By Carol Corbin
I am ashamed to be an American. Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Agreement, which made him and his country look stupid. He didn’t have his facts right about the agreement, and in speaking for all Americans, he makes us all the dumb pariah nation of the planet.
His action essentially removes the U.S. from any leadership role in the future of the world. Certainly, many states, corporations, and individuals will continue to work against climate change, but the U.S., as a whole, will be seen as only taking care of itself. The greedy, ugly American image is once again reinforced.
In its history, the U.S. has been the major polluter on the planet. We are largely responsible for the climate change that has already occurred, according to a 2011 article in The Guardian. Compared to China, which is currently the largest polluter, every American uses three times as much fossil fuel as every individual Chinese. China’s vast population and expanding industrialization is what has pushed it into the lead in emissions.
How will the future—our children and grandchildren—look at this act? Are the profits of a few corporations in the U.S. worth more than the long-term livability of the planet?
Maybe Trump can spur each of U.S. to action. Now is the time for U.S. to look at our own carbon footprint and reduce it. Hang a laundry line; ride a bicycle; open windows and turn off the air. We need to join Pope Francis in his belief that the wealthy need to take responsibility for this planet. Living more like the poor is both fulfilling and the ethical thing to do—now more than ever.