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Trump Formally Withdraws The US From The Paris Climate Accords

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Every Democratic contender for the nomination has pledged to do this.

Barack Obama's former Secretary of State, John Kerry, who played an integral role in the Paris Climate negotiations, and former defense secretary Chuck Hegel, wrote in a joint Washington Postop-ed about this "dark day for America":

"Climate change is already affecting every sector and region of the United States, as hundreds of top scientists from 13 federal agencies made clear in a report the White House itself released last year. The past five years were the warmest ever recorded. Without steep pollution reductions, climate change will risk tens of thousands of US lives every year by the end of the century."

Last year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released an alarming report stating the world has 12 years to halt coal consumption and slash carbon dioxide emissions to prevent the atmosphere from warming more than 1.5 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels.

Even a half-degree increase puts us on track to experience more hurricanes like Michael, coastline inundation, floods, wildfires, drought, food shortages, mass human and animal migrations, and ecocide.

Nothing will escape climate change's ravages.

International borders, economies, food and water supplies, health, education, transportation, energy sources, are all predicted to change with the climate as the planet warms faster than scientists predicted.

Another casualty on the list: democracy.

In what is being labeled "climate apartheid," the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, Philip Alston, warns climate change's impacts are likely to undermine democracy and the rule of law in addition to basic rights to life, water, food, and housing for hundreds of millions.

Ecocide is already underway and putting society at extreme risk, according to a recent 1,800-page United Nations (UN) global assessment Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IBPES) report more than 450 scientists and diplomats took over three years to compile from 15,000 academic studies and reports.

According to Michael Mann, esteemed Pennsylvania State University professor and director of the Earth Science Systems Science Center, the IPCC's assessment is actually conservative, underestimating the amount of warming that has already occurred.

We actually have less carbon left to burn if we wish to avoid the 1.5-degree Celsius threshold the IPCC report cites.

We have already passed too many tipping points to avoid some of the climate's most devastating effects, and many scientists theorize the world has begun a sixth mass extinction.

And now we've cut our lifeline just as carbon emissions are increasing again after years in decline.

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Ted Millar is a writer and teacher. His work has been in featured in myriad literary journals, including Straight Forward Poetry, Better Than Starbucks, the Broke Bohemian, Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, Third Wednesday, and The Voices (more...)
 

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