Pompeo cancels trip to melting ice caps after saying how great they are


Pompeo skipped his science lesson after facing ridicule for tone deaf comments.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday abruptly canceled a trip to Greenland, where he would have been confronted with evidence of climate change.

State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus claimed that Pompeo "postponed" the planned trip because of "a need for the Secretary to be in Washington, D.C. today."

The cancellation was announced just a few days after Pompeo was mocked for describing devastating arctic climate change as "opportunities for trade."

In a speech Monday to the Arctic Council, Pompeo said "steady reductions in sea ice" would open "new passageways," and that those areas could become "the 21st Century Suez and Panama Canals."

Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune slammed Pompeo in a statement: "Mike Pompeo's willfully ignorant and dangerous remarks on the climate crisis are just the latest example of Donald Trump and his administration burying their heads in the sand and needlessly putting American lives at risk."

"The climate crisis is not a business opportunity for the oil and gas industry to exploit at the expense of the American people, and the world deserves leaders who take national security threats seriously," Brune said.

From Congress, Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) replied to Pompeo, saying, "I don't imagine we'll be too concerned with new trade routes when huge parts of the world are underwater."

Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) said the Trump administration is "dancing on the Arctic's grave while the planet burns."

On the whole, Pompeo's comments are in line with Trump's anti-science approach to climate. Trump has appointed crackpots to oversee efforts that oppose using climate science within the government and he pulled the United States out of the Paris Climate Accord, to widespread protest.

If Pompeo had gone through with his trip, he would have seen glaciers that are melting at an even higher rate than was previously believed. But like Trump, Pompeo is anti-science, and by canceling his trip he once again has avoided a confrontation with reality.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.