Map of hot weather


We well know by now that Trump remains the undisputed leader of the Republican Party and seemingly has the unwavering support of an electoral base numbering in the tens of millions. His cult-like base seemingly accepts his statements as absolute truths, even when they contradict or ignore the relevant verifiable evidence. They believe his “big lie” that he won the 2020 presidential election, while the overwhelming evidence refutes it ( They also believe falsely that global warming is a left-wing hoax.

Trump also has the support of large segments of the corporate community, including the Koch Brothers’ network. The network includes avid supporters and profitable beneficiaries of fossil fuels and right-wing politics generally. See Christopher Leonard’s book, Kochland: The Secret History of Koch Industries and Corporate Power in America, for an in-depth analysis (publ. in 2019).  For example, Leonard writes: “In 2008, Koch Industries consolidated its [massive] lobbying operations into a single, newly formed company called Koch Companies Public Sector” (p. 405). According to Open Secrets, Koch Industries by itself has spent this political cycle $29.6 million on “contributions” and $3.5 million on lobbying (

Right-wing response to heat waves

The disinformation about global warming is reflected in how right-wingers responded to the unprecedented heat waves that recently affected billions of people around the world and millions across the United States. Trump, the Republican Party, and their myriad allies want to avoid a public discussion that recognizes the problem, let alone proposing potential solutions.

Production and profits first

They want to see an increase in the production and consumption of fossil fuels and to continue the export of liquified natural gas. They want to maximize profits from fossil fuels rather than phase them out. They assert that fossil fuels are necessary to U.S. economic prosperity and the country would fall into chaos if their views are not taken seriously and implemented.

The rub is that, if they continue to follow Trump’s existentially-threatening lead, they will suffer along with everyone else. Still, the Trump-led movement is unlikely to take such concerns seriously, especially if they are advanced by the Biden administration, climate scientists, and even if their views contradict the empirical realty.

Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a close ally of Trump, takes an especially extreme position. Sarah Al-Arshani reports that Greene has claimed that climate change is a "scam," and added that fossil fuels are "amazing," in a tweet on Saturday [April 13, 2023]. 

“‘If you believe that today's 'climate change' is caused by too much carbon, you have been fooled,’ she said.”

Effects of June 2024 heat waves

Sarah Kaplan and Scott Dance report that “billions of people” experienced the scorching heat that occurred across five continents, set 1,400 records the third week in June, and “showed how human-caused global warming has made catastrophic temperatures commonplace” (

Sarah Kaplan is a climate reporter covering humanity's response to a warming world. She previously reported on Earth science and the universe.  Twitter

Scott Dance is a reporter for The Washington Post covering extreme weather news and the intersections between weather, climate, society and the environment. He joined The Post in 2022 after more than a decade at the Baltimore Sun. Twitter

They give the following examples:

“Dozens of bodies were discovered in Delhi during a two-day stretch this week when even sundown brought no relief from sweltering heat and humidity. Tourists died or went missing as the mercury surged in Greece. Hundreds of pilgrims perished before they could reach Islam’s holiest site, struck down by temperatures as high as 125 degrees.”

“…in the past seven days alone, billions felt heat with climate change-fueled intensity that broke more than 1,000 temperature records around the globe. Hundreds fell in the United States, where tens of millions of people across the Midwest and Eastern Seaboard have been sweltering amid one of the worst early-season heat waves in memory."

“‘It should be obvious that dangerous climate change is already upon us,’ said Michael Wehner, a climate scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

“People will die because of global warming on this very day.” And, Kaplan and Dance write, “there are ominous signs that even more scorching conditions may still be on the horizon.”

Kaplan and Dance quote Michael McPhaden, a senior scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: “We’ve got the highest greenhouse gas concentrations in the last three million years. Carbon dioxide traps heat, so the temperature of the planet is rising,” said Michael McPhaden, “It’s real simple physics.”

The effects are hardly simple. “For some 80 percent of the world’s population — 6.5 billion people — the heat of the past week was twice as likely to occur because humans started burning fossil fuels and releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, according to data provided to The Washington Post by the nonprofit Climate Central.

“Nearly half that number experienced what Climate Central considers “exceptional heat” — conditions that would have been rare or even impossible in a world without climate change.”

“All week long, ‘exceptional’ conditions could be found across much of Africa, the Middle East, southern Europe and southeast Asia. Surging air conditioning demand crippled power grids in Albania and Kuwait. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the past week has seen more than 1,400 high temperature records fall around the globe.”

The burning of fossil fuels keeps rising, heat is trapped in the atmosphere, and the   earth’s temperature keeps going up. Kaplan and Dance refer to the following facts.

“Since the start of the industrial era, human activities — mostly burning fossil fuels — have warmed the planet by about 1.2 degrees Celsius (2.2 degrees Fahrenheit). Earth’s temperature over the past 12 months has been even hotter, averaging about 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above preindustrial levels.”

Kaplan and Dance quote Wehner again. “Climate change isn’t just making high temperatures and other extreme events more likely. It also makes every disaster that does occur more intense.

“Wehner’s research has found that heat waves like the one currently unfolding in the United States are now roughly 2 to 3 degrees Celsius (3 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit) hotter because of how humans have altered the planet. Strong hurricanes are at least 14 percent wetter because the warmer atmosphere can hold more moisture. And storm surges are unfolding in oceans that are in some places more than a foot higher than they were half a century ago — allowing floodwaters to reach heights never seen before.”

Trump must be defeated

The U.S. heat dome and accompanying heat waves are a warning about the 2024 election.

Paul Waldman, author and commentator, contends in an article on MSNBC, June 19, 2024, that the country will be worse off if Trump rather than Biden is elected in the November presidential election. Indeed, “there may be no policy area with a clearer divide between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump” ( Here’s some of what Waldman writes: “…this week, a heat dome has descended on much of the United States. Over the next few days, ‘temperatures could reach as high as 25 degrees above normal in many areas,’ NBC News reported. The National Weather Service says 200 cities could see record highs.”

“The rising temperatures that scientists began warning about decades ago have become reality….In fact, every one of the last 12 months was the hottest ever recorded: the hottest May ever, the hottest April ever, the hottest March ever, and so on.

“Rising temperatures are becoming inescapable in a way some effects of climate change are not; depending on where you live, you might not be directly affected by more frequent hurricanes or rising sea levels, but you won’t be able to avoid a heat wave. They are three times more common now than in the 1960s, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, ‘and individual heat waves are lasting longer and becoming more intense.’ The consequences are fatal: 2,300 people died from extreme heat in the U.S. last year alone.”

Deny, dismiss, do nothing

“Yet,” Waldman writes, “for many politicians, climate change is perennially pushed down the agenda. In fact, inaction has become the position of many of those who used to be outright climate deniers. The idea that climate change is a ‘hoax’ is seldom spoken out loud anymore, even by the staunchest supporters of the fossil fuel industry. Instead of denying the incontrovertible truth that the planet is warming, they leave that question aside and focus on condemning efforts to address it. Every solution is too difficult, too costly or too inconvenient; instead, we should just keep drilling and pretend the planet isn’t warming. 

“The result is that the Republican Party is now emphatically anti-anti-climate change (in the same way they’re anti-anti-racism). They don’t necessarily want climate change to worsen; they just oppose every means of confronting it.” 

Waldman continues.

Climate extremism on the Right

“As always with Trump, his dark impulses become much more dangerous when there are people around him who will put them into action. Should he become president again, the haphazard rollback of environmental progress that characterized his first term will be replaced by focused and furious action. You can see it in Project 2025, the 920-page governing blueprint written by his allies as they prepare an assault on the federal government. The document contains 150 references to climate — sometimes described as ‘climate extremism’ — and proposes eliminating a range programs, offices and agencies devoted to addressing climate change. ‘The Biden Administration’s climate fanaticism will need a whole-of-government unwinding,’ it says.” 

Biden has done some positive things

The authoritarian dreamers at Project 2025 are right about one thing: Biden has been more aggressive on addressing climate change than any president before him. The Inflation Reduction Act, which he [Biden] signed into law in 2022, was the largest climate bill in history. It supports clean energy development, electric car adoption, energy efficiency upgrades, carbon capture, electrical grid improvements, sustainable agriculture and much more. In addition, according to The Washington Post’s tracker of Biden’s environmental policies, his administration has enacted over 100 new environmental policies and overturned an almost equal number of Trump-era policies. In a second term, Biden would build on what he has done so far, with the goal of the country reaching net-zero emissions by 2050.” 

Global warming will meanwhile continue to increase

Waldman continues. “As time goes on, the effects of warming will become more concrete and visible, all year round but especially in the summer. The coming decades will likely see a huge wave of climate migration, as people leave areas where climate change has diminished their opportunities or even made life impossible. Just within the United States we could see millions of climate migrants. And as we know, large-scale migrations frequently produce backlashes.

“Even under the most optimistic scenarios, warming is going to get worse before it gets better. The response we used to hear from climate deniers — ‘It’s summer, it’s hot, what’s the big deal?’ — is no longer tenable. Now the voters have to decide whether they want to do anything about it.”

What will U.S. voters do in November?

Andres Oppenheimer addresses this question in an article for the Miami Herald, June 7, 2024 (

“…even though the planet endured record-breaking heat waves in 2023, and this year is marking a new high, climate change is almost absent from the campaign for the Nov. 5 presidential elections. It should be the hottest issue — pardon the pun — on the agenda, but it ranks 18th among Americans’ priorities, way below the economy and immigration, according to a recent Pew Research Center poll. What’s worse, presidential hopeful Donald Trump, a long-time climate change skeptic, is ahead in several polls and could win.”

Oppenheimer continues.


“Trump has repeatedly mocked climate change warnings and promotes fossil fuels, ignoring the scientific consensus that climate change is likely caused by man-made greenhouse emissions. As crazy as it sounds at a time of record heat waves, Trump is publicly vowing to reverse the Biden administration’s ambitious laws to combat global warming. According to the Trump campaign website, a second Trump administration would unleash a wave of oil drilling and speed up approvals of fracking permits in public lands.

“‘To keep pace with the world economy that depends on fossil fuels for more than 80% of its energy, President Trump will DRILL, BABY, DRILL,’ the campaign’s official website says. The Trump campaign website also says that, ‘from day one,’ the former president would kill hundreds of laws to combat global warming adopted by the Biden administration, including rules to reduce car emissions and subsidies for buyers of electric vehicles. Trump would also again order a U.S. withdrawal from the 2016 Paris Agreement to control climate change, which calls on countries to substantially reduce planet-warming emissions. Trump had pulled out of the Paris Agreement at the start of his term, but Biden later reversed that decision.

Trump offers bribes and counterproductive policies

“At an April fundraiser with oil company owners and executives at his Mar-a-Lago compound, Trump promised to go out of his way to help fossil fuel industries if they donated $1 billion to his campaign, The Washington Post reported. Trump specifically vowed to scrap current policies that encourage production of electric vehicles, wind and solar energy, and other green power sources opposed by the oil industry, the Post said.”

“Trump’s main argument for dismissing climate change warnings is that the transition to green energies is too costly for industries, and is therefore an ‘industry-killing’ and ‘jobs-killing’ plan. Some of Trump’s fellow climate skeptics also point out, in this case with some reason, that electric vehicles will not solve the climate problems because we have not yet found the way to dispose of their batteries in ways that don’t harm the environment. But Trump’s ‘drill, baby, drill’ policy is economic populism at its worst. Like populists of all stripes, Trump is offering instant economic relief at the expense of the gradual destruction of the planet. It’s an incredibly short-sighted and dumb non-policy, especially at a time when many of us are suffering record heat waves and scientists are reporting that glaciers are melting, sea levels are rising, and tropical storms are becoming more severe than ever in recent memory.”


Oppenheimer writes, “While Trump has called the concept of man-made climate change a hoax, Biden has described the climate crisis as an ‘existential threat.’ He reviews some of Biden’s accomplishments.

“In what may be one of his greatest achievements, Biden has passed a 2022 law that may amount to the most far-reaching strategy to fight global warming in U.S. history. Biden’s 2022 Inflation Reduction Act, which was misleadingly called that way in an effort to get it passed through Congress, includes more than 100 new regulations to cut greenhouse gas emissions, preserve public lands, and promote the use of solar, wind and other alternative energy sources. Biden’s IRA provides more than $300 billion in tax credits to speed up the transition to clean energy sources, including tax relief measures for people who buy electric cars or install solar roofs in their homes. It also provides billions to help industries to cut emissions from their factories. According to the prestigious Science magazine, Biden’s IRA, alongside his Bipartisan Infrastructure law, will reduce U.S. toxic emissions by 40 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.”

Scientists fear a second Trump term

Maxine Joselow and Scott Dance report on this issue (

Their main point is this: “Several federal agencies are working to safeguard research, including climate science, from future political meddling.”

They give the example of the union representing nearly half of the employees at the Environmental Protection Agency. In June, the union employees “approved a new contract with the federal government this month, it included an unusual provision that had nothing to do with pay, benefits or workplace flexibility: protections from political meddling into their work.

The protections, which ensure workers can report any meddling without fear of ‘retribution, reprisal, or retaliation,’ are ‘a way for us to get in front of a second Trump administration and protect our workers,’ said Marie Owens Powell, an EPA gas station storage tank inspector and president of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Council 238.

“The agreement signals the extent to which career employees and Biden administration officials are racing to foil any efforts to interfere with climate science or weaken environmental agencies should former president Donald Trump win a second term. Trump and his allies, in contrast, argue that bloated federal agencies have hurt economic development nationwide and that the Biden administration has prioritized climate science at the expense of other priorities.”

Trump’s record

“The Trump administration sidelined, muted or forced out hundreds of scientists and misrepresented research on the coronavirusreproduction and hurricane forecasting, environmental advocates said. Now as an example of what’s to come, they point to a blueprint called ‘Project 2025,’ a plan for the next conservative administration drafted by right-wing think tanks in Washington.

“The plan calls for a sweeping reorganization of the executive branch, one that would concentrate more power in Trump’s hands. At the EPA, it recommends eliminating the office of environmental justice, which was created in 2022 to address the pollution that disproportionately harms poor and minority communities.”

“Career employees exited the Interior Department in droves during Trump’s four years in office. At the end of his presidency, there were 4,900 fewer employees at the agency than at the beginning, according to data from the Office of Personnel Management.

“The exodus was especially large at Interior’s Bureau of Land Management, which oversees roughly 245 million acres of public lands. After Trump briefly moved the BLM’s headquarters from Washington to Grand Junction, Colo., more than 87 percent of the affected employees either resigned or retired.”

Biden’s record

Soon after President Biden took office, his administration began imposing scientific integrity policies across the federal government, setting rules that protect research from political interference or manipulation. Many such policies are in place — though research advocates say they aren’t durable because they aren’t enshrined in federal law, and could be undone with new executive actions.”

“At the EPA, the new scientific integrity provision is part of a four-year contract with the agency. The provision ensures that workers’ complaints will be assessed by an independent investigator, rather than a political appointee.

“While any new president could quickly transform policies around scientific integrity through new executive orders, the union contract provision is one advocates had urged as a way to make the protections harder to undo without a legal fight.”

“EPA spokesman Remmington Belford said in an email that the agency is ‘pleased’ with the contract provision and “committed to ensuring the agency has a strong foundation of science that is free from political interference and inappropriate influence.”

“While helpful, the provision won’t be a panacea, said Tim Whitehouse, the executive director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, a nonprofit advocacy group, which helped advise AFGE on the scientific integrity language.

“‘It will be impossible to fully Trump-proof any agency or protect any scientist if Trump wins a new term and either the House or Senate is in Republican control,’ Whitehouse said. ‘Then there will be absolutely no meaningful oversight.’

Interior Department braces for more cuts

“It remains unclear whether Trump wants to eliminate the Interior Department or merely reduce its budget and staffing levels.”  Karoline Leavitt, a spokeswoman for Trump’s 2024 campaign, did not directly respond to a request for clarification.

Trump ‘cut red tape and gave the [oil and gas] industry more freedom to do what they do best — utilize the liquid gold under our feet to produce clean energy for America and the world — and he will do that again as soon as he gets back to the White House,’ Leavitt said in an emailed statement.

Attempt to protect federal employees

In April, the Office of Personnel Management finalized a rule that will allow federal employees to keep their existing job protections and right to due process, including the right to appeal a reassignment or firing. The rule overturns a Trump directive, known as Schedule F, that allowed his administration to force out thousands of career employees by changing their status to at-will workers who could be fired without due process.”

“But as strong as the policies may be, they aren’t permanent, some critics note. Legislation introduced in the two most recent sessions of Congress would have codified a requirement that federal agencies adopt scientific integrity policies and could establish legal penalties for violating them.”

A National Climate Action Plan

John J. Berger considers “a national climate action plan” in the June 18 2024 issue of Tom Dispatch ( Here’s some of what he considers.

“It could hardly be clearer that the world is already in the throes of a climate catastrophe. That means it’s high time for the U.S. to declare a national climate emergency to help focus us all on the disaster at hand.”

“Such a declaration of a climate emergency is long overdue. Some 40 other nations have already done so, including 2,356 jurisdictions and local governments representing more than a billion people. Of course, a declaration alone will hardly be enough.

“As the world’s wealthiest and most powerful nation, and the one that historically has contributed the most legacy greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, the U.S. needs to develop a coherent exit strategy from the stranglehold of fossil fuels, a strategy that could serve as an international example of a swift and thorough clean-energy transition. But at the moment, of course, this country remains the world’s largest producer and consumer of oil and natural gas and the third largest producer of coal — and should Donald Trump win in November, you can kiss any possible reductions in those figures goodbye for the foreseeable future. Sadly enough, however, though the Biden administration’s rhetoric of climate concern has been strong, in practice, this country has continued to cede true climate leadership to others.

“To make a rapid, far-reaching, and unrelenting break with our fossil-fuel dependency — 79% of the nation’s energy is now drawn from fossil fuels — a national mobilization would be needed, and it would have to be a genuine all-of-society effort.”

National mobilization amid crisis

“What this country needs is a plan guided by scientific and technical analysis and based on an ambitious but attainable set of greenhouse-gas-reduction quotas. Its point would not be to override the climate agendas of any city, state, or group, or the aspirations of the Green New Deal (House Resolution HR 109). It would simply be to provide a reliable toolkit of measures and policies along with analyses of their costs and benefits — a compass for getting to negative carbon emission as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.”

The plan

“Call it America’s Energy Transition: Achieving a Clean Energy Future and imagine that it would build on previous authoritative studies, analyzing renewable-energy-generating and distribution technologies in terms of their costs, commercial readiness, resource constraints, and potential efficiency. It would formulate and model competing scenarios with clusters of complementary technologies, each requiring different policies for its implementation.

Regional advisory councils

“To build trust and engagement in the final plan, regional advisory councils made up of scientists, engineers, businesspeople, and major stakeholder representatives should be created to offer recommendations on how best to adapt such a plan to conditions in each part of the country. The final policy roadmap would then be designated as the “optimal energy path scenario” for the nation and provided to Congress, so that it could use the findings as a basis for funding and implementing new climate legislation.

Political action is necessary

“…a strong popular constituency must be built nationwide capable of exerting powerful pressure on Congress to ensure the creation of a climate plan and the appropriate legislation to make it functional.  Otherwise, no matter how sound the PR campaign on its behalf, serious political obstacles would stand in the way of its adoption, even by a Democratic Congress.”

“The creation of a powerful, broad coalition of constituencies — environmental, labor, public health, faith-based, and even progressive elements of the business community — could serve as a popular countervailing force against the mighty fossil-fuel industry. But as a first step, that coalition would need support, guidance, and a common accepted platform both to stand behind and to mobilize the public. The American environmental community could produce that platform. Yet this would not be a simple matter, due to the way that community is siloed, with each major organization catering to its own constituency, interests, and funders.

“To create a common consensual vision around which the national climate movement could mobilize, a broad civil society gathering should be convened to attract the leadership of all environmental and climate action groups and set the stage for the National Climate Action Plan. That gathering would, of course, focus on the roadblocks to implementing such a plan and to a swift, national clean-energy transition — and how those roadblocks could be dismantled.”

Concluding thoughts

The recent heat waves are a harbinger of what is to come if too little is done. The problem of global warming is worsening. This post has emphasized that Trump, the Republican Party, and their followers ignore the problem and, out of stupidity or distorted self-interest, want to increase the principal source of the problem, namely, the production and consumption of gas and oil – even coal.

Biden and the majority of Democrats recognize the problem and have supported some policies that could, if fully implemented, slow greenhouse gas emissions. It requires a plan of action, the mobilization of expert and scientific researchers, honesty (not lies) in discussions with the public, and assistance for those communities that need support during such efforts. To do otherwise is disaster.