Covfefe, Coal, and the Like

Covfefe, Coal, and the Like

It’s not a word, but it’s been Googled more times than the Paris Agreement.

And Paris is important. Crazy important. But more on that later.

But “covfefe”…whatever it is, is a showstopper. It’s a scene-stealer. It’s a distraction.

And it’s a little scary.

Let’s talk about filters for a second, and how there don’t seem to be any. There are no rules. Nothing is sacred. Nothing makes sense, and nothing needs to make sense, because people will still just accept whatever’s put in front of them. Not only will they accept it, but they’ll even justify and rationalize it.

This sentiment was expertly and accurately described when Anderson Cooper said, “If [President Trump] took a dump on his desk you would defend him.”


What happened to our standards, or at least the standards that we once used to hold our leaders to?

So no, “covfefe” is not a word, but it existed on Twitter for several hours before being removed. And it came from President Trump’s own Twitter fingers.


And why was the tweet an incomplete sentence? What happened there…?

More importantly, though, who let it happen?

There was a time when checks and balances were a real thing, when every word and action from the president was calculated – planned, rehearsed, edited, executed – because the risk of not taking these precautions was too great, the repercussions too deeply felt. There are teams of people working in the White House whose jobs are just to manage public relations, public images, and public approvals for this exact reason.

Where were those people when POTUS tweeted out nonsense in the middle of the night?

Covfefe, in and of itself, is not a big deal, or it wouldn’t have been if it came from literally anyone else. But when it comes from the president? It’s terrifying.

It speaks to his incompetence. It speaks to his lack of judgment. It speaks to his impulsiveness. And it speaks to his, “IDGAF, I do what I want” mentality.

But what else is new?

So then Paris happened. More specifically, President Trump has just announced that the United States will be withdrawing from the Paris Agreement on climate change, on the grounds that it makes no sense for American businesses and taxpayers. Never mind that most Americans, American firms, and political pundits support the Paris Agreement, and never mind that the rest of the world, save Nicaragua and Syria, are on board with it.

What happened to the notion that leaders at least pretended to listen to their constituents, allies, and advisors?

“IDGAF, I do what I want.”

So when arrogance, selfishness, and ego transcend rationality and the greater good, this is where we find ourselves.

President Trump wants to reinvigorate the coal mining industry – for what? I don’t know. He claims, “This agreement is less about the climate and more about other countries gaining a financial advantage over the United States.”

Yes, economics play an important role in everything the president does, as well it should, but his justification for withdrawing from the agreement seems shortsighted, to say the very, very least.

Implications of withdrawal include, but are not limited to:

  • Alienation from the world political arena
  • Loss of sustainable business and the hindrance of sustainable industries
  • Attempts to resurrect the dying coal industry
  • The growth of China as a super power and world leader
  • The environment continuing to suck

Coal usage and demand is down in the United States, with natural gas and sustainable energy resources trending upwards. Not to mention, coal plants are closing in waves all across the nation because they’re no longer profitable.

As a businessman, 45 doesn’t seem to be making great decisions. China is already pushing ahead in the hopes of becoming the world leader in sustainability and environmentalism. They’re well on their way, too. According to Steve Sawyer, the secretary general of the Global Wind Energy Council, “We are well into a period of disruptive change, moving away from power systems centered on a few large, polluting plants towards markets increasingly dominated by a range of widely distributed renewable energy sources.” China has invested heavily in expanding wind energy in recent years, and is actively working to utilize African land and resources to this end.

Over here, we’re still stuck on coal.

The big argument is that the coal workers need something to do. We can’t just take their jobs away from them.

But…we can. And history would show that this is how progress is made. “Disruptive change” is not fun for the people involved, but sometimes we have to let something go in order to make room for something better and brighter. It’s not a fun process or transition, but it’s a necessary one. There’s a reason we no longer have chimney sweeps or switchboard operators or ex-boyfriends.

Things fall into obsolescence and there are casualties along the way. But following Spock’s logic, “Logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” That said, the few that would be inconvenienced can be retrained to work in solar and other industries at a pretty modest cost, according to one study.

The Paris Agreement was an international triumph. It was a beautiful moment in which the entire world came together and acknowledged that this one issue affects all of us. There was cooperation on an unprecedented level. There was a common goal and an agreed upon solution.

And now, we’re no longer a part of that.

Instead, we’ve got coal and covfefe.

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