Deal or No Deal, the Greenland Offer is an Admission of Climate Change

I’m fairly sure that Donald Trump couldn’t find Kansas or Nebraska on a map, but I bet he could find Greenland.

Why? Because it’s one of the places most likely to survive climate change–and even profit from it. Rising temperatures mean longer growing seasons for cold places, even as they mean desertification in others. Our Dear Leader cozies up to Russia, asks for more immigrants from Sweden, and tries to make a move on Greenland not merely because they are full of white people (and, in the case of Russia, kleptocratic leaders) but because he is a disaster capitalist. In the US, while progressives are chanting that the future is female and of color, Trump and his cohort understand that the future is hot.

The underlying admission here, of course, is that climate change is real and closing in on us. The ultrarich know this, but they don’t care, because they plan to be elsewhere while the rest of us drown or desiccate. 

Image from the Corporate Watch workers’ coop.

Call me paranoid, but I don’t think the American Fuhrur’s offer to buy Greenland was a flight of fancy or the gassy result of a late-night cheeseburger. I think it was a warning shot. We can cheer on Denmark’s prime minister for rebuffing Trump’s offer, but women who rebuff offers of narcissists like Trump often find themselves the victims of revenge.

Saying “no” to Trump is dangerous, and the American electorate has given him more power to be dangerous on a world stage.

I don’t think we should be laughing. Instead, we should be looking out for the argument that Greenland (or similarly positioned places) would be better off in US hands. Trump’s first effort to frame this as a business deal suits his fantasy that he’s a powerful businessman, but he has all the resources of the US military, economic system, and political system to put even more pressure on the nations that will stay above sea level in the next 15 years.

I can imagine concern trolling (We only want what is best for the Greenlandic people!), calls for a land exchange for some kind of payment (Don’t they owe us money for protecting them from something in the past?), or pressure to trade access to agricultural production in exchange for not invading them outright. “America First” doesn’t mean we have to stay on American soil, after all.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s