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article imageOp-Ed: Climate talks begin in Bonn — The stakes have never been higher

By Karen Graham     May 8, 2017 in Environment
UN negotiators are meeting in Bonn, Germany this week to discuss and work out a plan to implement the Climate-Rescue Paris Agreement. The stakes have never been higher - Yet one important member nation is threatening to pull out of the agreement.
It's a darned shame that President Trump's attitude, beliefs, and negative comments should sidetrack discussions over something so important to every nation on Earth. The U.S. is the world's number two carbon polluter behind China.
The 11-day meeting is supposed to be a "working meeting" where a rulebook will be created to guide member nations in the execution of the climate-rescue pact. But while the focus should be on global warming, sea level rise and carbon dioxide levels, all these important considerations will take a backseat to Trump, and whether he will pull us out of the Paris Agreement.
According to phys.Org, Trump says he will make his decision before the next G7 meeting on May 26-27 in Sicily. "The question of whether this creates a difficult backdrop for the negotiations is clearly a 'yes'," said Paula Caballero, who heads the climate program at the Washington-based World Resources Institute (WRI).
The global average temperature last year was 1.69 Fahrenheit (0.94 Celsius) above the 20th century a...
The global average temperature last year was 1.69 Fahrenheit (0.94 Celsius) above the 20th century average
Sam Panthaky, AFP/File
The State Department said last week it was sending a "small delegation" to the meeting in Bonn. "We are focused on ensuring that decisions are not taken at these meetings that would prejudice our future policy, undermine the competitiveness of US businesses, or hamper our broader objective of advancing US economic growth and prosperity," said a spokesperson.
I certainly hope that people realize that if Trump pulls the U.S. out of the climate pact, what will happen - There are still some countries in the world that look to us as a leader, and if the U.S. refuses to lead in this endeavor, they will lose the incentive to do anything.
Call me an alarmist, but I am science-oriented and care about the Earth. The science doesn't lie, folks. The atmospheric carbon dioxide level on May 6 was 410.01 PPM. And we have an idiot leading this country who wants to bring back coal-fired power plants. Really, now, is that what we want?
And don't forget the Earth's surface temperature, either. Since the start of the 21st century, the world has endured 16 of the 17 hottest years on record. Arctic sea ice has reached the lowest ever seen and high-altitude glaciers have continued to shrink for the 36th year in a row.
Perhaps not surprising is the rising levels of methane, a far more potent greenhouse gas than CO2. These gasses, along with nitrous oxide, all hit new highs in 2016, helping to edge the Earth's surface temperature higher.
Greenhouse gas emissions are now the fastest-growing contributor to ecological overshoot  making up ...
Greenhouse gas emissions are now the fastest-growing contributor to ecological overshoot, making up 60 percent of humanity's demands on nature, says a report from Global Footprint Network
Darek Redos, AFP/File
But for the Trump administration, these temperature changes, ice melting, and carbon dioxide levels are all part of a huge hoax, perpetrated by China to somehow undermine American business interests. This means that the extreme droughts, first in the Midwest and in California, and now in the southeastern part of the country, are all figments of our collective imaginations.
Trump would probably tell us that the wildfires all across the country aren't real either, nor are the extremes of weather, torrential rainfall amounts or the flooding that has left thousands of people displaced. And I am talking about just in the U.S. However, these extremes have been going on all around the world and are happening right now.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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