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Reneging on Mother Earth

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Published by Capital City Hues, June 12, 2017

Everyone is talking about the Senate intelligence committee hearing starring Former FBI Director James Comey. Yes, he called your president a liar (he is) but I want to back track on a bigger story with far greater consequences. The decision of trump to pull out of the Paris Agreement is no small matter.

The Paris Agreement is not some French government mandate. It is a historic part of the United Nations Framework on Climate Control agreed on by all nation members of the UN. President Obama signed the Agreement only to have the current U.S. president slam the legitimacy of the goals. The U.S. stands alone in the world on this issue.

George W. Bush Jr. snatched the U.S. out of the Kyoto Protocol until China and other high gas-emitting countries made a commitment. The fact that there was no seriousness to address greenhouse gas emissions in 2001 delayed any collective action on global warming for nearly a generation.

The peril of the planet cannot possibly be understood in its totality by these two buffoons who reject evidence-based facts and truths. Most of us would respect these facts as science and welcome any positive steps to chart a meaningful course on global climate change.

In retrospect, the backward decision of trump makes the two previous monster actions on science and the climate even more important. There were tens of thousands of people who took a stand at the March for Science on Earth Day. Although the march included some of the usual suspects who opposed trump policies, many were people in the science and medical fields who were motivated to leave their laboratories, their offices and their libraries to raise their voices about the demonization and belittling of science, “to defend the role of science in policy and society.”

A week later, the People’s Climate March took place on the 100th day of trump’s administration. Organizers had started the planning long before the election results coughed out a president who can’t tell the difference between fact and fantasy. It didn’t take long before the roll-back of environmental protections won by years of organized efforts was put into the crosshairs of trump.  Again, unprecedented numbers across the globe took a stand to save our planet.

I do believe those two historic monumental actions is why we saw mayors, governors, university presidents and corporations chart their own course and vow to uphold the Paris Agreement — without the support of the president.

Claiming that he “was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris,” trump created an international ripple that his little mind couldn’t have imagined. Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo responded by declaring “We Have Our Own Climate Deal.”

Ouch.

Dozens of city mayors have signed onto America’s Pledge to reach the emission reduction goals the U.S. made in Paris in 2015. The effort is coordinated by billionaire and former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg who has even promised $15 million of his own monies to fill the funding gap the UN will experience with the withdrawal of the U.S.

RMadison citizens can proudly take some credit for Mayor Paul Soglin joining the growing legend of leaders who have pledged to uphold the commitments to the global temperature goals outlined in the Paris Agreement. Madisonians came out big-time for both the March for Science and the People’s Climate March.

Melting glaciers, rising seas, climbing temperatures and disappearing species are real. All the buffoonery going on in the White House is a dangerous distraction from the alarming assaults on the environment and the people who live in it.  Partisan politics and trumpidity won’t mean a thing if our planet and all living things are in distress. We, The People, must intensify our efforts to choose democracy over trump, fact over fiction and life over death.

 

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