Wednesday, November 16, 2016

A Little Good News for the Planet

It's hopeful that despite the best efforts of the Trump team to destroy the planet we may survive.

Even if Trump backpedals at the federal level, climate change action may already have enough momentum to continue without him. Coastal communities, irrespective of party loyalty, are already preparing for rising sea-levels. China, the only country that emits more carbon dioxide than the United States, is gearing up to lead the world in mitigation – a move that could boost the country’s global influence. Meanwhile, solar and other renewable energies are cheaper than ever. Even market forces seem to be saying that this isn’t up for debate anymore.

As it turns out, Trump’s promises of American exceptionalism and prosperity may actually necessitate climate change action.

The Chinese and Russians must be so happy with this election. 

“Proactively taking action against climate change will improve China’s international image and allow it to occupy the moral high ground,” Zou Ji, a senior Chinese climate talks negotiator, told Reuters. “China’s influence and voice are likely to increase in global climate governance, which will then spill over into other areas of global governance and increase China’s global standing, power and leadership.”

So, I'm wondering if the the Chinese can displace us as the essential country in only 4 years. What the hell, give Trump another four. Hope they have better luck electing leaders than we had. 

Other nations, many of which once opposed emissions reductions, have also fallen in line with the UN. So if the US wants to stay competitive on the world stage, Trump may need to make some concessions.

Meanwhile, the clean energy industry is growing critically. Solar prices have dropped significantly in recent years, and US tax incentives for wind and solar are set to continue through the decade. As a businessman, Trump likely understands this. He may choose to direct federal funding toward fossil fuels, but renewables aren’t going away.

Yes, but he's not a very good businessman. 

For many coastal communities, the issue isn’t quite so political. A long-term national policy for mitigation is simply “irrelevant” to them, some experts say, because they’ve already experienced prolonged drought and rising sea levels.

“Coastal communities in New England are already trying to figure out how to engage with people in their towns about addressing climate risks,” 

So that's why all those coastal states are blue ones. 

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