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Opinion

Opinion: Trump distracts from Greenland’s grave climate emergency

Ice sheet melting
Melting ice from Greenland’s Ilulissat icefjord contributes to the global rise in sea level.
(Ian Joughin / University of Washington)

There was some important news about Greenland this week: Record heat in the North Atlantic caused the world’s largest island to shed about 58 billion tons’ worth of water in just four days from its massive ice cap, the accelerated melting of which constitutes a climate-change emergency.

More likely, what you heard about Greenland involves a much more trivial matter that bears on the absurd and petulant state of the White House today: President Trump floated the quixotic idea of buying the island from Denmark, prompting that country’s prime minister to state that autonomous realm of the Danish kingdom was not for sale. Trump then canceled his scheduled trip to Denmark.

In the Trump era, this is the kind of political non-event that draws dozens of letters to the editor in response -- in the process distracting everyone from a matter of much graver concern.

Bridget Risemberg of Los Angeles wonders if this is all part of a plan:

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I can’t help but speculate if Trump and others are gutting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in order to hasten the melting of Greenland’s ice sheet so they might have another land mass to plunder. It seems to be the new policy of this administration, one of many destructive actions.

Fallbrook resident Mike Reardon predicts some interest in U.S. property by Russia:

A few years back, the U.S. bought Alaska from Russia. I am wondering what President Trump would say if his friend, Vladimir Putin, said he wanted to buy it back. He might also want Hawaii.

What would President Trump say to that? That it’s just a real estate deal?

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John A. Meyers of Los Angeles was one of a handful of readers to suggest a swap:

I would like to propose that in lieu of selling Greenland, the president enter into a 1031 tax-free exchange of Greenland for California. That would be much appreciated by my fellow Californians.

Douglas Mockett of Rancho Palos Verdes cites a past land deal with Denmark:

There is historical precedent for Trump wanting to buy Greenland.

Early in the 20th century, as a shield against potential German invasion of South America, Denmark offered the United States the deep water and secluded ports in the Danish West Indian islands of St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix for $5 million. That deal did not go through.

Shortly thereafter, in 1917, with Germany again threatening South America, the U.S. gladly paid Denmark $25 million. The islands are now called the United States Virgin Islands.

Debbie Cassettari of Chino Hills sees more signs of Trump’s unfitness for office:

Major problems abound, and the president talks about buying Greenland and how Google helped Hillary Clinton in the election.

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Where are the Republicans who should be stepping in and saying that it’s time to invoke the 25th Amendment? The red lights are flashing.


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