Stupid. Short-sighted. Ignorant. And just plain wrong. Those were the words going through my head as I watched Pres. Trump announce he wanted to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Accord.
The Accord is a voluntary agreement by every country on earth but two – Syria, and Nicaragua – to commit to reducing the build-up of greenhouse gases that cause climate change.
Climate change, also known as global warming, is the most serious environmental threat the world has ever faced.
It took decades to get global agreement to address the problem, an agreement the United States helped broker under President Obama.
It would have helped create jobs, reduce air pollution, improve public health, and increase energy security by speeding up our use of solar and wind – domestic energy sources that we, and we alone control.
Instead, Trump brought down the wrath of many Americans, as well as the leaders and citizens of virtually every country around the world, by rejecting the Accord in favor of supporting burning more coal. To all the above words, add this one: DUMB!
Burning coal releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere to build up and raise the earth’s global temperatures. Another side effect of burning coal? It releases deadly soot and toxic particles into the air, causing levels of pollution that contribute to asthma, heart disease, respiratory infections, and cancer.
Minutes after Trump’s announcement, I was on my way to a protest across the street from the White House. I joined at least a thousand other citizens in rejecting the decision and proclaiming that America’s sorry excuse for a president couldn’t rein in the global momentum that has built to save our planet and indeed, life as we know it.
Said one friend who saw this photo of me standing outside the White House, “You looked pissed.” Yes! To say the least!!
A week later, I’m still mad. But I’m also determined. Because as irresponsible as Trump’s actions are, they have also empowered millions of people to defiantly step forward and say:
You do not speak for us.
You do not control us.
And we will do what you refuse to do:
Solve the biggest environmental problem the world has ever faced.”
That’s what I intend to do, and I’m going to help you do so, as well.
In the coming days, I’ll be offering you a series of helpful articles filled with action steps that show what we can do as individuals and communities to stop the build-up of carbon dioxide and other “greenhouse gases” in the atmosphere.
I’ll tackle everything from using energy more efficiently to wasting less food to plugging in our cars and riding our bikes to voting and helping to elect candidates to public office who will work to stop climate change locally and nationally.
If there’s anything in particular you want me to address, please let me know in the comments below.
Ask your friends and family what they want to know, too.
Trump may be the president, but as Malcolm in the Middle used to say, “You’re not the boss of me.”
Let’s show Trump who actually is boss – now, in the way we use energy ourselves, and ultimately, at the polls.