Thursday, September 8, 2016

Clearing the Air

The two biggest polluters on this planet we call ours, the United States and China, formally agreed to adopt the Paris Agreement negotiated in late 2015 to keep the increase in the average global temperature below 2 degrees Celsius and to pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius.  The United States has pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 28 percent below levels of emissions produced in 2005. The deal also hopes to provide $100 billion a year between 2016 and 2020 in financing to help developing countries meet their gas reduction goals.  As soon as the deal takes effect, nations that have ratified it have to wait for at least three years to leave it.
Unfortunately, climate-change denier Donald Trump is gaining in the presidential election polls and a presidential term is four years.  
Despite Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy, despite the drought in California and some of the worst flooding in Louisiana in decades, despite the receding beaches in Miami, congressional Republicans still don't believe climate change is real and Trump is happy to please them by promising to commit the country to producing more coal.  President Obama knows this and has framed the deal as an executive agreement rather than as a treaty because he knew the Senate would never ratify it as a treaty.  But if the deal goes into effect before the year is out, that means a President Trump would be able to take the U.S. out of the deal by the end of 2019.  If you thought the United States was the skunk of the world under Ronald Reagan of George Walker Bush, wait'll the Donald takes over; you ain't seen nothing yet!
The one thing that gives me hope is that efforts to combat climate change are going full tilt boogie all over the world, including this country, as more energy producers are turning away from coal and more toward cleaner fuels like natural gas, as well as wind power.  Even if Trump gets into the White House, there's no stopping the tide of history.  And when the tide of the ocean floods his own properties, maybe then the Donald will come around.
On the other hand, maybe he'll eat the loss and build condos in a melted Greenland. :-O :-(              

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