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Don’t Panic over U.S. Pullout of Paris Climate Agreement

Posted on June 6, 2017 by Matt Tomasino There have been 0 comments

The direction of healing the environment recently took a sharp right turn when the current U.S. President decided to pull America out of the Paris Climate Agreement. Immediately, some left, centrist and even right leaning news outfits criticized the move sparking, once again, a comment from Hillary Clinton which only emboldened White House supporters. However, many people are misinformed of what the Paris Agreement really is and how, before more alarm ensues, there is no reason to panic.

A Gentleman’s Agreement

The Paris Climate Agreement was proposed in 2015 and signed by just under 200 countries. Yet, it is in no way a treaty based on international law. It is simply a voluntary gentleman's agreement amongst these countries to reduce carbon emissions by specific numbers (The U.S. had pledged a 26 to 28 percent carbon reduction by 2025). There was no detailed specifics on how each country was to implement this and no threat of enforcement, just some guidelines to get started and then reconvene in 2020 with some hopeful results. Hardly a set-in-stone attempt at righting so much of man’s devastating hand although it probably should have been a more definitive committment.

The Go It Alone

This President is delivering on his campaign promise of reining in America using a somewhat rogue, isolationist approach that accompanies wide promises of new employment, particularly to those lost in the coal industry. Many believe this is a gross disconnect as the solar and wind industries have steadily been on the rise since clean energy has proven more in demand. Coal, on the other hand, has been on the decline due to more available natural gas, automation and competing renewable industries.

Bloomberg News reported,

“More Americans now work building, installing and maintaining solar panels than are employed by coal companies. And even if coal output increased, that might not lead to more jobs, thanks to increases in automation.”

Even though the U.S. President is supporting coal for now, many will be stepping up clean energy production in defiance of the Paris pullout making for less reliance on government subsidies. Elon Musk of Tesla, Inc. and founder of Space X immediately removed himself from the White House Advisory Council on clean energy. This is a good thing because action is louder than words and if more people embrace things like compostable products, conserving water, sustainable choices and socially conscious initiatives, going at it alone will empower the masses and inevitably quell the ignorance.

It may take some time but this could be an opportunity for concerned American citizens to support private renewables; maybe as a thumb in the eye of archaic, authoritarian, closed-minded thinking.

Maybe It's A Good Thing

In the wake of continued political upheaval, there are aspects of the Paris Climate Agreement that could warrant a renegotiation, which the President has alluded to. One part of the agreement is that rich countries are asked to help poor countries. As the world’s second largest polluter, the U.S. may want to invest in reducing its enormous carbon footprint before it throws money at other countries which are notorious for misuse and corruption. Although the Paris Agreement is mostly a symbolic gesture of good will toward healing the planet, the U.S. may need to stop throwing money around and start leading by example.

Of course, this isn’t the easiest thing to do with a stalemate government but it is a wake-up call for more voter mobilization to change leadership come the 2018 midterm elections. Also, the people can rise up in support of American clean energy against the climate deniers who continue their march toward more polluting industries like coal until they are the minority and have no say in threatening the future of your planet.

 

The Paris Agreement pullout should not warrant panic, it should warrant change. We still live in a free country (for the most part) and the less we feed into an administration that is clearly attempting to dismantle our democracy, the less power it will have to do just that.

If you are in support of clean energy and a sustainable planet then do your best to ignore much of the news that dishes out more fear mongering propaganda than facts. Once actual facts are challenged, overall sanity could be a continued uphill battle. Stay the course and don’t get caught up in misinformation such as news coming from social media which has been proven a trolling ground for Russian interference. Instead, keep a positive attitude, stick to the concrete facts and educate anyone you can without using anger.


This post was posted in Blog and Green Library, Politically Green and was tagged with climate change, ENERGY EFFICIENT, Paris Climate Agreement, renewable energy, SOCIALLY CONSCIOUS, solar energy, SUSTAINABLE, wind energy

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