You Can’t Exit Earth

If the Ivy League keeps sending us presidents like George W. Bush (Yale) and Donald Trump (University of Pennsylvania) I don’t know how much longer people like me are almost universally going to accept it as America’s elite conference academically. It really isn’t fair to evaluate eight schools on the basis of two alums. All that being said the current occupant of the Oval Office is not very bright. Therefore today’s title reminding Trump that there is no other planet on which human life is sustainable and we can transport ourselves to. Earth is it. There is no Planet B; (where have we read that before?) With all that in mind let’s explore what happened in the Rose Garden Thursday afternoon.  

What we witnessed was a malarkey sandwich; a lot of malarkey between two white, predictable and boring “speakers”. After a significant delay caused by technical difficulties on the part of the White House staff, Vice President Mike Pence took to the podium to tell us how great President Trump is and how successful his economic program has been. He then yielded to Trump whom appeared from the wings.

Trump’s speech was two parts malarkey. First he told us how wonderful he was and how much he had achieved in office (which was almost totally lies). Then he told us he was pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement, “To protect America and its citizens.” He justified his decision using a study that was flawed in its methodology. The basic assumption was that the United States would do 100% of what it committed to in the agreement and every other nation would do absolutely zero. Every conclusion of that study is unadulterated malarkey!

As if citing an extremely flawed study wasn’t bad enough Trump tried a quick sleight of hand trick when he used Celsius instead of Fahrenheit which, of course, yielded a lower absolute number. While most of the world and most scientific research uses Celsius America uses Fahrenheit. This speech was very much aimed at Bubba (more about that later) and Bubba isn’t a Celsius guy!

At the conclusion of Trump’s speech – I guess his hand was getting tired from patting his back and he wasn’t going to press his luck with his nose growing any longer – he called up EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. Basically Pruitt spent a few minutes telling us how great Trump is. Although performing the same task, he got less time than Pence. After all Pence outranks him.

There was some genius to Trump’s decision – unfortunately none of it benefits America or the world. Politically it was actually a pretty smooth move. The decision and speech played well to his base. The one thing Trump has been remarkable at is keeping his base. My prediction (and I’m far from alone) is that when the jobs don’t materialize they will finally leave him. In a few years you are going to have to show many Americans a photograph of themselves standing in next to the Trump sign in their front yard while shading their eyes from the sun with a MAGA hat before they will admit to voting for Trump. (Maybe they’ll imitate Trump and say it was a fake photo and besides they were sick on Election Day and therefore unable to make it to the polls.)

This was also another classic Trump attempt at diversion. To some degree it worked. His announcement had to share news coverage with more Russiagate developments. Speaking of Russia, they reaffirmed their commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement last week. In fact Trump joined only Nicaragua and Syria as non-signatories. The only reason Nicaragua didn’t sign on is because they felt the agreement didn’t go far enough to protect the planet. A case could be made that it is Trump and Assad against the world.

There are some things in life that if you mess them up you can live with the results or replace what you messed up. Think of the case of your kid calling you to say that they were in an auto accident with your car. Your first question is: Are you OK? The car can be replaced. It will cost some money but cars and financing are available. You cannot replace your kid!

There is no other planet. There are no planet dealerships with inventory and financing available. Jobs are very important (the jobs numbers Trump cited were misleading to the point of being lies – excuse me alternate facts) but my question remains: How much is your job worth when you can’t breathe the air or drink the water? Earth is the only planet we have and we have to both share and protect it!

Again a special thanks to Joe Biden for putting the word “malarkey” back in the lexicon. I can’t publish an article that uses the word “bullshit” four times.  

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