The Celebration of Ignorance

With news breaking today that Exxon Mobil has written a letter to President Trump urging him to stay in the Paris Climate agreement, it really highlights the absurdity of his plan to roll back the Clean Power Plan that President Obama initiated.

The article from The Financial Times can be found here.

Obviously Exxon Mobil has a vested interest in making money, so their rationale for keeping the US in the agreement is to boost domestic natural gas production to meet our electricity needs. Natural gas is a cleaner fuel source than coal, but not as clean as renewables. 

"Peter Trelenberg, Exxon’s manager for environmental policy and planning, writes in the letter: “It is prudent that the United States remain a party to the Paris agreement to ensure a level playing field, so that global energy markets remain as free and competitive as possible.” 

In an ideal world, the US would be investing heavily in renewable energy.  China is outpacing us in renewable energy growth, Germany has made significant strides to reduce fossil fuel consumption, and Costa Rica set a record for producing 100% of the countries electricity from renewable sources.

Other countries have stepped up and become the leaders in renewable energy, while Trump believes coal is the future. We have the capability to transform society towards a renewable future, but not the political willpower to do so. SAD!  

SAD! Clown Trump

SAD! Clown Trump

To understand how society could implement renewable energy across the globe, visit The Solutions Project to gain some insight.  Mark Jacobson and his team from Stanford have designed the blueprint for the US and other countries to obtain 100% of their energy needs from renewable sources.  

These really poor decisions by President Trump and his ardent supporters of the fossil fuel industry remind me of this quote from Carl Sagan about the Celebration of Ignorance.

I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time — when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness...

The dumbing down of American is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30 second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance
— Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark