United Nations Conference on Climate Change:
In November 2017, representatives and leading scientists from across the globe will descend on Bonn, Germany for a nearly 2-week climate conference running from November 6 through 17. The proceedings follow upon the agreements reached last November at the Paris Accords as nations around the world work together, united in a common goal to address ways to slow or reverse alarming trends in environmental data. The government of Fiji will preside over the conference and welcomes the world to Germany in an era of unparalleled cooperation.
To quote the Fiji welcome message in part:
“The UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn is the next step for governments to implement the Paris Climate Change Agreement and accelerate the transformation to sustainable, resilient and climate-safe development. The Paris Agreement entered into force last November and the era of implementation has begun. This conference will further clarify the enabling frameworks that will make the agreement fully operational and the support needed for all nations to achieve their climate change goals.”
Collectively and independently, scientists, environmental organizations, and governments around the world have devoted untold resources and efforts in determining underlying causes of perceived climate change in recent years. For those not paying close attention, results are alarming. No longer are scientists asking if, or investigating whether we are facing an environmental anomaly. In recent years, scientists from all corners of the globe have now recognized a possibly catastrophic environmental scenario, and they have defined the cause of the problem. The problem can be summed up in a single word: humanity.
In early 2017, a new administration came into power in the United States. In short order, newly elected President Donald Trump enacted Executive Orders clearing the way for the completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline, (over Army Corp of Engineers directives put in place by Congress and the outgoing Obama administration), and reviving the US approach to the much debated Keystone Pipeline.
On November 7, 2016, the fortunes and course of environmental concerns in these United States did an abrupt turnabout. As water warriors in Cannon Ball, North Dakota celebrated victory in late 2016, a new administration would once again wipe away governmental promises. Cries of partisanship and self-dealing quickly arose as this incoming President has been linked to both Energy Transfer partners, and previous Keystone efforts. In a campaign, heavily laden with promises to impoverished areas dependent on fossil solutions, or to overtly wealthy oil barons, one thing became immediately clear.
One of the first moves of this administration was to gut the Environmental Protection Agency. In what can only be seen as irony, the incoming administration offered up Scott Pruitt, an outspoken opponent of the EPA and a former lobbyist for fossil fuel concerns, as EPA Director. Scott Pruitt has a long history of favoring industry over environmental concerns.
In a time where the world is collectively recognizing the need for alternative energy sources and solutions, the United States elected an administration that ignores alternative energy and instead favors fossil solutions. This about face lead to the US extricating itself from the Paris Accords in early 2017. An incoming president claiming business as a strength dismissed new and cutting edge technology in favor of the dinosaur approach. We reported last year how wind farms were being opposed/ banned in the Dakotas because their development might somehow hinder fossil solutions.
So why would an incoming administration deliberately look to ignore the latest scientific studies and actively thwart environmental concerns? Maybe we should ask people from the frontlines who have no financial stake in the “game”. Oh wait. Those people, Native Americans as well, were bulldozed off their own land last Winter. Agreements were reached with the United States of America. Those agreements were summarily erased one year ago today.
The United states, via our current environmental surrogate, Donald Trump, has decided that we, as a people, are better suited NOT participating in alternative energy solutions. So the exit from the Paris Accords happened. Most Americans do not understand what this means. The exit from the Paris Accords guarantees that other nations will become the leaders in alternative energy technology. This must come as somewhat of a shock to those buying into the fracking/ mining/ drilling consortium.
This brings us back to the delegation the United States has sent to Bonn, Germany. In what meaningful way can the United States of America speak at a conclave devoted to eliminating fossil fuels? EPA concerns aside (after all a return to 1970’s era rivers and streams only affects us), what or how would we present a position opposite the Paris Agreement?
Science has spoken. These are no longer issues up to debate. People on both sides of the political spectrum in the United States hope for a better approach and solution. What we cannot do, as a nation, is withdraw from the world stage. Imagine a businessman endorsing old technology. Why would this happen?
We hate that the environment has become or is viewed as a political issue in this or any country. The world has come together in Bonn with the idea of saving our environment. We can only hope the US contingent has something else in mind besides coal for our stockings…
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