It’s been awhile since we’ve touched base. I took a break from updating the Utah Solar Talk blog in early 2017 as I contemplated how to move forward in this new age of ‘fake news’ and ‘alternative facts’.
As you may have noticed, an alarming and downright dangerous trend has emerged since President Donald Trump’s election.
A growing number of Americans are no longer interested in verifiable facts. The Trump Administration is making it perfectly normal to question objective reality by calling anything contrary to one’s beliefs “fake news’. Even if the subject in question involves verifiable facts.
I hate to say it, but rational, evidence based thinking and public debate is under attack in the age of Trump…
With that comes a remarkable resurgence of climate change denial. As you know, the Trump administration is loaded with climate and science deniers who are pushing anti- environment policies under the ruse of jobs and American industry competitiveness.
Common sense regulations across a number of industries are being thrown in the trash in order to “stimulate the economy and get people back to work”. At least that’s what we’re led to believe. A little scrutiny and objective thinking reveals a number of these regulation rollbacks are really meant to increase corporate profits in certain industries.
Here’s an example...
President Trump signed legislation this past week ending a stream protection rule put in place by the Obama administration. With this rule now gone, coal companies are once again free to dump mining debris straight into nearby streams.
Common sense says coal mining companies shouldn’t be able to dump debris straight into waterways. Imagine if your home, ranch, or farm is downstream from a coal mine.
At the signing of his legislation, Trump called the stream protection rule “another terrible job killing rule” and said ending it would save “many thousands American jobs”.
Of course, Trump is a big supporter of the idea that environmental regulations are what’s killing the coal industry. He seems to conveniently disregard the fact that the huge downturn in the coal industry has been due to competition from cheaper and cleaner energy sources- namely natural gas and renewables.
Quite simply, Trump’s new stream destroying legislation is simply meant to decrease coal company expenses, which will help reinvigorate a weak and dwindling bottom line across the industry.
That’s just the start of it…
Mr. Trump also signed legislation recently that repeals a law requiring US listed oil and gas companies to disclose payments to foreign governments. With this important rule now gone, oil companies are once again free to make secret payments (read: bribes) to foreign governments without their investors knowing about it.
It’s common sense to have an anti-corruption rule like this in place don’t you think?
But here we are in the age of Trump, where up is down and down is up, and alternative facts are used to create public policy.
It’s also quite a coincidence that new Secretary Of State Rex Tillerson (former CEO of Exxon and outspoken critic of the old rule) was confirmed by the Senate just prior to Trumps signing of the new legislation.
Here’s the deal…
In the interest of making sure real facts involving energy and climate aren’t replaced with alternative facts in the age of Trump, I’m changing this website up a bit.
Instead of providing my own personal commentary on energy issues (which unfortunately, many now view as’fake news’) I will be linking to trusted sites where readers can view verifiable facts firsthand.
Of course, I’ll still throw in a little commentary to give the link some background and perspective. But by linking directly to trusted sites with verifiable facts, readers can use Utah Solar Talk as an objective information source for all things energy and climate.
Hopefully, this new approach will fight back the disturbing and democracy destroying trend of ‘alternative facts’ and ‘fake news’.
No matter the approach, the mission at Utah Solar Talk is still the same…
Using common sense and scientific evidence based rational arguments, we can keep the renewable energy revolution rolling strongly into the future. And that’s something our children and grandchildren will thank us for.
To a clean energy future,