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Rajan Menon: Making America Insecure Again
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Terror attacks like the recent one in London send a shudder through Americans. Since 9/11, they have been the definition of what TomDispatch regular Rajan Menon calls “national (in)security.” They’ve also been the lifeblood of a media machine that loves to focus 24/7 on immediate and obvious horrors (especially against folks like “us”). In the age of Donald Trump, preventing such attacks has, if anything, become even more the essence of what American security is all about.

And yet, in the context of the insecurity to come in this world, they are essentially nothing. It is, of course, a terrible thing when some disturbed fanatic or set of fanatics gun down or run down innocent civilians in London, Berlin, Paris, or San Bernardino (as it should be, but in our American world isn’t, when a U.S. plane or drone kills innocent civilians in distant lands). But if, for a moment, you stop to think in either nuclear terms (as in the pairing of North Korea’s unnerving leader Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump) or in climate change terms, then those attacks are the smallest of potatoes when it comes to national insecurity. If you really want to think about acts of “terror,” consider what Donald Trump and his climate-denying crew at the Environmental Protection Agency and elsewhere in his administration would like to do to the environmental policies of the world’s second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases.

Trump’s urge is clearly to negate every positive act of the Obama administration when it comes to reining in the use of fossil fuels — from the Paris climate agreement to the Clean Power Plan aimed at shutting down coal-fired power plants. In the end, if a Trump presidency takes this country out of the climate change sweepstakes entirely, if it opens the flood (and fracking) gates yet wider on the development of fossil fuels of every sort while tamping down the development of alternative energy sources, you’re talking about an act of terror on a scale that would once have been inconceivable. What the Trump administration is already trying to do should lead to constant headlines of a sort that would put the recent London ones to shame. However, because the full impact of Trump’s climate terror won’t strike home until the era of our grandchildren or even great-grandchildren, because his version of terror will be enacted on a time scale that plays havoc with our usual sense of history and of our own lives, he’ll undoubtedly get only the most modest of attention for it — while Khalid Masood, the London killer, and his successors will remain the eternal headliners du jour.

Still, make no mistake about it, in his rented vehicle of choice President Trump will run over future generations. Even on a less drastic time scale, as Rajan Menon makes vividly clear today, he will certainly prove to be a heavyweight in the national (in)security business.

(Republished from TomDispatch by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Terrorism 
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  1. Obama ran over the entire country in his rented vehicle. The coal thing is just one of the items of idiocy he committed. The country will probably never recover from Obama’s mendacity.

    • Agree: Ace
  2. Jason Liu says:

    This and health care are distractions. Polls show that climate change is not high on the list of voter’s priorities.

    What ails the US is leftism and institutions who radicalize normal people into believing absolute equality. The enemy is still media+academia, without which the left would have very little. Granted, in a liberal democracy it’s not easy to fix those two problems, but Trump should at least be focusing his efforts on them instead of this.

  3. MarkinLA says:

    I was just noticing how green the California desert was the other day and it hit me, how much has the US committed to ending global warming by sending all this water down to Southern California so that all these plants can flourish and capture all that carbon dioxide?

    The whole concept of global warming is a big joke since there are so many counter balancing forces going on that nobody even considers in these models.

  4. Anonymous [AKA "Mel Brooks"] says:

    > If you really want to think about acts of “terror,” consider what Donald Trump and his climate-denying crew at the Environmental Protection Agency and elsewhere in his administration would like to do to the environmental policies of the world’s second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases.

    That’s a clever trick you’ve found there shitskin. Who taught you how to signal to the Earth Mother Cult like that?

  5. Ace says:

    How does one deny climate?

  6. Namaste, Sri Menon! May Lord Krishna pour His sweet amrita upon thy red dot! Om!

    Here is one very courageous act of the Obama Administration in fighting “climate change”: Keeping Ursus maritimus (the polar bear) off the Endangered Species List. That way, his administration was not legally bound to take concrete actions to preserve Arctic sea ice habitat. See: Center for Biological Diversity, “Obama Administration Finalizes Polar Bear Extinction Plan: New Rule Shrugs off Dire Climate Threat to Ice-dependent Animals “.

    http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2013/polar-bear-02-19-2013.html

    The fact that Obama flew back and forth to Hawaii a number of times as President for golf vacations – taking Air Force One along for the ride – shows the depth of his commitment to reducing the consumption of fossil fuels.

    May you be reborn as a polar bear in your next incarnation! You will get to work off your karma.

  7. OutWest says:

    When was the climate not changing? Climate stasis would likely be of greater concern than change. Just 15,000 years ago half of North America was under ice. Some of that ice is only now melting. That’s what glaciers do when they’re not growing. Stay the same –not so much.

    • Replies: @Eustace Tilley (not)
  8. @OutWest

    It is the rate of change which is unprecedented. Animals and plants will not be able to keep up. The polar bears will be the first to go, perhaps followed by the resplendent quetzal.

    Man is certainly on the list; do you think he is adapting well? He could start by taking small steps, like forgoing golf vacations in Hawaii.

    The excess carbon from Co2 buildup in the atmosphere has to go somewhere; some of it is stored in the atmosphere itself, but since the mass of the oceans is far greater than the mass of the atmosphere, the ocean can hold more carbon , so a lot of the carbon is going into the oceans as carbonic acid:

    “When carbon dioxide dissolves in this ocean, carbonic acid is formed. This leads to higher acidity, mainly near the surface, which has been proven to inhibit shell growth in marine animals and is suspected as a cause of reproductive disorders in some fish.”

    ocean.nationalgeographic.com/ocean/explore/…/critical-issues-ocean-acidification

    So, if Homo sapiens won’t forgo his golf vacations in Hawaii now, he may have no choice but to forgo his coquille St.-Jacques and his smoked salmon in the relatively near future.

    • Replies: @Wally
    , @OutWest
  9. “Climate Denying”. “Climate Terror”. The left is apparently short on coherent emotional labels. Did you think we wouldn’t notice that the left was screeching about “warming” before, and is now desperate for a replacement?

    What’s been so fascinating is that abusive manipulative people, when their victims catch on to their tactics of shaming, guilt-tripping, lying, and etc. – they know no other means of interaction. So they continue with the same tactics, but become a laughable caricature of themselves.

    It’s everywhere you look with the leftist agenda – doubling down, tripling down and twisting themselves into incoherent babbling knots.

    Climate terror. Real murders, real death – “essentially nothing”. Oh really? That’s why the left has been on such an amazing losing streak politically. But hey – keep it up! This next generation already rejects the left, but this is what they need to really come home to liberty and property rights.

    So thank you!

    • Replies: @Eustace Tilley (not)
  10. Making America Insecure Again

    I feel sorry for politicians. Imagine how tough an act it is to keep coming up with just enough “the sky is falling scenarios” to convince people that they need you to protect them.

    “…but you understand the game behind the Curtain too well not to perceive the old trick of turning every contingency into a resource for accumulating force in the Government.”

    -From James Madison to Thomas Jefferson, 14 March 1794

    We have been told of phantoms and ideal dangers to lead us into measures which will, in my opinion, be the ruin of our country. If the existence of those dangers cannot be proved, if there be no apprehension of wars, if there be no rumors of wars, it will place the subject in a different light, and plainly evince to the world that there cannot be any reason for adopting measures which we apprehend to be ruinous and destructive.

    William Grayson, We have been told of Phantoms, 11 June 1788

    http://www.infoplease.com/t/hist/antifederalist/grayson01.html#ixzz3CsMi4gSo

    Necessity hath no law. Feigned necessities, imagined necessities… are the greatest cozenage that men can put upon the Providence of God, and make pretenses to break known rules by.

    – Oliver Cromwell, Speech to the First Protectorate Parliament (12 September 1654)

  11. @Backwoods Bob

    You’re welcome!

    …to your ignorance.

    • Replies: @Wally
  12. Wally says:

    Garbage in, garbage out from Menon. There is no earth ‘greenhouse’ effect.

    The Globe Has Not Been Warming . . . So Why Is It Called ‘Global’ Warming?
    http://principia-scientific.org/globe-not-warming-called-global-warming/

    ‘To be 33C or not to be 33C’ Greenhouse Gas Fallacy Exposed
    http://principia-scientific.org/33c-not-33c-greenhouse-gas-fallacy-exposed/

    No Special Greenhouse Gas Effect on Earth, Venus or Mars
    http://principia-scientific.org/no-greenhouse-gas-effect-earth-venus-mars/

    Greenhouse Gases in the Atmosphere Cool the Earth!
    http://principia-scientific.org/greenhouse-gases-atmosphere-cool-earth/

    more:
    http://principia-scientific.org/?s=greenhouse

    “No country would find 173 billion barrels of oil in the ground and just leave them there.”
    – Justin Trudeau, ‘leftist’ Prime Minister of Canada

  13. Wally says: • Website
    @Eustace Tilley (not)

    And you’re welcome to believe in the impossible.

    The Globe Has Not Been Warming . . . So Why Is It Called ‘Global’ Warming?
    http://principia-scientific.org/globe-not-warming-called-global-warming/

    much more here:
    http://principia-scientific.org/

  14. Wally says: • Website
    @Eustace Tilley (not)

    Tilley curiously said:

    “The excess carbon from Co2 buildup in the atmosphere has to go somewhere; some of it is stored in the atmosphere itself, but since the mass of the oceans is far greater than the mass of the atmosphere, the ocean can hold more carbon , so a lot of the carbon is going into the oceans as carbonic acid”

    So then what is the right amount? What amount is not ‘excessive’?

    And guess what, CO2 has been much higher while temperatures were much lower.

    You’re in over your head.
    see:
    http://principia-scientific.org/

    Citing the leftist agenda driven NatGeo makes you look foolish, and …. leftist.

  15. OutWest says:
    @Eustace Tilley (not)

    Some of the most significant climate change events were the result of volcanos, i.e. essentially instantaneous. And the results were not all bad. The polar bear is a variant of the brown bear that was having trouble with climate change about 80 million years ago, as I recall. There’s some confusion about oceans. These waters will not see a PH below seven as far as I can see. And if it’s not below seven, it’s not acidic. And “renewable energy” is not scientifically sound. Entropy you know.

    The climate change crowd is selling an immiscible mixture of science and rather silly marketing themes. I prefer my science straight.

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