Guest: Withdrawing from the Paris Agreement endangers Californians and other nations

EVAN GUEST [(CC BY 2.0)] / FLICKR
The fight against climate change now falls on state legislators

On June 1, President Donald Trump made the wrong decision for our health and the planet by pulling the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement. Climate change threatens our health with dirtier air, more extreme weather and spreading disease. The United States is the nation most responsible for global warming, and now we’re leaving other countries to clean up our mess or suffer the consequences. We’re telling the world that our nation is willing to risk all of our futures just for the sake of a few polluting industries. The United States should be the leading nation in fighting climate change and promoting clean renewable energy.

But losing Paris won’t only compromise our nation’s position in the international arena. Casting aside our emissions goals could have serious consequences right here in California.

To highlight some effects, a report produced by CALmatters found that California’s coastal sea level will actually rise 30 to 40 times faster — up to 10 feet in just 70 years — if nothing is done to address climate change. During California’s 2015 drought, the most severe dry period in over 450 years, over 20,000 agricultural jobs were lost. Furthermore, the American Lung Association reports that eight of the top 10 U.S. cities with the most particulate air pollution are in California.

If Washington won’t lead, we all need to step up. It’s time for our state legislators to lead California to a 10 percent renewable energy future. It’s time for Governor Jerry Brown and Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de León to stand up and defend important climate-friendly measures like the clean car standards that will clean our air and conserve oil.

Written by: Shanti Ezrine

1 Comment on this Post

  1. This seems to be a very narrow-minded piece that doesn’t consider what the Paris Accord would have actually done to prevent climate change. The plan would cost a fortune, as it is estimated to cost between 1 and 2 trillion dollars a year. So for a plan that cost this much, they must be saving the world right? Unfortunately, they aren’t. If every country in the world followed through (which never happens) and they kept the treaty through 2100 (despite it being planned for only 14 years), then the temperature in 2100 would decrease by a whopping .3 degrees Fahrenheit from the estimated amount it will be at. No one in their right mind that knows these facts would think the Paris Accord is beneficial for the US or for the future of our world. People that are serious about changing our carbon emissions shouldn’t be happy with this since it will not save the Earth by any stretch of the imagination. We need to develop better technology that will decrease our emissions, rather than throw trillions of dollars at a plan that achieves nothing. So all of those consequences that the author mentioned will still happen regardless of if we were involved in the Paris Accord. Also, it is worth noting that annual emissions by the US have been declining in the past decade and that the US is no longer the number 1 polluting country (China doubled our emissions last year, and their levels are on the rise). So with better technology, not all hope is lost, as the US is naturally lowering their emissions as technology improves, without dumping trillions of dollars into a meaningless plan. This is coming from someone who is concerned by climate change, in case someone thinks I’m a nonbeliever in it.

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