‘The Confused US President’ and ‘Self-reinforcing Feedbacks’

December 1, 2018

Once again, Argentina doesn’t cry:

Something moronic and oafish comes our way, represents us on a literal world stage:

After pausing for a couple photos, Trump is seen on video shaking Macri’s hand and then walking off stage.
Macri tries to beckon him back, to no avail, and an aide is seen pursuing the confused U.S. president.
Apparently, the two leaders were supposed to have remained on stage for a G20 group photo.
Off-camera, Trump appears to have muttered, “Get me out of here.”
Reporters started laughing, but I don’t think it was with the president.

Not the first time he’s acted the noxious fool — a small, but speaks-volumes-list at Splinternews: Last year in Israel during a press conference, he wandered away from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; meanwhile, in Poland, the T-Rump gave a speech, ‘…clapped for himself, adjusted his suit, smiled, and then strolled to a random spot on stage…;’ and that time at a White House ceremony to sign an executive order, he apparently forgot as ‘He thanked his audience, shook a few hands, and then tried to bolt. “Mr. President, you need to sign it,” Vice President Mike Pence reminded him.’

WTF! All caps!

Not to disparage all that, but the ponderous worse-case scenario has a much, much-bigger consequence — via Mother Jones this afternoon:

On climate, though, Trump was the only holdout.
While the communiqué affirms support for the Paris climate change agreement on the eve of the next round of climate talks in Poland, it includes a separate section for the US: “The United States reiterates its decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, and affirms its strong commitment to economic growth and energy access and security, utilizing all energy sources and technologies, while protecting the environment.”
Trump, of course, pledged in June 2016 to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, and the United States will officially stand alone in the world in rejecting climate action when Trump can fulfill that promise formally in 2020.
In the meantime, the country remains a part of the UN climate negotiations, though now more often playing the spoiler role in talks.

In an email to reporters, the White House took credit for shaping the language that mentions recognizing “all energy sources and technologies in the energy mix” and promoting “energy security” — a favorite line of Trump’s to justify subsidizing coal in order to compete with renewables.

He’s bucking the world, and in doing so is potentially fucking everybody on the planet.
And the reality of the facts from his own government study — the real, near-hidden bottom line (Newsweek):

“Yet, startlingly, even these important studies and ominous warnings are underestimating the existential nature of runaway climate change by failing to consider the self-reinforcing feedbacks that may push the climate system into chaos before we have time to decarbonize the energy system,” Bledsoe and Zaelke wrote.
They point to the risk of a “hothouse earth” as described by another major study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science in August.
According to this paper, the combined effects of several climatic processes, such as the thaw of permafrost, deforestation and melting sea ice, could push the Earth into a state of runaway warming.

And to further tax the T-Rump’s influence for horror and chaos, though, on a smaller scale — what will be his play off this bit of rumor-news? From UAWire this morning: ‘At a briefing in Moscow, the spokesperson of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova indicated that there is the possibility of occupying those regions of Ukraine where Russian diplomatic institutions are located.’
The article headline: ‘Kremlin hints at possibility of invading Ukraine.’
Just sayin…

And adding insult to anxiety-injury of self — bad tidings from the world economy, per today’s New York Times:

The global economy is now palpably weakening, even as most countries are still grappling with the damage from that last downturn.
Many nations are mired in stagnation or sliding that way.
Oil prices are falling and factory orders are diminishing, reflecting slackening demand for goods.
Companies are warning of disappointing profits, sending stock markets into a frenetic bout of selling that reinforces the slowdown.

The reasons for this turn run from rising interest rates delivered by the Federal Reserve and other central banks to the unfolding trade war unleashed by the Trump administration.
The likelihood that Britain’s torturous exit from the European Union will damage trade across the English Channel has discouraged investment.
None of this amounts to a screaming emergency, or even a pronounced drop in commercial activity.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development — a think tank run by the world’s most advanced nations — recently concluded that the global economy would expand by 3.5 percent next year, down from 3.7 percent this year.
Yet in declaring that “the global expansion has peaked,” the brains at the O.E.C.D. effectively concluded that the current situation is as good as it gets before the next pause or downturn.
If this is indeed the high-water mark of global prosperity, that is likely to come as a shock to the tens of millions of people who have yet to recover from the devastation of the Great Recession.

The same can be said for the global economy.
It is clearly far removed from the terrifying days of the financial crisis.
Yet it never really got its groove back enough to generate impressive numbers of jobs, or put meaningful pay increases in the pockets of ordinary people.
And now, despite all that, leaner times are unfolding.

And again, just saying…

(Illustration out front: Salvador Dali’s ‘Hell Canto 2: Giants,’ found here).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.