It is time to realize that the power of the American people does not mean following President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of the anti-greenhouse gas Paris Agreement. The states have the power to trump a bad move! Case in point, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced he and his counterparts in California and Washington State would form the “United States Climate Alliance”—a “forum to sustain and strengthen existing climate programs.”
Governor Cuomo’s most strongly-worded anti-Trump statement since the election, characterized the withdrawal from the multinational plan as “reckless.” California Governor Jerry Brown immediately went to the airwaves to denounce the climate deniers and to confirm his belief that climate change is in fact man made, preventable, and that we are in a rush to make sure it is not irreversible.
Washington State Governor Jay Inslee, joins the new group to exchange ideas and strategies for preventing and mitigating the increasingly violent weather, and swelling seas that scientists attribute to man-made climate change.
“This administration is abdicating its leadership and taking a backseat to other countries in the global fight against climate change,” Cuomo said in a statement to the press. “We will not ignore the science and reality of climate change.”
The three Democratic governors are quite specific in their resolve to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The goal is to reduce emissions by between a quarter and third over the coming decades.
.“The president has already said climate change is a hoax, which is the exact opposite of virtually all scientific and worldwide opinion,” Brown said in a release. “I don’t believe fighting reality is a good strategy—not for America, not for anybody. If the president is going to be AWOL in this profoundly important human endeavor, then California and other states will step up.”
The governors noted that their states collectively contain roughly 20 percent of the U.S population and gross domestic product.
“Today’s announcement by the president leaves the full responsibility of climate action on states and cities throughout our nation,” said Inslee. “While the president’s actions are a shameful rebuke to the work needed to protect our planet for our children and grandchildren, states have been and will continue to step up.”
The terms of the Paris Agreement prevent countries from withdrawing before November 2019, and the secession process will take another year—placing it after the next presidential election. It could very well be that the next presidential election will be a referendum on climate change.
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