A Wake Up Call

In response to President Trump’s decision to pull out of the landmark Paris Climate Accords, STAY COOL Advisory Council Chair Bob Leiter submitted a shorten version of the following opinion editorial on June 4, 2017 to the San Diego Union-Tribune:

When President Trump announced on Thursday that the United States would walk away from the Paris climate accord, concern for my grandchildren first came to my mind. Climate change is the biggest global threat to future generations.

We know from solid scientific data that CO2 trapped in the atmosphere leads to global warming, and 97 percent of actively publishing climate scientists agree that this warming over the past century is due to human activities.

These emissions remain for decades, ultimately passing the consequences on to our children, and our grandkids. Because of these man-made emissions, our planet is on a path toward more warming, rising sea levels, poor public health, extreme heat waves and droughts in the decades ahead. Here in San Diego, we have already experienced the devastation of drought and impact of wildfires.

All the indicators are going in the wrong direction. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s latest update to its greenhouse gas index, combined greenhouses gases in the atmosphere increased by 2.5 percent in 2016. Last year was the hottest year on record.

President Trump’s misinformed statements on Thursday, and the well-reasoned responses to them from leaders at the international, state and local level, point out the importance of education and outreach on this critical topic.  Our organization, STAY COOL for Grandkids, is one of many here in the San Diego region that is working hard to educate our youth and our elders on the threat of global warming and the practical solutions that are available to reduce greenhouse gas emissions without harming the economy or placing an undue burden on disadvantaged communities.

 The President’s decision was a wake-up call that none of us should ignore.

In addition, STAY COOL Advisor Laura Schumacher got this letter published in the June 6, 2017 issue of the Union Tribune:

Regarding “Pope, Trump discuss climate change” (May 25), Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the administration is trying to balance addressing climate change against economic interests for Americans.

We don’t need to choose between the economy and climate change, if the administration would only look at the carbon fee and dividend solution proposed by Citizens Climate Lobby.

Studies show a revenue-neutral carbon tax, with 100 percent of the net revenue returned directly to households, will reduce gas emissions 52 percent below 1990 levels within 20 years while growing the economy and saving lives. This is the kind of market-based solution even Republicans can support.

Laura Schumacher
San Diego

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