There is little time to dwell on the fundamental flaws of the structure of American politics so this article that will aim to focus primarily on how the rest of the world can proceed following America’s choice to withdraw from the Paris Agreement.
We are amidst a global crisis that America has elected to ignore. As National Geographic points out, “Climate Change isn’t a hoax or a scientific conspiracy, it’s a grand challenge.” The average global temperature has risen 1.69°F and we have reached 400 parts per million in average atmospheric carbon dioxide, which is up 216 since 1832. That has taken less than 200 years. Nine out of ten climate scientists agree that “carbon emissions cause global warming”: this should be overwhelmingly obvious proof and leaves a sense of disbelief that, at this stage, anyone could be in denial. Our living is unsustainable and it is necessary, not optional, to take legislative action to stimulate societal change and improve the environmental crisis we are facing.
So, here’s a little note to the man who thinks it’s all a hoax, courtesy of National Geographic:
Humans are most definitely responsible as “no natural cause explains the half-century warming trend”, which has been documented by satellites. This is caused by “human-emitted greenhouse gases” of which the U.S. is the second largest contributor; this forms a “steadily thickening blanket that traps heat at the Earth’s surface” (I learnt this in high school. If I have to know it, then so does the President of the United States). Arctic ice has decreased from 2.78 million of square miles in 1979 to 1.82 in 2016 – just 0.96 in 47 years. Melting land ice raises sea levels and since 1900, there has been a total sea level rise of 8-9 inches which has caused coastal flooding. Should this continue, low lying land, such as New York, will disappear underwater. Extreme weather is far more likely. In 2003, a heatwave in Europe killed 70,000 people; once a 1-in-500-year event, now it is a 1-in-40. There will be an “exponential increase in water and climate related worldwide catastrophes.” There is potential for all this to ignite human conflict. The Syrian Civil war was ignited partly by a historic drought that drove farmers into the city. If the human impact is not convincing, animals are already suffering. There has been a shift in migration patterns and behaviour. There are “1 in 6 species at risk of global extinction if the climate warms by nearly 8°F.” All this factual information is outlined in the April 2017 issue of National Geographic magazine which emphasises the extent of the global crisis with an article that someone should probably forward to the White House, where most of the deniers seem to reside.