By Clay Waters ~
Hitting a journalistic nadir, the New York Times ran a deeply silly environmental piece by Tatiana Schlossberg (aka Caroline Kennedy’s daughter), “Trump Has Choices to Make on Climate Policy – What Would You Do?” written in the condescending style of a choose-your-own-adventure story at a 6th grade reading level.
It began as an online interactive piece launched on February 2, but editors were sufficiently impressed to put it in print on February 8, obviously without the interactive component (bolds added). Some galling excerpts from the print version:
Just two weeks after taking office, President Trump is moving quickly on many fronts, including environmental policy.
He moved to ease construction of two disputed pipelines, and Congress acted to rescind two major Obama administration environmental rules. So what is the president’s next move? Let’s explore the options and find out what’s at stake in several complex decisions on domestic and international environmental policy.
Each choice corresponds to a little cloud, either white or gray, depending on the environmental impact of the decision. Keep in mind, the climate will keep changing no matter what policies the new administration adopts.
1. As a candidate, Mr. Trump opposed the Clean Power Plan, a proposed set of regulations under the Clean Air Act that would require power plants to drastically reduce their carbon dioxide emissions.
Do you think Mr. Trump should scrap the Clean Power Plan?
A: Keep it!
B: Get rid of it!
If You Chose A: The planet will like that: Enacting the plan would cut carbon dioxide emissions by more than 30 percent from 2005 levels when fully implemented.
If You Chose B: The planet won’t like that: Dropping the plan wouldn’t help lower emissions, the primary cause of climate change.
2. The plan is being argued before the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit by the Environmental Protection Agency and environmental groups on one side, and industry representatives and some state governments on the other. There is no timetable for a decision, so Mr. Trump will likely have to decide.
What should Mr. Trump tell the Justice Department to do?
A: Continue to defend the law.
B: Just drop it.
If You Chose A: Environmentalists are going to love that one.
If You Chose B: O.K., but there are other groups that are part of the case – environmental advocates and state attorneys general – who can defend it in court, so it may come up again for the president.
Skipping to Question 4:
4. Mr. Trump made some promises about oil pipelines, too. In 2015, President Obama rejected a request from TransCanada to build a pipeline that would have carried carbon-heavy oil from the Canadian oil sands to the Gulf Coast (also known as the Keystone XL pipeline).
Mr. Trump signed a memorandum on Jan. 24 that would “help fulfill the campaign promise of initiating the process for approving the Keystone XL Pipeline.”
The TransCanada C.E.O. just applied for a new permit to build the pipeline.
Should Mr. Trump approve the pipeline permit?
A: Approve the permit!
B: Deny the permit!
If You Chose A: There are some people who won’t be very happy about that: environmentalists here and abroad, Native Americans and maybe members of the renewable energy industry.
If You Chose B: There are some other who may not like that either; Justin Trudeau, prime minister of Canada, members of the oil industry and some Republicans. We’ll worry about them later.
On to Question 7:
Let’s move onto renewable energy. Mr. Trump has said he doesn’t like solar energy, and he’s not fond of wind either.
But Congress voted in 2015 to extend tax credits for renewables until 2020, and they have bipartisan support. Plus, renewable energy provides a lot of jobs in rural areas.
Should Mr. Trump support continued renewable energy initiatives?
A: Let the sunshine in! Keep subsidies for renewable energy.
B: Drop them.
If You Chose A: Shine on.
If You Chose B: Texas, Iowa and lots of other places might not be too happy about that!
At the end, readers got a cloud rating from 0-8, depending on how closely their answers hewed to support of the left-wing environmental agenda. The middle-school book report tone of white hats/black hats and unearned certitude shone through (bolds added):
5-6 You did a pretty bad job protecting the environment and may have made many of the worst effects of climate change more likely, but it still could have been worse. Most of the decisions you made are likely to warm the planet faster than if you had gone the more environmentally-friendly path. On the upside for Mr. Trump, Republicans in Congress and many of the people who voted for him will support most of your decisions. We guess it’s true what they say about dark clouds (something about silver linings?)
7+ You did a very bad job protecting the environment and may have made many of the worst effects of climate change more likely. It could hardly have been worse. On the upside for Mr. Trump, Republicans in Congress and many of the people who voted for him will support most of your decisions. We guess it’s true what they say about dark cloud (something about silver linings?).