A columnist in Philadelphia doesn’t just believe that the recently released federal report on climate change is 100 percent accurate, but he writes that oil and its link to global warming is already wreaking death and destruction.
Included in the death and destruction, he writes, are the California wildfires, the death of Saudi Arabian activist Jamal Khashoggi, and the ongoing violent protests in France over a newly imposed carbon tax on fuel.
While leftists and environmental activists agree with Will Bunch, who writes and commentates for the Philadelphia Daily News, others — including scientists — have pushed back on the Fourth National Climate Assessment, saying it is not only based on worst-case scenario models but is written by Obama-era, Trump-hating holdovers.
But Bunch, who entitled his commentary “Oil is the poison that burns Paradise, kills Kashshoggi, inflames Paris. When will we quit?” is creating his own model by claiming fossil fuels are to blame for natural disasters, murder, and political backlash.
The most obvious cry for help on global warming is coming right now from Northern California, where the fast-moving Camp Fire turned entire subdivisions in Paradise into grim rectangles of grey rubble in a matter of hours, as those surrounded by flames frantically called and texted their family members to say goodbye. The death toll stands at 85, but officials still don’t know how many of the hundreds still listed as missing actually escaped and how many are dead amid the ashy ruin. Experts widely agree that man-made climate change and hotter temperatures have severely exacerbated California’s years-long drought, leaving a whopping 129 million dead trees and dry brush that serve as kindling for each new spark.
Bunch does not mention in his wildfire remarks that President Donald Trump and his administration want to make forest management part of the solution to preventing wildfires, including removing dead trees and other fire fuel sources.
Bunch claims Trump, who has overseen the greatest push toward energy independence through increased domestic oil and natural gas production, still “worships at the altar of 20th-century fossil fuels.”
In the Middle East, there has been blood because the White House has thrown all-in behind the murderous Saudi Arabia regime of Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, or MBS — even after the CIA confirmed that MBS ordered his goons to murder and dismember an American resident, Jamal Khashoggi, who was a columnist for the Washington Post.
Bunch went so far as to call Trump an “accessory” to Khashoggi’s murder.
And Bunch even blamed the protests against a carbon tax in Paris on climate change.
On Saturday, flaming barricades and violent clashes pockmarked Paris’ historic Champs-Elysées as working-class French citizens, some aligned with growing right-wing movements, protested those taxes. This is hardly a surprise to experts who’ve long predicted that failure to move early and decisively on the climate crisis would ultimately lead to widespread political unrest.
He cites a former Obama climate adviser to confirm the leftist talking point that the report was released on Black Friday to limit its impact on the news cycle.
“This is, unfortunately, par for the course for this president that he would try to bury this news and deny it,” Jake Levine said on MSNBC after the Trump administration released the report.
“Will there be more blood? Perhaps, but there’s also a few tiny rays of hope breaking through the thick smog that seems to be enveloping the world right now,” Bunch wrote.
Those “tiny rays of hope” are Democrats who will be in the majority party in the House in January, including Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who backs the Green New Deal to put climate change as the top legislative priority.
“People are going to die if we don’t start addressing climate change ASAP,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted Friday after the climate assessment came out and Bunch dutifully took note. “It’s not enough to think it’s ‘important.’ We must make it urgent.”
“She added that it’s time for people with ties to the fossil fuel industry to stop writing climate policy — a reality that may not happen, unfortunately, until January 2021,” Bunch wrote, predicting Trump would not be reelected for a second term.
“From the flaming embers of Paradise to the Saudi crime scene in Istanbul to chaos on the boulevards of Paris, oil and its aging cousin coal have become the poisons not just rendering our air unbreathable but increasingly inspiring wars, murder, and mayhem,” Bunch wrote.
He ended his commentary saying that it is not necessary to “make climate great again,” just make the climate “normal” again.
Bunch does not say how to do that, but he does impose a deadline.
“We’re running out of time,” Bunch concluded.
Follow Penny Starr on Twitter