While wildfires spread in California, glaciers continue to melt and species extinction continues apace, the Trump Administration this week took the first step to officially withdraw the United States from the Paris agreement on climate change. Lest we forget, every other country on the planet has signed the agreement that we wrote.
We also know that Trump promised to do this in 2017, but one might have hoped this particular move would be forgotten out of the sheer incompetence of this crew of idiots. But no.
“This is not America first; once again, it’s America isolated,” said John F. Kerry, former secretary of state, and Chuck Hagel, former U.S. defense secretary, in an op-ed piece published in the Washington Post.Tweet
“Climate change is already affecting every sector and region of the United States, as hundreds of top scientists from 13 federal agencies made clear in a report the White House itself released last year. The past five years were the warmest ever recorded. Without steep pollution reductions, climate change will risk tens of thousands of U.S. lives every year by the end of the century. Rising seas, increased storm surge, and tidal flooding threaten $1 trillion in public infrastructure and private property now along U.S. coastlines. The United States has experienced at least $400 billion in weather and climate disaster costs since 2014. The recent hurricanes that slammed America’s southern coasts, as well as historic wildfires in California, resulted in more American victims of severe weather juiced by climate change than ever before.”
They also noted climate change threatens national security. “This link has been clear for decades. Our military bases, and hence our security preparedness, are threatened by sea-level rise and other impacts. If you put a map of places with high political instability today over a map of places with high climate vulnerability, the two would be nearly identical.”
The Paris climate accord is not the final answer by any stretch, but it is a good and necessary start to mounting the actions needed. For the U.S. to bow out is shameful and yet another example of the nation’s abandonment of world leadership.
There is a ray of hope. The paperwork to exit the Paris agreement is submitted, but that sets off a year-long process: the U.S. won’t officially leave the agreement until Nov. 4, 2020.
The 2020 election is Nov. 3, 2020. “The United States can rejoin the agreement at any time once we have a leader willing to do so,” said Kerry and Hagel.Tweet