by Ray Hayes
Although I was surprised to learn that President Trump was opting out of the Paris Climate Agreement, like most, I was not completely sure why it was important for America to continue the agreement in the first place. From what I’ve been able to gather, the agreement was set in place to prevent the world’s biggest polluters from adding to climate change while opening a global dialogue for nations to work together to help prevent future climate pollution. An admirable cause and one that is certainly needed for our current and future situation.
For President Trump, climate change seems to be a big hoax. In addition to its questionable science (per Trump), many nations within the Agreement seemed to be getting a much better deal then America. This bugs me due to the many scientific evidence we have that proves climate change is not a hoax. For example, the polar ice caps are melting and the Earth’s temperature is heating up causing more natural disasters.
President Trump has offered two options for environmental action in America since leaving the Paris Agreement. According to Wired.com, President Trump plans “to either re-enter the Paris Agreement, or create an ‘entirely new’ environmental deal.” Well, I am going to take this with a grain of salt because President Trump has yet to appoint a head of the Office of Science and Technology, which is a post that advises the President on scientific matters, like climate change.
While I may have gained clarity as to why the President Trump left the Agreement, I do not understand what we are going to do to address climate change. More than 61 cities have vowed to uphold the Agreement which means that that at least 61 city government officials understand that climate change is a problem that needs to be addressed. In addition, for those worried about our global standing, according to many media outlets and even the head of the European Commission, the US, despite declaring its intention to leave the accord, must wait almost four years from the signing of the deal to exit fully.
But why is the White House fighting the world on this? The Earth is warming and we, as humans, are speeding up this processes so why not at least pledge some allegiance to addressing the problem and figuring out a practical resolution to the problem instead of packing up our bags and ignoring the issue.