Scale the cli­mate cliff

Baltimore Sun - - FROM PAGE ONE - Scott Arm­strong, Bal­ti­more

The steep hill that cli­mate and en­vi­ron­men­tal ad­vo­cates have pre­vi­ously faced now looks more like a sheer cliff af­ter the elec­tion of Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump (“The lim­its of a Trump EPA,” Nov. 17). But cliffs are scal­able. We may need to trade in our walk­ing sticks for ropes, but we must not give up.

Pres­i­dent-Elect Trump has made var­i­ous pledges con­cern­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal pol­icy dur­ing his cam­paign, rang­ing from “can­cel­ing” the Paris Agree­ment and scrap­ping the Clean Power Plan to pulling fund­ing from the U.S. En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency. Mr. Trump has claimed that cli­mate change is noth­ing but a hoax in­vented by the Chi­nese. Fur­ther­more, Mr. Trump has promised to sup­port de­vel­op­ment of fos­sil fu­els such as coal and oil. Af­ter only one day as pres­i­den­t­elect, Mr. Trump ap­pointed a cli­mat­e­change de­nier, My­ron Ebell, to lead his EPA tran­si­tion team. Such as ap­point­ment seems to sug­gest that Mr. Trump will make good on his prom­ise to “get rid of [the EPA] in al­most ev­ery form.”

Mr. Trump’s elec­tion does not mean those of us who be­lieve we need to take ac­tion to pro­tect the en­vi­ron­ment and curb global warm­ing should give up. In fact, it is more im­por­tant than ever to take ac­tion, as ac­tion is the an­ti­dote to de­spair. There is still hope in Congress. Rep. Carlos Curbelo, a Repub­li­can from Florida, has been a strong con­ser­va­tive voice on cli­mate change, and he was just re-elected. He is a found­ing mem­ber of the bi­par­ti­san Cli­mate So­lu­tions Cau­cus, and he co-signed the Repub­li­can-led Gib­son res­o­lu­tion, which ac­knowl­edges the chal­lenge of cli­mate change.

A great first step is to reach out to our own lo­cal rep­re­sen­ta­tives and urge them to fol­low the bi­par­ti­san model set up by Mr. Curbelo and his Florida Demo­cratic part­ner, Rep. Ted Deutch. We need to per­suade our po­lit­i­cal lead­ers and rep­re­sen­ta­tives to work across the aisle in or­der to con­front the prob­lems fac­ing the en­vi­ron­ment and cli­mate.

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