early 1970s.
Then industry hijacked Republican thinking on the environment.
On the second anniversary of the Paris climate accord, the Trump administration’s refusal to seriously engage in last
month’s global warming talks in Bonn — leaving the United States alone among nearly 200 nations — demonstrates how far out of line that kidnapping has left us diplomatically. A likely decision as early as this month to roll back a strong auto emissions standard demonstrates how it is playing out in the real world.
The corporate takeover is as toxic to the body politic as smoking is to the body — with this exception: While some smokers never get cancer, virtually every Republican member of Congress is wrapped in a smoggy blanket of campaign cash delivered by the fossil fuel or auto industries — and refuses to act against global warming. Many deny it even exists.
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Opinion articles by Safe Climate Campaign
Egged on by the auto industry, President Trump is expected to start unraveling strong mileage and emissions rules that protect US energy security, consumers, the environment and even automakers’ healthy profits.
After lengthy negotiations with car makers, the Obama administration had set the standards in 2012. As written, the standards would phase in a new fleet of vehicles that would average more than 50 mpg in 2025. The average for the new-vehicle fleet today is…
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From NOAA: History of atmospheric carbon dioxide from 800,000 years ago until January, 2016.
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