Personal Belief on any subject is not prudent to a conversation in science, this, an age-old tenant of the institution is now — more than ever — central to the discourse on climate change. And Donald Trump is now the centerpiece of this conversation.
As the main player on the global stage, America has a special responsibility to set a precedent for the world to follow. And at its head, Donald Trump, has a special role to play in combating climate change. The debate as to the validity of global climate change is long over, leaving only the realistic expectations we can hope to curb the coming tide.
President-elect Trump has been on record about his plans to revoke the United States’ international commitments to fight global warming, threatening to back out of the historic Paris Climate Accords. He has been on record dismissing climate change as a hoax concocted by the Chinese, even appointing known climate science deniers to key positions in his administration.
But a recent turn in the talks might have him reevaluating his position. A signed letter by 630 companies and investors who are calling on the president-elect and a Republican dominated Congress to help fight against climate change.
The letter delivered Tuesday features the signatures of companies and institutions such as: Johnson & Johnson, Campbell Soup, Monsanto, eBay, Levi Strauss, Staples and the New York State Retirement Fund, urging Trump to reconsider his stance on the subject.
“We want the US economy to be energy efficient and powered by low-carbon energy. Cost-effective and innovative solutions can help us achieve these objectives. Failure to build a low-carbon economy puts American prosperity at risk. But the right action now will create jobs and boost U.S. competitiveness.”
The more than 530 companies that expressed their concern over President-elect Trump’s seemingly dismissal of man-made climate change boast a collective revenue of almost $1.15 trillion per year, and employ nearly 1.8 million people. The 100 investors on the list, which include the New York State Common Retirement Fund and others manage more than $2 trillion in assets. Leading the letter to amount to more than 18% of the United States’ total gross domestic product of $16.77 trillion per year — quite convincing for either political party.
The fact that Carbon Dioxide levels have reached higher than 400ppm (parts per million) — considered by many to be the point of no return — means that a quick and decisive action is needed more now than ever. Not only has climate change lead to increased temperatures, animal extinctions, and atypical storms, it is also seriously detrimental to the economy. For instance, a recent study by Stanford University and the University of California Berkeley shows that extreme heat is bad for the economy because it destroys crops and reduces worker productivity. Government policies that deny climate change would only exacerbate the problem.
Ultimately, the world needs a strong committed decision, and President Trump could go down in history as a pioneer and cavalier in the fight against climate change, or as yet another human blunder.