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Part 19. Climate Change:
2017: More Reactions to the U.S.
Withdraw' from Paris Agreement.

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This topic is continued from the previous essay

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hands below Earth 1

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A range of positive and negative reactions by U.S. religious leaders and other groups to the U.S. withdrawl from the Paris Agreement:

  • The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) issued a group of negative tweets:
    • "Pulling out of the Paris Agreement would be a massive step back for racial justice, and an assault on communities of color across the U.S."

    • "Drought, hurricanes and flooding will impact every American— but climate change doesn't affect us all equally."

    • "Black and brown people are more likely to live near coal plants, and have higher asthma rates than white Americans do."

    • "That disparity is only going to worsen in coming years, and it's why we must if we're serious about racial justice." 2

  • Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson II, stated clerk for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), (PCUSA) said:

"The president’s statement is a disappointment and represents a setback to our work as well as the work of other interfaith and ecumenical groups on the issue of the environment. But we will not be deterred. We will continue to work toward building an environmentally safe world, creating jobs and a new economy based on clean air and building on a more environmentally safe nation and world. ..."

"We have to continue to make statements by both our actions and in our continued pressure on the administration to begin to look with some clear eyes as it relates to the environment. This is going to be a tough time with this administration and there is a great deal of opposition to the social justice issues we’ve been engaged in for the past 50 to 60 years. ..."

"One of the great challenges is to be vigilant in our focus forward to continue to rally Presbyterians and local congregations and communities to not only be aware of these issues, but study them as part of their own spiritual and religious growth and development. We see this as a way that we are giving life to this planet and the people.”

"We need to tighten our belts and really begin to engage as the Bible reminds us, that we need to put on the full armor of God and be vigilant in our efforts to speak truth and love to power." 3

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  • Tony Perkins and writers at the Family Research Council continues to believe that climate change is a hoax. He wrote:

    "Donald Trump is more committed than anyone to cleaning up the environment -- at least the one Barack Obama left behind. Mopping up an eight-year mess is no easy task, but the new president kept at it yesterday, pulling America out of a dollar-sucking, job-crushing climate treaty that wouldn't have made a degree's worth of difference in the earth's temperature!

    What it would have done is put 2.7 million people out of work by 2025, costing the U.S. some $3 trillion in 'lost economic output.' And for what? A manufactured "crisis" that crumbles under the weight of real-world evidence. ..."

    "As conservatives, we need to show the same resolve. If we want the president to be successful, we have to match the Left's determination with our own. Donald Trump is showing everyone that he has the backbone to put America first. Let's join him in tackling problems we can actually solve -- like family breakdown, health care, and religious hostility -- instead of being distracted by issues that there's not a chance on earth we can solve." 4

    Webmaster's comment [bias alert]:

    Perkins may not be aware that if climate change continues at its present rate that large areas of the Earth would be too hot to support human life. Further, the sea level would rise a few hundred feet and submerge the world's costal city under water. A point of no return will eventually be reached, and the Earth's climate would become like that of the planet Venus -- incapable of supporting any life.

  • Rebecca Barnes, former Associate for Environmental Ministries in the PCUSA, said:

    "When I attended the United Nations climate talks, I was very impressed by the cooperation, hard deliberations, honest conversations and hard-fought agreements that the world’s nations came to. Being there in person was impressive –- to see businesses, governments and citizens come together in common cause for all of our well-being. ..."

    Those of us who represented the religious communities from the U.S. spent much time in prayer as well as arguing for the moral mandate to care for the poor and vulnerable who suffer the most from climate change. We believe, as Christians and as American citizens, that it is our sacred obligation to do our part in the world’s healing because our country has done much to hasten climate change with our greenhouse gas emissions." 3

  • Rudelmar Bueno De Faria is the General Secretary of the ACT Alliance -- a coalition of 144 churches and faith-based organizations working together in over 100 countries. He said:

    "The move by the President of the United States flies in the face of ethics and Christian values." 3

  • Martin Junge, the General Secretary of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) said:

    "Addressing climate change equals protecting human beings, their workplace and the economies of the world. The LWF will continue to promote climate justice, as an issue of intergenerational justice, in the conviction that creation is not for sale." 3

  • Olav Fykse Tveit, General Secretary of the World Council of Churches, said:

    "This is a tragedy, missing an opportunity to show real, accountable leadership for the future of humanity and our common home. This is a decision that is not morally sustainable. The struggle for climate justice has to continue." 3

  • Kyle Meyaard-Schaap, the spokesperson at Young Evangelicals for Climate Action, said that Trumps' decision:

    "... was an affront to our faith in Christ, who calls us to love and be concerned for our neighbors around the world who are impacted by climate change." 5

  • Brian Webb is the director of Climate Caretakers. In 2015, he traveled to Paris for the signing of the accord in order to raise awareness among the public that many evangelical Christians are concerned about climate change. He believes that Pence's beliefs are wrong. He said:

"A friend of mine likes to say that a thermometer is neither a Republican nor a Democrat."

Referring to President Trump's withdrawal decision, Webb said:

"We feel the betrayal much more significantly because we realize that much of his support comes from within our own [evangelical Christian] faith backgrounds. 5

  • Reverend Mitch Hescox of the Evangelical Environmental Network said:

    "We, as Christians, are called to care for those who have the least. [Trump's decision showed that the administration cares about] our economy and jobs only."

His group promotes prayer as part of its efforts to reduce the negative effects of climate change.

  • Congressional Representative, Rev. Tim Walberg (R-MI), when speaking at a town hall in Coldwater MI, said:

    "I believe there’s climate change. I believe there’s been climate change since the beginning of time. I believe there are cycles. Do I think man has some impact? Yeah, of course. Can man change the entire universe? No.

    Why do I believe that? Well, as a Christian, I believe that there is a creator in God who is much bigger than us. And I’m confident that, if there’s a real problem, he can take care of it." 6

  • Eliza Barclay, writing for VOX media, said:

    "... Trump’s move is cruel in the message it sends about how [little] America values the environment, how little it now cares about the risks climate change poses to the planet. And it’s likely to prove incredibly damaging to America’s strategic position in the world and its standing in international negotiations on a range of issues."

  • Lawrence Summers is a professor and former president of Harvard University. He was previously an economic adviser to President Barack Obama. He said:

    "... [President] Trump has rejected the view of modern science on global climate change, embraced economic forecasts and trade theories outside the range of reputable opinion, and relied on the idea of alternative facts rather than evidence-based truth. ... The world will be watching to see whether Trump’s words and deeds represent an irrevocable turn in the nation’s approach to the world or a temporary aberration. The more that leading figures in U.S. society can signal their continuing commitment to reason, to common purpose with other nations, and to addressing global challenges, the more the damage can be contained. And, of course, Congress has a central role to play in preventing dangerous and destabilizing steps. 7

  • The United States Climate Alliance is formed:

    The formation of the U.S. Climate Alliance was announced a few hours after President Trump made his decision public to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement. Its three co-chairpersons are: Jay Inslee of Washington state, Andrew Cuomo of New York and Jerry Brown of California -- all Democratic state governors. By JUN-07, the Alliance consisted of twelve states and the territory of Puerto Rico. By JUN-09, ten additional governors and the Mayor of Washington DC had pledged their state's or territory's support for the Paris Agreement but had not joined the Alliance.

    Hundreds of mayors of U.S. cities have since have indicated support for the alliance, including the ten cities with the largest population.

  • 1,219 governors, mayors, businesses and universities sign a "We Are Still In" open letter.
  • The letter is posted on the "WeAreStillIIn.com" web site. 8

    They represent:

    "... the broadest cross section of the American economy yet assembled in pursuit of climate action... [They declared] their intent to continue to ensure the U.S. remains a global leader in reducing carbon emissions. ..."

    "The statement calls 'The Trump administration’s announcement one that '... undermines a key pillar in the fight against climate change [and a move which is] out of step with what is happening in the United States.' The signers all understand that the Paris Agreement is a blueprint for job creation, stability and global prosperity, and that accelerating the United States’ clean energy transition is an opportunity -- not a liability -- to create jobs, spur innovation, promote trade and ensure American competitiveness. By declaring that 'we are still in,' the signatories are putting the best interests of their constituents, customers, students and communities first while assuring the rest of the world that American leadership on climate change extends well beyond the federal government.

    In addition to this statement, since President Trump’s withdrawal announcement to from the Paris Agreement, 211 Climate Mayors have adopted the Paris Agreement goals for their cities, 13 Governors have formed the bipartisan U.S. Climate Alliance, and 17 governors have released individual statements standing by Paris. Today’s statement embraces this rapidly growing movement of subnational and civil society leaders, by announcing that not only are these leaders stepping forward, they are stepping forward together." 9,10

    More people and orgainizations are expected to add their names to the open letter. 11

  • Public opinion was measured in a Reuters/Ipsos poll which was taken during June 02 to 04. It showed that:
    • 49% of the public disagree with the withdrawal from the Paris agreement; 38% agree.
      • Among Democrats, 72% disagree.
      • Among Republicans, 24% disagree.

    • 50% believe that global temperatures will rise faster because of the withdrawal; 35% disagree.

    • 68% want the United States to lead global efforts to slow climate change.

    • 72% agree "that given the amount of greenhouse gases that it produces, the United States should take aggressive action to slow global warming."

    • The poll's margin of error is ±3 percentage points for the entire group, and ±5 percentage points for results of Republicans and Democrats. 12


  • A new Quinnipiac poll conducted between MAY-31 and JUN-06 found that President Trump's approval rating had dipped to 34%. Also, 40% of U.S. voters do not expect him to complete his four-year term. 13

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Hawaii becomes the first state to take legislative action to defy President Trump's expected pullout from the Paris Agreement:

About a week after President Trump's decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement, the state of Hawaii passed a law committing the state to follow the standards of the Paris accord to which every country in the world has also committed, except for Syria, Nicaragua and the U.S. They are the first state to take such action.

Governor David Ige (D) signed Senate Bill 559 into law on JUN-06, and issued a statement saying:

"Hawaii is committed to environmental stewardship, and we look forward to working with other states to fight global climate change. Together, we can directly contribute to the global agenda of achieving a more resilient and sustainable island Earth."

Governor Ige quoted a comment by state Senator J. Kalani English:

"The measure adopted relevant sections of the Paris agreement as state law, which gives us legal basis to continue adaptation and mitigation strategies for Hawai‘i, despite the Federal government’s withdrawal from the treaty."

According to Reuters, the new law also:

"... creates a state commission dedicated to studying climate change and putting out detailed plans for responding both to sea-level rise and climate change as a whole, with the stipulation that the plans align with the Paris agreement. ..."

"Scientists at the University of Hawaii said in [2017-]April that sea-level rise driven by global warming will cause flooding of low-lying areas in the state dozens of times per year by 2050, and increase the risk of dangerous interactions between tropical storms and seasonal high tides."

Governor Ige also signed into law House Bill 1578, which aims to:

"... identify agricultural and aquacultural practices to improve soil health and promote carbon sequestration -– the capture and long-term storage of atmospheric carbon dioxide to mitigate climate change."

Scott Glenn is an environmental adviser to the governor. He said:

"People come to Hawaii to enjoy its environment. When climate change is threatening our reefs and threatening our weather ... then it's threatening our economy, too." 14, 15, 16

Mayor Kirk Caldwell of Honolulu, HI, and representatives of other mayors in the Hawaii also signed a statement commiting them to supporting the Paris agreement in the future.

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This topic continues in the next essay.

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References used:

The following information source was used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlink is not necessarily still active today.

  1. Image downloaded from Pixabay. #1222866 by cocoparisienne.
  2. Ellie Hunt, "Paris climate agreement: World reacts as Trump pulls out of global accord – as it happened," The Guardian, 2017-JUN-08, at: https://www.theguardian.com/
  3. "Interfaith leaders speak out on White House decision to withdraw from Paris climate accord," Presbyterian Church (USA), 2017-JUN-02, at: https://www.presbyterianmission.org/
  4. President Macron's initiative is at: https://www.makeourplanetgreatagain.fr/
  5. Timothy Mclaughlin, "U.S. evangelical green groups pan Trump's climate accord exit," Reuters, 2017-JUN-02, at: http://www.reuters.com/
  6. Michael Stone, "GOP Congressman: God Will Take Care Of Climate Change," Patheos, 2017-MAY-31, at: http://www.patheos.com/
  7. Lawrence Summers, "After 75 years of progress, was last week a hinge in history?," Washington Post, 2017-JUN-04, at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/
  8. "Open letter to the international community ....," We Are Still In" web site at: http://wearestillin.com
  9. "We are still in," at http://wearestillin.com/ (The document includes a list of persons and groups signing the declaration).
  10. "Full press release: 'Leaders in U.S. Economy Say “We Are Still In’ on Paris Climate Agreement, ' at: http://lowcarbonusa.org/
  11. "1,219 governors, mayors, businesses and universities declare 'We Are Still In' on Paris Climate Agreement," Electrek, 2017-JUN-05, at: http://www.electrek.co
  12. Chris Kahn, "Most Americans want 'aggressive' action on climate change: Reuters/Ipsos poll," Reuters, 2017-JUN-06, at: http://www.reuters.com/
  13. Pete Grieve, "Poll: Trump's approval rating dips to 34%," CNN, 2017-JUN-08, at: http://www.cnn.com/
  14. "Hawaii Becomes First State to Enact Law to Align Goals With Paris Climate Accord," Associated Press/NBC News, 2017-JUN-12, at: http://www.nbcnews.com/
  15. Julia Jacobo, "Hawaii becomes first state to enact law that aligns with Paris agreement," ABC News, 2017-JUN-06, at: http://abcnews.go.com/
  16. "Hawaii Becomes the First State to Pass a Law Committing to the Paris Climate Accord," Reuters/Fortune, 2017-JUN-07, at: http://fortune.com/
  17. "G20 Leaders´ Declaration: Shaping an interconnected world," G20.org. 2017-JUL-7/8. Downloadable in PDF format
  18. "France just announced it's banning sales of gas and diesel vehicles," The Independent newspaper, at: https://www.facebook.com/
  19. "Tens of thousands at peaceful G20 protest but trouble looms," Deutsche Welle, 2017-JUL-08, at: http://www.dw.com/
  20. , "San Francisco smashes all-time record high temperature, hits 106 degrees," The Washington Post, 2017-SEP-01, at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/
  21. John Boyer, "Hurricane Harvey: By the numbers," R, 2017-SEP-02, at: http://www.richmond.com/
  22. Federal Adisory Committee, "National Climate Assessment: Extreme Weather: Highlights," at: http://nca2014.globalchange.gov/
  23. David Leonhardt, "Harvey, the Storm That Humans Helped Cause," The New York Times, 2017-AUG-29, at: https://www.nytimes.com/

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The following reports on this web site that discuss environment and climate change may be of interest to you:

  • Part 1: 2013: Quotes. Background. Bay of Bengal incident. Decline in Canada's arctic ice cover.

  • Part 2: 2013/2014: Canada loses its seasons. 316 North American cities to be under water.

  • Part 3: 2013/2014: Christians, Republicans' & Democrats' beliefs differ. Volcanoes cause pauses in global warming. Americans' views on climate change.

  • Part 4: 2014/2015: How Americans viewed climate change. HFC limits. Groups abandoning ALEC. Paris Conference reaches agreement.

  • Part 5: 2016-FEB to AUG: Climate change concerns: Ocean levels rising. Displacement of animal species. Greenland glacier melting. "Third Pole" glaciers melting.

  • Part 6: 2016-SEP: Flooding on the U.S. East coast. U.S. and China ratify the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. Pres. Obama: trends are "terrifying."

  • Part 7: 2016-SEP: Obama comments on warming (Continued). 31 countries ratify Paris agreement. Trump zigzags on Climate Change.

  • Part 8: 2016-Summer/Fall: Events showing that climate change is adversely affecting life on Earth

  • Part 9: 2016-OCT: Did God send Hurricane Matthew as an anti-LGBT message to humanity? Alternate opinions. Hurricane Matthew re-enters Atlantic Ocean.

  • Part 10: 2016-NOV: U.S. Costal real estate threatened. Rapid temperature rise in the Arctic. Very large poll about climate change.

  • Part 11: 2016-DEC: President-elect Trump's climate change beliefs. New heads of federal government departments. Extinction of 11 species.

  • Part 12: 2016-DEC: President-elect Trump's 16 promised plans on energy and the environment.

  • Part 13: star 2017-JAN: 2016 Was The Hottest Year On Record, Ever.

  • Part 14: star 2017-JAN: Recent climate change measurements.

  • Part 15: star 2017-JAN to APR: Climate Change beliefs are changing; more people accept it as real, and are now debating its cause.

  • Part 16: 2017-JAN to APR: Donald Trump Becomes President. EPA Foe Installed as Head of EPA! Hundreds Die During Flood in Colombia. Carbon Dioxide
    in Atmosphere Reaches New High.


  • Part 17: 2017-JAN to APR: Studies of the effects of sea-level rise in California between now and the year 2100.
  • Part 18: President Trump Severs the U.S. from the Paris Accord.U.S. and World Leaders React.

  • Part 20: star2017: Group of 20 summit meeting. Hurricane Harvey attacks Texas.Is climate change increasing the severity or frequency of hurricanes?

  • Part 21: Can government regulations help? Is Harvey a message from God? U.S. record high temperatures. Hurricane Harvey attacks Texas.
    Hurricane Irma attacks Caribbean, FL, SC. GA.

  • Part 22: 2017-SEP/OCT: The most expensive recent hurricanes to attack the U.S.Does God use Hurricanes to send a message? Conflicts, climate change cause rise in hunger.

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Copyright © 2017 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally posted: 2017-JUN-
Latest update: 2017-JUN-
Author: B.A. Robinson


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