Extreme weather

The wildfires that have filled our valley’s air with smoke recently have gotten a good deal of national news coverage, but clean energy consultant and former U.S. State Department official Andrew Eil went farther than most in describing their impact. He calls them a “crime against humanity.”

After listing a litany of Donald Trump’s anti-environment actions and faulting appointment of officials with financial conflicts of interest in a New York Observer essay, Eil went on:

“Immediately after Irma ravaged Florida, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt went so far as to say, ‘To have any kind of focus on the cause and effect of the storm … is misplaced.’ What could be more pressing for the federal government than protecting lives, livelihoods and property from losses—including understanding the causes and effects? Instead, the pathological preening and slavish shilling for fossil fuel interests has gone from predictable to grotesque, as the president and his corrupt cabinet ignore the conflagration while peddling matches and lighter fluid. Another day, another shocking headline: Last week, President Trump named a coal lobbyist as the number-two official at the Environmental Protection Agency. Think about that for a moment. … Corruption and service of special interests are age-old pursuits. But in our era of ample scientific knowledge and real-time media access, ignorance is no longer possible, let alone excusable; the hypocrisy and mendacity are breathtaking. In this context, impeachment doesn’t do justice to their dereliction of duty—indictment for crimes against humanity is more fitting.”