Anger. Fear. Hope. That’s been the trio of my emotions around climate change issues for years now. Today, I am adding Exhaustion.
President Trump, who thrives on chaos, diversion and destruction, has announced he is pulling the US out of the historic agreement, forged in Paris, to regulate our carbon emissions. Nothing about this agreement was a bad deal for the U.S. On the contrary, pulling out is going to be a very bad deal for us. The United States is reneging on our leadership, and baking in more delay on action.
My Big Fear: Because so many countries—195—had to buy into the Paris Accord, the target standards are actually too low to make a significant dent in the problem. But at least it was a beginning, a foundation. And the accord was not binding, nor was it enforceable—that’s doing a lot on trust. But we have no choice.
My Next Big Hope: The Paris Agreement would be refined, over the years, to steadily bring down climate pollution. It would stabilize renewable markets, clear the air of climate denial, and keep us moving productively in the direction of regulating greenhouse gas emissions—something that the Supreme Court has said EPA must do.
My Enormous Anger: Trump, Pruitt, and the fossil fuel polluters just do not care. Do. Not. Care. Not about our children’s health, not about the stability of this planet, not about stewardship of our beautiful world. Not about science, or truth. Certainly not about urgency, or good faith. They do not care. They are willing to crash and burn years of diplomatic work—rather than assume global leadership in solving the problem.
We have a President who does not “believe” in climate change, as if science were a fairy tale. Climate lies among powerful politicians are winning the day. We watch an EPA Administrator do everything in his power to cripple the agency that is supposed to control greenhouse gas emissions, to say nothing of other poisonous forms of air pollution. Today, polluters win.
How can I even think about hope, now?
At least we now have crystal clarity. Trump’s decision to pull out of the historic agreement should blow away any remaining cobwebs of complacency in our minds. This is an administration that is hell-bent on destroying our right to clean air and a stable climate. Let there be no remaining doubt: nothing these people do is constructive, or protective.
The Trump Administration will always put profits over people.
That should make us even fiercer in our determination to fight these cynical and corrupt moves.
Other hope? Leadership that isn’t coming from the White House, but instead from corporate CEOs, business owners, governors, state leaders, ranchers, farmers, insurers, teachers, and parents. People who understand that we do not have years and years to dither around about how best to cut climate pollution. People who understand that our children’s health, and their future, are both at risk if we don’t act now.
Here’s the thing: “Mother” Earth couldn’t care less what we humans decide to do. That’s why I don’t like these maternal references—mothers care about their children. The planet doesn’t care if cockroaches or dinosaurs or humans are crawling across its back.
Only we care. We care enough to exhaust ourselves in this fight. Only we can take the steps necessary to protect a climate in which we have thrived, for thousands upon thousands of years.
Because our President has shown that he doesn’t care, it’s now up to the rest of us.
It’s our time. Through our heartbreak, we must join together to demand the solutions we need, for the children we love.