Letters to the Editor: Local governments can take the lead to combat the climate change Trump ignores

A South Korean environmental activist wearing a gas mask participates in a protest denouncing the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Agreement.
(Ahn Young-joon / Associated Press)

Kudos to veteran U.S. Navy officer and businesswoman Andrea Marr for her outstanding commentary lamenting President Trump’s withdrawal of America from the Paris Agreement (“Donald Trump let the U.S. down by withdrawing from Paris Agreement,” June 2). With near unanimity, U.S. and international climate scientists are putting humanity on notice that collapse of the Earth’s life support system is a real possibility.

The majority of all American voters, including those for Trump, want government action to combat global warming, according to Yale public opinion researchers. But for the billionaire Koch brothers, whose fortunes are anchored in oil and gas, and their shills in Congress and the Trump regime, the United States would remain the world leader in “de-carbonizing” energy. Alas, America’s leadership will now likely pass to Europe and China.

Until voters can wrest the House of Representatives from control by the “oil-igarchy,” we should lobby our city governments to adopt climate action plans to reduce carbon emissions. And while doing that urge our respective city councils to pass resolutions (to be sent to congressional representatives) calling for a revenue-neutral carbon fee and dividend approach to combat climate change. The fee would be ever-increasing for effectiveness while the dividend going to American households would similarly increase, and emissions would substantially decline. A win-win market approach with strong bipartisan support.


Marr has given us abundant reasons to act now before the current White House and its most avid congressional supporters in Orange County further accelerate the planetary warming that augurs catastrophe for us and our children and grandchildren. With the 2018 mid-term elections approaching, make combating climate change your highest voting priority and communicate that to all candidates. This will put us, along with Ms. Marr, on the right side of history.

Tom Osborne

Laguna Beach

‘America first’ puts the planet last

What President Trump gained by exiting the Paris Agreement is small and petty. He has ticked off a campaign pledge and thumbed his nose at his perceived adversaries.

It’s what we have lost by his action that worries me. This treaty is easy to criticize for being weak, but how else besides compromise could the agreement of 195 disparate nations be gained? The intent was to get everyone on board, not to set ultimate targets, but to establish common ground from which nations could measure global progress toward reversing carbon emissions.

It took years of American leadership and diplomacy to reach this point. Climate change is a global problem. Rising seas, droughts and floods affect all nations. “America first” policies cannot work. Also lost is respect for science. Without any credible authority behind him, this president, who has called climate change a hoax, endangers the world with his ignorance.

Robert Taylor

Newport Beach

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