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Michael Klare: Spreading the Cult of Carbon
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When you think about it, isn’t it strange that Donald Trump doesn’t represent the historical norm, that Americans have never before elected a P.T. Barnum president (though Barnum did become the mayor of Bridgeport, Connecticut)? After all, as I wrote of Trump during the 2016 election campaign, “What could be more American than his two major roles: salesman (or pitchman) and con artist?” Americans have always loved a con man — something Hillary Clinton and her advisers somehow never quite grasped.

Trump was always, at heart, both the pitchman of, and a con artist for, American abundance, or rather for a particularly American version of conspicuous consumption. Hence, the reported $7 million in gold leaf in the Louis XIV-style ballroom at his Mar-a-Lago private club, the gold-plated bathroom fixtures on his plane, the gold-plated helicopter he owned, the $100 bottles of Trump 24K Super Premium Vodka with a 24-karat gold “T” on the label, and of course his name skylined across the planet in giant golden letters. Hence also his ability to convince others of his success, even when his casinos cratered — he still made millions off them, leaving his investors holding the bag — his magazine floundered, his steaks went to the dogs, his airlines barely got off the ground, and Trump University’s triumph lay in the number of lawsuits it produced (and the Mexican-American judge he defamed). Consider this not failure, but Donald Trump in his prime.

So it’s strange that, in the thunderstorm of media coverage of President Trump — never has any president sucked the air out of the media room this way — his greatest pitch and what may be the greatest selling scam in history has gotten so little attention in these last six months. I’m talking about his scheme, as reported by TomDispatch regular Michael Klare today, to open the gold-plated spigot on American fossil fuels and sell the country’s oil and natural gas abroad in far greater quantities than at present.

In the past, the pain Trump caused had its limits (though tell that to those casino investors or the “students” of Trump University). Even Trumpcare, which — were it ever to come to be, leaving the health of millions in tatters — would only wound some, not all. On the other hand, convincing the world that this is the moment to burn yet more American fossil fuels and so release yet more carbon emissions into an already overheating atmosphere, if carried off “successfully,” might prove the greatest scam in history. The pain from it would be beyond measure, since it would damage the very environment that has proven, for all these millennia, so welcoming to humanity. It would, in short, represent an all-too-conspicuous consumption — of pain. Let Klare explain.

(Republished from TomDispatch by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Donald Trump, TomDispatch Archives 
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  1. anarchyst says:

    The term “fossil fuels” was coined in the 1950s, when nothing was known about the processes that produce oil deep within the earth.
    Most oil deposits are “too deep” to have come from decaying plant and animal matter.
    There are wells being drilled, 5,000 to 20,000 feet below the earth’s surface, much deeper than the layers and strata where plant and animal matter would be found.
    Oil is “abiotic” in nature, and is constantly being produced, deep within the earth, by yet unknown processes. In fact, some of our depleted oil wells are “filling back up”.
    So much for “peak oil” and other discounted “theories”.
    As to Englehardt’s premise that the atmosphere is “heating up”, he is dead wrong, and is merely spouting the now discredited “global warming” (oops, I mean “climate change”) crap…
    Oil is one of the most efficient forms of energy that has propelled mankind’s advancement to much greater levels than would have been possible. It is indeed “black gold”…

    Read More
    • Replies: @ThreeCranes
    Agree.

    That oil has a geologic or planetary origin has been a theory rattling around the fringes for years. It is given credence by reading about the composition of the other planets in our solar system, most of which contain hydrocarbons in one form or another.

    "by yet unknown processes...". Always good to see some circumspection when dealing with scientific theories.

    Your's is a good comment.
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  2. fish says:

    Trump was always, at heart, both the pitchman of, and a con artist for, American abundance, or rather for a particularly American version of conspicuous consumption. Hence, the reported $7 million in gold leaf in the Louis XIV-style ballroom at his Mar-a-Lago private club, the gold-plated bathroom fixtures on his plane, the gold-plated helicopter he owned, the $100 bottles of Trump 24K Super Premium Vodka with a 24-karat gold “T” on the label, and of course his name skylined across the planet in giant golden letters. Hence also his ability to convince others of his success, even when his casinos cratered — he still made millions off them, leaving his investors holding the bag — his magazine floundered, his steaks went to the dogs, his airlines barely got off the ground, and Trump University’s triumph lay in the number of lawsuits it produced (and the Mexican-American judge he defamed). Consider this not failure, but Donald Trump in his prime.

    WE……DON’T……CARE!

    Find somebody more palatable to the electorate than Darth Menopause and you won’t need to suffer through the administration of President Wrecking Ball.

    Read More
  3. @anarchyst
    The term "fossil fuels" was coined in the 1950s, when nothing was known about the processes that produce oil deep within the earth.
    Most oil deposits are "too deep" to have come from decaying plant and animal matter.
    There are wells being drilled, 5,000 to 20,000 feet below the earth's surface, much deeper than the layers and strata where plant and animal matter would be found.
    Oil is "abiotic" in nature, and is constantly being produced, deep within the earth, by yet unknown processes. In fact, some of our depleted oil wells are "filling back up".
    So much for "peak oil" and other discounted "theories".
    As to Englehardt's premise that the atmosphere is "heating up", he is dead wrong, and is merely spouting the now discredited "global warming" (oops, I mean "climate change") crap...
    Oil is one of the most efficient forms of energy that has propelled mankind's advancement to much greater levels than would have been possible. It is indeed "black gold"...

    Agree.

    That oil has a geologic or planetary origin has been a theory rattling around the fringes for years. It is given credence by reading about the composition of the other planets in our solar system, most of which contain hydrocarbons in one form or another.

    “by yet unknown processes…”. Always good to see some circumspection when dealing with scientific theories.

    Your’s is a good comment.

    Read More
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