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Donald Trump Is the First Demagogue of the Anthropocene, and other ramblings

For all you realists out there, here's an interesting article worth reading and pondering.
I look at the world from a 61 year old's amazed to still be here eyes, if I get another decade it'll be a bonus -
fact is my lean years, my hungry years, my years of dreaming and reaching for the future, those have come and gone.
Nowadays I realize that today is the best day of the rest of my life, so I better enjoy it for all I can squeeze out of it, and I'm okay with that.

Thus, I have the luxury of a certain distance younger folks simply don't have.  The world in thirty, forty, fifty years is tangible to them.

Thanks to the disinformation campaign most out there don't have a clue what's heading our way, they are buying homes with thirty year mortgages dreaming of their baby's college savings, when the next twenty years down the road will see increasing disruption and intensification of weather patterns.  Scorching heat and dry spells broken by torrential downpours, and who knows what all cascading consequences.  I myself find it inconceivable that the society of two, three decades into our future will resemble today's in anything but its roughest outlines.

Oh, but I digress this article is about the 'mindscape' of Trump fans.

Donald Trump Is the First Demagogue of the Anthropocene
He won’t be the last.

I write and report on climate change, not a pursuit that usually encourages optimism, but watching all this unfold with the atmosphere in mind has been particularly bleak. For the past few months in particular, I’ve been thinking: Wow, this is all happening way earlier than I thought it would.

Spend enough time with some of the worst-case climate scenarios, and you may start to assume, as I did, that a major demagogue would contest the presidency in the next century. I figured that the catastrophic consequences of planetary warming would all but ensure the necessary conditions for such a leader, and I imagined their support coming from a movement motivated by ethnonationalism, economic stagnation, and hatred of immigrants and refugees. I pictured, in other words, something not so far from Trump 2016.

I just assumed it wouldn’t pop up until 2040.

This kind of worry is speculative—very speculative—but it is not ungrounded. ...

This stuff is important because we need to understanding what's going with them.  I believe it's helpful to appreciate that the faith-based right-wing crowd is being brainwashed to blame other people for all their woes.  As their woes increase their fears, rage and need for scapegoats is also increased.  They don't have any time or interest in rational discussions.  Well at least not until the dust settles, if then.

What will that look like?  People will surely survive much longer than today's global social networks.  Younger folks who intend to live their full life spans will need to prepare on two fronts.  The social front of networking with like minded, dealing with or hiding from others.  The physical front of dealing with what Earth's transitioning climate tosses at us.  The latter will probably be easier to deal with than the former.

SouSusan Anderson


  • In the rich countries we do not have to fear the direct disruption of the weather in the next 20 years. For us the danger, as the article seems to argue, is that the economic damages will lead to incompetent and immoral demagogues like Trump.

    That is why the mitigation sceptical movement worries me much more when it comes to my own safety than climate change. The problems climate change will pose us the next decades are solvable. But climate change is also perfectly solvable and the mitigation sceptics do their best to use it to disrupt civilization. They will likely do the same when it comes to protecting vulnerable people from the consequences of climate change.

    On the positive side. It has to happen now. The fossil fuel companies will be powerless in 2040, an industry in decline that can no longer bribe politicians. If that would still be allowed, it will be the renewable energy companies that own the US congress in 2040. The viewers of Fox news, the readers of WUWT, the fans of Trump, Ball, Pielke, Booker, Dellingpole, Morano, will mostly be admiring the grass from the other side.
    SouSusan Anderson
  • It appears that we'll have to call The Donald "Mr President". I started a thread to apologize/apologise to the world, on behalf of the American people, for this travesty. This is a dark day for the climate & for human civilization/civilisation.

    The real winner here: Vladimir Putin. His interventions in our electoral process worked. Authoritarians seem to be doing well in many places around the world, including Poland, Greece, Turkey, the Philippines & now the US, not just in the usual places.
    SouSusan Anderson
  • I am just totally numb with disbelief. Don't know what to say.
    SouSusan Andersoncitizenschallenge
  • I have mixed feelings about these ideas. I don't think anyone can say that the "first world" will not be having trouble with climate in 20 years. I think that's about when things will be seriously breaking down. As a survivor of Sandy (I kept my parents alive for five days, would a week or two have been harder? damn right it would!), the first world has no clue what life without hot and cold clean running water and electricity is like. Social media? Requires power. Cell phones? Requires power. Commentariat? Requires power. Health care and its sue-conscious protocols are waste multipliers. Cut back on that? No hope.

    If there is one culprit in all of this, it's TV and its offshoots. Passive addictive entertainment. Screams as indicators of the ultimate achievement. Children who grow up with media babysitters, and whose parents are too insecure to leave them without cell phones. Hypermarketing of toxic cleaning products, and antibacterials that are increasing resistance to medicine. Hypermarketing of labor savers, job loss, and passive entertainment are a feeding spiral.

    Trump and his interviewers and late night entertainers all nursing their multimillion payouts on the same network (NBC: Trump, Dr. Oz, Fallon, Lauer). Objective? They all know how to please the paymaster and keep the advertising dollars coming.

    Social media, where everyone, no matter their political stripe, can isolate themselves and exclude others.

    (I appear to have failed to post this a few days back, sorry ...)
  • edited November 2016
    I think the third world or something like it could increasingly be a growing sub-strata within first world nations in a climate stressed world. Climate won't be the only forcing that will strain economies and societies but it will grow in significance, but the regional intermittency of it's impacts - which will tend to be more extreme variants of familiar problems like flood, drought, storms, infrastructure damage, and in the third world, food shortages and famine - will make it difficult to clearly attribute. It will still be wilfully mistaken for 'ordinary' natural weather disasters and the costs of long term mitigation criticised as extravagant in the face of more immediate needs. Economic fears - costs and competitiveness for business, flowing through to employment insecurity and all that flows from it through modern societies - are going to retain their immediacy and continue to trump longer running and less tangible environmental concerns.

    I'd like to believe that low emissions energy will simply outcompete fossil fuels and the messy politics will be less relevant but I'm not entirely convinced. I think this problem won't be resolved without strong, committed leadership, using all the planning and management skills that can be mustered. I do wonder if the parts of the world that don't have so much existing fossil fuel infrastructure will adopt renewables more readily than those that do - and have less problem with entrenched defenders of fossil fuels peddling the illusion that they are essential economic drivers of prosperity. But if first world nations have serious problems with good governance in the face of the climate conundrum, the third world is likely to continue to have worse and I suspect the needed clean energy  technology and the economic conditions that can support it will continue to be first world monopolies for the foreseeable future.
    Susan Anderson
  • edited December 2016

    Excuse the double post,  I found a better location to put this, but still couldn't bring myself to eliminate the links,   :)

    Scientists Race To Preserve Climate Change Data Before Trump Takes Office
    December 14, 20164:30 PM ET
    Heard on All Things Considered

    Environmentalists Brace For Scott Pruitt To Take Over EPA

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