Does he know? Do they Know? By David Lindsay Jr. April 24, 2017
“Do they know?” is the refrain of a famous song by Gian Carlo Menotti in Amahl and the Night Visitors. The crippled boy’s mother laments: Do the rich have any idea how hard it is it be poor and starving? Amahl is a terrific light opera.
Does he know? This is my question for President Trump, after reading Bill McKibben’s insightful op-ed in the New York Times, 4/23/17, titled, “The Planet Doesn’t Have Time for This.”
McKibben writes, “. . . we only have a short window to deal with the climate crisis or else we forever lose the chance to thwart truly catastrophic heating.” His essay should be required reading for all Americans, especially politicians.
Does he know? Does Donald Trump know that if he slows the fight to mitigate the worst outcomes of global warming, climate change, and increased population growth, there will be billions of people who become climate change refugees. Billions will probably die prematurely due to the dislocations and wars that ensue. Millions of plant and animal species will become extinct. Does he know that this is what he will be remembered for?
Edward O. Wilson, the famous Harvard entomologist, predicts that if we do not change course on carbon dioxide and other green house gas emissions and human population growth, in the next eighty-five years, the earth will probably lose roughly eighty percent of our species diversity. The Washington Post reported that one scientific study estimated there are roughly 8.7 million species on earth. E.O. Wilson predicts then that we will lose roughly 7 million out of 9 million species. Elizabeth Kolbert, in her book, The Sixth Extinction, reports that many scientists claim that even if we do everything possible immediately to mitigate the human causes of climate change, we will still probably lose 50% of the worlds’ species. 7.5 billion humans and their pollution are crowding out many other forms of life.
Does he know? Do they know? Do Donald Trump and his team understand that if these dire outcomes, which they are currently exacerbating, come to pass, historians will call these men mass killers of humans and other species, and from at least an environmental perspective, more damaging than Adolf Hitler and the Nazis of Germany’s Third Reich. Trump and his apparently clueless, climate change denying advisors will kill more humans than all of the earth’s famous warlords, dictators, and mass murderers combined. They will exacerbate the Sixth Extinction: the extinction going on now of 50% to 80% of non-human animal and plant species. Do they know that this is how they will probably be remembered, if they continue to deny the science and facts that 98% of the scientific community support, and are asking them to pay serious attention to. Does Donald Trump know that this will be his historical legacy?