The ignorance of these current trends by President Trump will not stop the political and economic forces coming to the fore, just as his ignorance of basic earth science will not prevent the climate from warming and the seas from rising. It's perhaps ironic that a President supported by the Republican party believes that he has the singular power to undo or change the results of decisions by other nations, multi-national corporations, large utilities, state and local governments, social and philanthropic organizations, investors, consumers, and just plain citizens.
The primacy of individual decisions and the power of market forces are conservative perspectives that are strangely more relevant after President Trump's unilateral action. It would be a mistake to listen too closely or take too seriously the words or actions of Donald Trump, or any President. Certainly, we should not despair because of the misguided speech and false facts he presented on the beautiful natural grounds outside the White House on a sunny day in June.
It is not helpful that the President has announced a decision to cancel our nation's support for the Paris climate agreement. It leaves the United States out of the mainstream of the international movements that seek to shape economies, lead public and private investment, and positively engage citizens. Leadership is important to move forward with any sort of common purpose, and the lack of it from the President will of course be deleterious to both the country and the planet. However, leadership is coming from other nations, from governors, from CEOs, and from the Pope and other moral leaders.
Science and technology also plays a critical role in our future. Although the President has chosen to ignore the wisdom and work of many scientists, they continue to analyze, educate, and inform our policy efforts. With great effect, again unappreciated by the current administration, the genius of scientists and engineers has created changes in how energy is captured, generated, transmitted and used. The profound shift from carbon-based fuels to solar and wind energy, the improvements in energy-saving design and practices, and the application of the best information sciences have allowed our economy to grow while our use of fossil fuels has diminished. We should expect and support further advances.
|Two generations participate in the Climate March, 2017|
The difficult realities of climate change are already evident, and more pain will result from the President's decision to abandon science and assert himself as a singular leader. If we cede our power to government in this way, things will get worse. But if we maintain hope, if we have a common allegiance to truth and science, if we act locally to make our communities stronger, if we build economies that are sustainable, if we work with others, and if we become active citizens, then our government will -- as it should -- follow.