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Timeline of recent environmental concerns

Part 7: 2016-SEP:
Obama comments on warming (Con't).
31 countries ratify Paris agreement.
Trump zigzags about Climate Change.

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This topic is continued from the previous essay

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2016-SEP-08: President Obama: "The trends are 'terrifying' (Continued):

President Obama said:

"When you see severe environmental strains of one sort or another on cultures, on civilizations, on nations, the byproducts of that are unpredictable and can be very dangerous. If the current projections, the current trend lines on a warming planet continue, it is certainly going to be enormously disruptive worldwide. ... There is the notion that there’s something I might have done that would prevent Republicans to deny climate change. I guess hypothetically, maybe there was some trick up my sleeve that would have cast a spell on the Republican caucus and changed their minds."

During the previous week, President Obama met with leaders of Pacific Islands. He noted that crops are withering in the Marshall Islands, and that the island of Kirbati will soon be permanently under water due to the rise in ocean levels that is being caused both by the extensive melting of glaciers and by the expansion of water in the oceans due to global warming. He predicted that shifting monsoon patterns in South Asia could adversely affect a billion people. He said:

"If you have even a portion of those billion people displaced, you now have the sorts of refugee crises and potential conflicts that we haven’t seen in our lifetimes. ... That, promises to make life a lot more difficult for our children and grandchildren." 1


"The Obama Era: The threat to our Planet:" A 14 minute video from the meeting between President Obama and New York Times reporters

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2016-SEP-21 to 25: An additional 31 countries ratified the Paris Agreement on Climate Change:

At a special event hosted by the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York, 31 additional countries formally joined the Agreement. They were: Albania, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bangladesh, Belarus, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Dominica, Ghana, Guinea, Honduras, Iceland, Kiribati, Madagascar, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Namibia, Niger, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Senegal, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Thailand, Tonga, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, and Vanuatu.

One of the requirements needed to bring the Agreement into force has now been met. Sixty 60 countries have ratified the treaty; this is five more that the minimum number of countries needed.

The remaining requirement is that the countries who have ratified the Agreement must be responsible for at least 55% of the total global emissions. So far the countries that have joined are responsible for only 47.6% of total emissions. However, 14 additional countries have committed to ratifying the Agreement by the end of 2016. They are: Austria, Australia, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Costa Rica, Cote d'Ivoire, France, Germany, Hungary, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, Poland, and the Republic of Korea. This will bring countries responsible for about 60.2% of all emissions into the Agreement.

Thirty days after countries responsible for 55% or more of total emissions have joined, the agreement will formally come into effect.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said:

"This momentum is remarkable. It can sometimes take years or even decades for a treaty to enter into force. It is just nine months since the Paris climate conference. This is testament to the urgency of the crisis we all face."C2

On the other hand, "Capitol Bell," the email service provided by The Heritage Foundation -- a leading U.S. conservative group -- was unimpressed. On SEP-26 an email stated:

"Why it's bad news that Paris global warming agreement now includes 60 countries. ... The agreement is a top-down, concentrated effort to drive the price of conventional energy sources like coal, oil, and natural gas higher. It will prevent millions of citizens from enjoying basic energy needs, transferring mass amounts of wealth from developed countries to developing ones." 3

Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India said that the government will ratify the Paris Agreement on 2016-OCT-02, the anniversary of Mohandas Gandhi's birth. India is responsible for 4.1% of the total global emissions.

Salaheddine Mezouar, Morocco's Foreign Minister, will preside over the 22nd UN Climate Conference which opens in Marrakesh, Morocco on NOV-07. He expects to be able to announce that the landmark agreement has come into force by that time. 4

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2016-SEP-26: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump zigzags about climate change:

On 2012-NOV-06, Trump tweeted:

"The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive."

On 2014-JAN-25, while confusing two different concepts, weather and climate, he tweeted:

"NBC News just called it the great freeze -- coldest weather in years. Is our country still spending money on the GLOBAL WARMING HOAX?"

During 2015-SEP, Trump was interviewed on CNN. He said:

"I am not a believer in climate change. Weather changes. And you have storms, and you have rain, and you have beautiful days, but I do not believe that we should imperil the companies within our country. And by the way, China is doing nothing." 5

However, his company is preparing for the effects of climate change. Trump International Golf Links has sought a permit to build a sea wall at his golf course in Ireland. The application said it was to protect the course from "global warming and its effects."

On 2015-DEC-30, at a rally in Hilton Head, SC, Trump told the audience:

"Obama's talking about all of this with the global warming and ... a lot of it's a hoax. It's a hoax. I mean, it's a money-making industry, okay? It's a hoax, a lot of it."

Subsequently, the presidential candidate Bernie Sanders attacked Trump’s climate change views. Trump later said during 2016 JAN-18 on the TV program Fox & Friends:

"Well, I think the climate change is just a very, very expensive form of tax. A lot of people are making a lot of money. I know much about climate change. I'd be — received environmental awards. And I often joke that this is done for the benefit of China. Obviously, I joke. But this is done for the benefit of China, because China does not do anything to help climate change. They burn everything you could burn; they couldn't care less. They have very — you know, their standards are nothing. But they — in the meantime, they can undercut us on price. So it's very hard on our business."

On 2016-SEP-26, during the first presidential debate before the 2016 election, the Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, said:

"Donald thinks that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese."

To which, Trump immediately responded:

"I did not. I do not say it. ... I think it's real" 6,7

Politifact rates statements by politicians on many topics. They have nine pages of statements about climate change that they have given ratings ranging from "Pants on Fire" to "False" to "Half True" to the occasional "True."

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More information from 2016 is in the next essay.

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Julie Hirschfeld, et. al., "Obama on Climate Change: The Trends Are ‘Terrifying’," New York Times, 2016-SEP-08, at:
  2. , "31 more countries ratify Paris Agreement on climate change," The Times of India, 2016-SEP-22, at:
  3. "Capitol Bell: Sept. 26, 2016," The Heritage Foundation's daily email.
  4. "India to ratify Paris Agreement on climate change," Science A network, 2016-SEP-25 at:
  5. CNN's Reality Check Team, "Hillary Clinton on the environment: CNN's Reality Check vets the claims," CNN, 2016-SEP-25, at:
  6. Maddle Stone, "Trump just denied denying climate change," Gizmodo, 2016-SEP-26, at:
  7. Louis Jacobson, "Yes, Donald Trump did call climate change a Chinese hoax," Politifact, 2016-JUN-26

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Copyright © 2016 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally posted: 2016-SEP-03
Latest update: 2016-SEP-28
Author: B.A. Robinson

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