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January 18, 2021

Climate disaster

Opinion

January 18, 2021

Many people are rightly preoccupied by the unfolding political events in Washington with Donald Trump becoming the first ever President to be impeached twice and Joe Biden waiting to formally take office next week.

After the horrific, tumultuous events of last week with the assault on the Capital by the pro-Trump mob, Joe Biden’s mandate is even more complicated and even larger.

The reality is that President Trump leaves a fractured, divided nation. Tens of millions of Americans seem to have bought into Trump’s alternative-fact agenda that experts argue is sitting on the precipice of sliding into fascism.

Trump’s dystopian, horrendous legacy spreads beyond a broken country. His record on climate and ecological issues is beyond horrific too. And it will continue long after he leaves office.

Joe Biden may re-enter the U.S. into the Paris Agreement, but it is difficult to simply undo the polluting policies of the Trump Administration. Carbon dioxide lasts for decades in the atmosphere.

From a climate perspective, Trump’s presidency was a disaster. The world burned on Trump’s watch. In the dying days of his Presidency the bad climate news continues.

Earlier today, the UN Environment Programme issued a stark warning that many Governments have failed to take the necessary measures needed to adapt to the impacts of climate breakdown, chief amongst them the United States.

Yesterday, leading scientists warned that the planet is facing a “ghastly future of mass extinction, declining health and climate-disruption upheavals” that could threat the future of humanity if we do not act.

In stark language they wrote: “The scale of the threats to the biosphere and all its lifeforms—including humanity—is in fact so great that it is difficult to grasp for even well-informed experts.”

The three issues they singled out for concern included: climate change, biodiversity loss, ecological ‘overshoot’ including overconsumption and population size, as well as ‘failed goals’ and ‘political impotence’.

Once again the U.S. is a chief culprit here. To give just one example, Trump has listed the fewest endangered species of any president, ever.

The scientists wrote: “If most of the world’s population truly understood and appreciated the magnitude of the crises we summarize here, and the inevitability of worsening conditions, one could logically expect positive changes in politics and policies to match the gravity of the existential threats. But the opposite is unfolding.”

Excerpted: ‘Impeached Twice, Trump's Presidency Was a Climate Disaster’

Commondreams.org