An absent dog does not bark, says an African proverb. The US press has hardly been absent during the coronavirus outbreak; many outlets have run stories about little else. But the focus on the virus has distracted the press from its watchdog function on other matters of public importance, including the climate crisis. Just as some merchants have exploited the pandemic to price gouge, some government and corporate officials appear to have chosen this moment of anxiety and distraction to engineer financial give-aways and regulatory rollbacks that under normal circumstances would be bitterly contested.
Perhaps the most egregious example is the effort by governments, corporations, and banks in the US and Canada to revive the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Runner-ups include the Trump administration’s weakening of vehicle fuel efficiency standards and its halting of Environmental Protection Agency enforcement of some anti-pollution and public health protections, not to mention the White House meeting that president Trump held with the CEOs of seven of the world’s leading fossil fuel companies even as the Keystone rescue effort was unfolding. Meanwhile, three US states—Kentucky, West Virginia, and South Dakota—have passed laws that criminalize protesting against the construction of fossil fuel infrastructure such as pipelines.
Read the whole story here at: Silence of the Climate Watchdogs — Covering Climate Now