The dominance of climate-change deniers in the Trump cabinet, and Trump’s own dismissal of science and expertise–exemplified by his withdrawal from the Paris Accords–has rational people understandably depressed and worried.
Fortunately, policy is not made or implemented exclusively at the federal level.
Earlier this month, the New York Times reported that California Governor Jerry Brown had announced his own global summit.
Gov. Jerry Brown of California on Thursday reinforced his reputation as America’s de facto leader on climate change, announcing to cheering crowds in Hamburg, Germany that his state would gather leaders from around the world for a global warming summit next year.
Speaking by videoconference to the Global Citizens Festival in Hamburg, where President Donald Trump is joining other world leaders for the Group of 20 economic summit, Governor Brown said the president “doesn’t speak for the rest of America” in pulling out of the Paris agreement on climate change.
Governor Brown announced a Climate Action Summit, to take place in San Francisco in September of 2018. The California meeting will include leaders of states, cities, businesses and a variety of other organizations pledged to the goals of the Paris Accords. Organizers anticipate thousands of attendees from among those who have been galvanized by Mr. Trump’s decision.
It isn’t just Jerry Brown, either. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has published a letter to the United Nations that has been signed by more than 1,200 mayors, business leaders, university presidents and others who confirmed that “we are still in” the climate deal.
The response has been overwhelmingly positive.
“With the Trump administration’s rather comprehensive moves to reverse the Obama administration’s suite of climate policies, the potential importance and the prominence of all these subnational actions and actors is greater now than ever before,” said Robert Stavins, an energy economist at Harvard University….
Governor Brown maintained that his goal was not to antagonize the president, but to urge everyone to do more. “It isn’t being cooked up because of Trump,” Governor Brown said in an interview Wednesday. “No nation or state is doing what they should be doing. This is damn serious, and most people are taking it far too lightly than the reality of the threat. You can’t do too much to sound the alarm because so far the response is not adequate to the challenge.”
He predicted the opposition to climate change policies by Mr. Trump and many Republicans would shift as evidence of the consequences of climate change mounted. “If the whole world except the U.S. is sufficiently galvanized, it will only be a short period before the U.S. falls in line,” he said. “I think President Trump unwittingly is serving to stimulate the movement toward decarbonization by his very public, idiosyncratic resistance to both the science, the diplomacy and the politics.”
To characterize Trump’s resistance as “idiosyncratic” is incredibly diplomatic. But I entirely agree that any positive results of Trump’s election have been entirely inadvertent…
Addendum: For readers inclined to enjoy nature and our national parks while we still have them and the latter are still affordable, I’m passing along a message from Betty: