Make Them Hear You! is a weekly feature on KGNU, produced by Chris Mohr, letting listeners know how they can have their voices heard on issues up before Congress. You can hear it Wednesday mornings at 8.20am during the Morning Magazine.
Donald Trump once tweeted that “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive,” which he later said was a joke, but he has repeatedly called global warming a hoax, and other times accepted it. But now that he has withdrawn from the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, signed by 195 or 197 countries. Let’s first check his reasoning against the facts.
First, in his Rose Garden speech last week, he never either accepted or rejected the science of climate change.
Trump said the U.S. would be exposed to “massive legal liability if we stay in” the Paris Agreement. But there is no liability provision in the Paris Agreement.
Trump said China and India are the “world’s leading polluters,” referring to carbon emissions. Wrong. China and the U.S. are the top emitters, and the US emits more CO2 per capita than China and India combined.
Trump falsely claimed “nobody even knows where the money [in the Green Climate Fund] is going to,” when the fund’s website outlines all of the projects they fund.
Trump said the agreement would cost “close to $3 trillion in lost GDP.” That’s one estimate from one report by a business-funded group. Other analyses say the impact of meeting emissions targets would be “modest.”
Trump took credit for job gains, saying we’ve added over a million private sector jobs since his election–but only 493,000 of them were added since he took office. Job growth has been steady since 2010. Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell praised Trump, saying “President Trump has reiterated his commitment to protecting middle-class families across the country and workers throughout coal country from higher energy prices and potential job loss.” This contradicts the fact that new coal plants are now more expensive than new wind or solar power facilities, and coal is fading from the energy marketplace, while wind and solar account for 60% of new energy facilities being built.
Trump said he’d be willing to renegotiate a new climate-change agreement, but the Europeans have utterly rejected his offer. Congress is doing almost nothing these days in response to Trump’s trashing of the Paris agreement. Most of the climate-change activity is now taking place at the state and local levels. Nationally, several Democratic Senators have submitted bills relating to climate change. Senate Resolution 155 is a sense of the Senate statement that the US should continue to work with the international community to address climate change. The Senate Climate Change Adapt American Fund #922, and the Senate’s Stop Arctic Ocean Drilling Act #991 are all but destined to die in Republican-led committees. The one bipartisan House Bill, the Climate Solutions Commission Act #2326 cosponsored by Democrat Delaney and Republican Faso, has at least a chance of passage. Its purpose is to find ways to accelerate reductions in climate pollution while growing the economy and protecting jobs.
If you’re concerned about the Trump dump of the Paris agreement and the tepid activity of Congress on this matter, you can call the White House comment line at 202-456-1111 and contact your Representative and Senators.