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STOP SMOKING DIESEL TRUCKS

An example of and model for an enforcement operation against polluting diesel trucks

ClientEarth has aggressively fought to force the UK government to comply with its legal obligations under EU air laws.  Those breaches of EU law are putting the people of London and many other UK cities at risk from the toxic pollutants discharged in the emissions of diesel vehicles, as well as from other sources.  A recent study reveals that nearly 40 million people living in UK towns and villages are being exposed to unlawful levels of toxic air pollution from diesel vehicles.

Besides the kind of litigation being brought by ClientEarth against the recalcitrant UK government, we need to figure out what other enforcement measures can be brought to bear against this risk.  Here is an example, perhaps a model, for aggressive enforcement action against polluting diesel trucks that can lessen the loadings of diesel exhausts threatening people in cities.  While the example is from New York, some of the elements of the enforcement can be adapted to cities across the EU and beyond.

The Stop Smoking Trucks Initiative

Outdoor air pollution, from local sources as well as from distant, regional sources, causes or aggravates a host of health effects including heart and respiratory conditions, especially asthma.  One of the major sources of air pollution, and a significant contributor to health risks in urban areas, is the emission from diesel trucks.

Asthma is widely recognized as one of America’s fastest growing chronic diseases, affecting more than 20 million people.  Exposure to particulate matter and ozone in outdoor air can trigger or contribute to asthma attacks, as can exposure to organophosphate pesticides and other pollutants in indoor air. Note 1.  In New York City, asthma, as measured by hospitalization rates, presents serious risks especially to children under the age of 14 in low-income areas.  Hardest hit are areas of northern Manhattan and southern Bronx, where in some neighborhoods hospitalization rates for asthma reach 167 per 10,000 people, over five times the national average of 31 per 10,000.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) developed an enforcement plan to address the environmental risks associated with smoking diesel trucks throughout the city, especially in low-income communities that have been disproportionately impacted by pollution.  Note 2.

Studies conducted by the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council (NYMTC) of travel to and from the Manhattan Central Business District (CBD) indicated that there are approximately 10,000 truck trips through the East Harlem community each work day.

Under New York State law — Smoke Opacity Standards For Heavy Duty Diesel-Fueled Vehicles (HDDV) — it is illegal for diesel trucks of certain sizes to emit black smoke above certain levels. Note 3. Smoke opacity instruments measure optical properties of diesel smoke, providing an indirect way of measuring of diesel particulate emissions.  The smoke meters are easy to use in the field.  If the truck emits levels higher than permitted, a ticket is issued with fines.  Note 4.

To reduce the pollution from diesel trucks in low-income communities, DEC created a pilot project for an initiative in East Harlem in New York City.  DEC has its own police department that enforces environmental laws and one of the duties of the officers was to look for smoking diesel trucks, pull them over, test for violations of the opacity rules and issue tickets, when appropriate.  Thus, DEC officers already had responsibility for pulling over trucks, they had the training to spot and test for smoking trucks, and they had the equipment and training for testing.

The initiative involved converting the pullover operations from random acts of enforcement to scheduled and concentrated pullovers.  About 12 DEC police cars were assigned pullover operations on the four streets in East Harlem that carry truck traffic, and where the asthma rates were elevated.  They deployed each morning for several hours for several days a week for a month at locations which were identified as heavy in truck traffic and had sufficient space to pull trucks over, inspect and ticket.

The pullover was operated for several hours each day over several days, at different times of the day because soon after these pullovers are initiated, truck drivers communicate with each other and issue warnings about the police action.

In this initiative, DEC invited New York Mayor Bloomberg’s Office on Long-Term Sustainability (and the City’s Department of Environmental Protection-DEP) to collaborate by patrolling the same areas where a pullover operation was implemented and issue tickets to any trucks violating the City’s truck idling law.  At the same time the DEC officers issued tickets to idling trucks under the state law.  Idling trucks are another significant source of air pollution in these asthma-high neighborhoods. Note 5.

DEC also invited several environmental groups, WE ACT for Environmental Justice and the Go Green East Harlem Initiative, as well as the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) to help design and assess the project and provide connections to the local communities.

DEC officers pulled over every 3rd or 4th truck for inspection, as well as any trucks that were obviously emitting black, polluting smoke.  The attempt was to gather sufficient data from a random field test to estimate the percentage of trucks that were in violation of the law.

In this pilot project, DEC law-enforcement officers pulled over and inspected 361 diesel trucks and issued 163 tickets for various violations of state air and safety regulations. The officers also issued 10 tickets for excessive idling. New York City DEP issued 33 tickets for idling trucks.

Based on that operation, DEC estimated that close to 20 percent of the trucks traveling the area are out of compliance with state air regulations. With transportation studies showing there are approximately 10,000 trucks travelling daily through this corridor, that means that there could be nearly 2,000 trucks emitting illegal levels of pollutants every workday in East Harlem.

Following the pilot project, DEC implemented the Stop Smoking Trucks pullover operation in environmental justice communities in every borough of New York City as well as every one of the DEC nine regions state-wide.

Conculsion

The question now is whether any such enforcement action like the Stop Smoking Trucks initiative could be replicated in European cities.  The simple answer is: You’ll never know until you try.

What made the project quite successful was that:

there was an existing statutory prohibition against emitting black smoke above certain levels for diesel trucks of a certain size;

the DEC officers were already trained in pullover operations and use of smoke meters;

issuing tickets for violation of smoke rules was already part of the officers normal activities, and the initiative merely concentrated that activity in one spot at one time;

there was no need for new staff or equipment;

the biggest burden was for the DEC police managers to schedule the staff and equipment for each pullover operation.

Most EU Member States, or regional or local governments, have car stops to check for drivers’ license, insurance, car taxes, or drinking.  So a precedent already exists for pulling over vehicles and conceptually all that is needed is another layer of the inspection for health and environment considerations.

There may be existing rules and laws setting standards for levels of pollution from diesel trucks.  If there are not, isn’t it time for some.  All that is needed is a simple law prohibiting diesel trucks from emitting levels of black smoke, and then enforcement through some training and simple equipment.

A recent study has shown that in London a significant source of air pollution is from construction sites, and in particular the diesel diggers, generators and other machines operating at such sites.  While waiting for green technology to replace some of the polluting equipment, London’s mayor is planning on introducing a fine, like the congestion charge, to be paid by firms using polluting machines.

Should such a fine be enacted, it does not take a lot of imagination to envision an enforcement program that uses existing building inspectors to monitor and enforce such a rule as part of their day-to-day responsibilities.

Similar possibilities exist for taking action against polluting diesel trucks on the streets of the European cities.

 

Notes

Note 1. A Study of Ambient Air Contaminants and Asthma in New York City (NYS DOH  for NYSERDA and ATSDR, May 2006) found a positive correlation between certain contaminants (PM2.5, SO2, O3 and NO2) and acute asthma visits to emergency rooms in the Bronx.

Note 2. The initiative took place in 2007-09 and all rules and regulations apply to that period

Note 3.  Roadside emissions inspections and heavy duty diesel emission (opacity) standards are provided for in 6 New York Codes, Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Subpart 217, at §§217-5.2(c) and 217-5.3  https://govt.westlaw.com/nycrr/Browse/Home/NewYork/NewYorkCodesRulesandRegulations?guid=Ib4ec9020b5a011dda0a4e17826ebc834&originationContext=documenttoc&transitionType=Default&contextData=(sc.Default)

Note 4.  Enforcement and penalties. https://govt.westlaw.com/nycrr/Document/I4e8f9f14cd1711dda432a117e6e0f345?viewType=FullText&originationContext=documenttoc&transitionType=CategoryPageItem&contextData=(sc.Default)

Note 5. New York City and New York State have restrictions on the length of time that a vehicle engine may lawfully idle.  Under the New York City Air Code, applicable throughout New York City, motor vehicle engines may lawfully idle for no more than 3 minutes.  N.Y.C. Admin. Code § 24-163.  The New York State Air Code, applicable throughout the State (including New York City), limits the lawful idling of heavy duty vehicle engines to 5 minutes.  6 N.Y.C.R.R. § 217-3.2.      https://govt.westlaw.com/nycrr/Browse/Home/NewYork/NewYorkCodesRulesandRegulations?guid=Ib572b010b5a011dda0a4e17826ebc834&originationContext=documenttoc&transitionType=Default&contextData=(sc.Default)

 

Sources

“Nearly 40 million people live in UK areas with illegal air pollution,” The Guardian (22 Apr 2017).  https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/apr/22/nearly-40-million-people-live-in-uk-areas-with-illegal-air-pollution

Mel Evans, “10 Things You Need to Know about SMMT’s 10 ‘Facts’ about Diesel,” Greenpeace UK (19 April 2017). http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/blog/climate/10-things-you-need-know-about-smmts-10-facts-about-diesel

“German court orders diesel ban as UK court case looms,” Client Earth (18 Sept 2016).  http://linkis.com/www.clientearth.org/zU8Eq

Joey Gardiner, “How to stop the construction industry choking our cities,” The Guardian (20 April 2017). https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2017/apr/20/air-pollution-construction-industry-cities-diesel-emissions-london

 

It’s Time to Scare the Bejesus Out of People about Climate Change

Part 2 – More Bejesus Needed, But for Whom?

 

Over the past few years we have explored the challenge of talking about climate change in ways that might influence or move readers to accept the reality of or believe more deeply in the risks from climate change, and even to take some action to fight these risks.  Often we are working off a post by David Roberts of Vox and now we have a recent post from Roberts that has triggered some follow up thoughts to previous posts of our own.

Roberts looks at “alternative framings” on getting people’s attention on climate change in contrast to the most frequent frame which is: climate change is dangerous and we should do what we can to avoid it. Recent research from Switzerland examined some “alternative framings”, including: global warming as an economic opportunity, a way to spur technological innovation, a national security threat, a way of reducing local pollutants, a religious or moral imperative.  The result of the study was that alternative ways of speaking about climate change did not increase support for greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation.

Like most of us, Roberts is a bit frustrated that, seemingly, no matter what “framing” we use, it does not affect people.  It seems that we all are trapped in existing frames reinforced by trusted sources and repetition, and breaking through these spaces is not easy.   The old adage seems to prevail:  know your audience and speak to them in ways they are familiar with.

Another dimension is suggested by recent politicking.  We hear much about energizing the base.  That is, politicians, and Trump is a prime example, can and do say the most frightful (with Trump also the most outrageous) things to motivate their already committed supporters to stay committed, to give money and, above all else, to get out and vote.  Other spokespersons are delegated the task of speaking to undecided or independent voters to persuade them of the legitimacy of the party’s positions. 

 

 

 

Isaac Cordal, Politicians talking about climate change

 

 

 

Perhaps we have a parallel universe with regard to climate change.  There are the people who fully understand the reality and risks of climate change and are committed to doing something about it.  They are responsive to the most frightful things we can say about the impacts from climate change, because they “know” them likely to be true, and getting reinforced can keep them engaged, active and contributing. We can scare the bejesus out of them, to good effect.   See, It’s Time to Scare the Bejesus Out of People about Climate Change (1 April 2014).  We should not forget this “base” of support for climate change, as the Democrats forgot much of their base in the 2016 election.

For the others — the undecided, the skeptics and deniers —we need to continue to rely on hard evidence, clear thinking and exposition.  We need to continue to expose the nefarious doings of the fossil fuel industry undermining our efforts, end subsidies for fossil fuels, promote the environmental and economic benefits of renewable energies, and remind people that the extreme weather events they are experiencing are unlike what they have witnessed in their lives and are due, in large part, to climate change. 

We should not forget that these messages have developed only over the past several decades.  When people first began to address climate change in the 1980s, the risks were largely theoretical, and therefore unpersuasive, and large-scale reliance on sun and wind was a dream.  Just several decades later these are both actualities.

And remember the struggle to overcome the tobacco industry in its denial of the health risks from smoking and, importantly, second-hand smoking.  This struggle has taken 40-50 years and is not yet over because of continuing well-funded industry opposition.

Finally, don’t forget to reach out to the next generations on climate change, as they grow up.  It’s their fight as much as anyone’s.

When all else fails, we will have to rely on fire and brimstones, or a series of catastrophes, to persuade the uncommitted.

 

 

Sources

David Roberts, “Is it worth trying to “reframe” climate change? Probably not.” Vox (27 Feb 2017).
http://www.vox.com/2016/3/15/11232024/reframe-climate-change

“It’s Time to Scare the Bejesus Out of People about Climate Change,” in ieBLOG section of irish environment (1 April 2014).

“Talk, Talk, Talk About Climate Change – It’s Driving Some Well-Intentioned People (like Jonathan Franzen) Crazy,” in ieBLOG section of irish environment (1 May 2015).

“It’s time to label sacks of coal like we do packs of cigarettes: SMOKING KILLS” in ieBLOG section of irish environment (1 July 2014).

 

Everybody Seems to Be Moving to Cities. Why?

Looking for jobs and excitement, escaping war zones, and, soon, getting away from climate change impacts

 

In 1950 the world’s population was about 2.5 billion, with 746 million living in urban areas (about 30%); by 2014 the world population stood at 7.2 billion, with 3.9 billion (or 54%) in urban areas.  By 2050, the world’s population will more than double to about 9.7 billion, with over 6 billion or close to 70% of the population living in urban areas globally.  Much of that growth over the past several decades, and continuing into 2050, and beyond, is in Asia and Africa. 

The growth in size and density of cities often comes from people moving from small towns, villages or the countryside in search of jobs or economic opportunities, and perhaps some of the intensity offered by city life.  These are typically people from the same country, with similar languages and culture.  People from the Irish countryside moving to Dublin, and people from across India moving to Mumbai are examples.

Of course the economic opportunities of the cities are relative to what the migrating people left behind: the poorer the farm or service jobs back home, the more attractive the cities become.  But the life encountered in the big cities can be harsh, with very low paying, menial jobs.  And living accommodations in the cities can range from very crowded living spaces to squalid slums. Density often varies according to income, and those with higher education seeking professional jobs fare better.

More recently there has been the influx to large cities in troubled countries of immigrants trying to escape horrible, raging war zones across the countryside.  Or the at-risk populations flee to big cities in other countries seeking a safe haven and a chance to survive. They are often people from social-cultural-religious backgrounds that are very different from those in the “host” country.  The on-going, intense conflict within European Union countries over immigration from the Middle East and Africa exemplifies this development.

Soon there will be yet another category of people moving to big cities across the globe.  These will be the environmental refugees who will be trying to escape the disastrous impacts from climate change, including massive and frequent flooding, killing heat waves, drought, and other extreme weather events, as well as shortages of food resulting from the effects of climate change.

In some cases, the people at risk will be from small low-lying island communities and countries and, presumably, they will try to relocate in nearby countries.

In some countries citizens will suffer from extreme droughts in the countryside and head for large cities.  In Brazil in 1915, and again in 1932-33, the government forced mass internment of peasants trying to reach a capital city, Fortaleza, because drought had destroyed their farms.  The peasants were locked into camps with little food and unhealthy living conditions.  Many died.

In other cases, however, mega-cities themselves will be threatened with survival, especially those along water bodies. To the extent those cities do not have the economic resources and/or political will to prepare for or defend against the climate changes, then part or all of the multi-million populations of those cities will have to migrate to safer lands, away from the risks from climate change.  Some may seek shelter inland of their country, but how would they survive there.  What jobs would there be?  What economy would even exist?  What food would be available?

Eco Watch

Those who could not escape inland, or were prevented by authorities, would migrate elsewhere, somewhere not subject to the risks from climate change.  Certainly large cities in the same country or in other countries would be attractive because of the economic and other resources available in cities.

There are large, pressing questions about which cities will be at greatest risk from climate change, how many people from these at-risk places will have to move from what threats, and where else they will be able or allowed to go.  Then the issues facing the current crisis with immigrants from Middle East and Africa war zones trying to flee to culturally, nationally and religiously distinct areas will be replayed on a global scale.

National and international plans to adapt to climate change need to consider these pressing problems.

 

Sources:

“Urban Density” in iePEDIA section of irish environment magazine (March 2017).

World’s population increasingly urban with more than half living in urban areas, United Nations, Development (10 July 2014).  http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/news/population/world-urbanization-prospects-2014.html

Demographia: World Urban Areas – 12th Annual Edition (April 2016).  http://www.demographia.com/db-worldua.pdf    The report applies a generally consistent definition to “built-up urban areas”.

City Mayors Statistics, The largest cities in the world by land area, population and density: Ranked by population density: 1 to 125 (6 Jan 2007).
http://www.citymayors.com/statistics/largest-cities-density-125.html

“Brazil’s forgotten history of imprisoning citizens fleeing drought in concentration camps: extreme droughts in the South American country in the early 20th century saw the government interning rural peasants fleeing the disaster,” thejournal.ie (Feb. 2017).   http://www.thejournal.ie/brazil-drought-concentration-camps-3254236-Feb2017/?utm_source=twitter_self

 

Editor’s Update (13 March 2017):

Florence Williams, “Warning: living in a city could seriously damage your health,” The Guardian (13 March 2017).  https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/mar/13/warning-living-city-seriously-damage-health

 

 

Agriculture has been hiding in the grasses to avoid dealing with climate change

Pressure is mounting for action, finally

 

We have written recently about how the conversation about agriculture’s responsibility for the growth of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in Ireland has changed. That shift in the conversation is now increasingly happening across the globe following the Paris climate agreement.

Agriculture has been given a free pass by the Irish government to avoid reducing GHGs, particularly methane, at the same time that the government is expanding the sector and is behind in its obligations under EU law to reduce GHGs. Various rationales have been advanced by the industry-government to justify this privileged position, as embodied in their joint policy called Harvest 2020 and Food Wise 2025. A leading rationale was that Irish food products were necessary to save the poor and starving populations around the world. Of course this has been roundly debunked. As we noted:

The food being produced, and promoted, by the Irish agri-food-government complex is upscale beef and cheese and milk that is exported primarily to the UK and EU and other international markets. Irish food products are not going to feed the growing masses in developing countries who are underfed or even starving, but rather are going to contribute to more obesity for the world’s well-off. So the populations in the developing countries, where growth will happen, do not need Ireland’s food products, and cannot afford them. See Report on Climate Smart Agriculture in irish environment magazine (below in Sources).

The report itself, Climate Smart Agriculture, acknowledged that, “At its heart, however, [Food Wise 2025] is a plan to increase food output in the period to 2030, which would result in an increase in absolute gross levels of greenhouse gas emissions.” At 38. This report was issued by the Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA) and the Royal Dublin Society (RDS) (July 2016).

Around the same time, a group of environmental Non Government Organisations (eNGOs) issued a response to the IIEA/RDS report reinforcing the fallacy of the rationale. See Report on Climate Smart Agriculture.

In addition to the “we-need-to-feed-the-poor-and-starving” rationale, the industry-government has argued that the agriculture sector in Ireland can move toward a “carbon neutrality” through carbon sequestration by grassland soils and forestry, arguably reducing its GHGs. Again the IIEA/RDS and eNGO reports demonstrate that such options are far fetched. “Carbon neutrality” is not even well defined.  The alleged efficiency measures to get there, wherever “there” is, are merely theories or lab experiments with little proven implementation, or any interest by farmers to adopt such measures.  And expansion of forestry is wishful thinking as Ireland has one of the lowest levels of forest cover in the EU, at 11%, and the goals of increasing forest cover would require planting 16,000 hectares per year yet the government’s target remains at 7,300 hectares per year. Moreover, the discussion always talks about carbon, ignoring entirely methane, the GHG with the highest emission levels from agriculture.

Finally, recent research reports from Teagasc, the Irish government’s Agriculture and Food Development Authority, acknowledge that the government’s agriculture targets and policies are not compatible with climate change obligations. In one report, it analysed the possibilities of mitigation from managing soil functions, including carbon sequestration. It accepted that such efforts were unlikely to offset the emissions from an expanded agriculture sector. Clearly something has to give: either an uncontrolled expansion of agriculture or Ireland’s legal obligations to reduce GHGs.

This new-found realism about agriculture’s responsibilities for climate change in Ireland is reflected and reinforced by global efforts to deal with the obligations embodied in the Paris climate agreement of December 2016. As an article by Georgina Gustin in inside climate news demonstrates: “After years of being off the table in climate talks, agriculture is now being considered widely by countries trying to reach their Paris emissions cuts pledges.”

The commitments at Paris, while voluntary, have been taken seriously by most, not including President T-Rex in America.

Over 80% of countries indicated they would use agricultural practices to curb GHGs, as well as related practices in forestry and land use. Confirming this focus, at the Marrakech meetings to start the process of implementing the Paris agreement, there were at least 80 agriculture-focused sessions. One environmentalist argued that as agriculture accounts for 13% of GHGs it is surprising that it has taken so long for the focus to land there. Since in Ireland agriculture accounts for about 33% of GHG emissions, the delay is all the more surprising.

Gustin points out that in the first global climate summit, in 1992, agriculture hardly mattered. Over the past decade research on agriculture has intensified, but even here the emphasis was on the effects of deforestation and land use rather than specifically on agriculture. While efforts have created mitigation strategies and measures for forestry, the same cannot be said about agriculture.

Agriculture has always been a sensitive area as it implicates food supplies and rural life in most countries. At the same time, the farming community is recognizing that they are being adversely impacted by climate change with flooding, drought, lower pollination, and invasive species, and that mitigation, from whatever sector, serves their interests.

The focus on agriculture’s responsibilities globally will only further expose the privileged position that agriculture has enjoyed in Ireland. That privilege may be short-lived.

While much needs to be done to figure out exactly how farming practices can be modified to help reduce GHGs, and preserve farming as a viable livelihood, certainly in Ireland it is about time that the government convened a public consultation on the matter. If the expansion of the agriculture sector is going to continue, then the sector has to contribute its fair share of efforts to significantly reduce GHGs, or the government needs to identify who else is going to make sacrifices. The IT industry? All drivers? Or all taxpayers because the government chooses to pay massive fines for failing to meet its GHG-reduction obligations?

 

Sources:

Georgina Custin, “2017: Agriculture Begins to Tackle Its Role in Climate Change” inside climate news (4 Jan 2017).  https://insideclimatenews.org/news/03012017/agriculture-climate-change-paris-agreement-global-warming-drought

“Climate Smart Agriculture: If Only. Reports from IIEA/RDS, and from Environmental Pillar/Stop Climate Chaos,” in Reports section of irish environment magazine (September 2016).

Kristine Valujeva, Lilian O’Sullivan, Carsten Gutzler, Reamonn Fealy, Rogier P.O. Schulte, “The challenge of managing soil functions at multiple scales: An optimisation study of the synergistic and antagonistic trade-offs between soil functions in Ireland,” Land Use Policy (15 Dec 2016).  http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0264837716300205

Interview with Dr. Cara Augustenborg in Podcast section of irish environment magazine (February 2017).

“Carbon Neutral” in iePEDIA section of irish environment magazine (January 2017).  http://www.irishenvironment.com/iepedia/carbon-neutral/

 

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR? Not Much of A Chance for That in 2017

Thanks to T-Rex and RasPUTIN

 

At the end of a year, journalists and others are inclined to write optimistically about the hope for the next New Year. Who wants to be depressing at the start of something new?

Unfortunately, we are living in a new dimension ruled by the US President-elect, T-Rex (see previous ieBLOG), and his close companion, RasPUTIN, the President or Czar of Russia. Here are two wild and crazy guys who seem to have bonded, even though they actually have not met in person. They enjoy bullying and boasting, and enjoy hanging around with the well-to-do, the one percenters. One has short hair, the other more than enough for both, though orange.

Like the fuel sources they champion — oil and gas — they are fossilized, living in dark regions polluting the earth with their political emissions, including tweets.

With T-Rex and RasPUTIN dominating two of the most powerful nations, the reality is that 2017 very likely will be disruptive, unsettling, depressing and dangerous. Just for one example, it is certainly possible, if not likely, that they will collude to put part of the Arctic at great risk from drilling and producing oil and gas, assisted by another Rex, Tillerson, as the new Secretary of State. The fossil fuel companies and their stakeholders will reap the benefits.

Tillerson, the CEO of ExxonMobil, received the Order of Friendship from RasPUTIN and presumably T-Rex might also receive such an honor from his pal. T-Rex does love attention and shiny objects.

 russian-order-of-friendship

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While all this may spell disaster, there is some good news in the wind. Whatever inane, confused, or patently false statement T-Rex offers, he most likely will contradict it within days. Words on one day have no relation to words on the next or any other day; meaning evaporates. Those in the international community, and even his Republican colleagues, likely will soon learn this lesson, if they haven’t already. This will of course cause some consternation among his Cabinet since they won’t be able to figure our what his policy or position is.

The best advice for when T-Rex ascends the throne in several weeks is to ignore whatever he says.

But under no circumstances ignore what he actually does. His policies, as opposed to his words, do have consequences. We need to nail down his policies and attack those that threaten our environment, and other social and economic benefits. Don’t let him avoid the meaning and impacts of his policies.

Lastly there is no use getting angry at T-Rex. But do get even by making fun of him. As the comedian Seth Meyers and President Obama did at the White House Correspondents dinner in 2011 over a possible presidential run by T-Rex. Or as Alec Baldwin does in his imitation of T-Rex on Saturday Night Live. T-Rex was not amused by Meyers or Baldwin and he showed it. Some have suggested he was humiliated by the Meyers roast. But then Trump humiliated himself when he failed to carry off any humor at the 2016 Al Smith dinner in New York, and was even booed by the audience of the New York elite.

T-Rex has very thin skin and retaliates whenever he feels slighted. So if we’re lucky RasPUTIN will offer T-Rex some slight that nobody else will perceive, and T-Rex will pout and then Tweet and then turn elsewhere to get some attention. Perhaps Nigel Farage can re-establish that “special relation” between the US and UK and T-Rex can be knighted. Or T-Rex can get a role on Games of Thrones, returning to his strength and origin in pure fantasy TV.

snl-tillersonputintrump 

 

 

 John Goodman as Rex Tillerson, Beck Bennett as Putin, and Alex Baldwin as T-Rex, examining drilling sites in the Arctic.

 

 

Sources:

Seth Meyers Destroys Donald Trump @ White House Correspondents Dinner 5/1/2011 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Km4R377s4M

Grahma Vyse, “Donald Trump’s Ultimate Humiliation,” The New Republic (21 Oct 2016).  https://newrepublic.com/article/138025/donald-trumps-ultimate-humiliation

Best & Funniest Moments Alec Baldwin as Trump on ‘SNL’ Cold Open  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5sY5u4OnH6Y

Joe Romm, “Trump, Putin, and ExxonMobil team up to destroy the planet,” ThinkProgress (11 Dec 2016).  https://thinkprogress.org/trump-putin-and-exxonmobil-team-up-to-destroy-the-planet-fb88650acfa1#.qt338v8b6

 

 

 

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STOP SMOKING DIESEL TRUCKS

An example of and model for an enforcement operation against polluting diesel trucks

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