As Trump & Pruitt Unleash Climate Demons, Scientists Dream of Atlantic Wind Farm

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As Trump & Pruitt Unleash Climate Demons, Scientists Dream of Atlantic Wind Farm

"Why would someone deliberately sabotage our air, water and climate?"

A Scott Pruitt puppet seen at the Peoples Climate March in Washington, D.C. in April 2017

A Scott Pruitt puppet seen at the Peoples Climate March in Washington, D.C. in April 2017. (Photo: Marcie Meditch/Peoples Climate March/flickr)

The debate over whether Donald Trump or Rex Tillerson has the higher IQ, provoked by a Trump tweet that he now says was a joke, actually raises a serious question.

Why would someone deliberately sabotage our air, water and climate? The science needed for understanding that some gases are heat-trapping isn’t very complicated and I’m confident that schoolchildren can grasp it easily and even do some basic confirmatory experiments. So if Trump and EPA head Scott Pruitt are unable to understand the evil they are doing, is it because they lack basic intelligence? Or is the problem moral? Or is it just groupthink?

I mean, this is the year when hurricanes wrecked the Caribbean because of increased water temperature.

Even as Pruitt moved to abolish Obama-era regulations on coal plants–the most polluting of all energy sources– and argued for an end to tax breaks for wind and solar installations, scientists were reporting that putting floating wind farms in the north Atlantic could power the entire earth.

The authors of the new paper point out that on land, if you put a lot of wind turbines in one place, they begin interfering with one another and limiting the amount energy that can be extracted.

But they found that if you made floating wind farms in the north Atlantic, the winds are so high and constant that you would not run into the problem.

As Informed Comment pointed out last year, Scotland has set up several floating wind turbines some 25 miles offshore. Putting them out in the middle of the north Atlantic would be far more difficult, of course.

Here is a BBC update on the Scotland project:

World’s first floating offshore wind farm in Scotland.- BBC News

Every day there are technical breakthroughs in wind and solar power at the level of basic science. It will take some years to turn them into practical technology. In the meantime the terra-sabotage of Trump and his oil-drenched cronies will worsen the quality of life for millions of human beings, perhaps billions if we project out.

Me, I don’t think it has anything to do with IQ, which is a suspicious measure to begin with (there are lots of kinds of intelligence and individuals don’t typically excel in more than one or two.

I think it is just greed, pure and simple.

Juan Cole

Juan Cole

Juan Cole teaches Middle Eastern and South Asian history at the University of Michigan. His new book, The New Arabs: How the Millennial Generation Is Changing the Middle East (Simon and Schuster), will officially be published July 1st. He is also the author of Engaging the Muslim World and Napoleon's Egypt: Invading the Middle East (both Palgrave Macmillan). He has appeared widely on television, radio and on op-ed pages as a commentator on Middle East affairs, and has a regular column at Salon.com. He has written, edited, or translated 14 books and has authored 60 journal articles. His weblog on the contemporary Middle East is Informed Comment.

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