On Sunday CNN published an article by Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz entitled Ted Cruz: Trump should withdraw from Paris climate pact that asked President Trump to back out of the Paris Climate Agreement and in, doing so, uphold one of Trump’s key campaign promises from the 2016 election. In the article Cruz wrote;
Meeting the 2025 emissions reduction target alone could subtract $250 billion from our GDP and eliminate 2.7 million jobs. The cement, iron and steel, and petroleum refining industries could see their production cut by 21% 19%, and 11% respectively. To read the article please click here.
I cannot confirm Senator Cruz’s figures but I can say that an estimated 2.5 million South Floridians are at risk of becoming Climate Refugees, of being displaced from our region in a future of rising seas. And that’s just here in South Florida. So if you think about it, and assume his 2.7 million figure is close to correct, then those jobs will be about the same number of people in just our region that will be displaced. The number all over America will be tens of millions of people.
And the impact to our citizens, to the Climate Refugees aside, what will happen to those communities that lose their tax paying citizens and trillions of dollars of improvements in the form of roads, bridges, sidewalks, much less people’s homes and businesses? And faced with those types of losses, not to mention the increased health hazards and changes to America’s agriculture industry, how dare Senator Cruz suggest we not work to cool our climate and transition from a fossil fuel economy such as he seems to so love to a sustainable one. How dare he threaten people and use short term fears to avoid protecting our planet and society for the long term.
That said, I can’t say that I am surprised by Senator Cruz’s support for the fossil fuel industry, an industry that is significantly based in his home state of Texas, nor that of polluting businesses such as the coal and steel industry. His comments embody the same old fashioned, antiquated, thinking that those people protecting coal and fossil fuels of the world have been using since the 1970’s when greenhouse gas became a threat to the future of businesses dating to the industrial revolution.
Well it’s time for a new revolution. The Sustainable Revolution.
I will not, of course, be one bit surprised if we learn this week that the President decides to announce that the United States will not abide by the Paris agreement. He of the belief that all things climate change are nothing more than a ‘Chinese hoax’ or from his ever growing universe of ‘alternative facts’ but, then again, in a way I kind of hope that the President does exactly what Senator Cruz suggested.
Trump backing out of the promises our Country made in Paris, backing out of America being a climate and environmental leader for our planet as should be the case, would create yet one more very big reason to demand change in November 2018’s mid-term election much less for making his a one term administration when we get to vote in the 2020 election.
In my live lectures I often make reference to the fact that none of us travel around in horse drawn carriages as would have been the case in the 1700’s and 1800’s when that was the state of the art in transportation. And I mention that the people who worked to raise, train and care for horses, or build and drive carriages, all had to transition from those jobs to that of the new automobile industry or other jobs and that, when that happened our country, did not collapse. In fact, you can easily argue that things actually improved. And I mention that another such transition has begun, in this case to electric cars and then, in just a few years, the widespread use of autonomous cars. There is no stopping this exciting progress and that is the way things have always been. Progressing. Evolving.
Change, invention and revolution are part of who we are as humans so to keep living in the past, a polluting past, makes no sense. What our country needs are leaders not named Trump, Cruz, Scott or Rubio.
People with the vision to inspire and support a logical transition over time from fossil fuels to sustainable solutions.
The type of leader that can inspire new innovations and our country not with fear but with HOPE that America can be the world leader in sustainable energy and, in doing so, create millions of jobs and new businesses while also correcting our climate crisis.
That is the type of leader my generation needs and deserves, one for the future, not one that is stuck in the past.