Target: President Donald Trump
Goal: Ensure an action plan for mitigating global climate change is provided by the Trump administration.
In keeping with campaign pledges to reduce the emphasis on climate change mitigation in favor of oil and gas development, President Trump has committed to canceling a signature regulatory proposal by the Obama administration aimed at reducing fossil fuel emissions. This comes at a time when a growing number of climate scientists have warned that aggressive action must be taken to avoid catastrophic consequences of global climate change.
The “Climate Action Plan” was proposed by the Obama administration in 2013 as a broad approach to address the emerging threat posed by climate change. It aimed to reduce the level of industrial coal emissions by 17%, while doubling the output of renewable energy in the United States by 2020. This would have been accomplished through a mix of tighter emission standards, increased federal subsidies for renewable energy projects, and expanded permitting for clean energy infrastructure development. These actions, paired with previously updated fuel efficiency standards for both commercial and passenger vehicles, had the potential to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions by over one billion metric tons by 2025.
President Trump has a well-documented history of inconsistency on policy positions. This includes a shifting viewpoint on the basic cause of climate change. His statements have ranged from “climate change is a hoax invented by the Chinese,” in 2012, to a tacit acknowledgement by 2016 that “there is some connectivity” between human action and climate change. Unfortunately, actions taken thus far by the Trump administration appear to align more closely with the first statement — all mention of climate change mitigation efforts, including the Climate Action Plan, were removed from the whitehouse.gov site and replaced with a commitment to oil and natural gas development. In addition, Trump has stated his intention to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accords and has not embraced renewable energy, going so far as to combat the construction of a wind turbine farm which threatened to block the view of members of his golf club in Scotland.
As the consequences of climate change are increasingly felt by citizens around the world, it is important to consider the potential impact of a climate policy in the United States which echoes the apathy of President Trump. The New York Times estimates that an apathetic, or “business as usual” approach to climate change mitigation will yield an increase of 4.5 degrees in global temperature, 6.9 gigatons in total emissions, and will far exceed the 2 degrees of warming generally thought to be the limit in order to avoid complete climate catastrophe.
We cannot afford to move backward with regards to climate change policy and mitigation efforts. Please sign our petition demanding that President Trump put forward a science-based action plan to address global climate change.
Dear President Trump,
The overwhelming majority of scientists agree that climate change is both real and primarily man made. Your cancellation of the Climate Action Plan without providing an alternative climate mitigation strategy increases the likelihood of catastrophic change in the future. This includes sea level rise of a magnitude that would directly threaten coastal United States cities, including Palm Beach and your Mar-a-Lago club.
We cannot afford to ignore the growing threat of climate change with four years of apathy. I demand that you present a comprehensive, science-based mitigation proposal for public scrutiny.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: DrBogdan