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Spotlight: Climate Change Under Donald Trump

New head of Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt
New head of Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt

Earlier today, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump picked Scott Pruitt, attorney general of Oklahoma, as the head of the Environmental Protection Agency. Pruitt, a New York Times investigation once revealed, has previously sent letters to government agencies that were actually drafted by energy-industry lobbyists. He has also legally challenged the Obama administration's regulation of fossil fuels. Trump's choice for the EPA is hardly unusual. As The Washington Post notes, he is the third of Trump's appointees to "have key philosophical differences with the missions of the agencies they have been tapped to run."

While many are worried about the global implications of having a U.S. president who has expressed "doubts' about humanity's role in global warming, others believe it might, and should, elicit the right reactions from other countries to make a difference. "Trump's victory is, paradoxically, great news for climate change: It will force the rest of the world to focus on technical progress and not on a fragile, unlikely and inefficient international coordination," economist Jacques Delpla writes in French business daily Les Échos.

Denouncing the "precarious naivety" of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol and the absence of any sanctions against transgressors in last year's Paris Agreement, Delpla argues that Trump's stance on climate change "forces us to acknowledge that climate Malthusianism is a dead end." That, he says, leaves us with only one strategy — to "find and develop technologies and radical innovations that will bring down the cost of clean energies below that of dirty energies." Delpla calls for a global equivalent of the Manhattan Project, a program that allowed the U.S. to develop its first nuclear weapons during World War II. He says this could be done at a minimum investment — an extra 1% of GDP that could be financed by a higher tax on carbon which would, in turn, create an incentive for innovation.

As for the world's poorer countries who often have no choice but to rely on polluting energies for their development, Delpla says they should be given free access to these technologies and innovations in exchange for access to their clean-energy markets. "As far as the climate is concerned, intelligence and price mechanism are more efficient than a naive and inefficient international Malthusian coordination," he says. The only question is, who will now take the lead?

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Is Disney's "Wish" Spreading A Subtle Anti-Christian Message To Kids?

Disney's new movie "Wish" is being touted as a new children's blockbuster to celebrate the company's 100th anniversary. But some Christians may see the portrayal of the villain as God-like and turning wishes into prayers as the ultimate denial of the true message of Christmas.

photo of a kid running out of a church

For the Christmas holiday season?

Joseph Holmes

Christians have always had a love-hate relationship with Disney since I can remember. Growing up in the Christian culture of the 1990s and early 2000s, all the Christian parents I knew loved watching Disney movies with their kids – but have always had an uncomfortable relationship with some of its messages. It was due to the constant Disney tropes of “follow your heart philosophy” and “junior knows best” disdain for authority figures like parents that angered so many. Even so, most Christians felt the benefits had outweighed the costs.

That all seems to have changed as of late, with Disney being hit more and more by claims from conservatives (including Christian conservatives) that Disney is pushing more and more radical progressive social agendas, This has coincided with a steep drop at the box office for Disney.

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