We’ll always have Paris

It’s basically gotten to the point where we are living in a cartoon world where the Trump administration is playing the role of the archetypal bad guys.

Like, if you were to write a kids’ movie or a dystopian novel, and you envisioned an adversarial government as the story’s antagonist, but exaggerated it so much that the reader or viewer would find it implausible that such evil would exist in real life– that’s what we are dealing with.

Our president is boorish and immature. The chief strategist whispering in his ear is a present day Joseph Goebbels. Our Attorney general embodies the appearance of a generic southern racist.

They’ve scaled back on civil rights, LGBT protections, healthcare protections, and now, they are doing all they can to repeal environmental protections.

The latest being Thursday’s announcement to rescind our involvement in the Paris climate accords – a pact signed by 195 countries to limit carbon emissions with the hope of saving the planet, an agreement that was spearheaded by Barack Obama two years ago.

I feel like I say this every week, but … how is this real?!

Trump climate

The one silver lining I tell myself is that just because Trump states something aloud or signs an executive order doesn’t mean things change with the drop of a hat. There’s still checks and balances that limits his abilities and other mechanisms that act as a bulwark against his tyranny.

In this instance, the climate accords state that there is about a 4-year removal process, meaning that full removal from the agreement may be determined by who elect in the 2020 presidential election.

Hate is building for Donald Trump. It’s been happening since day one. But it’s only a matter of time until there is an unprecedented, large-scale rally in Washington, D.C. calling for his ouster.

And if that occurs, I don’t think I’d be able to live the rest of my life with dignity if I don’t go.

Not only is Trump enraging so many with his mind-boggling decisions, but he’s also corrupting our intelligence by making up words.

Either you know about “covfefe” or you don’t. In short, Trump tweeted a made-up word, didn’t delete it for five hours, and the world scratched their heads until then trying to figure out what he meant.

When the media asked Press Secretary Sean Spicer what the president meant — fully expecting him to say it was a typo — Spicer answered seriously, “The president and a small group of people know what he meant.”

I’d say the inmates are running the asylum, but I think we’re well past that.

All I know is that if things don’t change quickly, I think we’ll all be drinking at Tiger Woods levels really soon.

Tomorrow is Friday. after all. The perfect time to start.

Happy covfefe everyone.

Come visit the Montana Glacier National Park. All we’re missing is the glaciers.

I think I’m going to start a new segment: “Obscure State Thursday.” Last month, I discussed Arkansas’s fervent desire to execute people as fast as they possibly could. They ended up killing four of the eight death row inmates they originally had planned.

After that, I officially put other states on notice. I’m looking at all of you. Just give me any reason and I will single you out. Even U.S. overseas territories are not exempt (Puerto Rico represent!).

This time, it’s Montana.

Although, it’s not for anything that they did wrong.

But it’s absolutely worth noting a harrowing development that’s occurred in the state’s Glacier National Park – its glaciers are disappearing.

Imagine walking into a zoo and seeing only empty fields covered in rhino poop. Or strolling into the Metropolitan Museum of Art and just seeing a homeless dude in the middle of the floor holding a cardboard sign asking for money.

As much as this administration chooses to ignore it, global warming is happening everywhere. But its impact is being more quickly evidenced in western Montana, where, according to state officials, temperatures have increased at double the global average.

Glacier Park2

Just over 100 years ago, the park had about 150 glaciers, which are defined as ice masses larger than 25 acres. Today, only 26 of them meet that benchmark.

But hey, when a Republican congressman brings a snowball onto the Senate floor, then it’s categorical proof that global warming isn’t really happening.

The park estimates that they will have no more active glaciers by 2030.

So if it’s a dream of yours to one day see a glacier in person, I’d recommend making arrangements sooner than later. Also polar bears.

You’d think that fighting climate change might be a priority for Ryan Zinke, the Trump-appointed Secretary of the Interior, who previously served as a U.S. representative from Montana. But, as we’ve learned, make one move that differs from this regime’s agenda and you’re out. Talk about using the bully pulpit against your own cabinet!

But it’s not all doom and gloom for the environment recently. On Thursday, the Senate shockingly — and pleasantly — rejected a resolution that would have scaled back an Obama-era regulation to control the release of methane from oil and gas wells.

Two Republicans, Lindsay Graham of South Carolina and Susan Collins of Maine, were expected to defect from their party to oppose the bill, but one more brave GOP dissident was required to obtain a “No” majority. Reportedly, Trump even sent Mike Pence to the Senate floor in expectation that he’d be needed to break a tie.

But in stepped John McCain.

The grizzled Navy veteran, former Vietnam prisoner of war and once presidential candidate emphatically pointed his thumb to the ground, voiced his dissent, and stormed off the floor.

A national hero.

Of course, Trump will probably hold up a binder in a few days demanding that the regulations be repealed anyway.

But hey, until then, environmentalists will take any win they can get.

Someone needs to get Trump to participate in another animated movie family screening, this time of the film Moana, a kids’ movie that basically was about the effects of climate change on our island nations.

Maybe then, we’ll know, how far Trump will go.

Moana joke!

Have a good weekend everybody.

Great Barrier Reef, we hardly knew ye

Before we begin, I must rise and give a standing ovation to all my Dutch friends.

You did it. You rejected populism! The Dutch did something that the British and Americans could not do.

In case you haven’t been following the Weinblog™, this burst of joy is in reference to Geert Widlers, the extremely radical, far-right “Dutch Trump” whose party fell significantly short of winning the most seats in the Netherlands parliamentary elections on Wednesday.

The country’s Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, whose party did win the most votes, said in his victory speech that the craziness in the U.S. under Donald Trump made people rethink choosing a populist leader.

It’s great we get to be the guinea pig so other countries don’t screw up like we did.

But anyway, let’s shift gears to something a little more demoralizing that’s happening on the other side of the globe: the deterioration of the Great Barrier Reef.

It’s a pretty sad thought that one day, if I ever have grand-kids, I’ll have to explain to them that it was during my generation when we learned that the Great Barrier Reef was dying … and we did nothing to stop it.

That’s the reality. A recent paper published by scientists informs us that one of our planet’s foremost natural phenomena is in mortal danger – 30 years quicker than we expected. While the reef requires warm underwater temperatures to survive, global warming has caused temperatures to rise too much, proving deadly.

Great Barrier Reef

But the researchers explain that not all is hope is lost, and that there is time to restore the necessary conditions to salvage the precious underwater ecosystem.

But we have to act now.

Spoiler alert: we won’t.

Barack Obama was the symbolic leader of the monumental Paris Agreement, at which nearly 200 countries agreed to take tangible action to combat climate change. Now Obama’s gone, and Trump has threatened to pull the U.S. out of the agreement.

As much as we will want to blame Trump, though, Australia is as guilty as anyone else, as their conservative government continues to support fossil fuel development, including the construction of a proposed coal mine – a pretty big shocker considering the barrier reef is responsible for bringing the country some 70,000 jobs and billions of dollars in tourism revenue.

One would think that would motivate them to act. Guess not.

The Barrier Reef is as astonishing as anything our natural world has to offer. So astonishing that it’s often considered one of the modern wonders of the world.

Think of the massive development of a city over time into a complex, vivacious metropolis. Now imagine that underwater, constructed entirely by living organisms. It’s almost impossible to fathom.

And we are letting it die.

But hey, at least we’ll always have coal, right?

Although, if the first two months of Trump’s presidency are any indication, perhaps the courts will find a way to step in and override his complete disregard for climate change, just like they did for a second time with his proposed travel ban.

Hawaii Travel Ban

As we all have the distinct displeasure of remembering, Trump was a man unleashed during his campaign. Initially, he had only tepid support, and he was just running his mouth saying whatever he felt like to appeal to his base. Many of those things were downright bigoted.

And now he is suffering the consequences.

Yes, the revised travel ban down cut out the most controversial parts of the first one. But the damage has already been done. No matter how stately the administration attempts to word this thing, we know what they want to do. And in America, we don’t discriminate based on religion.

It’s refreshing to finally see somebody hold Trump accountable for his recklessness.

And credit must be given where it is due: you did it, Hawaii! Yeah! High five!

From now on, you will be remembered for being a popular honeymoon destination, the movie Lilo and Stitch, and … putting a stop to Trump’s second travel ban.

Put that shit right on the license plate.

Climate change is the most boring doomsday villain ever

Since the dawn of civilization, we have been forewarned about about the downfall of humanity.

That idea has been heavily explored — and at times, even glorified — in literature, film and television in a number of ways.

Some are realistic, such as nuclear warfare and plague, some not so much — the zombie outbreak, the Rapture. Yet, all are entertaining and make for good science-fiction.

But what’s ironic is that arguably the most inevitable cause of our planet’s collapse is the one that nobody really takes too seriously: climate change.

Indeed, there are segments of our population that choose to downright ignore the fact that human beings are bringing about harmful changes in weather patterns.

Climate changeThe reason? Because the threat is not imminent.

It’s true that there is tangible evidence of global warming: melting ice caps, rising sea levels, warmer average temperatures. However, nobody who is reading this right now — even somebody born this morning — will live long enough to see the day climate change destroys Earth.

And if you were born this morning and somehow have the ability to read and comprehend what I am saying, then you probably will be the one who singlehandedly fixes this problem. Congratulations on your future success, baby genius.

But for today, the formidable task of saving our planet before it’s too late is in the hands of our world leaders, who, conveniently, are meeting in Paris right now to discuss that very thing.

In a way, it does seem a bit paradoxical that, in the midst of the recent Paris attacks, the ever-worsening Syrian refugee crisis, and whatever most recent mass shooting happened in America, hundreds of world leaders are directing all of their energy not to discuss ISIS or gun control, but to talk about the weather.

And yet, on the opposite side of the coin, what’s more important than saving the planet that we live on? And why doesn’t the average person care more about this?

I think some fault lies with the comically bad 2008 M. Night ShyamalanThe Happening film, The Happening, which presented us with a ludicrous interpretation of how nature could bring about the end of the world.

Except, according to that film, it’s the plants that were pissed off and decided to fight back. Somehow. With like, chemicals and stuff.

I still don’t understand how plants were ever the antagonists of any film, let alone a horror film. And I seriously believe its absurdity diminished our worry of climate change.

You heard it here first. If climate change brings about the destruction of our planet, as many think it will, then the blame should fall squarely on the shoulders of M. Night Shyamalan.

And for good measure, let’s say it’s Mark Wahlberg’s fault, too.

On second thought, let’s only blame Mark Wahlberg.