As a kid in the early 1960s, I remember paging through an encyclopedia and seeing two pictures of Pittsburgh. One was of the pollution that made it impossible to see more than two blocks down the street. The second one, below it, was of the same street after action was taken to clean up the pollution from the steel mills. President Trump, you don’t represent Pittsburgh when you don’t care for the children and grandchildren of that city. That city and many others worked hard to clean up the pollution that was killing them. That is called stewardship and caring.
President Trump, you weren’t called to represent Paris. Paris is only the name of the city where 195 nations of the world said they cared about children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and other generations to follow.
President Trump, you were called to represent Americans, but by pulling out of the Paris pact you are failing us, our children, our grandchildren and generations to follow. You are failing to take seriously the reality of what is happening to the climate of our world. You are failing to do what we know will help. You are failing to take advantage of the provisions that America could use to make our world a better place. That is not good stewardship, nor is it caring. And in the end, it is not representing.
Douglas Larson, Deerwood, Minn.
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To: Donald J. Trump
Re: Climate Change
Mother Nature does not renegotiate.
William Glass, Edina
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I guess the world leader gig is over. Tell us, Britain, what did it feel like?
Lawrence Baker, St. Paul
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By withdrawing from the Paris climate accord, President Trump has turned the U.S. into an embarrassing international pariah and imperiled our economic future. The world’s transition to clean energy is going to happen with or without our participation. Thanks to Trump’s stunningly poor leadership, America will miss out on the huge economic boom this transition will bring. Instead, countries courageous enough to tackle the largest looming catastrophe in world history will reap the windfall. This shameful decision will go down in history as one of the worst ever made by an American president.
Laurel Regan, Apple Valley
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I am so glad we have a president who is fighting for America. Under the Paris agreement, America had to cut emissions from thousands of businesses, close down power plants, close down coal mines — and with all the new rules and regulations Obama put on U.S. businesses, thousands were forced to shut down. Thousands of workers lost their jobs, or had to take lesser-paying jobs, while the other countries had no restrictions. We had to shut down our coal mines, yet China can open 14 of them every year, and India can double its coal emissions. We had to shut down businesses and get supplies from foreign countries. No wonder the other countries are crying that Trump is wrong to pull out. With all the new rules on U.S. factories, we cut pollution only 2/10 of 1 percent per year, but China can wipe this gain out in 14 days! It is not at all about pollution; it’s about politics.
Marge Miller, Coon Rapids
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The United States is a great and fascinating country, and there are many historical links between the state of Minnesota and Sweden, where I live. The news of the decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement really angers and worries me, and countless others across the globe. The elected leader of your country has now given a clear signal to the rest of the world, which is too rude to put in print.
The Paris accord has its flaws, putting off real action to “the day after tomorrow.” Yet it represents a global acknowledgment that we together must commit all necessary efforts to combat climate change. Now the U.S. president has acted like an egoistic jerk. Millions of people around the globe will reason just like me, avoiding American goods, American services and American companies until this bully realizes what atmospheric vandalism costs. Don’t Americans want to feel proud for their country and what it represents in the world? Now they have a man as their political leader who is quite simply an embarrassment and a disgrace.
This is written in righteous anger, but from a friend and cohabitant on this beautiful Earth. I still believe the American people, and I will meet again in happier circumstances. Until then, it’s #Trumpboycott for me!
Emil Stille, Kalmar, Sweden
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Thomas Berry, priest and geologian (1914-2009) said it clearly: “The success or failure of any historical age is the extent to which those living at that time have fulfilled the special role that history’s imposed on them.” What is President Trump’s response? What is ours?
Jim Scheibel, St. Paul
The writer is a former mayor of St. Paul.
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Response to climate change cannot wait. Global security begins with local actions. We need to enact and pursue state and municipal policies to ensure our future. Our local political leaders need to declare our allegiance with the rest of the world and all the nations that adopted the Paris climate accord.
Douglas Allchin, St. Paul
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Action to reduce greenhouse emissions will indeed have to come from state and local initiatives, but unfortunately Minnesota’s Legislature is hewing to Trumpian nihilism. The recently passed jobs and energy bill will slow our state’s progress by reducing incentives for solar power and shifting funds away from renewable energy production toward nonrenewables. The transportation bill leaves public transportation underfunded. It was a bad session for those of us planning on spending a few more decades on this planet. Were it not for Gov. Mark Dayton, the Legislature would no doubt have made it even worse.
Chris Evans, Maple Grove
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Set aside philosophical and scientific arguments about climate change. There’s plenty remaining that liberals and conservatives can agree on. If the following things were considered, both sides could support Trump’s action and move on to meaningful climate policies:
• The Paris climate accord was a treaty. The U.S. was an outlier by not bringing it to the Senate for approval, as is constitutionally required. Other countries did have it ratified.
• Trump could have taken the easy way out by submitting the accord to the Senate for ratification, where it was dead on arrival. Trump thereby kept the concept of renegotiation alive.
• The U.S. already leads in CO2 emission improvement, even without the agreement.
• Several large countries were exempt from the agreement’s requirements until 2030, thereby effecting a “wealth transfer” from the U.S. to less-developed economies, e.g., China, India et al.
• U.N. officials have, in the past decade, been frequently quoted stating the real goal of the climate agreements would be massive wealth transfer.
• Worldwide CO2 emission reduction will be heavily dependent on clean natural gas, yet the ideology of the agreement did not bode well for exploiting natural gas.
• The agreement doesn’t introduce quick reduction in coal production and usage — rather it eliminates it in the U.S. and moves it to developing countries.
• The agreement doesn’t adequately exploit the potential for a nuclear solution. Nuclear energy is vital to any solution that can make a dramatic reduction in CO2 emissions.
Steve Bakke, Edina