GOOD

Stopping Climate Change, With Or Without Trump

Trump’s recent delay on Paris climate accord is a loser mentality

Trump recently delayed his decision on joining the Paris climate accord. Here’s a look at why that may not matter from our 2017 Trump guide.

Hot and cold—that’s how best to describe the President-elect’s stance on climate change, which he once described as a “hoax created by the Chinese,” then later admitted there is “some connectivity” between human behavior and shifting temperatures. He’s bringing a denier to oversee the Environmental Protection Agency transition team, yet backing away from his previous notion to “cancel” the Paris Agreement, the world’s landmark climate treaty.


Fortunately, even if Trump does decide to abandon the accord, it wouldn’t be easy. It will take four years to withdraw, as the treaty was entered into force just days before the election. Trump could choose to pull out of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in as little as a year, but he’d lose a seat in vital negotiations born of a deal made by President George H.W. Bush and unanimously confirmed by a Republican-controlled Senate. So it isn’t totally nuts to assume that Trump will just stay put, a course of action recommended by an overwhelming chorus of voices—from major businesses and military leaders to, of all people, Bill O’Reilly.

At the high-level gathering of foreign ministers called COP22 in Marrakech, Morocco, in November, speakers from China, Saudi Arabia, the European Union, and Russia all recommitted to the global pact. “We must honor commitments and consolidate mutual trust,” said China’s climate envoy, Xie Zhenhua, while French President François Hollande asserted that, “The United States, the largest economic power in the world, the second-largest greenhouse gas emitter, must respect the commitments it has undertaken.”

To Trump, the opinions of more than 100 foreign leaders likely matter less than those of U.S.-based businesses. After the election, a group of more than 360 Fortune 500 companies, including DuPont, Intel, Nike, and Kellogg, released a letter to Trump, stating, “We call on our elected U.S. leaders to strongly support ... investment in the low carbon economy ... [and] continued U.S. participation in the Paris Agreement.”

At COP22, there was a palpable sense that Americans and no one else would be the losers if Trump were to diverge on climate policy. “The Paris Agreement cannot be stopped as the global energy transition cannot be stopped,” said Miguel Arias Cañete, the European commissioner for climate action and energy. “The world is forging ahead, and the smart money is on clean energy. Who would be against this unstoppable global trend? Who would like to be left behind?”

Articles
Photo by Josh Couch on Unsplash

Christopher Columbus, Alexander Hamilton, William Shakespeare, and Sir Walter Scott are getting company. Statues of the famous men are scattered across Central Park in New York City, along with 19 others. But they'll finally be joined by a few women.

Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Sojourner Truth are the subjects of a new statue that will be on display along The Mall, a walkway that runs through the park from 66th to 72nd street. It will be dedicated in August of next year, which is fittingly the 100-year anniversary of the 19th Amendment that granted women the right to vote.

Currently, just 3% of statues in New York City are dedicated to women. Out of 150 statues of historical figures across the city, only five statues are of historical women, including Joan of Arc, Golda Meir, Gertrude Stein, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Harriet Tubman.

Keep Reading Show less
promo-homepage

It's easy to become calloused to everyday headlines with messages like, "the world is ending" and "everything is going extinct." They're so prevalent, in fact, that the severity of these statements has completely diminished to the point that no one pays them any attention. This environmental negativity (coined "eco-phobia") has led us to believe that all hope is lost for wildlife. But luckily, that isn't the case.

Historically, we have waited until something is near the complete point of collapse, then fought and clawed to bring the species numbers back up. But oftentimes we wait so long that it's too late. Creatures vanish from the Earth altogether. They go extinct. And even though I don't think for a single second that we should downplay the severity of extinction, if we can flip this on its head and show that every once in a while a species we have given up on is actually still out there, hanging on by a thread against all odds, that is a story that deserves to be told. A tragic story of loss becomes one about an animal that deserves a shot at preservation and a message of hope the world deserves to hear.

As a wildlife biologist and tracker who has dedicated his life to the pursuit of animals I believe have been wrongfully deemed extinct, I spend most of my time in super remote corners of the Earth, hoping to find some shred of evidence that these incredible creatures are still out there. And to be frank, I'm pretty damn good at it!

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet

For more than 20 years. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has served the citizens of Maine in the U.S. Senate. For most of that time, she has enjoyed a hard-fought reputation as a moderate Republican who methodically builds bridges and consensus in an era of political polarization. To millions of political observers, she exemplified the best of post-partisan leadership, finding a "third way" through the static of ideological tribalism.

However, all of that has changed since the election of Donald Trump in 2016. Voters in Maine, particularly those who lean left, have run out of patience with Collins and her seeming refusal to stand up to Trump. That frustration peaked with the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics
NHM Vienna/Hans Reschreiter

Wealth inequality has been a hot topic of discussion as of late, but it's something that's occurred all throughout history. Class structure is a complicated issue, especially when you consider that haves and have nots have been in existence for over 4,000 years.

A study published in Science took a look at over 100 late Neolithic and early Bronze Age skeletons found in a burial site in southern Germany. The study "shed light on the complexity of social status, inheritance rules, and mobility during the Bronze Age." Partly by looking at their teeth and the artifacts they were buried with, researchers were able to discover that wealth inequality existed almost 4,000 years ago. "Our results reveal that individual households lasting several generations consisted of a high-status core family and unrelated low-status individuals, a social organization accompanied by patrilocality and female exogamy, and the stability of this system over 700 years," the study said.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture
via Truthout.org / Flickr and Dimitri Rodriguez / Flickr

Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign looks to be getting a huge big shot in the arm after it's faced some difficulties over the past few weeks.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a leading voice in the Democratic parties progressive, Democratic Socialist wing, is expected to endorse Sanders' campaign at the "Bernie's Back" rally in Queens, New York this Saturday.

Fellow member of "the Squad," Ilhan Omar, endorsed him on Wednesday.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics