by Robert Hunziker
In November 2017 war-torn Syria became the last country, other than the U.S., to sign Paris ’15 the worldwide effort to curb global warming. In the eyes of the world, America must be as mad as a hatter.
Actually, the madness runs much deeper than failure to acknowledge Paris ‘15. Not only that, the Mad Hatter of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland fame has unique personality traits and keeps company same as Trump, terse personal remarks directed at adversaries whilst exchanging unanswerable riddles with his Tea Party friends.
The Trump Administration’s Tea Party brand of eagerness enhanced with unvarnished Libertarianism (destroy the Social Contract) proposes dramatically slashing funds for a Department of Energy program supporting research and development of clean energy technologies by 70%; Trump’s latest attempt to stall renewable energy sources like wind and solar to the benefit of fossil fuels. According to Fortune magazine and Bloomberg News, Trump’s solar tariffs are a big blow to renewables, as it raises costs for new domestic solar power installations. The Solar Energy Industries Association warned the tariffs delay and kills billions of dollars of solar investments.
Not only, Trump has launched a multi-pronged effort to stop growth of renewable energy while propping up dirty coal, knocking back rules that regulate the industry. In the final analysis, Trump’s dangerous gamesmanship with tariffs causes irreparable damage to the biosphere, which is/would’ve been preventable, if only he were not in the WH.
In stark contrast to Trump’s draconian efforts to kill renewable energy, Syria has a brighter approach. Six months ago, Syria opened its first solar-powered hospital. By adopting solar power and skirting use of fossil fuels, which are the lifeblood of Middle Eastern economies, Syria makes the United States look backwards and nonsensical, kinda like a Mad Hatter with cockamamie hard to decipher rhetoric.
Syria plans to open five more solar-powered hospitals with funding from foundations, government agencies, and philanthropists. It’s a life and death matter of survival for the war-torn country. Solar powers intensive care units, operating rooms, and emergency rooms for 24 hours on end without needing diesel generators. Thus, lives are saved in Syria as Trump whacks solar across the knees.
And meanwhile, the state of South Australia is currently in the process of launching the world’s largest “virtual power plant,” using Tesla batteries and solar for home power systems, ultimately 50,000.
At the same time, the Mad Hatter White House is wildly in love with coal. Trump refers to it as “beautiful coal” and “clean coal.” Assuming he lasts long enough after playing footsie with Russian thugs and cleansing dirty oligarch money for so many years, his legacy will go down in the history books as the King of Dying Enterprises. Coal no longer competes in the market, period. Capitalism has a nasty habit of destroying inefficiencies via bankruptcy! But then again, Trump has a laundry list of bankruptcies under his belt, which he considers as All-American as apple pie. But, BK is for big losers.
Meantime, within the dark shadows of the Trump Administration, the American Revolution, Part 2 is well underway. The first American Revolution (1775-83) was all about taxation without representation, and of course, the super rich at the time, people like George Washington, led comfy lives with large plantations and plenty of free labor (317), well, actually the labor had to be purchased for a price depending upon healthy teeth and poises in chains, etc.
The original American patriots, with plenty of French help, fought the British in order to establish democracy for the aristocracy. Back in the day (1789), only white landowning men could vote. Thereafter, 228 years later, American Revolution Part 2 is picking up where the Founding Fathers left off but with some modifications. Now that the Koch Brothers, et al directly and/or indirectly own and/or control politicians like Trump and Pence and Ryan and McConnell and numerous state & local officeholders and several in Congress and including some Supremes, politics is getting back to its roots of white male overlordship supremacy sans actual outright purchase and ownership of black people. Instead, nowadays they pay a wage that works out, on a relative basis, the same as maintaining slaves with room and board and so forth in the 18th century, maybe a tad more today.
Whereas American Revolution, Part 1 was all about taxation w/o representation, American Revolution, Part 2 is all about taxation with representation but the proper representation tipping scales in favor of the same brand of white male overlordship as yesteryear, for example a 15% “carried interest” tax rate, exclusively for rich people like Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital, making money investing other rich people’s money.
Again, American Revolution, Part 2 is remarkably similar to American Revolution, Part 1, meaning, “maintain the status quo at all costs,” which today is code for keeping fossil fuels and destroying renewables with a rationale and intensity similar to America’s Civil War era battles over slavery.
Jefferson (175 personal servants, 600 slaves), Madison (100 slaves), and Washington (317 slaves) set the example of maintaining the status quo. Basically, with the American Revolution in hand they kept in place the old colonial system w/o the British treasury dipping into their pockets any longer. They created a “democracy for aristocrats.” Aside from some airbrushing here and there on the socio-politico-economic spectrum, not much has changed, other than larger ownership by smaller numbers.