This letter is the sharing of a conversation I’ve had recently with another environmentalist active in climate-change efforts. This dedicated and knowledgeable activist suggested to me that President Donald Trump’s proposal to deregulate auto emissions was “probably” not feasible because industry would find it more costly to reverse preparations for stiffer emission controls than to go ahead with them. I suggested that since the retooling hasn’t taken place yet, the planned retool could be discarded for very little cost.
Regarding Trump’s call to unleash coal, I agreed with my cohort that such action was “probably” not likely in North America, but, a fight we fought about 20 years ago was over one of the continent’s largest coal deposits in Wyoming. The coal was strip-mined, then railed to Longview, Washington, where it was shipped down the Columbia River to China. The American Southwest is now covered in a haze of smog from coal burned in China and circulated into the prevailing winds across the Pacific.
Like Churchill, I embrace the Keynesian economic model. Human nature unregulated will run amok. Take the money and run. To heck with the environment. To heck with those living in the profiteer’s pollution. Profiteers want theirs now, to heck with the future.
Statistics indicate the majority of voters agree with environmentalism. The trick is persuade them to prioritize stewardship when they’re in the voting booth.