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Obama And World Leaders React To Trump’s Climate Decision

“This decision will live in infamy”

Image via White House Flickr

It’s official. Trump formally announced his plans to withdraw U.S. support of the Paris climate agreement Thursday afternoon via a Facebook live stream from the White House Rose Garden. This decision goes against a worldwide effort to prevent further environmental damage caused by global warming.


In defending his decision, Trump employed a study funded by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that has been proven to contain misleading information. Essentially, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy claims that sticking to the climate agreement would lead to “economic hardship,” particularly for workers in the manufacturing sector. But as the World Resources Institute thoroughly points out, that conclusion is based on the most nonsensical, expensive route to economical and environmental progress—a route essentially out of the realm of possibility.

It’s telling that Trump chose to draw on that study alone. Meanwhile, there are hundreds (if not thousands) of peer-reviewed studies proving climate change is real and that it poses a serious threat to human health—a fact to which 97 percent of scientific experts can attest.

Alas, far more are disappointed than pleased by Trump’s decision to stall America’s progress. And while, legally, the United States can’t fully pull out of the Paris Agreement until 2020, it sets an alarming tone. As former President Barack Obama stated in a press release,

“The nations that remain in the Paris Agreement will be the nations that reap the benefits in jobs and industries created. I believe the United States of America should be at the front of the pack. But even in the absence of American leadership; even as this Administration joins a small handful of nations that reject the future; I’m confident that our states, cities, and businesses will step up and do even more to lead the way, and help protect for future generations the one planet we’ve got.”

Here’s what other world leaders and climate organizations have to say about this decision.

Bill Peduto, mayor of Pittsburgh:

\nSteve Adler, mayor of Austin, Texas:\n

“Austin will not stop fighting climate change. Worldwide, cities will lead in achieving climate treaty goals because so much of what’s required happens at the local level. Regardless of what happens around us, we're still Austin, Texas.”

Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund:

“This decision will live in infamy. President Trump has chosen to retreat. It is a course that defies logic, ignores overwhelming scientific evidence, and disregards the advice of more than 1,000 business leaders who urged him stand up for climate action and our clean energy economy … If there can be a silver lining today, it is that this becomes a galvanizing moment for the majority of Americans who support clean energy, climate action, and U.S participation in the Paris Agreement … Together, we can take action and control our own future.”

Experts from the US Climate Action Network (CAN):

“Trump has no mandate from the public to weaken the Paris Agreement, and should not be making big decisions while under investigation. This cowardly failure to lead will only make us stronger as a movement as we push harder for just and equitable climate action.”

Chidi Osuagwu, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Nigeria:

“Nations can do the best they can to secure their borders and uplift their economies. Climate change and environmental disasters recognize neither borders, nor respect mighty economies.”

Ben Schreiber, Friends of the Earth U.S.:

“Climate change is not waiting for U.S. action and neither can the rest of the world. … The majority of Americans do not support Trump and his fossil fuel agenda that puts corporate profits above people. The struggle to create real, deep change continues in the U.S. The resistance to Trump is strong and it is growing."

Articles

The healthcare systems in the United States and the United Kingdom couldn't be more different.

The UK's National Health Service is the largest government-run healthcare system in the world and the US's is largest private sector system.

Almost all essential health services in the UK are free, whereas in America cost can vary wildly based on insurance, co pays and what the hospitals and physicians choose to charge.

A medical bill in the US

One of the largest differences is cost. The average person in the UK spends £2,989 ($3915) per year on healthcare (most of which is collected through taxes), whereas the average American spends around $10,739 a year.

So Americans should obviously be getting better care, right? Well, the average life expectancy in the UK is higher and infant mortality rate is lower than that in the US.

RELATED: The World Health Organization declares war on the out of control price of insulin

Plus, in the U.S., only 84% of people are covered by private insurance, Medicare or Medicaid. Sixteen percent of the population are forced to pay out of pocket.

In the UK, everyone is covered unless they are visiting the country or an undocumented resident.

Prescription drugs can cost Americans an arm and a leg, but in the UK, prescriptions or either free or capped at £8.60 ($11.27).

via Wikimedia Commons

The one drawback to the NHS system is responsiveness. In the UK people tend to wait longer for inessential surgeries, doctor's appointments, and in emergency rooms. Whereas, the US is ranked as the most responsive country in the world.

RELATED: Alarmingly high insulin prices are forcing Americans to flock to Canada to buy the drug

The New York Times printed a fair evaluation of the UK's system:

The service is known for its simplicity: It is free at the point of use to anyone who needs it. Paperwork is minimal, and most patients never see a bill. … No one needs to delay medical treatment until he or she can afford it, and virtually everyone is covered. …

According to data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United States spent 17.2 percent of its economic output on health care in 2016, compared with 9.7 percent in Britain. Yet Britain has a higher life expectancy at birth and lower infant mortality.

Citizens in each country have an interesting perspective on each other's healthcare systems. UK citizens think it's inhumane for Americans have to pay through the nose when they're sick or injured. While Americans are skeptical of socialist medicine.

A reporter from Politics Joe hit the streets of London and asked everyday people what they think Americans pay for healthcare and they were completely shocked.

Health

Bans on plastic bags and straws can only go so far. Using disposable products, like grabbing a plastic fork when you're on the go, can be incredibly convenient. But these items also contribute to our growing plastic problem.

Fortunately, you can cut down on the amount of waste you produce by cutting down on disposable products. And even more fortunately, there are sustainable (and cute) replacements that won't damage the environment.

Coconut bowls


Cocostation

Who says sustainable can't also be stylish? These cute coconut bowls were handmade using reclaimed coconuts, making each piece one of a kind. Not only are they organic and biodegradable, but they're also durable, in case your dinner parties tend to get out of hand. The matching ebony wood spoons were polished with the same coconut oil as the bowls.

Cocostation Set of 2 Vietnamese Coconut Bowls and Spoons, $14.99; at Amazon

Solar powered phone charger

Dizaul

Why spend time looking around for an outlet when you can just harness the power of the sun? This solar powered phone charger will make sure your phone never dies as long as you can bask in the sun's rays. As an added bonus, this charger was made using eco-friendly silicone rubber. It's win-win all around.

Dizaul Solar Charger, 5000mAh Portable Solar Power Bank, $19.95; at Amazon, $19.95; at Amazon

Herb garden kit

Planter Pro

Put some green in your life with this herb planter. The kit comes with everything you need to get a garden growing, including a moisture meter that helps you determine if your herbs are getting the right amount of food to flourish. All the seeds included are certified to be non-GMO and non-hybrids, meaning you can have fresh, organic herbs right at your fingertips.

Planter Pro's Herb Garden Cedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazonedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazon

Reusable Keurig cups

K & J

Keurig cups are convenient, but they also create a ton of plastic waste. These Keurig-compatible plastic cups are an easy way to cut down on the amount of trash you create without cutting down on your caffeine. Additionally, you won't have to keep on buying K Cups, which means you'll be saving money and the environment.

K&J Reusable Filter Cups, $8.95 for a set of 4,; at Amazon

Low-flow shower head

Speakman

Low-flow water fixtures can cut down your water consumption, which saves you money while also saving one of the Earth's resources. This shower head was designed with a lighter flow in mind, which means you'll be able to cut down on water usage without feeling like you're cutting down on your shower.

Speakman Low Flow Shower Head, $14.58; at Amazon

Bamboo safety razor

Zomchi

Instead of throwing away a disposable razor every time you shave, invest in an eco-friendly, reusable one. This unisex shaver isn't just sustainable, it's also sharp-looking, which means it would make a great gift for the holidays.

Zomchi Safety Razor, $16.99; at Amazon

The Planet
Instagram / Leonardo DiCaprio

This August, the world watched as the Amazon burned. There were 30,901 individual fires that lapped at the largest rainforest in the world. While fires can occur in the dry season due to natural factors, like lightning strikes, it is believed that the widespread fires were started by loggers and farmers to clear land. Brazil's president, Jair Bolsonaro, cites a different cause: the actor Leonardo DiCaprio.

DiCaprio wasn't accused of hanging out in the rainforest with a box of matches, however President Bolsonaro did accuse the actor of funding nonprofit organizations that allegedly set fires to raise donations.

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The Planet