Sunday, June 4, 2017

“Those who deny the well-established science of climate change ought to be tried for crimes against humanity”





“President Donald Trump confirmed his status as climate denier in chief…, guaranteeing his place in history as an enemy of both science and humanity. Trump’s withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Accord on climate change will not stop the rest of the world from continuing to advance toward a clean-energy future. Solar, wind, batteries, and other technologies are growing tremendously fast, rewarding investors and employing far more people than the heat-trapping fuels of the past. Three million Americans now work in the clean-energy sector, more than the oil, gas, and coal industries combined…

“But no one should pretend that it does not matter when the world’s biggest economy rejects an agreement that put unprecedented international support behind ambitious climate action. By removing rules and regulations that require polluters in the United States to change their ways, Trump’s repudiation of the Paris Accord will slow progress at the very time when humanity’s survival requires faster action than ever.

“‘Crimes against humanity’ is a phrase to use with caution, but it fits Trump’s repudiation of the Paris Accord and indeed his entire climate policy. Timothy Wirth, who as the under-secretary of state in the Bill Clinton administration negotiated the Kyoto Protocol that sought to limit global warming, has said that those who deny the well-established science of climate change ‘ought to be tried for crimes against humanity.’ 

“Wirth told The Nation after Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Accord that he stood by his remark, adding that the president’s action was ‘a stunning moral abdication of responsibility to future generations.’ To refuse to act against global warming is to condemn thousands of people to death and suffering today and millions more tomorrow. This is murder, even if Trump’s willful ignorance of climate science prevents him from seeing it. History will not be so blind…

“At this point in the climate crisis, the science is terrifyingly clear. Global emissions of heat-trapping gases must peak by 2020 if the 1.5C target is to remain feasible, by 2030 for the 2C target. Physics does not compromise; it does not do the deals so beloved by Trump. And that means that pledging to unleash America’s ‘abundant domestic energy’ sources—by which Trump explained he meant oil, gas, and coal—will make it immensely more difficult to honor those temperature targets, even if the rest of the world continues galloping forward.

“In human terms, this increase in US energy production will mean more of the killer cyclones that killed hundreds and left hundreds of thousands of people homeless in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka this week. It will mean more of the massive storms such as Hurricane Sandy that leveled vast parts of New York and New Jersey days before the 2012 presidential election and inspired Businessweek’s cover headline, ‘It’s Global Warming, Stupid!’ It will mean that the extinction crisis that has already claimed countless plant and animal species will intensify, furthering impoverishing the planet both ecologically and spiritually. All of this is a crime against humanity—and against Earth.”





No comments:

Post a Comment