Romm’s article is a real treat -- hysterical in both senses of the word. It's also, of course, a stick to beat Donald Trump with. In fact, according to the headline, Trump “is destroying what July 4th stands for.” Is he reuniting the nation with Great Britain? Endorsing taxation without representation? Quartering troops in our homes? Taxing stamps?
No, he’s overseeing “the most anti-science and anti-truth administration in U.S. history.” Worst of all, his “most consequential assault on science and America’s founding principles, Trump abandoned the Paris climate deal, whereby 190 nations had unanimously banded together to save themselves (and us) from catastrophic climate change.”
Got it, Romm is upset about the U.S. dumping a meaningless document that -- if it did anything at all -- would hobble our economy while letting China adjust it’s pollution from “pea soup-thick” to “Jello-thick.” That’s his problem. What does it have to do with the Founding? Well, “the Declaration’s drafters were undeniably men of science, devoted to the truth.” Undeniably. So? So they “saw preserving the environmental [sic] for future generations as a core principle.”
Here’s his real evidence that the Framers were all about recycling and carbon credits and banning plastic straws:
- The key question for Jefferson was very simple: Must later generations “consider the preceding generation as having had a right to eat up the whole soil of their country, in the course of a life?” Soil was an obvious focal point for examining the issue of intergenerational equity for a Virginia planter like Jefferson.
The answer to Jefferson was another self-evident truth: “Every one will say no; that the soil is the gift of God to the living, as much as it had been to the deceased generation.”
Jefferson et al faced real crises with very real consequences. Being men of fortitude and faith, I doubt they’d wet themselves over climate change. Being men of science, they might just lose their wigs over “scientific consensus.”