The Bituminous Future

Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

We all remember departing 2016 remarking it as having been the worst year in existence, mewling and grieving and bitching and moaning. Somehow, I suppose we all knew—with the election of Donald Trump—such a sentiment could not have been true. Indeed, we may have jinxed ourselves, for each passing day we bitterly regret our premature Facebook lamentations.

I stand by my previous remarks about the loathsome pseudo-intellectual and incumbent Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Ben Carson. Especially after reading such masochistic comments like the following:

“I would not have chosen him because of his lack of experience and his often troubling public statements over the last three years,” Brown said. “But despite my reservations and my disagreements with some of his positions, I’ll give Dr. Carson the benefit of the doubt.”

Why?

Drivel of this sort is the seedbed for the kind of ignorance and complacency that would see civil liberties erode, education crumble, and democracy falter. Perhaps I was too kind to the doctor; so, too, were the Republicans who posed rather weak questions during Carson’s confirmation hearing. In true political cowardice, Carson failed to answer a number of questions directly and wholly demonstrated that his experience as a neurosurgeon will translate poorly to his new position.

Speaking of crumbling education, Betsy DeVos—Trump’s pick for Secretary of Education—is another unsavory mortal whose intelligence is inversely proportional to her wealth. Need proof? Please watch this lengthy and sordid Senate confirmation hearing to learn that schools in Wyoming need firearms “to protect from potential grizzlies.”

It is difficult not to succumb to further pessimism as President Trump signs executive actions committing the United States to the unabating despoliation of the environment and sacred sites. What is to be expected from a man who believes global warming is a Chinese fabrication. And Trump’s potential picks for science advisor don’t bode well for the environment either, let alone humanity. The first is a physicist from Princeton who believes more carbon dioxide emissions “will be good for the world.” The second is a computer scientist from Yale who thinks Trump is “not just sharp; he’s thoughtful.” I wonder whether the president will select the jester or sycophant.

Alas, I’m sure Trump’s signatures have TransCanada and Energy Transfer Partners celebrating while environmentalists are incensed. Everyone should be incensed. Gloom approaches again, threatening to cloak our sun in ashen clouds and blanket our waters in inky expiry. This is unacceptable.