|Trump loves coal, and thinks climate change is hoax, but|
the rest of the world is already moving away from
his line of thinking
I suppose Trump's climate executive order is meant to be marketed as a pro-business, pro-job move, but it's hard to imagine how it will help businesses or job growth all that much.
A centerpiece of Trump's campaign last year was to promise people in coal producing zones in the United States that he would bring coal jobs back.
That was part of the motivation of Tuesday's executive order. To "keep" his campaign promise.
However, Trump knows that no matter what he does, he won't keep his promise to bring all those coal jobs back.
Basically, nobody wants to buy coal anymore.
As Vox points out:
"Even the most anti-Obama coal executive on the planet, Robert Murray of Murray Energy, knows this. He supports Trump's assault on climate policy and wants it to go further. (after all, he stands to benefit!), but he's under no illusion it will help coal miners. When he met with Trump, 'I suggested that he temper his expectations,' Murray told The Guardian."
It's true that the world went through a coal burning boom as the 21st century opened. China, India and some other developing countries went on a coal plant building binge, which of course is bad if you're worried about climate change.
Coal is pretty much the worst, most effective greenhouse gas you can get. Lots of countries are getting the message. They're increasingly afraid of climate change, which is a good thing to be afraid of.
With that in mind, it seems like the ardor for coal in these countries is starting to cool. For one thing, those big bursts of smog that China has endured in recent years, is partly due to coal plants and people are not happy about it.
This next bit from Vox is pretty stat heavy, but really worth going through. Because it's very telling about how out of step Trump is:
"Here's what happened with coal plants around the world, year on uear, from 2016 to 2017:
"Pre-construction activity (planning, permitting, etc.) was down a whopping 48 percent. In January, 2016, there was 1,090 GW (gigawatts) worth of coal capacity in pre-construction planning; as of January, 2017, it had fallen to 579 GW.
Work in ongoing coal plant construction projects was down 19 percent. In China and India alone, scattered across more than 100 sites, some 68 GW worth of coal plant construction was frozen in place. In fact, across the world, 'more construction is now frozen than entered construction in the past year.
Construction starts - new coal plants entering construction - were down by 62 percent. Meanwhile, especially in the U.S. and Europe, coal plants are retiring, to the tun of about 64 GW worth in the past two years.
It's all slowing down."
(The report referred to in this excerpt is the annual "Boom or Bust" report on the global coal pipeline from Coalswarm, the Sierra Club and Greenpeace.)
Meanwhile, investments in energy production from wind and solar continue to climb worldwide The U.S. could be a worldwide leader in these industries, but Trump is too dumb to see that.
Trump said when he signed the executive order rolling back climate change initiatives that coal miners will get their jobs back. That "clean coal" whatever the hell that is, is the future of American energy independence.
Stephen Colbert reacted this way, which is perfect: "Clean coal sounds like an oxymoron but then so does President Trump."
I've always said that the most dangerous people in the world are very stupid ones who think they are smart. That description fits Donald Trump more than any other person I've ever heard of.
One thing Trump is good at is creating alternative realities for entertainment and business purposes. But when you create these fake realities, real reality always comes back to bite you.