There are an awful lot of reasons why it is so important for Trump to be defeated and removed from the White House, but I continue to believe that the most important one is the climate crisis.
The horrific fires and high temperatures in California are the current, on-time example of why this is so. They give a whole new meaning to the phrase, “global warming,” though it’s more like the phrase Rabbi Arthur Waskow has been using for many years, “global scorching.”
Keep in mind that what is happening in California isn’t an anomaly, something happening this year that hasn’t happened before. Though this looks like the worst so far, the reality is that the fire season trend in the US West for decades has been more fires and more destructive fires because of drought and heat, the ingredients that generate them.
The West is being scorched because the burning of fossil fuels and massive deforestation have increased temperatures and extreme weather events worldwide, leading to fires, floods, droughts, large hurricanes, massive tornadoes, and more destructive storms.
Trump’s climate policy has been worse than his pandemic policy. With the pandemic he has had to talk about it and give some support to states to fight it, though this policy has now turned into occasionally giving lip service to the need for action while lying about how deadly it is. With the climate, he has done all he can to give the coal, oil and gas industries various kinds of support, ridiculed the need for steps to be taken to shift to clean renewables, and done all he can to forestall the renewable energy revolution as long as possible.
The climate issue is different from every other issue, whether it be police racism, racial justice, women’s rights, poverty, hunger, militarism, the need for a living wage, health care, immigrant rights, heterosexism, the right to organize, or more. What’s the difference? It’s that we as a species all over the world are really up against it time-wise. We don’t have years to unfold a long-term strategy for change. We are already under the gun, way behind where we should be.
Climate disruption is an inexorable and multiplying process, one which will continue until we make a rapid shift away from fossil fuels and make other changes in how the human race interacts with the natural environment. Until that justice-based, renewables-grounded, pro-environment revolution, we can expect more and more “failed states,” wars caused by the failure of crops and/or water scarcity, massive refugee movements of desperate people, and more.
There is no question but that the climate issue is very much connected to many other issues, among them the issues of jobs, poverty, immigration, health care, racism, and war and peace. That is why the concept of and the organizing for a Green New Deal must be central not just to the climate movement but to the movement of movements which, alone, can make it happen once Trump is out of the White House.
Removing Trump is the prerequisite for everything else. Those who don’t get that on the Left should really ponder what will happen to the world’s disrupted ecosystems and the billions of people reliant on those ecosystems under a second Trump administration and beyond.
We must do all we can in the next two months to literally save the world.
Ted Glick is the author of the just published Burglar for Peace: Lessons Learned in the Catholic Left’s Resistance to the Vietnam War. Past writings and other information can be found at https://tedglick.com, and he can be followed on Twitter at https://twitter.com/jtglick.