Letter: Trump turns US into rogue climate state

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To The Editor,

Trump has withdrawn the US from the Paris Climate Agreement.  Trump has turned the US into a rogue climate state.

Trump is lying to us and the rest of the world about Global Warming/Climate Change (GW/CC) and the supposedly negative economic consequences to the US had the US not withdrawn.

Fortunately, the US does have progressive, forward thinking, fact-based leaders at other levels in the public and private sectors to take the lead.  “WeAreStillIn” is proclaimed by: 131 Cities and Counties, 9 States, 186 Colleges and Universities, and over 900 Business and Investors.

These climate leaders know and understand the facts that Trump and his administration do not.

The US has 25% of the world’s GP, spends $1 Trillion/year on our war machine, so contributing a couple $Billion to the Green Climate Fund to help poor countries mitigate the effects of GW/CC is NOT too costly.

The US has only 4.3% of the world’s population, yet our cumulative emissions have created 29% of the GW/CC problem.  We have created far more than our fair share of the problem, but Trump says we will not help solve the problem. In fact, he’s going to do his best to make it worse.

This is a global issue and requires a global response.  CO2 emitted in the US does not stay in the US.  It’s everywhere; the atmosphere is well mixed.

Earth’s atmosphere is a common good.  It belongs to every human walking the face of the earth.  It is NOT our exclusive greenhouse gas dump.

GW/CC is not going away.  It is irreversible.

The rise in CO2 is unabated, the consequent rise in temperature follows, and is unabated.

The science is unequivocal.  Climate science is 193 years old.  The first scientific paper introducing the concept of the greenhouse gas effect was published by Fourier in 1824.  James Monroe was president, our 5th.

The physics of the greenhouse gas effect is now well understood and standard textbook physics.

In 1896, it was known that if the atmospheric CO2 concentration doubled (+100%), the average temperature would rise several °C.

Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution (IR), the atmospheric CO2 concentration has risen from 280 ppm to 409 ppm (+46%) and the average temperature has risen  ~1 °C.

Isotopic analysis of the atmospheric CO2 confirms that the increase is due to human emissions from fossil-fuel combustion. We humans ARE the polluters.

We have the results and analyses from studies by thousands of scientists since 1824.  Just since 1990, over 100,000 scientific papers have been published on GW/CC.  We have moved from early 19th-century measurement technologies and laboratories to sophisticated 20th– and 21st-century computer-based technologies, including remote-sensing satellite systems.

The universally accepted goal is to keep the temperature rise to < 2°C, though many scientists have concluded that actually 1.5°C would be a far safer goal.   The rise is already at ~1°C, halfway to the limit.

For a 66% chance of staying below a 2°C rise, the total human release of CO2 since the beginning of the IR must be limited to 2900 billion tons.  Humans have already emitted 2100 billion tons.  That means we’ve got ~20 more years at today’s emission rates to get worldwide emissions to zero.  Fossil fuels must stay in the ground.

Forty Presidents later, Trump and our government leadership are denying 193 years of GW/CC science, believing ‘alternative facts,’ and acting destructively.

As Upton Sinclair said: “It’s difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

The whole world will pay the price for our leaders who have been bought by BigFossilFuel.

Dr. B. Gerard Bricks

Kennett Township

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