On Monday, July 8, President Donald Trump held a meeting at the White House to discuss environmental issues and to highlight the efforts his administration has made in addressing them.

This was too much for the mainstream media.

A quick Google search for “Trump environment meeting” delivers an almost never-ending result of scathing headlines:

“Trump’s environmental claims debunked by CNN’s John Avlon.”

“Trump Speech on Environment Doesn’t Pass Smell Test with Activists…”

“The Biggest Lie in Trump’s Environmental Speech Today”

“Trump touts environment record, green groups scoff”

“Mother Nature rains on Trumps’ I’m-good-at-the-environment parade”

With headlines like these, you would think the President had poured out toxic waste onto endangered species at the event. So, what did the President dare to discuss that brought on this onslaught of criticism?

He dared to discuss real environmental issues, like red tide, hunting and fishing driving conservation, and EPA reform, instead of walking in step with the claims that climate change will cause the world to end in 12, 20, 30, or however many years the activists have decided lately – I can’t seem to keep up with the revisions of the date of our impending apocalypse.

In fact, it wasn’t until I scrolled halfway down page 3 of this Google search until I found an article that had anything positive to say about the event.

Fox News reported on a Florida fisherman invited to the event whose business stayed afloat thanks to the Trump administration’s efforts to battle red tide in Florida waters.

“He wouldn’t allow all this money to go improving things if he didn’t care. That’s my personal opinion,” Bruce Hrobak, said.

According to Fox: Bruce Hrobak, the owner of Billy Bones Bait and Tackle in Port St. Lucie, Florida, joined “Fox & Friends” Tuesday to explain how the administration helped combat the “red tide” of toxic algae that was devastating his business.

How evil! How could the Trump administration dare to help local fishermen with algae!

Possibly the most impressive mental gymnastics performed by the media was by Time. In their article titled “Donald Trump Called Climate Change a Hoax. Now He’s Awkwardly Boasting About Fighting It”, they try to explain that because Trump mentioned that the USA’s CO₂ emissions have been decreasing, he secretly admitted that he believes climate change is an urgent crisis, completely driven by human activity:

But one claim stood out as particularly surprising: Trump specifically cited a reduction in climate change-causing carbon dioxide emissions and bragged that the U.S. has exceeded other

countries in nixing greenhouse gas emissions. “Every single one of the signatories to the Paris climate accord lags behind America,” he said.

That claim is misleading: emissions rose in the U.S. last year and Trump’s policies are likely to make future reductions less likely. But, more significantly, the claim appears to be an acknowledgement by the President that climate change is an actual problem that the United States should be addressing, something he has previously dismissed.

Is this an article in Time, or a conspiracy theory blog site? The best part is that Time realizes their logic is so off base that they have to put a disclaimer in right after:

To be clear, Trump did not make that case explicitly nor did he discuss the threat of climate change in any specific way. But his claims would make no sense if climate change was a hoax or simply a byproduct of changes in the weather, arguments that Trump has made in the past.

News to Time: It is possible to both reject the apocalyptic doomsday predictions of climate change and also to say even if CO₂ represents any sort of threat, emissions have been decreasing despite not signing on to the Paris Climate Accord. Europe, meanwhile, which is presented as the poster-child for green climate policy, has seen their CO₂ emissions spike upward in recent years, despite signing onto the Accord.

Time of course fails to mention that in 2017 the United States had not just reduced carbon dioxide emissions, but led the world in reducing CO₂, and it is the ninth time this century that the USA led such a reduction.

This argument is meant to show that deregulation, increases in the use of natural gas, and energy efficiency can have an even better effect on CO₂ emissions than restrictive government treaties like the Paris Accord – again, if CO₂ is a problem.

The desperate attempts by the media to cast anything Trump says or does as malicious or stupid is quite frankly, embarrassing.

Much more interesting, however, is that the media doesn’t really seem to care about actual environmental issues unless it has to do with climate change. Providing funding to fight red tide? Cleaning up EPA Superfund sites? Promoting National Parks and access to hunting and fishing? Yawn.

It is kind of fun to watch them be offended by helping fishermen, though.

 

Author

  • Adam Houser coordinates student leaders for CFACT's collegians program and writes on issues of climate and energy.