It’s Earth Day, not Dooms­day

Mak­ing Amer­ica great again in­cludes mak­ing Amer­ica pros­per­ous again

The Washington Times Daily - - EDITORIAL -

Satur­day marks the an­nual cel­e­bra­tion of na­ture called Earth Day, now in its 47th year. It’s fur­ther the day set aside for a new event, the March for Sci­ence. Which to sup­port? Well, both. The en­vi­ron­men­tally con­scious in the na­tion’s cap­i­tal can kill two birds with one stone (speak­ing fig­u­ra­tively, of course) and do both. By show­ing up on the Na­tional Mall, they can re­fresh their love for hu­man­ity’s habi­tat and cheer as well for the sci­en­tific pro­grams that guard against abus­ing the globe. But show­ing up in a “Make Amer­ica Great Again” hat won’t be wise. Some­one bur­dened with an ex­cess of tol­er­ance might deck such a fool­ish cel­e­brant with a picket sign. Satur­day is not about mak­ing Amer­ica great, but mak­ing Amer­ica green.

There’s writ­ing on a wall some­where in the White House that some peo­ple there might be on board with the rad­i­cal en­vi­ron­men­tal­ist agenda. A closed meet­ing at the White House to dis­cuss Pres­i­dent Trump’s po­si­tion on the Paris cli­mat­e­change agree­ment was mys­te­ri­ously and abruptly can­celed this week. “Sched­ul­ing con­flicts” were cited, but there was prob­a­bly more to it than a cliche.

Mr. Trump cam­paigned for pres­i­dent say­ing, in a loud voice, that he would can­cel Barack Obama’s prom­ises to re­duce green­house gases, prom­ises to sat­isfy pur­vey­ors of pseudo-sci­ence who preach that such gasses cause global warm­ing. But that was then, and now there are whis­pers that some of the Trump chil­dren think Daddy should be more for­ward-look­ing. Sec­re­tary of State Rex Tiller­son is said to be a mem­ber of the “go along to get-along” school, too.

A soft­en­ing of hearts to­ward the Paris ac­cord would thrill Earth Day cel­e­brants. Since Earth Day was born in 1970, the an­nual event has evolved from an oc­ca­sion for stu­dents to cut classes on a spring day to protest the ef­fects of pol­lu­tion with world­wide tree plant­ing, to ed­u­cat­ing “a global cit­i­zenry flu­ent in the con­cepts of cli­mate change and aware of [the] un­prece­dented threat to our planet.”

The ac­com­pa­ny­ing “March for Sci­ence” is un­prece­dented, too, a gath­er­ing of a global clan of scientists and sci­ence en­thu­si­asts to ac­knowl­edge the vi­tal role sci­ence plays in our lives and the need to re­spect and en­cour­age re­search that gives us in­sight into the world.” This year’s fea­tured guest is Bill Nye, “the sci­ence guy,” who ad­vo­cates jail­ing skep­tics of the gospel of global warm­ing. In ac­cor­dance with his plans for a na­tional eco­nomic re­vival, Pres­i­dent Trump has be­gun rolling back the Clean Air Plan his pre­de­ces­sor im­ple­mented to force a na­tion­wide tran­si­tion from af­ford­able fos­sil-fuel en­ergy like oil and coal to ex­pen­sive and un­re­li­able schemes to har­ness wind and sun. The scheme of pre­vent­ing global tem­per­a­tures from ris­ing more than 2 de­gree Cel­sius above pre-in­dus­trial lev­els de­manded of the Paris sig­na­to­ries ob­li­gates the United States to ride the brakes on any eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity that emits ex­hausts, which in­cludes just about ev­ery­thing.

Scott Pruitt, the direc­tor of Mr. Trump’s En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency, is on board with pulling out of the Paris agree­ment. “What was wrong with Paris was not just that it was [not] treated as a treaty, but China and In­dia, the largest pro­duc­ers of CO2 in­ter­na­tion­ally, got away scot-free . . . . ”

Whether Mr. Trump for­mally with­draws the United States from the Paris agree­ment or not, his goal is an at­tempt to elim­i­nate the en­vi­ron­men­tal ex­trem­ism that was U.S. pol­icy dur­ing the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion. The rest of us can cel­e­brate that.

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