Blind amphibian that buries its head in sand named after Donald Trump
Donald Trump loves to slap his name on things, from the failed Trump Airlines to the failed Trump Casinos to the failed Trump Steaks to - look, you get the idea. To be fair, Trump Hotels are still standing (for now), and we can understand the instinct. As we go through life, we're all seeking immortality through our legacy, whether it's children, creative projects, or businesses.
However, President Narcissist will probably not be too pleased about this: A small, legless blind amphibian that buries its head in sand has been named after Donald Trump. The creature was recently discovered in Panama, and its name was chosen by EnviroBuild, a sustainable building materials company that bought the naming rights for $25,000 at an auction. The amphibian's official name is Dermophis donaldtrumpi, and the meaning behind it is tremendous, just tremendous, believe me.
EnviroBuild's Aidan Bell explained that the creature is a caecilian, and its ability to bury its head in the ground matched Donald Trump’s views on an important issue. "Caecilian is taken from the Latin caecus, meaning ‘blind’, perfectly mirroring the strategic vision President Trump has consistently shown towards climate change," said Bell. Trump has long been roasted for his ridiculous, painfully ignorant remarks about climate change. In 2012, he tweeted "The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive." ("It wasn't" - Ron Howard narrator.)
Then, in 2017, Trump insinuated that cold weather debunks climate change, tweeting, "In the East, it could be the COLDEST New Year’s Eve on record. Perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming..." Of course, this childish argument is easily disproven, as 'climate' and 'weather' are not the same thing. Climate is the big picture, the average of weather over, say, a 30-year-period. Extreme weather events such as snowstorms don't disprove that the earth is warming; in fact, those calamities are a probable side effect of climate in transition.
'Climate change' refers to the rise in the surface temperature of the Earth, primarily caused by increased levels of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Human activities, such as agriculture, deforestation and burning fossil fuels, contribute to the proliferation of those gases. The overwhelming majority of climate scientists - 97% according to NASA and Politifact - believe that climate change is real and humans are causing it. If we don't change our behavior, there could be fatal consequences, like more destructive hurricanes, droughts and wildfires. (Sound familiar?)
Last November, Trump administration released the Fourth National Climate Assessment. Written by the nation's top scientists, it contains a dire warning about the devastating impact of man-made climate change on the planet and the economy. It states "global warming could cause a 10 percent decline in gross domestic product and the "potential for losses in some sectors could reach hundreds of billions of dollars per year by the end of this century." Agricultural states will be hit particularly hard.
The Assessment continues, "Observations collected around the world provide significant, clear, and compelling evidence that global average temperature is much higher, and is rising more rapidly, than anything modern civilization has experienced, with widespread and growing impacts." It notes that "annual average temperatures have increased" with the hottest years on record being 2016, 2015, 2017 and 2014. So, no, climate change has not "always" been happening at the same rate, nor is it "totally natural." But hey, why believe an evidence-based report from scientists? Instead, you can believe an evidence-free comment farted out by your non-scientist Facebook friend: "CLIMATE CHANGE IS BS!!!1111"
President Trump's response to this devastating report - again, written by the nation's top scientists - was, "I don't believe it." When asked by reporters if California's historically deadly wildfires changed his views on climate change, he said no. Rather, he thought the fires could have been prevented by "raking" the "floors of the forest." This is the same president who extolled the virtues of fossil fuels at the UN climate summit in Poland, drawing derisive laughter and chants of "shame on you" from the crowd. It is also the same president who pulled the USA out of the Paris climate change agreement, making America the only country in the world to reject the global pact.
So, what better animal to name after Trump, than a blind amphibian that buries its head in the sand? The 10cm creature is actually susceptible to the impact of climate change and in danger of becoming instinct. The $25,000 paid for naming rights will benefit the Rainforest Trust, an organization that protects the world's remaining rain forests, which is one of the most effective ways of mitigating the effects of climate change.
This is actually not the first time an animal was named after Donald Trump. In 2017, a yellow-crowned moth was called Neopalpa donaldtrumpi, because its yellow-ish white scales resembled the 45th president's bizarre hair. But I think the head-in-the-sand creature is more appropriate. Scientists have agreed to use the name Dermophis donaldtrumpi when they officially publish the discovery in academic literature. Congratulations, Donald! You're immortal! (As a climate change denier.)