Friday, June 2, 2017

The Paris Accord and Americans

The Paris Accord and Americans

By many reports yesterday the United States ceased to be a world leader. Trump pulled out of the Paris Accord on climate change that went into effect in November of 2016 and agreed upon by 195 nations.  His reason is that it is not good for American jobs even though three million workers are employed in the clean energy sector. He has called it a hoax even though there is scientific proof that any educated or non-educated person can clearly see and understand.

The good news is that according to Article 28.1 of the agreement you can only renege by a one year advanced written notice to the UN Secretary-General and then it takes three more years to take effect. So the earliest this can happen is November 4, 2020 (an election year!) Another part of the agreement is that it cannot be negotiated as Trump says he will do.

Obviously, that doesn’t mean that our environment cannot be compromised between now and than though. And that doesn’t undo the damage to US foreign relations and our status as a civilized, intelligent society.  That, in my opinion, is completely out of control in the mere four months he has been in office. 

Here is the other good news:  I believe that, as a society and individuals, we will continue to do what is right.  Trump said in his address that we should be helping Pittsburgh, not Paris (showing that he doesn’t even understand that the Paris Accord has nothing to do with Paris). But the Mayor of Pittsburgh said yesterday, “I can assure you that we will follow the guidelines of the Paris Accord for our people, our economy and future.”

The heads of corporate giants such as Tesla’s Elon Musk, Darren Woods of Exxon Mobil, the head of Conoco-Phillips, Dow Chemical and Tim Cook of Apple, among others, have stated they will continue to honor the Paris Accord. Many of them advised Trump not to pull out. 

The rest of us little people will continue to do our part by recycling, not buying gas guzzling cars, not littering and doing what we can to protect and honor the earth that God gave us. 


PS - The notion that God will somehow save the earth is a whole other essay, but if you think so, ask yourself what God has saved or changed that we, as human beings couldn’t have done ourselves? Nothing.  He hasn’t stopped wars, saved hungry children, stopped terrorists, cured cancer…that’s our job. That’s why he gave us free will as demonstrated in the story of Adam and Eve.