When Scott Pruitt was tapped to take over the Environmental Protection Agency, there were two main schools of thought among people that thought that maybe Donald Trump wouldn’t be a good President: One, that while he has long been a friend of the fossil fuel industry, he wouldn’t do anything crazier than green-light some controversial oil pipelines. Option 2 was that he would just try to shut the whole place down on day 1 and that would be that. Folks, it looks like Pruitt tried out option 2, realized he wouldn’t have a job if he shut down his own department, tried out option 1, realized that he didn’t have to stop there, and is now having himself a regulation-slashing, fact-denying bender. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good bender just like anyone else, but the problem here is that Mr. Pruitt is a little light on the blow and hookers, a little heavy on the stupidity, and just right with the total disregard for human health.
For years, the scientific community has agreed that the steady increase of carbon in our atmosphere has undeniably been a cause of the increased warming we are seeing. Somehow, a combination of misunderstanding and Al Gore being really annoying has caused the climate change conversation to turn political. So, Scott Pruitt not only has said that carbon isn’t a major influence, but he also doesn’t believe that climate change is caused by humans at all. If you agree with Scott Pruitt on this or think, “hey, maybe he’s onto something here. We just don’t know,”, then let me offer this explanation of why that’s silly:
You go to a doctor and say you have a headache. He takes a look at you and says, “You know what? This could be cancer. I think you should go get this checked out.” So you go to a doctor that specializes in brain cancer, who says that he believes you have brain cancer and that you should begin treatment as soon as possible. You want to get a second opinion on this, but get the same result. You decide to get another opinion and you get the same result. Eventually you go to 100 doctors, just to be sure. 97 of those doctors say that you have brain cancer and should start taking steps right away so that you can make it to old age. The other 3 say the results are inconclusive, with 1 of the doctors, who used to work for Advil, saying it could be just a headache and to just keep taking Advil. Wouldn’t you think it’s probably a good idea to listen to the 97% consensus of doctors who say that you totally have brain cancer? Or would you just sit there doing nothing because you don’t know 100% for sure that it’s brain cancer because of 3 questionable doctors casting doubt. Scott Pruitt chooses to listen to those 3 doctors. Trump thinks China paid the 97 doctors.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but when you’re in charge of an agency that is responsible for publishing scientific reports on climate and all things environment, you’re not allowed to project your shitty, uninformed position on an entire country, especially when there is fact-based evidence that shows just how wrong you are.
Speaking of all things environment, I like clean air and water. You could go so far as to say I that I love clean air and water. Years ago, congress decided they too love clean air and water, so they passed the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. Pres. Trump isn’t a fan of either of these, and has given Pruitt the green light to start undoing certain parts. The re-incentivizing of coal, an industry that is tied at the hip to pollution, is a repudiation of recent anti-pollution measures. And in terms of clean water, the people in Flint, Michigan still aren’t drinking it.
There’s a Grateful Dead song called “I Know You Rider”. In it, Jerry Garcia sings, “I wish I was a headlight on a north-bound train”. It’s a wonderful song, and in Scott Pruitt’s world, he wakes up and sings that song every morning, opens his windows to a view with shockingly few birds, smiles, then butchers the lyrics as he shouts to anyone who’ll listen, “I wish I was the conductor on a runaway train!” And then he walks to work and smiles because his dreams are all coming true and his favorite song is about his life.