The cover for the March 4, 2019, issue, by Barry Blitt, portrays President Trump finding no shelter from the storm. Indeed, he seems not to notice it at all. “It seems like our President is pouring his energies (such as they are) into a fake emergency,” Blitt said, “while denying the existence of a potentially catastrophic crisis like climate change.” In October, the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (I.P.C.C.) warned that the world had only a dozen years to limit global warming, with failure increasing the risk of drought and extreme poverty for many millions of people. In November, the U.S. government released its own report, corroborating many of the U.N.’s findings. Trump’s response was to say he didn’t believe it. For more of our coverage on climate change, read:
Carolyn Kormann on the false choice between economic growth and fighting climate change:
“It’s absolutely the case that emissions and growth can be decoupled,” Marshall Burke, an assistant professor in Stanford University’s Department of Earth System Science, told me. He pointed to research plotting how thirty-five countries, including the United States, did, in fact, experience economic growth in the past fifteen years while reducing their emissions—and not solely due to recessions. But the decline was not nearly enough. “The technology is available to have faster economic growth while reducing over-all emissions,” Trevor Houser, the head of Rhodium Group’s energy and climate team, and one of the authors of the report, told me. But the switch to nuclear and renewables needs to happen more rapidly. “It takes policy. It won’t happen through markets alone,” Houser said.
Bill McKibben on the President’s response to the environmental crisis:
Scientists have warned for decades that climate change would lead to extreme weather. Shortly before the I.P.C.C. report was published, Hurricane Michael, the strongest hurricane ever to hit the Florida Panhandle, inflicted thirty billion dollars’ worth of material damage and killed forty-five people. President Trump, who has argued that global warming is “a total, and very expensive, hoax,” visited Florida to survey the wreckage, but told reporters that the storm had not caused him to rethink his decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate accords. He expressed no interest in the I.P.C.C. report beyond asking “who drew it.” (The answer is ninety-one researchers from forty countries.) He later claimed that his “natural instinct” for science made him confident that the climate would soon “change back.” A month later, Trump blamed the fires in California on “gross mismanagement of forests.”
For more of Barry Blitt’s recent covers, see below:
“Welcome to Congress”
“Yearning to Breathe Free”