Trump, Smith Fail Us on Climate Change

I tried to listen to President Trump’s full announcement that he was withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement, but after a few minutes I had to turn off the TV. I couldn’t listen anymore.

Trump’s antics endanger everything we love, including the ability of future generations to thrive on this planet.

The president’s decision to withdraw us from the Paris climate agreement makes us one of only three countries not participating. One of those other countries is Syria, run by the murderous dictator Bashar al-Assad. The other country, Nicaragua, abstained because the agreement was too lax.

What a stunning lack of leadership. If we do not reverse course, our children won’t forgive us.

Trump’s actions make it critical that we get his climate-science-denying enablers out of office in the 2018 midterm elections. You can help by donating to my campaign against the climate-change-denying chair of the House Science Committee.

The importance of the Paris accord: climate justice

The agreement was far from perfect, and far too timid. However, it did get the world at least nominally behind the idea of climate justice, meaning the people who contributed the least to the problem should not be left to suffer the worst effects.

From the agreement text:

Article II: “Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels…”
Article IV: “…aim to reach global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible, recognizing that peaking will take longer for developing country Parties, and to undertake rapid reductions thereafter in accordance with best available science…on the basis of equity, and in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty.”

This language puts the onus squarely on us heavy carbon emitters to get our act together, recognizing that we are largely responsible for climate change and have a responsibility to less developed countries to not leave them hanging out to dry when disaster strikes. In other words, it’s not the poor countries’ fault and we should take responsibility for what we’ve done.

Getting almost every country in the world to sign on to this principle was a high point of ethical clarity that’s been sorely lacking on the international stage. Walking away from this statement of moral responsibility is an absolute failure of leadership.

Our Next Step: Burn the Climate Deniers in Congress

If you want to resist Trump’s agenda, there’s no better, more effective action than booting his enablers out of Congress in the midterms — especially the climate-change-denying chairman of the science committee, Lamar Smith.

Lamar is a real piece of work. He uses his position to protect fossil fuel corporations — some of the richest companies in the history of the world — from facing consequences after they defrauded his constituents about the risks of their products. He brags about being Trump’s first donor in Congress.

That’s why I’m running against him in the 21st District of Texas.

Please contribute today to my campaign to unseat SmithNothing would send a stronger message than knocking the biggest climate change denier in Congress — who also backs Trump — out of office.