- - Wednesday, April 19, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Saturday marks the annual celebration of nature called Earth Day, now in its 47th year. It’s further the day set aside for a new event, the March for Science. Which to support? Well, both. The environmentally conscious in the nation’s capital can kill two birds with one stone (speaking figuratively, of course) and do both. By showing up on the National Mall, they can refresh their love for humanity’s habitat and cheer as well for the scientific programs that guard against abusing the globe. But showing up in a “Make America Great Again” hat won’t be wise. Someone burdened with an excess of tolerance might deck such a foolish celebrant with a picket sign. Saturday is not about making America great, but making America green.

There’s writing on a wall somewhere in the White House that some people there might be on board with the radical environmentalist agenda. A closed meeting at the White House to discuss President Trump’s position on the Paris climate-change agreement was mysteriously and abruptly canceled this week. “Scheduling conflicts” were cited, but there was probably more to it than a cliche.

Mr. Trump campaigned for president saying, in a loud voice, that he would cancel Barack Obama’s promises to reduce greenhouse gases, promises to satisfy purveyors of pseudo-science who preach that such gasses cause global warming. But that was then, and now there are whispers that some of the Trump children think Daddy should be more forward-looking. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is said to be a member of the “go along to get-along” school, too.

A softening of hearts toward the Paris accord would thrill Earth Day celebrants. Since Earth Day was born in 1970, the annual event has evolved from an occasion for students to cut classes on a spring day to protest the effects of pollution with worldwide tree planting, to educating “a global citizenry fluent in the concepts of climate change and aware of [the] unprecedented threat to our planet.”

The accompanying “March for Science” is unprecedented, too, a gathering of a global clan of scientists and science enthusiasts to acknowledge the vital role science plays in our lives and the need to respect and encourage research that gives us insight into the world.” This year’s featured guest is Bill Nye, “the science guy,” who advocates jailing skeptics of the gospel of global warming. In accordance with his plans for a national economic revival, President Trump has begun rolling back the Clean Air Plan his predecessor implemented to force a nationwide transition from affordable fossil-fuel energy like oil and coal to expensive and unreliable schemes to harness wind and sun. The scheme of preventing global temperatures from rising more than 2 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels demanded of the Paris signatories obligates the United States to ride the brakes on any economic activity that emits exhausts, which includes just about everything.

Scott Pruitt, the director of Mr. Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency, is on board with pulling out of the Paris agreement. “What was wrong with Paris was not just that it was [not] treated as a treaty, but China and India, the largest producers of CO2 internationally, got away scot-free …”

Whether Mr. Trump formally withdraws the United States from the Paris agreement or not, his goal is an attempt to eliminate the environmental extremism that was U.S. policy during the Obama administration. The rest of us can celebrate that.

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