Young people want a livable planet, why doesn’t Trump?

Millions of young people around the globe stepped forward on September 20 to plead with world leaders to leave them an inhabitable planet–a world not plagued by unbearable heat and catastrophic weather. They got a cold and deaf ear from our President, perhaps the most prominent climate denier on the face of the Earth.

It is not easy to ignore the evidence of climate change unfolding before our very eyes. The last five years have seen the hottest global temperatures on record. Last July was the hottest ever recorded. Ice sheets around the world are melting at an alarming rate, sea levels are rising, farmers are having their crops washed out by torrential rains, and conflicts over resources are becoming commonplace. And, we ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

Think of Tropical storm Imelda, which surprised southeast Texas in mid-September with a 43-inch cloudburst near Beaumont. Just two years ago, Hurricane Harvey drenched areas of Texas with more than 50 inches of rainfall. Weather experts say that the warming waters of the Gulf fuel monster storms that produce these massive downpours.

Pentagon and State Department planners predict that violent weather events will lead to hotter weather around the globe and changing weather patterns that will result in torrential rains in some areas and persistent droughts in others. That weather, in turn, will cause major population shifts, widespread starvation, and desperate conflicts over water and land, all of which will pose serious threats to our national security.

We have already seen an increased flight of Central Americans to our borders, partly as a result of weather-caused crop failures in those countries. It will get much worse as global temperatures continue to climb.

Rather than taking steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to limit rising temperatures, Trump is stepping on the gas to burn more fossil fuels. He has pushed coal, even though it is more expensive than clean energy. He has attacked the stricter auto mileage standards so that families will have to use and pay for more gas, breathe dirtier air, and suffer hotter temperatures.

Trump has stuffed the agencies with climate deniers, hollowed out government agencies that research ways to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions, ordered the suppression of their reports, destroyed efforts to cut down carbon dioxide and methane releases, and refused to attend meetings designed to save the planet from environmental disaster. He was an obvious no-show at the G-7 global roundtable last month and will play no part in the UN Climate Summit this week.

If global warming is a Chinese hoax, as Trump complains, why has he not launched an investigation to find out why 97% of the climate experts have agreed that it is an existential threat to life on Earth? If we phase out fossil fuels and spend several trillion dollars to switch to clean energy, only to find that the scientists were wrong, we will have cleaner air, a vibrant energy sector and hundreds of thousands of green energy jobs.

On the other hand, if it turns out that the scientific community was right about global warming and we simply sat on our hands and let it happen, it will be a catastrophe for those kids who demonstrated on September 20 to save the planet, as well as all of the rest of us. (I’m personally inclined to go along with the scientists, given the President’s record in evaluating Hurricane Dorian’s threat to Alabama.)

It is already too late to prevent the kind of violent and destructive weather events we presently experience from plaguing us thousands of years into the future. If we continue to blast billions of tons of planet-warming greenhouse gasses into our closed atmosphere like we now do every year, our children and grandchildren won’t have a chance. Tell our Senators and Congressmen that our kids deserve to have a life.

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5 thoughts on “Young people want a livable planet, why doesn’t Trump?”

  1. Can one really believe that the Trump administration is telling California they CANNOT have their “Climate Change Laws”? Laws that hopefully help save our planet?? Does he really believe 97% of our most educated scientists are wrong? How can he not believe this is a world problem?? And, as “the greatest country ever” and the “smartest President ever”, (per Mr. Trump last week), how can he ignore our situation? Thank you Mr. Jones for keeping us aware!!

    1. Thanks for your comments, M. Langton. I fear that the president denies global warming because of his strong support for and from the fossil fuel giants. Our children and grandchildren don’t contribute to his campaign and he does not need their votes. It is a sad situation when it is more important for the energy giants to squeeze the last penny out of their fossil fuels than to save the lives of our descendants. It is even more distressing to have a president willing to sell out future generations. Time for leaders who care about our children and their well-being. Jim

  2. Perhaps you should do some research. This is from Wikipedia. This article is sad not in what it contains but what it doesn’t contain. No Climate change researcher will go on record to state that if the United States implements strict controls on emissions and drastically reduces them while the top world polluters like India and China do not that there would be any real change in global temperatures. See below from Wiki… not sure how current Texas ‘WEATHER’ can be correlated to ‘climate’. I am sure Jim you will not allow this comment. I am positive you will censor it. That is the norm for folks like you.

    Wettest tropical cyclones and their remnants in Texas
    Highest-known totals
    Precipitation Storm Location Ref.
    Rank mm in
    1 1538.7 60.58 Harvey 2017 Nederland [1]
    2 1219.2 48.00 Amelia 1978 Medina [1]
    3 1143.0 45.00 Claudette 1979 Alvin coop site [104]
    4 1096 43.15 Imelda 2019 Jefferson County, Texas [105]
    5 1033.3 40.68 Allison 2001 Moore Road Detention Pond [1]
    6 1008.6 39.71 September Hurricane 1921 Thrall [10]
    7 762.0 30.00 September T.S. 1936 Broome [10]
    8 755.9 29.76 Unnamed 1960 Port Lavaca #2 [1]
    9 695.5 27.38 Beulah 1967 Pettus [1]
    10 688.3 27.10 Alice 1954 Pandale [10]

    1. Mr. Fuhriman: I don’t know your basis for automatically assuming that I would not approve your comment. I am not afraid of congenial debate. You are correct that there have been extreme downpours in the past, but the warming water in our oceans has made them much more common. Weather experts explain it in a scholarly matter and it makes sense. Just because many nations are contributing to global warming does not mean that nobody can or should do something about it. When chlorofluorocarbons were destroying the ozone layer and endangering the planet, we didn’t just curl up our toes and give up, thinking that nothing could be done about it. We did something about it and took care of the problem. If every nation just sits on its hands and bemoans the fact that nothing can be done to leave our children a habitable planet, our kids and grandkids won’t have a chance. That would amount to a defacto planetary suicide pact. Over the life of this planet, several mass extinctions have occurred when the CO2 level skyrocketed. We have the technology to slow down the warming of the atmosphere, we just need the brains and gumption to put it to work to solve the problem. I am planning a column to lay out how that can be done. Stay tuned and thanks for your comment. Jim

      1. Thanks for the reply. I agree congenial debate is always a good thing. My concerns and many others are how often the climate models are wrong. This is an extremely well-written article that points out the back-slapping congratulatory success that you pointed out concerning the ozone hole is very much in dispute. The key takeaway from this is that the models are not perfect and that science does not understand what is really happening in the lower atmospheric decreases of ozone. The ozone shifting may actually slow global warming. The concern for me is all in the data and how it’s interpreted. Global temp data appears to be rising. The degree that man contributes to the rising temps is obviously in dispute depending on which model is used. There is only one technological solution available today that would reduce GHG’s. Nuclear energy. Sadly the environmentalists would rather believe in pie in the sky solutions to this problem rather than embrace the only known solution we have today.

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