Genuine Pivot or Deliberate Re-Branding? Donald Trump’s Speech to the Joint Session of Congress, Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Why this post?

To post a comment on Donald Trump’s first speech to a Joint Session of Congress, a full 2 weeks after the fact, may seem like a fruitless exercise.  However, a closer look at what he said and why he said it may be well worth the effort.  The very fact that an interval of 2 weeks could make analysis of this nationally- anticipated speech seem dated is in itself a commentary on the President’s style and strategy. Whether deliberate or spontaneous, Trump’s style is guaranteed to keep us guessing about what he really intends. His erratic behavior creates uncertainty about what to expect and what to count on.  Across all sectors of government, it keeps us in the dark about likely future actions. Continue reading “Genuine Pivot or Deliberate Re-Branding? Donald Trump’s Speech to the Joint Session of Congress, Tuesday, February 28, 2017”

Marching in 1969 against the Vietnam War: Marching now with the Women’s March in Washington

Interviewed at the Sundance Film Festival, by Amy Goodman, host of the radio program, “Democracy Now,” Al Gore said, “We are seeing a citizen action mobilization that is as big as anything we have seen since the Vietnam War.“

Back in November 15, 1969, I attended the Washington March Against the Vietnam War.  It was huge, about a quarter of a million.  The Women’s March surpassed it by many millions and was much more diverse.  Here’s how it looked to my husband and me.

Link and I rode the Metro to L’Enfant Plaza, January 21, starting about 8:45 am.  We were on our way to the Holiday Inn to join the Friends of the Earth, Climate Justice group.  As it turned out, when we arrived at the Inn after an alarming Metro ride, packed in like sardines, no one there knew anything about Friends of the Earth.  So we were on our own.

With both of us carrying our walking sticks, we were given special treatment.  People wanted to take our photo, asked if we were all right, and thanked us for joining the March.  We were grateful and touched by the attention.  A hallmark of this March was the courtesy and camaraderie of the participants.  There was a feeling of “we know why we are here and it’s the right thing to do.” Continue reading “Marching in 1969 against the Vietnam War: Marching now with the Women’s March in Washington”

Climate Change 2017: Challenge and Opportunity

Donald Trump’s Achilles Heel

Casting doubt on science
“Nobody really knows if climate change is real,” president-elect Donald Trump declared in an interview with Chris Wallace for Fox News, Sunday, December 11, 2016.

With this declaration, Mr. Trump not only raised the specter of uncertainty about climate science, he also threw cold water on the Marrakech Agreement, an historically unprecedented commitment of 190 nations at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) to rein in planetary warming. The so-called (COP 22) agreement has generated widespread excitement among climate change activists.  Not only does it demonstrate that implementation of the Paris Agreement (COP 21), promulgated a year earlier in December 2015, is well on its way, it also showed that a coalition of diverse nations with different economies, social systems, and environmental interests could unite in a spirit of cooperation to keep the earth’s temperature below 2 degrees Celsius, or preferably even below 1.5 degrees.

Creating uncertainty and skepticism about science is, of course, a strategy straight out of the tobacco industry’s playbook.  In the 1950s and 60s, to undermine efforts to get people to give up cigarettes and keep tobacco profits rolling in, tobacco companies spread uncertainty about the health effects of smoking, particularly in respect to lung cancer and heart disease.  In similar fashion, Mr. Trump and his supporters by casting doubt on the reality of climate change undermine faith in scientific reports showing that the earth’s atmosphere is changing in measurable and deeply troubling ways:  i.e., warming temperatures, sea levels rising, glacial melting, growing acidification of oceans, prolonged droughts, degrading of wild life habitat. Continue reading “Climate Change 2017: Challenge and Opportunity”

Clinton’s Climate Policy

Two top stories in EcoWatch news, Wednesday, August 16, suggest issues that should be raised with the candidates in the September and October presidential debates


Climate Nexus/EcoWatch, Climate, Aug. 16


Molly Dorozenski/  EcoWatch,
Climate, Aug. 16

Elsewhere, Clinton has claimed that the United States should be a leader in taking on climate change and moving to 100 percent clean energy by 2030. Why then choose Ken Salazar, former Secretary of the Interior, to lead her transition team? Salazar’s track record shows that he is clearly siding with the fossil fuel interests: pro-fracking, pro-TPP, and pro-Keystone pipeline. Is this the way, Madame Secretary, to demonstrate your commitment to the climate change movement, to court a more progressive base, to win against Donald Trump?

Alice Day,