Donald Trump, the fossil president…

SO much has been said and written about Donald Trump’s bombastic odyssey to the US Presidency that it is hard to know what to add. But let’s have a go.

Oddly, for a man riding an anti-politics wave, his rude rise illustrates the limitations of politics.

The radio this morning has a running headline about how Trump intends to knock down much of what Barack Obama built. And there you have it: the new regime destroys the old; the new guy obliterates the monuments built by his predecessor; the new guy destroys so that he can create – or maybe this one will be happy stop at the destruction.

It is an odd way to run a country. The belligerently binary nature of politics means that there is only right and wrong, and whoever is in power pursues their ‘right’ by demolishing what has been achieved by their predecessor.

Wouldn’t it be more efficient and sensible to acknowledge that your opponent got some things right, to collaborate across the regimes rather than blow everything up and start again?

Trump is without question a ‘blow everything up’ sort of a guy, although the process of politics will hold him back to a degree. The rancid rhetoric will not all come to pass. Or if it does we are up to our shaking knees in shit.

Today the US begins a mad experiment that belongs in a Batman movie: evil genius billionaire knucklehead becomes president. Many things should alarm us about Trump, from the hatred and the misogyny to the sheer belligerence of the man, the veiled white supremacy and the nastiness of his right-wing cohorts.

Most alarming of all is his belief that climate change is all a con – a hoax got up by the Chinese to increase its trade surplus with the US, a theory passed on in one of his many insane and semi-literate tweets.

All this at a time when 2016 has been shown to be the hottest year on record, as for the third year in a row the world exceeded the previous record.

This place we call home is heating up and while there may be competing reasons, the biggest cause of all remains us. Yet Trump thinks global warming is a con, and he has packed his administration with fellow billionaires and climate-change deniers, and has promised to renege on the Paris international accord to limit greenhouse gases.

In environmental terms, and probably many others, the man is a fossil – fittingly enough as he seems intent on ignoring the scientific evidence and allowing the energy industry to plunder every burnable scrap of coal and oil, rather than putting money in green energy.

The world needs many things from the new president, not least continued investment and involvement in the fight against global warming. And if Trump doesn’t believe what science is telling him, preferring the dark whispered mutterings of oilmen, then we have just taken a big backwards step.

The best that can be said of the next four years is that the Trump presidency is going to be one hell of a ride. Let’s just hope it isn’t a ride to hell.

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