FROM Michael Gerrard
Reality check: Climate change The promises of candidates during political campaigns are often made to be broken, but they do provide clues for voters who want to know what government might look like once the election is over. Hillary Clinton describes global warming as an "urgent threat." Donald Trump once called it "a hoax created by the Chinese." He's tried to back off a bit, but their differences are still profound, with dramatic consequences for energy policy and the environment. Clinton says she'll increase reductions in fossil fuel and build on the Obama legacy — which Trump promises to obliterate while he restores the coal industry. We hear the implications for the Paris climate accords — just approved by the European Union — and for national security.
A Lack of Global Consensus in the Fight against Global Warming In a 5-to-4 ruling this week, the US Supreme Court ruled against the EPA's regulation of toxic emissions from coal and oil-fired power plants. For the majority, Justice Antonin Scalia said the monetary cost to power-plant operators was not worth "a few dollars in health or environmental benefits." That could mean trouble for President Obama's clean air agenda . Meantime, a Dutch court says its government must increase cuts in emissions -- regardless of cost -- in the interest of health and safety. Conflicting court rulings dramatize conflicting approaches to the environment and global warming.
Why Don't Facts Matter? "Fake News" may have a long history, but social media and 21st Century politics have brought it front and center. One reason for its appeal and its power is the tendency of so many people to cling to their beliefs — even when confronted with contradictory evidence. Today, another look at the Emotional States of America.
Trump's ethical conflicts pile up as transparency diminishes President Trump's refusal to reveal his income tax returns is just one example of a lack of transparency that could be hiding conflicts of interest. Other conflicts are already obvious from his appointments. And he's being sued for using his job to increase his profits.
White House flip flops: NATO, Syria and China In less than 100 days, President Trump has contradicted himself on a host of foreign policy issues — Syria, NATO, China and Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Is it a strength — or a weakness — for the United States when the world of power politics never knows what to expect?