U.S. needs to join world on Paris Accord

Even with North Korea regularly threatening nuclear war, Trump doing his best to defile the office of president and political violence from both white supremacists and Antifa growing increasingly dangerous to all who may be involved, the most important challenge facing us today is climate change.

This is not a national issue.  We cannot tackle it alone.

Even with the 13.2 percent of our energy that is derived from renewable sources, which is a full two percent higher than the global average, it doesn’t make up for the fact that we, as just five percent of the world’s population, consume 25 percent of the its energy.

To significantly fight climate change, we need to band together with the rest of the world.  In 2015 the Paris Climate Accord was agreed to after being signed by all but two countries:  Nicaragua and Syria.

Nicaragua believed the accord did not do enough to fight climate change.  Syria was in the middle of a civil war.

The Paris Climate Accord involved ensuring that global temperature rises stayed under two degrees celsius, limiting the amount of greenhouse gases being put into the world (below 2100), assessing each country’s contribution each five years and allowing richer countries to aid poor countries in increasing their renewable energy.

Overall, it was a fairly innocuous deal that did absolutely nothing to damage the United States economy, though President Trump clearly believes otherwise.

On June 1, Trump vowed to pull the United States out of the accord, citing that it would lose the United States 6.5 million jobs and $3 trillion of the GDP, and claiming that economies like that of China and India were treated more fairly by the accord. None of these claims possess even a shred of evidence.

Then again, Trump has also stated that climate change itself was “created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive,” which is simply absurd.

In October, Nicaragua joined the accord, with Vice President Rosario Murillo saying that it was “the only instrument we have” with which to battle climate change. Nicaragua had originally avoided the accord due to it not being harsh enough.

This left Syria and the United States as the only two countries not a part of the accord. Syria’s reason remained the same: making any national move to fight climate change is difficult when you’re in the middle of a bloody civil war. The U.S.’s reason remained ridiculous: our president doesn’t believe in climate science.

Then, early this week, Syria signed onto the accord, leaving the United States alone.

Nicaragua and Syria joining the accord leaves the values of the American government all too obvious. Our president does not believe in what science is clearly telling him. Our EPA director, Scott Pruitt, is tasked with protecting the environment, but does not believe in climate change and is beholden to the oil industry.

Recently, Pruitt revealed that scientists who receive funding from the EPA cannot be key advisers, effectively replacing scientists with government officials and critics of climate change, and citing the Bible in the process (the Joshua Principle, to be more specific).

This decision, as well as several decisions of President Trump, make it clear that the U.S. government right now simply does not care about climate change. It will not regulate the industries causing pollution, and it will not sign on to the Paris Climate Accord. It will not fight against the destruction of the environment, especially with businessmen concerned solely with profit sitting at the helm.

This is not good for the country, and it is not good for the world.

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