Similar to the rise of the Tea Party after the election of President Barack Obama in 2008, the latest faction of far-right extremism has been swelling online for months nurtured by the vitriolic presidential campaign of Donald Trump.
It is considered a new Republican Party movement with many of the same extremist zealot ideologies, but they are typically younger and identify themselves as alternatives to mainstream conservativism, with white supremacy leanings.
This doesn’t bode well for the environment, since Donald Trump denies man-made climate change. He claims that regulations to curb what scientists believe is the most urgent crisis facing the planet is nothing more than a distraction and jobs killer.
Trump had this tepid response to a question about climate change not long ago in a Washington Post interview:
“I think there’s a change in weather. I am not a great believer in man-made climate change. I’m not a great believer. There is certainly a change in weather that goes — if you look, they had global cooling in the 1920s and now they have global warming, although now they don’t know if they have global warming. They call it all sorts of different things; now they’re using “extreme weather” I guess more than any other phrase. I am not — I know it hurts me with this room, and I know it’s probably a killer with this room — but I am not a believer. Perhaps there’s a minor effect, but I’m not a big believer in man-made climate change.”
According to NASA, the planet has endured 10 of the hottest years in recorded history during the last 12 years. It is truly astonishing that any reasonable person could believe a planet populated by more than 7 billion people polluting the air with gazillions of greenhouse gases from the use of fossil fuels wouldn’t have any adverse impact on the heat-trapping layer of Earth’s atmosphere. But with Republicans, it’s all about money, politics and greed. Not science-based facts or saving the planet for future generations.
Tea Party darlings of the past like Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann, shunned the realities of climate change, by making these kinds of ignorant statements regarding global warming; it is “Snake oil science” and “All voodoo, nonsense, hokum, a hoax.”
Alt-right beliefs appear to be an extension of the same unenlightened Tea Party dogma. It springs mostly from ignorance whipped up on blogs, social media and podcasts for more than a year, but Donald Trump’s Klu Klux Klan and good ole’ white boy followers have helped it grow and infect mainstream air waves during one of the most critical elections in recent history.
Clinton would make reducing climate change a priority as president, while Trump and his collective conservative radicals and alt-right followers would shun the notion that increasingly extreme weather, including floods, wildfires, hurricanes, super-blizzards and rising sea levels is anything more than a “minor effect,” of the catastrophically changing climate.
They are not only idiots, they are dangerous idiots.
Feature image via blogger Joseph Kaminski
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