I woke up today profoundly sad, hurt, disappointed, abandoned, wronged, betrayed, damaged, downcast — yet am closing the day with the same sense of perpetual awe at the glory, bounty and beauty of the unique planet that is our only home.
The reckless action by the US federal government to pull out of the Paris Agreement is a disgrace, a travesty, a danger, a nonsensical, immoral, direct assault on our earth, society and people, today and for generations yet to come. It will have catastrophic repercussions that jeopardize human lives and environmental stability, as well as the United States’ respect and standing. It is a threat, a blow, a setback, an abdication in leadership around the environment and global power structures.
Make no mistake: climate change is real and humans play a role. We know not if the President believes that, i.e. listens to virtually all scientific research and opinions on the face of the planet, because neither he nor the EPA Administrator Pruitt nor Press Secretary Spicer will provide a straightforward answer to the simple question – though he has tweeted that climate change is a hoax, perpetuating a destructive conspiracy theory. Trump treated the entire Rose Garden announcement like a reality show and continues to fail to provide sound information about climate, government proceedings or much of anything else.
The USA pulling out of the agreement signed by 195 nations threatens if not negates, decades of stellar, nuanced diplomatic work and exemplary achievement, even amid compromise. Paris sent a strong message to the word, a signal of hope, a baseline from which industry, government and populations can tackle climate change.
Now, everyone will lose bigly – families, workers, rich, poor, children, alliances, jobs, economies, and, of course, the planet. The impacts of climate change are real, devastating, and already felt across the nation and world, affecting migration patterns, refugee crises, environmental injustices, resource availability, economies, health and wellness, property value, I can go on and on and on. As the new cover of Germany’s Der Spiegel reads with a picture of Trump swinging a golf club to send a burning planet into the unknown: "You’re Fired, Earth."
I've given up trying to understand why Trump does what he does at any given moment, but I can tell you this: we, the inhabitants of this fragile blue dot, in conjunction with cities, mayors, states, governors, congresspeople, senators, NGOs, businesses, international agencies, allies and foreign governments MUST UNITE TO ACT ON CLIMATE NOW. In the absence of a dependable, just government, industry and other players must lead. Our very future depends upon that swift, effective, specific coordination and collaboration in this global mission, effort and fight – or we may not have an environment to protect. And I do believe in our power, ability and vigilance.
I will also remind you that the Paris Accord (and thereby our planet) will be ON the ballot for the next presidential election. It went into effect on November 4, 2016, which means the earliest possible exit would be November 4, 2020, one day AFTER the US election.
Domestic and international leaders are splitting from Trump in clear, necessary ways. I borrowed Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau’s language above in citing the “US federal government,” a distinction not typically made unless referring to an illegitimate regime, rogue or unrepresentative leader. French President Macron said it loud and proud last night IN ENGLISH during a live address, in addition to circulating an accompanying unmistakably pointed meme: Make OUR PLANET Great Again. Businesses and leaders are taking vocal stands for truth and climate action, some for the first time. Climate Mayors launched to adopt and uphold the Paris Agreement goals, with 83 cities representing 40 million Americans. The US Climate Alliance was formed by governors to meet DC inaction with decisive state and local leadership.
So, what are YOU doing? What are WE doing? I stand, march, and recommit to work with you, my fellow Planeteers!