I’m unqualified to make political claims. I read mostly articles written by journalists with whom I agree, and have no patience to read or listen to what I deem unfathomable Trumpian politics. But today is an exception. I can confidently say that I’ve spent more time in our public lands, witnessing climate change from peaks in the Teton, Rocky, and Wasatch ranges, to barren lakes in California, than POTUS. My immediate reaction to Trump pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement was that he did so to prove that he could. To reassure himself that he holds power. The power to make decisions that affect billions, but are made with only his wellbeing in mind.
It’s a waiting game in a semi-reality. When will @therealdonaldtrump cause his own demise? While Trump holds the most powerful position in the world, the Constitution was drafted to balance powers. There’s a very dim light at the end of the tunnel, but those in the White House able to enact change must snap out of submission. As for Trump pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement, the NYTimes quotes Annie Leonard, Greenpeace USA’s executive director, who puts it perfectly: “By withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement, the Trump administration has turned America from a global climate leader into a global climate deadbeat.” The only good news surrounding the accord is that the rest of the world is mobilizing to make up for Trump, and individual cities, states, and companies in the US are doing things that the federal government isn’t.
“Make America Great Again” is fated as the example for Oxymoron in the Oxford English Dictionary’s newest iteration.
What is the Paris Climate Agreement?
- A nonbinding treaty in which 195 countries in 2015 submitted individual plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and agreed to meet regularly to review progress and insight competition towards improvement.
* A few facts & figures:
- The US is the biggest carbon polluter in history.
- The Obama administration pledged to cut domestic greenhouse gas emissions 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025, and commit up to $3 billion in aid for poorer countries by 2020. To date, the US has delivered $1 billion.
- China is investing heavily in wind, solar, and nuclear power, prepared to assume a dominant role in future talks.
- In certain areas of Antarctica, glaciers have been undercut by warmer ocean waters, and the flow of ice is speeding up. This acceleration has some scientists fearful that the ice sheet has entered the early stages of an unstoppable disintegration. This could dramatically raise sea level, threatening the world’s coastal cities. Read more.
- More than a million species face potential extinction as a result of disappearing habitats, changing ecosystems, and acidifying oceans
* According to The New York Times