Paul Krugman Eviscerates Trump and GOP's Planet-Trashing Hypocrisy

Louisiana's governor asked Donald Trump not to visit his flood-ravaged state, please, because the GOP nominee would only get in the way of relief efforts. Money, not photo-ops, is needed. But the showboating reality show star came anyway, and made sure there were photos of him handing out much-needed Play-Doh. "Heckuva job, Donnie!" Paul Krugman writes in his column Monday.

A Trump presidency would likely mean he'll be handing out a lot of Play-Doh, since he denies the science that says the increasing frequency of extreme weather events is almost definitely caused by climate change.

If there is one thing Republicans cannot disavow about Trump, it's being a climate change denier, though his unique spin is that it is not just a hoax, but a hoax perpetrated by his favorite bogeyman, China. Otherwise, he's solidly in the GOP mainstream on this one, Krugman points out. For those who still don't get the connection between climate change and floods, Krugman takes a moment to explain:

In case you haven’t been keeping track, lately we’ve been setting global temperature records every month. Remember when climate deniers used to point to a temporary cooling after an unusually warm year in 1998 as “proof” that global warming had stopped? It was always a foolish, dishonest argument, but in any case we’ve now blown right through all past records.

And one consequence of a warmer planet is more evaporation, more moisture in the air, and hence more disastrous floods. As always, you can’t say that climate change caused any particular disaster. What you can say is that warming makes extreme weather events more likely, so that, for example, what used to be 500-year floods are now happening on an almost routine basis.

So a proliferation of disasters like the one in Louisiana is exactly what climate scientists have been warning us about.

This patient and rational explanation, however, falls on deaf ears when it comes to a party hellbent on denying both common sense and science. The eternal question is why-oh-why do they continue to deny? There's a tiny bit of good news in that although taking strong action on reducing emissions is way overdue, progress has genuinely been made on renewable energy and making it both affordable and workable. Yay!

The real problem at this point is not really science or innovation, it's politics, of course. And especially the fact that one major party is totally intransigent in the face of mounting evidence and disasters.

How did climate denial become entrenched in the GOP? Beyond the huge donations from the fossil-fuel sector, Krugman posits, "climate denial has become a sort of badge of right-wing identity, above and beyond the still-operative motive of rewarding donors."

If elected, there is every indication that Trump will keep on trashing the planet, among other dangers. And in that endeavor he will have the full support of his party.

No amount of Play-Doh will solve that.


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