Saturday, January 18, 2020

What did Donald Trump do today?

He said seawalls were for protecting foreign golf courses, not New York City.

Trump, for some reason, chose today to weigh in on an Army Corps of Engineers proposal to build a series of man-made islands and sea gates to protect New York City from the worst effects of storm surges. 

The Corps, like all Defense Department agencies, treats climate change as an urgent national security threat. The $119 billion (not $200 billion) proposal has been around since 2018, but is still in the preliminary stages and has not been approved by Congress. It's not clear why Trump suddenly decided to start paying attention, or why he thinks he knows better than the Army Corps of Engineers.

Trump doesn't always think that seawalls to protect property against climate change are a bad idea. He asked local officials in Ireland for permission to build a seawall in front of Trump Doonbeg, a golf resort on the Atlantic coast. The application repeatedly cited the threat posed by increased storm surges and beach erosion as a result of climate change.

Why is this a problem?

  • Presidents who won't or can't listen to experts can't do their jobs.