LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Trump’s withdrawal from Paris Agreement was a dangerous and arrogant move

Trump’s withdrawal of America from the Paris Agreement shows once again that he does not know what he does not know and does not have the intellectual and curious temperament needed to learn more. It should also be recognized as a blatant play to his support base — he promised he would pull America out of the agreement and he did it — at a time when his favorability is flagging because he and hi sadministration cannot get their act together. He did it regardless of the fact that it will hurt America and the world.

Climate change is real. Climate change is now and ongoing. Differences about how fast and to what effect are still being researched. The climate’s natural and cyclic changes do not explain what we are currently experiencing Global temperatures are rising. All of the earth’s surfaces — land and water — are warming. Global temperatures have been recorded for 137 years. 2016 was the hottest year on record. Of the 17 hottest years ever recorded, 16 have occurred since 2000.

Climate change is an equal opportunity destroyer. It does not care whether you are a Republican or a Democrat or any other political persuasion. Climate change is not so equal about people’s health. Infants, young children, pregnant women, the elderly, those with pre-existing conditions and the poor are most harmed by rising temperatures.

There is no other planet just waiting to receive mankind. There is no other place to hide. Our only option is to stand and fight as a nation and as a world of nations. That is the great opportunity that all except two of the world’s nations embraced when they became signatories to the Paris Agreement.

Contrary to what Trump said when he announced America’s pull-out, the agreement is voluntary and each nation can adjust their goals without legal liability. He also lied when he said China and India are the world’s biggest polluters. In fact, that dubious distinction belongs to America and China. It should also be noted that China expects to hit its 2020 goal early. Ninety-seven percent of the climate scientists in the world agree that climate change is real and that fossil fuel use is a major factor.

Walking away from the Paris Agreement puts all our international businesses at a distinct disadvantage. China has already begun to forge alliances with other nations to fill the vacuum left by Trump’s dangerous and arrogant action. Walking away virtually assures that no matter how innovative and advanced American technology, we will, at best, take second place on the world stage for at least the remainder of the 21st century. Every nation with which we have signed trade agreements has signed on to the Paris accord.

America’s military has indicated that climate change is a major factor in maintaining national security. Already, the navy is developing strategic plans for defense of the open sea passage created by shrinking ice around the Northern Arctic pole.

All of the above, even before we address the moral and social irresponsibility the move signals to the entire world — a move by a nation which, in spite of all our faults, is still looked up to for leadership. We’ve earned that respect with blood, treasure and honor. Walking away means that America joins Syria and Nicaragua as only the third nation in the world whose leaders refuse to participate in the first international accord that gives their citizens a fighting chance to slow climate change.

Patricia W. Frey

EDITOR’S NOTE: An “Around Delaware” news brief on June 6 reported that Delaware is joining the U.S. Climate Alliance.

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