A Giant Step Backwards
By: Chaitanya Davé
With his dramatic announcement, President Trump has unwisely decided to take America out of Paris Agreement on climate change; the agreement approved and signed by 194 countries of the world. This is a giant step against global environment, against humanity and against all the earth’s inhabitants. It defies logic, common sense and long term well-being of humanity at large. With this decision, the US president has exhibited utter disregard for global climate and for survival of humanity because the greatest threat facing humanity today is global warming. Naturally, this decision will go down in history as one of the most irresponsible act by a US president.
It seems our president does not realize that green energy today is as cheap as dirty energy from fossil fuel and it is getting cheaper by the day as the world moves towards green energy. The whole world is moving away from coal as it is the greatest polluter of the environment.
World’s reaction—vast majority of the world’s people are in favor of Paris Agreement. Even majority of Americans are in favor of the Paris Agreement. No wonder, leaders of rest of the world have condemned Trump’s decision.
The consequences of this irresponsible act by the US president could be dire if countries like China and India follow America’s example. Luckily, all the 194 countries wisely have decided to follow this agreement on climate control with or without America.
American government has pulled out of Paris Accord, but American people are committed to Paris Agreement. Wisely led by California, 22 American states led by California and New York have decided to follow climate mitigation efforts despite the US government’s irresponsible decision. Nation’s leader in emissions reductions, California along with New York and Washington state have built an alliance that will guide the nation to Paris Agreement without the federal government’s help.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is leading cities in emissions reduction efforts that has already listed 150 members.
Contrary to President Trump’s “Pittsburgh Not Paris March”, Pittsburgh’s mayor Bill Peduto announced the pledge to move his city to 100% renewable energy by 2035.
The developed nations such as America, Europe, Russia, Canada and Australia bear major responsibility for creating the climate change as they are emitting huge quantities of carbon for more than a century. So they bear a huge responsibility to cut their emissions and help with technology and financial assistance to developing countries to switch to green energy.
With this unwise decision by President Trump, America’s leadership in the world will be jeopardized. Paraphrasing Paul Krugman, the well-known Nobel Laureate economist, “An irresponsible leader sent the whole world careening off to hell in a golf cart”.