It’s Time the Rest of the World Community to Flip the Bird back And Move On
A Commentary by Niagara At Large publisher Doug Draper
Posted June 2nd, 2017 on Niagara At Large
“Because we human beings are part of the environment. … We live in communion with it, since the environment itself entails ethical limits which human activity must acknowledge and respect. Man, for all his remarkable gifts, which are signs of a uniqueness which transcends the spheres of physics and biology, is at the same time a part of these spheres (and) any harm done to the environment, therefore, is harm done to humanity. … The adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the World Summit, which opens today, is an important sign of hope. I am similarly confident that the Paris Conference on Climatic Change will secure fundamental and effective agreements.” – Pope Francis, speaking to the United Nations General Assembly in September of 2015
“The debate is over. The vast majority of the scientific community has spoken. Climate change is real, it is caused by human activity, and it is already causing devastating harm here in the United States and all around the globe. It is absolutely imperative that we boldly transform our energy system away from fossil fuel to energy efficiency and sustainable energy. The future of the planet is at stake.” – The U.S. Senator who should be President, Bernie Sanders
“Obama’s talk about all of this with global warming and a lot of it is a hoax. It’s a hoax. I mean, it’s a money-making industry, OK? It’s a hoax, a lot of it.” – The blowhard billionaire and Reality TV huckster who would be and now is president at a 2015 campaign rally, Donald Trump
“We don’t want other leaders and other countries laughing at us anymore,” said Donald Trump this June 1st as he stood in the Rose Garden of the White House and announced what many of us around the world dreaded he was going to do – withdraw the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement signed by former U.S. President Barack Obama, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and just about every other leader of note around the world except the butcher boss of Syria, Bashar al-Assad.
Trump (out of respect for Lincoln, two Roosevelts, Kennedy, Carter and Obama, I refuse to call him President Trump) has got to be kidding! But probably not.
Trump might just as well have said he has decided to start dressing up like Bozo the Clown because he doesn’t want other leaders and countries laughing at him anymore.
If only what Trump is doing – in the face of overwhelming evidence from scientists around the world that climate change is one of the most costly and destructive challenges humankind and the planet face this century – was a laughing matter.
Instead, his Rose Garden announcement, lathered over with his usual falsehoods and what California Governor Jerry Brown rightfully called “junk facts_ – has drawn scorn from national leaders and from countless numbers of people in his own country and around the world.
On a more hopeful plain, what Trump’s asinine decision also appears to be doing is rallying individuals and groups, including government and business leaders, around the world to work even more closely together to usher in the green energy revolution so necessary to addressing climate change. That includes many political and business leaders in his own country who, unlike Trump and what he describes as his “poorly educated” base of supporters, know that there is no returning to the coal and oil gusher heydays of the 19th century.
In an interview on an American cable news program following Trump June 1st announcement, California’s Governor Brown, who dismissed Trump’s announcement as “a deviation from the world norm,” sounded quite a bit like German Chancellor Angela Merkel did a week earlier when she, Trudeau and other G7 partners failed to convince Trump to join them in addressing climate related issues, and she came away saying it was time for other nations to look past Trump’s America as an ally on issues of mutual concern.
Brown expressed interest during the interview in U.S. states like his in looking past Trump and reaching out more directly to countries like Canada, Mexico and China to move forward in tandem on addressing climate related matters.
Among other reckless and dangerous things, what Trump is doing here is placing the United States in a position of losing its status as an economic powerhouse and international leader to other nations like Germany and China which, in the latter case is, by numerous accounts, is moving forward with the development of efficient and affordable green energy technology by leaps and bounds.
Former U.S. President Barack Obama had some key things to say about all of this in a speech he delivered to the American people in April of 2009.
“Now, the choice we face is not between saving our environment and saving our economy,” said Obama. “The choice we face is between prosperity and decline.
“We can remain the world’s leading importer of oil,” he added, “or we can become the world’s leading exporter of clean energy. We can allow climate change to wreak unnatural havoc across the landscape, or we can create jobs working to prevent its worst effects. We can hand over the jobs of the 21st century to our competitors, or we can confront what countries in Europe and Asia have already recognized as both a challenge and an opportunity:
“The nation that leads the world in creating new energy sources,” Obama concluded, “will be the nation that leads the 21st-century global economy.”
The way Trump is going, it is beginning to look like that nation will not be the United States, and how that “make America great again,” who knows?
Perhaps, the bozo in the Oval Office can string enough junk facts together to tweet us an answer.
To hear and watch the delivery of the following message delivered to Trump by new French President Emmanuel Marcon click on the following –
To hear and watch an interview on Trump’s announcement with California Governor Jerry Brown, click on –
Listen to an indepth, provocative interview CBC’s Michael Enright conducted with U.S. climate change expert Katharine Hayhoe by clicking on – http://www.cbc.ca/radio/popup/audio/listen.html?autoPlay=true&clipIds=&mediaIds=932220995985&contentarea=radio&subsection1=radio1&subsection2=currentaffairs&subsection3=the_sunday_edition&contenttype=audio&title=2017/04/30/1.4087037-donald-trump-versus-the-climate-a-conversation-with-katharine-hayhoe&contentid=1.4087037 .
Doug Draper spent much of his professional career as a journalist covering environmental issues in and around the Great Lakes basin and has received numerous awards and certificates of achievement for his work.
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