Being a bit of a climate change… Hawk? Sparrow… You’d think I’d be devastated by the USA pulling out of the Paris agreement – and I might well have been, even though I knew it was coming. But then the world reacted.
Severe vocal condemnation from world leaders everywhere – except Theresa May of course, whose value to the UK in relation to our American allies is now asymptotic to zero.
Yet another massive protest outside the White House. Traffic in Washington DC must be becoming a perennial problem.
Reminders that literally only two countries in the ENTIRE WORLD did not sign up to the Paris accord (Syria because it’s entrenched in a catastrophic civil war, and Nicaragua because they don’t think the Paris agreement went far enough). Think about that. North Korea signed up. Iraq and Iran signed up. Palestine and Israel apparently agree on two things: climate change and – as Tim Minchin observed in his outstanding peace anthem – not eating pigs.
Emmanuel Macron has won plaudits for his takedown of the US move – “make the planet great again.”
Landmarks in France and Mexico have been lit up green in a sign of support for the Paris Agreement.
China and Europe have jointly promised to redouble their efforts in the fight against carbon emissions. Some counties in the world are already well exceeding their commitments and are vowing to continue.
Universities, States and businesses throughout the USA have sworn to continue the fight and maintain their climate commitments. Elon Musk has quit his advisory role to the administration over the President’s decision. Even Trump’s own daughter Ivanka has urged him to take climate change seriously and and not quit the agreement.
I guess what I’m saying is: until this actually happened and someone somewhere pulled out of the Paris Agreement, I had no idea how seriously the governments of the world were really taking the issue. I didn’t know if one single loose thread would be enough to make it collapse entirely, with other governments around the world pulling out in turn due to a misguided refusal to hamstring their own economies when a key competitor was refusing to.
But no. For one thing, most of the governments of the world understand that advancement toward clean energy is a *good* move for jobs and the economy. As one commentator put it, Trump’s move isn’t really bad for the environment, it’s bad for America. But more than that, they fully appreciate the inescapable, simple truth of the problem: that if we don’t cut carbon emissions, billions may die.
If anything then, Trump’s long awaited withdrawal from the Paris Agreement has actually given me much more faith. The movement will succeed.
Well, notwithstanding the fact that all this Earth-lovin’ has started about 20 years too late. Don’t forget to move away from the coast, y’all. Storm’s a-coming. But I’m starting to believe we might be able to weather the worst of it.
American newspapers have said: the Republicans either think that God is going to solve climate change, or they don’t believe in it. Well, I believe in climate change. And the only thing that God needs to do something about is Donald Trump.