Grandchildren’s children will ask why

  • Published in Editorials

As The Valley Reporter went to press this week, news reports were filtering in indicating that U.S. President Donald Trump plans to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement. The agreement represents a global commitment to limit global warming.

The agreement was signed into effect in November 2016 and has been joined by more than 150 nations including China, India and the European Union. Per the terms of the agreement, no member nation can withdraw until three years after the agreement was created.

It is a mistake for President Trump to withdraw this global pact. A recent Yale Program on Climate Change Communication poll found 70 percent of Americans support the U.S. continuing to participate in the Paris Agreement. And that is a majority of Americans in every state in the nation.

That same poll found that voters in the U.S. by a margin of more than 5 to 1 want the U.S. to participate in the Paris Agreement.

From the poll:

In a nationally representative survey conducted after the election, we found that seven in 10 registered voters (69 percent) say the U.S. should participate in the COP21 agreement, compared with only 13 percent who say the U.S. should not. Majorities of Democrats (86 percent) and Independents (61 percent), and half of Republicans (51 percent) say the U.S. should participate (including 73 percent of moderate/liberal Republicans). Only conservative Republicans are split, with marginally more saying the U.S. should participate (40 percent) than saying we should not participate (34 percent).

We have an obligation to ourselves and our grandchildren’s children, the rest of the world and our planet to do what we can to stop our planet from warming and our seas from rising. The science is real. It is not a Chinese conspiracy.

President Trump’s decision is transparently about his own self-interest and those of the 1 percent and the fossil fuel industry. The United States of America should be leading this charge, not backing away from it.

And thankfully in every city and village and town in every state in the nation, people are opting for cleaner energy and renewables.

Hopefully this decision by a mendacious president with no vision will be challenged at the ballot box in 2018 and 2020.