Normally, “shuttle diplomacy” occurs when a third party serves as a mediator between nations to help negotiations come to a satisfactory conclusion. However, for now, I am going to use the term to describe the newly formed United States Climate Alliance. Considering its name, we know what the alliance is about—President Trump’s rejection of the Paris Accord … (read more).
Governors Jay Inslee (Washington), Andrew Cuomo (New York), and Jerry Brown (California) formed the alliance dedicated to upholding the Paris Accord through vigorous action on climate change. As of June 7th, 12 states and Puerto Rico have joined en masse, representing at least a hundred million Americans and one third of the U.S. GDP (gross domestic product). And the numbers are growing. For example, Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado signed on just a few days ago.
Governor Jerry Brown of California “… has positioned himself as the U.S.’s de facto climate leader, attending meetings on climate change with leading Chinese officials at a recent clean-energy conference.” Furthermore, the alliance “will also act as a forum to sustain and strengthen existing climate programs, promote the sharing of information and best practices, and implement new programs to reduce carbon emissions from all sectors of the economy.”
Another issue in this historic rebellion against a U.S. policy change is how to make up the funding gaps created by Trump’s decision. Philanthropies, businesses, and universities are getting involved, and Michael Bloomberg, former New York City mayor has already pledged $15 million to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, the international environmental treaty adopted on May 9, 1992.
The boldest action on climate change, however, has come from the automaker, Volvo, who announced that by 2019 they would build only electric and hybrid vehicles. Interestingly, “CEO Hakan Samuelsson said the move was dictated by customer demand.”
From all the information I’ve gathered, it seems as though this “rebellion” is a grass roots campaign against President Trump and a declaration that “we the people” want to participate in the Paris Accord.
Whether we agree with the above actions or not–the ability to make the decision to form the alliance and follow through with intentional policies and leadership–is a wonderful reminder of the freedoms we enjoy as American citizens living in a true democracy. I can’t imagine that these same tactics would be tolerated in some other countries—North Korea, for example.
I’ve tried to understand President Trump and his propensity to make policy changes that affect us all by the “seat of his pants.” I’ve also tried to figure out why his children, the members of the Republican party, and his staff don’t silence his offensive tweets, derogatory comments about women, and his overall lack of social grace, especially when visiting foreign nations such as his remarks to Brigitte Macron, wife of French President Emmanuel Macron (“you know, you’re in such good shape, beautiful”. Perhaps, they’ve tried, to no avail.
As I mentioned in my Paris Accord blog, I’m not a scientist, so I’m not sure what the right answers are. However, “We humans have misbehaved by using and abusing God’s beautiful planet Earth. The effects of this tragedy can’t be undone. Perhaps we should think twice before we waste, use up more than necessary, and abuse our natural resources. Perhaps we should love God more than we love God’s gifts, making us ever mindful of the fact that without God our planet wouldn’t exist” read more …
Until next time…