Unfortunately, history has repeated itself. We have been here before.
A number of years ago, George W. Bush withdrew the United States signature for the Kyoto Protocol on global warming—stating that its implementation did not match his interests—which appears to be exactly what President Trump mimicked on June 1st. But the stakes are currently higher than ever as we stare in the face of climate change and its present effects on our most vulnerable populations. In pulling out of the 2015 International Paris Agreement on carbon emissions, the United States government has ultimately slapped Mother Earth in the face and told her to go fuck herself.
The very essence of this agreement was to keep the Earth’s warming below a 2 degree Celsius increase. Let it be known that we have currently only warmed by 0.85 degrees, yet experienced a vast array of consequences thus far including, but not limited to: extreme glacier melting, sea level rise, island flooding, ocean warming and acidification, heat waves, severe storms, and long-term drought. It was a fragile international handshake, but one that was beyond necessary to keep the planet at a “safe” warming level through minimizing fossil fuel use and holding countries accountable of doing the same. Rather than maintaining its recommendations, the United States has nullified and invalidated the years of progress made as a country in understanding the importance of keeping fossil fuels in the ground. Trump backed this insulting decision with the cover argument that pulling out is better for America’s tenuous reputation saying,
“We don’t want other leaders and other countries laughing at us anymore. And they won’t be.”
However, the agreement was bigger than an egotistical game of global politics.
Fundamentally speaking, it has always been a battle between environmentalism and economism as the importance of nature and money are pitted against each other.
The Paris Agreement was noted as a temporary draw in this battle, because for once in a lifetime the environment took priority on a non-binding international level. For decades, the United States of America has remained the most powerful country in the world (and perhaps an unfortunate fact at this point), therefore dictating and dominating the world agenda. Yet the decision made on June 1st is solidified proof of our own administration’s apathy in regard to Earthly preservation has translated to worldly inaction. We are, or were, the only strong leader for the movement of environmental compassion that is now temporarily terminated. The win of fossil fuel funded presidential advisors, climate deniers, and money-centric megalomaniac politicians is a hard loss for our sacred Earth.
The well-being of the planet should not be a partisan issue. Not because it is a value that the Republican Party called dibs on to oppose, but rather due to the fact that politicians are bought by fossil fuel companies that are invested in the continuation of dirty energy. Prominent business leaders such as Elon Musk of Tesla and SpaceX have spoken out against the United States withdraw from the Paris Accord, arguing in an open letter to Trump that
“The [agreement] gives us the flexible framework to manage climate change while providing a smooth transition for business.”
But with continued stagnation in renewable energy growth; the health of our climate and the health of humanity is gravely threatened.
It is with a heavy heart that I ask our Earth for forgiveness of the treacheries that we have collectively taken part in. To our beloved planet, we are so sorry.
She placed her hands on the ground and prayed directly into the earth, her love carried the message of gratitude, apology, and a new willingness to defend the only home she has ever known.
Diego Perez, Yung Pueblo