There was growing outrage last night at the appointment of Steve Bannon as Donald Trump’s White House chief of staff.
Bannon, who has been Trump’s chief election strategist, is best known as the executive chairman of the far right, crusading, conspiratorial website Breitbart News, and is a man, according to the Guardian accused of “fanning the flames of neo-Nazism and white supremacy”.
His appointment, according to the paper, deepens “the fears of liberal activists that the Trump administration would embolden and enable antisemites, racists and misogynists.”
Bannon’s appointment was met with widespread condemnation: For example, Michael Keegan, president of People for the American Way, said: “By choosing Steve Bannon as chief strategist, Trump has made clear that he intends to carry the racism and antisemitism of his campaign straight into the White House. The website Bannon ran is a home for the white nationalist right that elevates racist, xenophobic, antisemitic tirades and conspiracy theories.”
His appointment, though, has been welcomed by white supremacists. “Perhaps The Donald is for real,” said Rocky Suhayda, chairman of the American Nazi Party. David Duke, a ex-KKK leader said Bannon’s hiring was an “excellent” decision by Trump. Bannon will “push Trump in the right direction,” added Richard Spencer, president of the white nationalist National Policy Institute. “That would be a wonderful thing.”
One of those peddling conspiracies on the Breitbart site is their London editor, and long-term climate denier, James Delingpole, who can hardly control his excitement at a Trump presidency.
Writing on Breitbart, Delingpole, ever the climate denier, says: “Make no mistake, the Donald Trump presidency represents the biggest blow yet to the Great Global Warming Swindle.”
Delingpole also delights at the thought of the Trump pulling the US out of the UN climate agreement, which he calls “toothless and worthless”, and at the appointment of long-term professional denier Myron Ebell to head the EPA transition team, who he calls “able and sensible” and an old friend.
“I really don’t think it’s possible to exaggerate just what a world of pain is coming to the greenies thanks to Donald J Trump”, says Delinpole. “Once other countries see the effects of Trump’s anti-renewables, pro-fossil-fuel revolution, they’ll find it harder to justify to their electorates the massive costs of the lunatic green energy policy by which the West has been held to ransom these last few decades.”
As Delinpole attacks the environmental movement, it is curious that his boss, Steve Bannon is reported to have once been the director of an environmental project, Biosphere 2, which studied the effects of enhanced CO2 on the atmosphere in the nineties.
Mother Jones notes that in contrast to the “antagonistic approach” taken by Breitbart News “towards the topic of climate change … Bannon sang a much different tune” back in 1995.
This contradiction has not been lost on some. “The bizarre contradiction of Trump not believing in climate change, while his number one campaign employee ran a climate change research facility, is staggering,” notes a commentator for the Truth Examiner.