Daily Show host Trevor Noah is known for pulling no punches, and last night was no exception. Noah spent seven minutes of his show talking about President Donald Trump’s attempts to revive the coal industry.
One of Trump’s campaign promises was to bring back coal mining jobs, and he has signed Executive Orders that are intended to do this. Trump rolled back the clean water rule, allowing mining companies to pollute small rivers and streams. He also ended Obama’s freeze on coal leasing yesterday. This will allow coal mining on federal land.
Coal is a dying industry. Greater automation, lower commodity prices and cheaper – and cleaner to burn – natural gas made available by the recent fracking boom have sent the industry into irreversible decline. Trump is simply delaying the inevitable for the sake of a few votes, and at the expense of our planet.
Noah begins with a historical summary of America’s relationship with coal:
For a hundred years, America has had a love affair with coal. It was the fuel behind America’s electricity. It powered steam trains across the continent and it has been the only acceptable way for white people to do blackface.
Now that Trump is in power his “energy independence” plan will move America backward when it comes to the environment. Noah continued:
I know what you are thinking: this is going to be bad for the environment and the air quality, more carbon emissions and you know what, you are right, you are right. But what you are not considering is that this is going to be great for the country. Just not the country you are thinking of.
Trump’s reactionary climate change policies give China the advantage it needs to become one of the global leaders in tackling global warming. Over the period of its economic boom China paid little heed to the environment, but now it’s gotten so bad they have been forced to act. The Chinese government is very keen to portray a soft face to the world, and it sees a possibility for this through the fight against climate change.
Noah commented on this development:
That’s right, President Trump’s deregulation is actually going to help China, or as he calls them, ‘Gina.’
If Trump was genuinely trying to keep hard-working Americans employed, I would understand that. You know, he made the promise. But it feels like he’s just using these coal miners as political pawns. And the only reason I say that is because everyone seems to agree that coal jobs won’t ever come back.
If Donald Trump was really trying to make America great again, it would be all innovation and progress, because moving the world forward is what America has always been about. Think about it: America went from candles to the light bulb, right? America went from covered wagons to airplanes. Unemployed girls to Instagram models. The point is, progress, and now you want to go back to coal?
Noah is absolutely right. The coal miners are just a convenience for Trump: they got him votes, and now they’re just the figment of his grandstanding and posturing. Trump picked the wrong industry to revive, because coal is not going to come back, no matter how hard Trump tries.
The simple fact of the matter is that market forces are going towards renewable energy. Slowly but surely the world of business is realizing that clean energy has to be the future, and they won’t stop for little old Donnie.
Watch Noah destroy Trump’s coal policy below: