German children's radio tries to explain why the adults are freaking out. They said Trump main claim was to make America great again, which everyone can read into it what they like and is a sign for his lack of clear policies. And they told the kids he denies climate change and wants to build a wall.
I guess they did not want to freak out the kids by explaining that this election may well mean that fascism returns. German kids are well informed what happened in the 1930s. They know that Hitler was very explicit about his hatred for the Jews, but did not take his antisemitic plans seriously. They know that like Trump Hitler was misunderestimated time and time again. They know that the conservatives and the corporations thought that he could help them and they could control him, while they actually helped Hitler to power.
That is the worst case scenario. The good case scenario would be George W. Bush on steroids. More inequality; Trump plans gigantic tax cuts for his billionaire buddies; the corrupt Republican Congress wants the same. Utter incompetence and less regulation for the banks will produce private gains (bank shares are 4 to 5% up) that will likely lead to another 2008-style economic recession that socializes the losses. Gratuitous deadly wars that benefit the military industry; Trump wants to increase the defense budget, surrounds himself with war hawks and likes aggressive posturing. And a federal government in the pockets of coal and oil that will try to emit more CO2 to green the planet.
Many people seem to have been surprised by Trump winning. The Huffington Post was very sure Clinton would win and attacked Nate Silver with the flimsiest of arguments and mistakes for hyping the uncertainty: What's wrong with 538? What's wrong with HuffPo when a pseudo-German knows US polling better? Also after the election Silver is still sometimes seen to have been wrong because he gave Trump 30% chance. 30% does not mean he will loose. It means that every 3 elections a catastrophe will happen.
I sometimes wonder if people make the same mistake for climate change. If the chance that they are directly affected is less than 50%, then it does not exist. It is a wonder people take an umbrella with them when the chance of rain is 30% and have a fire insurance. Maybe that is because we have more experience with rain and a longer tradition of cities burned to the ground. Even if it not certain, a chance of a huge catastrophe is a strong reason to act.
Please see the Trump presidency in the same way. By all means hope for the best case scenario, but be prepared for the worst case scenario. Do not keep an open mind about Trump, be vigilant, start organizing and informing yourself now. Read up on German and Italian history. Inform yourself what is happening in Russia and The Philippines. Bob Altemeyer's The Authoritarians is great book for insight into their behavior and thinking.
Make sure everyone knows about the [[Reichstag fire]] and how it was used to destroy the German democracy. A more recent US example is 9/11 and how it was used to take many constitutional freedoms away. This expansion of government power will now allow Trump to spy, jail and intimidate the opposition. People need to know this, so they can recognize the pattern and protest before it is too late.
Most of this post is aimed at progressives, I presume they read my blog most. If you are a rational conservative, like most conservatives in continental Europe, please speak up, please inform and talk to your peers. They will listen to you most. "America first" only means that the others have it worse, not that America has it good. Fascists are not conservatives, they are revolutionaries.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel (a conservative) as a politician has to pretend she believes the good-case scenario, but makes clear she sees the danger.
Germany and America are connected by values of democracy, freedom, and respect for the law and the dignity of man, independent of origin, skin colour, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or political views. I offer the next President of the United States close cooperation on the basis of these values.The video below given an overview of the worst transgressions of Trump. The real transgressions, not the naughty words US TV concentrated on.
Climate changeTrump is not clear on most policies, but quite clear in trying to make climate change as worse as possible. Reversing any policies made under the black president, stimulating coal, no regulations on fracking and he wants to get out of the Paris climate treaty. That is actually not possible, but he can simply not do what the USA promised. Shares of Peabody Energy, world's largest coal company, almost doubled in two days after the election; okay, they were not worth much to begin with. On the positive side, Trump did hint at supporting renewable energy for reasons other than climate change.
This would make Trump the only head of state in the world that rejects climate change. By going rogue on climate America will isolate itself. China warned twice ahead of the election that Trump was not a good idea; that is unprecedented. Europe will not view this any kinder. I see the same happening in the field of international security. A president who prides himself on re-negotiating deals and ripping off his partners cannot give security guarantees. This will strengthen regional powers. Trump's presidency may well be the end of American hegemony. Hopefully the transition to a multi-polar world will be peaceful.
When it comes to climate change again a range of scenarios is possible. The main question is whether America's refusal to act will reduce the willingness to act in the rest of the world. America by itself is no longer a major player and only emits 16% of all greenhouse gasses. Inaction in America is thus bad, but if limited to several years, and Trump is 70, a limited problem. The emissions should be zero in 2050. The danger is when this goes on for too long and when the rest of the world would be discouraged from acting or when international conflict makes global collaboration impossible.
To fight climate change, the main problem in this phase is the energy transition. Here I am quite hopeful because I think we won this battle before this election, maybe even in the USA. Prices of renewable energy are dropping fast. That is partially technological advances and larger markets and partially historical low interest rates. Trump's incompetence and danger to the global economy will keep interest rates low for years to come. In large parts of the world renewable energy is already competitive without any government help, with prices dropping this region will become increasingly larger. Many of the richer US states are run by Democrats and they will continue setting efficiency standards and stimulating the energy transition, which is very popular in the population.
I could be wrong. Not too long ago I still expected that a price on CO2 emissions to compensate for the damages would be necessary to make renewable power competitive. It would still speed the transition up and the transition should go faster, but I feel it is unstoppable due to economic forces.
The Trump presidency has a nice plus for the German car industry. It was somewhat slow with electric cars, but now has a good chance to dominate this industry of the 21st century. Same for wind power and machines to produce solar panels.
The futureHow bad it will be be, will depend on us.
The US media is a mess. Especially television. It is no wonder that Trump would have lost bigly had only young people voted; they are not indoctrinated by emotional one-sided sensationalist television programs. Getting rid of my TV was the best decision in my life.
This is how the future voted. This is what people 18-25 said in casting their votes. We must keep this flame alight and nurture this vision. pic.twitter.com/ivuXrar869— Eliza Byard (@EByard) 9 November 2016
It is important to build up alternative independent media. I would expect to get the highest quality from media sponsored by members, which means they do not depend on clicks, which stimulates sensationalism, and they do not depend on billionaires, which biases the reporting. Examples on YouTube for general news are TYT (partially member funded) and Secular Talk. If your (local) newspaper is decent, subscribe. Become member of The Guardian. Newspapers do a lot of the reporting. TV just rehashes their work superficially.
The US political system is a mess. We need to get money out of US politics. Trump will make this worse. His tax plans and deregulation will increase inequality, increase the power of the wealthy and give them more money to corrupt the political process. I like Wolf PAC, but there are many other groups working on this. Join the Democrat party and try to throw the corporatists out. Campaign for Sanders to clean the stable as new head of the DNC.
When it comes to climate change, join 350 to divest fossil fuel companies. With the renewable energy age so close and the remaining carbon budget not allowing for new fossil fuel infrastructure, the economic case against fossil fuel investments is strong. Infrastructure that would need to be profitable for decades, well after Trump is dead. Banking is global; everyone can help. Also divest personally, join an [[ethical bank]]; their rates are competitive.
If you have money, investing in renewable energy (in the USA) now will be more useful than ever. It would decrease the market for new fossil fuel infrastructure and support these companies over the Trump bump. The energy sector is nowadays only 6% of the global economy; it is easier than one may think to move it. Once wind or solar is running, nothing can compete with the marginal costs of renewable energy. The best way would be to join or start an [[energy cooperative]] with you friends and family. That gets more people involved.
Many more things will have to change, such as the local infrastructure and there are many more environmental problems. Friends of the Earth International is a bottom up democratic environmental group. A good place to find like minded people.
The situation for climate science will probably get hostile. Trump has vowed to defund it. His friends do their best to harass scientists. It will be hard to distinguish between meteorology and climatology for most of the research and I hope the states will be able to compensate for some of the funding. European countries may be interested in top American researchers at a bargain. Still the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund will be more important than ever.
More than about climate change, I worry about human rights, freedom and peace. America elected a bigot. Lets make sure the bigots do not conquer the public space. Only 1/2 of electorate voted. Only 1/2 voted Trump. Only 1/2 selected him in the primaries. Even of those people not all selected him because he is a bigot. After the Brexit there was a rise in violence against minorities. It is bad that so many did not mind a bigot much, but remember that the bigots willing to use violence are just a few percent of the population. We are the majority.
Planned Parenthood and the ACLU are more important than ever. Even if you do not want to join any organizations, please use them to information to know what is going on before it is too late.
Related readingThe Conversation: No, this isn’t the 1930s – but yes, this is fascism.
Most people are wildly underestimating what Trump’s win will mean for the environment.
Guardian sustainable business: Trump's influence on the future of clean energy is less clear than you think.
What it would really mean if Trump pulls the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement by Chris Mooney in the Washington Post.
Climate Experts Weigh in on Trump’s Election Win, Jacquelyn Gill, Katharine Hayhoe, Ralph Keeling, Michael Mann and more.
What Trump can—and can't—do all by himself on climate by Paul Voosen in Science.
Scientific American: Trump Picks Top Climate Skeptic to Lead EPA Transition.
Vox: Donald Trump’s administration is going to be a bonanza for bankers.
The Road Ahead in Saving the Climate by Hunter Cutting.
The Guardian: Conservatives elected Trump; now they own climate change.