20 Comments
Feb 2Liked by Jason Anthony

Great piece Jason. Two things stuck out for me, the first being this sentence in 2025 plans for the EPA: Incentivizing the public to “identify scientific flaws and research misconduct” at the EPA. I can only imagine an army of flat-earthers, chem trail enthusiasts, and climate deniers, given a voice and a role in vetting serious research. The second is more general. The success of any move towards a more effective response to climate change and species extinction depends on long term predictability. Even if Trump eventually loses his bid for the Presidency, the very fact that the 2025 plan is out there, undermines confidence, both at home and abroad, and discourages investment in solutions.

Expand full comment
author

Thanks, Tom. That's well said. My cold comfort in terms of U.S. long term predictability is that observers abroad have become accustomed to the lurching. After all, the Heritage Foundations has been providing these docs since Reagan came to power. Though, to your point, this threat seems an order of magnitude greater.

And there's warmer comfort in the economic momentum behind the energy transition at least. However much these conservatives may long for the days of coal, or the heyday of gas guzzlers, those days are numbered.

Expand full comment

Yes, they’re becoming accustomed to the lurching—and as a result increasingly afraid (https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2024/mar/16/trump-rhetoric-ukraine-europe-us-relations). On the environmental question, the current libertarian partner in the coalition (FDP) has successfully blocked every Green Party initiative, gone to war over envisioning an efuelled future, and diluted every anti-pollution EU policy it can—in the 3 years I’ve been here. Every walk in a woodland I have means understanding that trees are grown to be logged, the rivers are contaminated, and climate activists are under surveillance. So I try to imagine what I can do about the pollution of our souls. By the way, I love how the work your newsletter does.

Expand full comment
Feb 2Liked by Jason Anthony

I WENT INTO THe MAVERICK BAR

by Gary Snyder

I went into the Maverick Bar

In Farmington, New Mexico.

And drank double shots of bourbon

backed with beer.

My long hair was tucked up under a cap

I’d left the earring in the car.

Two cowboys did horseplay

by the pool tables,

A waitress asked us

where are you from?

a country-and-western band began to play

“We don’t smoke Marijuana in Muskokie”

And with the next song,

a couple began to dance.

They held each other like in High School dances

in the fifties;

I recalled when I worked in the woods

and the bars of Madras, Oregon.

That short-haired joy and roughness—

America—your stupidity.

I could almost love you again.

We left—onto the freeway shoulders—

under the tough old stars—

In the shadow of bluffs

I came back to myself,

To the real work, to

“What is to be done.”

Gary Snyder, “I Went into the Maverick Bar” from Turtle Island. Copyright © 1974 by Gary Snyder

Expand full comment
author

Beautiful, Michael. What is to be done, indeed.

Expand full comment
Feb 2Liked by Jason Anthony

Snyder is my favorite poet. Even with my poor memory I remember many of his poems especially those early ones. He was an environmentalist before the movement got rolling. Just like those log trucks going up to Bubbs Creek at 3am.

When I read your splendid piece, I immediately thought of his remarks about almost loving at the end and your work. Glad you're doing well.

PS. here at our little cottage I have a large framed broadside of his Coalsdale Nevada/White Mountains poem, signed by him. It's the first thing you see when you come through the door. In person, someone told me , he came off abrasive at times, but the man positively burned with the sacred fire we all have but keep slaked. Not you.

Expand full comment
author

Nor you, Michael. Thank you.

Simic and Snyder knew each other coming up through poetry circles. Snyder was a little older. Very different poets, but equally essential. Simic was a city boy through-and-through, though.

Expand full comment

I greatly admire Simic as well!

Speaking of that framed broadside of Snyder's, immediately above it is hung a large framed portrait of H.H. Tenzin Gyatso, the Dalai Lama. You see both as you come in our front door....

A third individual who connects the two was Friedenreich Hundterwasser- "Peace-Realm Hundred Waters" who advocated for the Chinese to release the Dalai Lama back in the fifties and who like Snyder, was a lifelong environmentalist, a lover (and planter) of trees and nature, a poet in art.and sometimes poems. I once tried to acquire one his artworks but didn't succeed....

I would love to have had all three bright souls over to dinner in the backyard some cool early summer evening under the cherry tree. Perhaps I could have asked them about what we should do in the face of the coming heat.

Expand full comment
Feb 4Liked by Jason Anthony

Great Column Jason. Thanks for all these well-researched details. Last time, Trump overturned 100+ environmental protection laws and rules; Biden, to his credit, has been undoing the undoing that Trump did. SCOTUS, too, killed wetland protections.

Expand full comment
author

Thanks, Maureen. Yes, there's so much from the Trump administration that I didn't get into. Just too much to detail. So thank you for this reminder of both how much damage was done and how much Biden has done to undo it. He's much older than I would like but still making excellent environmental decisions.

For readers interested in more on the SCOTUS decision, you can check out my piece, The Supreme Court and the Swamp (https://jasonanthony.substack.com/p/the-supreme-court-and-the-swamp),

Expand full comment
Feb 4·edited Feb 4Liked by Jason Anthony

Regardless of the outcome of the general election (hopefully an unambiguous MAGA thrashing) defeating Project 2025 is akin to Hercules killing the Hydra.

To heal the planet, the right-wing indoctrination network must be dealt a lethal blow. An election that defeats the reactionaries is the highest priority right now, however, bankrupting that ideology has to be the ultimate goal.

The Project 2025 Hydra has over ninety heads (Advisory Board Project 2025) funding, indoctrinating and training twenty thousand ideologues, just like Hercules, we'll need all the help we can get. Vote Blue and only Blue.

https://globalextremism.org/project-2025-the-far-right-playbook-for-american-authoritarianism/#two

Expand full comment
Feb 4·edited Feb 4Liked by Jason Anthony

"In the end, the survival of liberal democracies might in no small part depend on the willingness of their courts and other authorities to use the defense mechanisms their constitutions provide against those who are intent on destroying them."

From <https://religiondispatches.org/as-far-right-surges-in-us-and-germany-debate-rages-over-disqualification-of-those-who-would-destroy-democracy/>

Expand full comment
author

That's well said, Patrick. Which makes the right-wing torquing of the courts, esp. SCOTUS, all the more serious. As I briefly noted in the piece (in the context of taking decisions away from agency scientists), twisting the executive branch after gerrymandering the House and shifting the courts will make life a lot more difficult. We'll know soon whether SCOTUS has any interest at all in the plain language of the Constitution, as it applies to insurrection.

Expand full comment
Feb 3Liked by Jason Anthony

After reading this yesterday I had to take a pause on the horror of it, the gall, for another word that doesn’t describe it. I want to buy a school bus and drive it across the country with excerpts of Project 2025 on its side but it would have to be powered by what exactly? When will politicians be in service to the environment instead of the other way around.

Expand full comment
author

It is hard to absorb the full weight of what's being promised by these folks, isn't it? The value system that they've absorbed and intensified is all around us, though. You might want a fleet of buses... Thank you, Margaret.

Expand full comment

Terrifying.

Expand full comment
author

Indeed, Mary, it is.

Expand full comment
Feb 2Liked by Jason Anthony

Great article on a devastating topic!!!

Expand full comment
author

Thank you, Deb. Great to hear from you.

Expand full comment

Why isn’t this terrible “idea” being discussed on any news station… especially the smaller outlets that reach out to the uneducated country bumpkins who need to hear all this the most?

Expand full comment