- JoNova - https://joannenova.com.au -

Trump’s opening gambit on climate deals, plus Theresa May: Britain And US Can “Lead Together Again”

Trump is rattling the climate cages

Meanwhile Trump is putting the environmental establishment off-guard — romping, as it were, through any semblance of normal. He is not playing by the usual rules: climate change is gone from the website and the EPA have been told to freeze all grants and contracts.  As a negotiation technique, this is the hammer blow opening move. He is forcing those he wants to deal with to rewrite entirely what they expect they can get. A gambit. He is reminding them he is the boss, and that they can take nothing for granted, and that he is not afraid of them calling him names like: “a racist anti-science, flat Earth, climate denier”.

Trump rightly calculates that they have already called him all of the above, and they will continue to do so, no matter what he does.  They don’t have much ammo, he knows it, and he’s getting them to show their hand, and betting that they haven’t got much left to fire. How big are those protests going to be? Will the public really care? (His popularity might go up.)

Trump is overloading the media. By doing everything at once, immigration, the environment, the TPP, the love-media will have to pick their target.

As Judith Curry notes, it’s “seismic”:

Trump administration tells EPA to freeze all grants, contracts “They’re trying to freeze things to make sure nothing happens they don’t want to have happen, so any regulations going forward, contracts, grants, hires, they want to make sure to look at them first,” said Ebell, director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, an industry-backed group that has long sought to slash the authority of the EPA.

So what is going on?  If you are not familiar with the U.S. constitution, take a look at Article 2, The Executive Branch.  Here is a good Summary. Excerpt of the key section:

Clause 1. The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

Here the Framers spell out several of the president’s more important powers. First and foremost, he is commander-in-chief of the military. Second, he is the boss of the heads of all the civilian departments of government; the bit here about requiring their written opinions provides the constitutional basis for the cabinet. And third, he has the power to pardon individuals convicted of crimes.

Basically, the civilian departments such as EPA, USDA and NOAA now work for President Trump, with the Directors of these agencies working with the administration to further the President’s policies.

A serious US and UK partnership reshapes everything

The UK Prime Minister will on Friday become the “first foreign leader to hold talks with the new President….”

Here’s a shift in the global powerscape   —  (the new-normal may be a revival of the old-normal).

“Britain and America will have the opportunity to “lead together again” with renewed confidence after the surprise results of the US election and Brexit vote, Theresa May will say today.

The leadership provided by our two countries through the special relationship has done more than win wars and overcome adversity. It made the modern world,” she will say.

“The institutions upon which that world relies were so often conceived or inspired by our two nations working together. It is through our actions over many years, working together to defeat evil or to open up the world, that we have been able to fulfil the promise of those who first spoke of the special nature of the relationship between us. The promise of freedom, liberty and the rights of man.”

So much has already changed. Only in November 2015 the same Theresa May as Home Secretary was considering whether to ban Trump from entering the UK over his divisive comments. She, clearly, has adapted to the Brexit-Trumpocene era. Can other world leaders do the same  —  (In Australia there’s no sign Turnbull or Bishop have any idea about going with the new flow — like dumping the TPP and doing one-on-one trade deals.).

The US and UK are talking about slashing tarriffs and making it easier for workers to move back and forward.

That would be gold for the UK in its Brexit negotiations:

Sources believe any agreement on tariffs would give Mrs May significant leverage in her negotiations with Brussels and allow her to demand that EU leaders give Britain a good deal.

Government sources also said that Mrs May wants to explore ways in which it is easier for US citizens to work in the UK and vice-versa.

There are around 230,000 people born in North America aged between 16 and 64 living in Britain. The British population in the USA has been estimated at 700,000.


9.4 out of 10 based on 99 ratings