Let’s begin with a few facts. Water is wet; the sun rises in the east and sets in the west; you shouldn’t wear white after Labor Day; and man-made climate change is not a myth.
Now, let’s come to terms with another fact. President-Elect Donald Trump has chosen infamous climate-change skeptic Myron Ebell as the man to oversee the transition at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Who Is Myron Ebell?
“…Focused on dispelling the myths of global warming by exposing flawed economic, scientific, and risk analysis.”
He has spent much of the last decade attempting to discredit the scientific evidence supporting man-made global warming, while at the same time receiving massive funding from corporations such as ExxonMobil, The American Petroleum Institute, and Murray Energy Corporation.
He’s Also Veritable Loose Cannon
Ebell once described Al Gore – climate change whistleblower and inventor of the internet (just kidding) – as “an extremist” who “lives in a fantasy world.” He doubled down by referring to Pope Francis’s 2015 encyclical on climate change as a “diatribe against modern industrial civilization” which was “scientifically ill informed, economically illiterate, intellectually incoherent and morally obtuse.” Even the Pope is not safe from this man’s assault on science.
But can he actually do damage in his role overseeing the transition at the EPA? Unfortunately, yes. Ebell will be in charge of hiring personnel and changing the direction of federal agencies influenced by the EPA.
Furthermore, a source on Trump’s transition team has stated that our future President is looking for ways to withdraw the U.S. from the 2015 Paris Agreement, which seeks to phase out net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and limit global warming to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times.
The United States pulling out of the global accord to combat climate change would be a massive blow to the progress we’ve made in protecting our environment for future generations. As a worldwide leader (including a leader in greenhouse gas emissions), this would set a terrible precedent for future international efforts aimed at slowing global warming.
Luckily, withdrawing from the Paris Agreement would be very difficult to pull off.
Secretary of State John Kerry has said that the Obama administration would do everything it could to implement the Paris Accord before Trump takes office. Once this is done, Article 28 of the Accord states that any country wanting to pull out after signing has to wait four years. In the meantime, following Trump’s election victory, governments from small island nations to China have reaffirmed their support for the 2015 Paris Agreement.
— Paris Agreement News (@ParisAgreement) November 11, 2016
Outside of the Paris Agreement, Ebbel will also be able to take shots at current EPA regulations, such as Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which seeks to reduce carbon emissions from electricity generation and may result in phasing out many coal-burning power plants.
Ebell has said that this plan is illegal, and prior to Trump’s election stated that he hoped whoever was elected would:
“Undo the EPA power plant regs and some of the other regs that are very harmful to our economy.”
His stance comes as no surprise, seeing that he receives significant financing from the coal industry, which is the very definition of a conflict of interest.
Facing Massive Backlash
So is there anything that level-headed, critical-thinking, brain-possessing people like you and me can feel hopeful about? I think there is.
In regards to Ebell undoing decades of environmental regulations, Lisa Garcia, the VP for litigation at Earthjustice, stated that agency rules and guidelines are difficult and time-consuming to reverse:
“There are laws and processes and procedures and you need scientific data and backup in order to do these things. To roll it back takes time.”
We can also look at the recent history of Presidents attempting to derail the EPA.
In 1981, the Reagan administration faced massive backlash after attempting to completely dismantle the EPA. While campaigning, Trump said that he would eliminate the EPA (or as he moronically called it, the DEP).
He was later forced to rescind that statement under public pressure.
The public is now calling for the replacement of Myron Ebell, although this horrendous appointment to the Trump transition team has recently been overshadowed by the appointment of noted anti-semite Steve Bannon as Trump’s chief strategist.
Hopefully we can continue to put pressure on Trump to reverse these massively unpopular selections to his team.
After all, for better or for worse he is our president, and although it may not seem like it sometimes, the American people still have a voice. We just need to let it be heard.
Featured Image: Screenshot Via YouTube Video.