Almost Everyone Believed It
by Tom Konrad, Ph.D., CFA
|Press Secretary Sean Spicer reveals the joke.|
This morning, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer began an epic five-hour press conference with a one-word statement from President Donald Trump: “Bazinga!”
Spicer then launched into a detailed explanation of how the President (with help from many Republicans and conservative think-and-humor-tanks) had convinced the nation and the world how he did not believe in climate change. In fact, efforts to roll back EPA regulations like the Clean Power Plan, CAFE gas mileage standards, and the Paris Agreement were all “fake news.”
Over the course of the diatribe, Spicer became increasingly animated, gloating at the number of impossible, if not downright insane political stances and opinions he had persuaded the press to swallow hook, line and sinker.
“In addition to a great sense of humor, President Trump is widely acknowledged to have a great mind. In fact, many people have said that he is the greatest intellect to ever occupy the White House. His ability to get you morons to buy his the anti-science conspiracy theory rhetoric would leave you all in awe if you only had the brains to appreciate it!”
Asked about the appointment of Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency, which he had made a career of suing as Oklahoma’s attorney general, Spicer smirked and said that Secretary Pruitt had been in on the joke from the beginning, and his legal actions were all part of the prank. Likewise, Donald Trump’s recent executive orders reversing the Obama administration’s actions would all be found to have the word “NOT!” written in an organic, citrus-based invisible ink developed by the CIA. The hidden word could be revealed by gently exposing the paper to heat from one of the old style wasteful incandescent light bulbs or a hair dryer.
Spicer concluded the briefing by saying the nation should stay tuned for an as-yet unidentified but “very big-league” solution to climate change, which President Trump would implement over the course of the following week. The administration would also be applying to the Guinness organization for recognition of the best April Fools’ prank ever.
Environmentalists Not Amused
Refusing to see the humor, Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune said in a statement, “The climate crisis is an extremely serious issue for all Americans in both red and blue states. There is no time for joking around when we should be using clean energy technology to create jobs while safeguarding our air and water.”
World Resources Institute president Andrew Steer said the Trump administration’s joke was “like a fraternity prank that had gotten out of hand.” Despite his reservations about the humor, he admitted that he was excited that the President had turned his prodigious intellect to the problem of climate change, and that there would soon be no need for environmentalists.
Steer said he looked forward to closing WRI and finding more productive work. He said he was particularly interested in the many high paying jobs picking California produce now that such jobs would no longer be monopolized by illegal immigrants.
Asking not to be identified, another prominent environmentalist said he could see the humor in Trump’s jokes about women’s bodies, blacks, Mexicans, and queers, but joking about climate change “has the potential to hurt rich, white, straight men.” He said some things are just not to be joked about.
UPDATE: President Trump replied to the last quote via Twitter. He tweeted, “No one cares more about rich, white, straight man than I do!” We assume he was serious.