Findings, music, and occasional reflections by Paul Woodward

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The next U.S. president must rejoin the Paris climate accord

Elizabeth Warren writes:

President Trump has now fulfilled his disastrous promise to pull the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement. The agreement represents decades of work by both Democratic and Republican administrations to achieve a common goal: bringing every country of the world together to tackle the climate crisis, the existential threat of our time.

President Trump surprised no one with his decision to withdraw from the agreement. It is yet another reckless choice in line with his steps to rollback our bedrock environmental laws, which have cleaned up our water and our air for decades. But that doesn’t minimize the gravity of his latest move. Trump is not only ceding American leadership at a critical juncture in the fight against climate change, he’s also giving away American jobs in the clean energy economy of the future – walking away from the greatest economic opportunity of our time.

The science is clear: the costs of climate change are even greater than we thought. In fact, a report released last year by Trump’s own government found that by the end of the century climate change will cost the American economy hundreds of billions of dollars and thousands of lives every year. We are already seeing the cost of inaction here at home – bigger wildfires in California, record flooding in the Midwest and stronger hurricanes from Houston to New Orleans. And the global costs are even greater: climate change is making already unstable governments even less so, fueling international conflicts, and creating climate refugees around the world. It’s also spreading diseases into new parts of the world, costing more lives. With each passing year, the climate crisis wreaks greater havoc.

But instead of acting to protect American lives and creating good paying jobs, we have let Big Oil set our climate policy in Washington. These companies spent three decades deceiving the public about the climate crisis, spreading lies and misinformation through their lobbyists. With Donald Trump in the White House, they now have a climate denier in chief. [Continue reading…]

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