Tuesday, May 24, 2016

A Trump Presidency Would Kill Climate Action and Push us Past Irreversible Tipping Points

The fate of climate action and by extension the health of the planet and all its inhabitants depends on who Americans choose as their next President. The choice is between two unpopular candidates, however the leading Democratic candidate has indicated she will stay the course of the Obama administration's climate leadership while the Republican nominee has vowed to end President Obama's slate of green policy initiatives.

As reported by US News the next President will be pivotal. A number of leading climate activists are calling for immediate action and urging Americans to understand that we simply cannot afford to delay this important work.

The science is clear and the wealth of scientific data shows that we are rapidly running out of time to deal with the climate crisis. We must act now before it is too late. 

Vicki Arroyo, executive director of the Georgetown Climate Center at Georgetown Law said we cannot afford to wait another four years. "It is urgent and the timeframe is critical and it has to be right now," she said. And Jules Kortenhorst, CEO of the Rocky Mountain Institute, a nonpartisan energy research group said, "There is absolutely no doubt we have to act now."

The key to climate action is transforming our energy infrastructure. We must transition away from fossil fuels and radically increase our use of renewables. According to Deutsche Bank, at least half of all known fossil fuel reserves must be left in the ground if we are to have a chance of avoiding runaway climate change.

We know that to curtail emissions we must keep the majority of known fossil fuel reserves in the ground. We have seen that market forces are already helping to eradicate fossil fuels. We are also seeing how investments in renewables are eclipsing fossil fuels.  However, governments have a pivotal role to play to expedite this process. Trump would do exactly the opposite.

If Trump is elected President of the United States he will double down on fossil fuels and kill government support for renewables. This will send shock waves around the world and effectively stymie the progress made at COP21. Trump has promised to renegotiate the Paris Climate Agreement and this would be tantamount to tearing up the deal.

It is not hyperbole to say that a Trump victory would be suicide on a planetary scale. A wealth of scientific evidence calls us to act and act quickly and a strong economic case has been made for climate action. In fact the economic data keeps pouring in suggesting a plethora of economic benefits associated with transitioning to a low carbon economy. The data shows that not only are we able to act to stave off climate change we can do so while creating a vast number of economic opportunities and new jobs. In addition to these economic incentives there are powerful disincentives that are moving investors away from fossil fuels.

The alternative to action is the stuff of nightmares prompting PwC to say that we are on the cusp of a "climate catastrophe". 

"If we are going to avoid catastrophic, irreversible climate change impacts, we have to be ramping down our carbon emissions dramatically in the years ahead. The current administration has begun that process, but our next president must not only continue but build on that progress," Climate scientist Michael Mann said.

We are ebbing ever closer to irreversible tipping points.However it is not too late, we can tackle climate change, but to do so we must ride fossil fuels into the ground. If Trump wins the election this fall he would accelerate our race towards what can only be described as a climate doomsday.

Related
Trump Takes his First Beating with More to Come
Trump Could Win and We All Could Lose
Trump Wants to Mine Coal Frack for Gas and Drill for Oil
Climate Doomsday Clock Advances as Trump Wins the Republican Nomination
Trump's Climate Ignorance Would be Laughable if the Implications weren't so Serious
Trump is Unelectable So Say the Koch Brothers and Others

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