How Trump's divorce from the Paris Agreement hurts the Middle East
Concern about human-related climate change is definitely not a new subject. But people are finally now taking notice.
The global climate is simply getting worse with more extreme weather hitting not only those countries able to cope but those areas where mass movement of populations could be the result of continually failing crops due to increasingly severe drought or flood. Climate change is a main cause of our rapidly melting arctic ice caps that are literally rocking world weather patterns.
Former U.S. vice-president, Al Gore, has been telling the world about this 'Inconvenient Truth' for over a decade. Many people, including climatologists, are even more concerned for the future of our planet following U.S. President Trump’s decision in June 2017 to pull America out of the Paris Climate Change Agreement, saying: “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.”
This forces me to quote another of TV's larger-than-life cartoon characters, Homer Simpson; 'D'oh!'
The Obama administration signed the Paris Agreement in the summer of 2016, signed by over 190 countries, to make a concerted effort to try to prevent world temperatures from rising more than 3.3 degrees during the current century. Without this agreement, temperatures could rise more than 3.6 degrees, if not more, causing dramatic changes in world weather patterns that include storms, droughts, floods and catastrophic changes to agriculture on a global scale.
Severe drought is being felt more often in North Africa and the Middle East, where plentiful fresh water supplies have never been present. The Arabian Peninsula, in particular, is currently in the midst of one of the worst drought situations ever experienced in modern times.
Despite the dire implications - and possibly going against the advice of well-informed Senators from his own party NOT to withdraw - the Trump administration has decided
to pull out of the only international climate accord agreement ratified by more countries than any other climate agreement to date. The fact that he placed a climate change denier at the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, speaks volumes about his overarching intentions to dismantle everything that the Obama administration worked towards.
As one of his key campaign promises that was very popular in those states reliant on fossil fuel production for their main sources of employment, President Trump states his reasons for leaving the Paris Agreement are that it is “unfair to the United States, its businesses, its workers, its people, and its taxpayers”.
As with immigration, trade and health care, climate change is one of numerous issues on which President Donald Trump’s administration must decide how aggressively to attack the established consensus. Even Pruitt’s allies worry about the
dangers of going too far.
North African and Middle Eastern countries and territories that have ratified the agreement include Jordan, Morocco, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Palestine. Many others, including Egypt, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Libya, Sudan and Yemen have signed but not yet ratified it. Many of these countries already feel the impact of global warming and climate change, with severe water shortages and intensive summer temperatures.
The global climate situation is forcing many countries in the region to resort to obtaining fresh water through desalination or other methods. This magazine has featured some of these ideas in the past.
China - and many other of the UN's leading contributors - have said that they will take up the strain of the U.S. withdrawal. Most surprisingly, many states in the U.S. have committed to reducing emissions and reducing the use of fossil fuels in direct contravention of the President's announcement.
The future world his grandchildren will inhabit is possibly not of great concern for one infamous septuagenarian. And so in the meantime, the world holds it's collective breath and feels temperatures rise to uncomfortable levels.
This article as inspired by a post by Maurice Picow on Greenprophet.com.
Al Gore's latest documentary - and follow up to 2006's 'An Inconvenient Truth' - has been released. 'An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power', featured at this summer's film festivals.
With thanks to Homer Simpson.