White House Protest Rebukes Trump For Paris Climate Agreement Exit

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Above and below: John Zangas for DC Media Group

White House climate protest Kids for a Clean Planet. June 1, 2017 by John Zangas

Dozens of speakers, including leaders of think tanks, former government officials, and representatives from environmental groups converged on the White House Thursday afternoon to criticize President Donald Trump for his decision to back out of the Paris Climate Agreement. Trump’s decision to rescind the US endorsement of the Accord was seen as a set back to collective efforts to curb climate change.

The Paris Climate Accord was signed in December, 2015 by 195 countries, and was heralded as a first step towards reducing climate change inducing gases. The US now joins a short list of two countries that did not endorse the accord, namely Syria and Nicaragua.

The accord provides for five year incremental reviews and adjustments to keep up with sciencetific developmets as more is learned from the evolving climate situation. It also provides a means of gradually weening civilization off carbon based fuels.

One by one speakers railed against Trump’s decision, calling it a “head in the sand” and “climate change denier’s” response on behalf of fossil fuel industry interests. 

Congressman Jamie Raskin of the 8th District of Maryland, said that climate denialism “threatens the existence of the human species.” His district includes the headquarters of NOAA, the government agency responsible for tracking carbon levels in the atmosphere.

The congressman cited the fact that 97 percent of professional scientists confirm that climate change gases are due to human induced carbon and methane emissions. 

Climate change impacts on health are already being felt, argued Barbara Gottlieb, Director of Environment and Health for Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR). Gottlieb said that heat stroke is on the rise globally due to rising temperatures and that it is the leading cause of death related to climate change. “In fact we are in a health emergency now due to climate change,” she said.

Gottlieb cited recent major heat waves as evidence climate change was already affecting populations. In Western and Central Europe a massive heat wave in 2003, caused 70,000 deaths from heat stroke, and another heat wave in Russia in 2010, killed 55,000.

PSR supports a broad based effort to reduce fossil based fuels because of its indirect contribution to the spread of infectious diseases. “Climate change aggravates the frequency and intensity of extreme heat waves, increases the risk of dangerous weather events, and augments the spread of insect-borne and water-borne diseases,” PSR published on its website.

The destabilizing effects of climate change pose a national security threat to the nation argued Michael Breen, President & CEO of the Truman Center and Truman National Security Project. “The pentagon recognizes climate change as a threat acceleratior and one of the great threats of the 21st century,” he said.

Breen offered job creation in the renewable energy industry as yet another argument to remain as a signor to the Paris Accord. “We will fall behind in the race to the 21st century. The solar and wind farms are going to be the future of energy independence and economic revitalization,” said Breen.

report published early this year by Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) highlighted a twelve fold growth rate in renewable energy jobs creation as compared to the rest of the economy. “The renewable energy sector has seen rapid growth, driven largely by significant reductions in manufacturing and installation costs. In 2015, renewable energy jobs in the U.S. reached 769,000, the result of a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 6% since 2012.6 Job creation in this sector has outstripped the fossil fuel industry.  Solar and wind jobs have grown at rates of about 20% annually in recent years and are each creating jobs at a rate 12 times faster than that of the rest of the U.S. economy.”

The report also cited a 64 percent increase in electricity generation since 2012, by renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power generation.

  • AlanMacDonald

    While many view this as important because of the importance of the
    Global Warming ‘issue’, I view this as even more strategically
    significant as the meta-causal and first fissure in the U.S. HQed
    Disguised Global Capitalist EMPIRE’s potential fall/collapse —- IF
    and only IF the people of America take their heads out of something and
    go into the streets in large numbers to protest not just Trump but the
    EMPIRE — that BOTH effin Phony Political ‘front’ facade Parties work
    for and are owned by!!!

    And while the initial First American “Political Revolution against
    EMPIRE” [Justin du Rivage] was the 18th century’s New World breaking
    away from European Empires’ disease on the world at that time, this
    initial fissure of a more progressive Europe (and the rest of the
    anti-EMPIRE world) breaking away from the orbit of this current U.S.
    secretly developed, HQed, DGCEmpire only ‘posing’ as our former country
    is not only hopefully the culmination of Revolutions in 1776, 1789,
    1848, 1917, 1960’s, and 1989-91, but possibly the a final “turning away”
    from Empire at last.

    I will not hazard a guess on whether the current epoch of Trump as
    faux-Emperor of the DGCEmpire is a result of Empire planning for their
    2016 regime ‘front’ or whether unplanned circumstances to Empire
    strategy occurred exogenously.

    However, whether planned by the Empire to ‘expose’ an overtly and
    extreme ‘Emperor-like’ figurehead (eg. Trump) in order to drive the
    political dial back toward the ‘smoother-lying’ neoliberal ‘D’ Vichy
    party type (eg. Bill Clinton or Obama-like) faux-Emperors as ‘cover’ for
    the underLYING DGCEmpire, or whether Trump was an erroneous quirk who
    is more dangerous and “visibly imperial”, and possibly ‘off the leash’
    (like the banking and industrial installed Herr Hitler), the net effect
    of our current situation is that ‘we the American people’ have been
    presented with the most amazing opportunity to “see and understand” that
    BOTH the Vichy parties and all of the faux-Emperors that have been
    presented by the DGCEmpire over the last 9 ‘least worse voting scams’
    need to be ‘exposed’ and expunged (if not non-violently ‘excised’) from
    any functional democracy worth being called ‘our country’.

    It is critically important at this uniquely propitious time in human
    history to recognize that BOTH Vichy Parties and BOTH types of
    ‘rougher-talking’ neocon “R’ Vichy Party candidates, AND
    ‘smoother-lying’ neoliberal-con ‘D’ Vichy Party candidates must never
    again be allowed to show their deadly specters across our former
    country’s ‘body politic’ if the body of anything approaching a real
    functional democracy (or even a minimally representative Republic) is to
    be revived.

    While I’ve been saying substantially the same effin thing since 2007,
    and yet, unfortunately the American people, even the supposedly more
    informed sector of the American people here and elsewhere who appear to
    be leftish, pseudo progressive, and read supposed alt media appear to be
    TSTSTFE (too stupid to save themselves from Empire).

    “And so it goes”, as Kurt Vonnegut died saying.

    To be a bit more fair to some Americans I should perhaps have said
    TSADBTMPSTSTFE (too stupid and deluded by the media/propaganda-sector to save themselves from Empire), but that’s a pretty long acronym to
    unpack.