When I was 14, I abseiled off my school.
I didn’t want to abseil off my school but my dad said I couldn’t do it...
Earlier this week the US President, Donald Trump signalled his intention to pull the country out of the Paris Climate Agreement. It was a kick in the teeth for everyone who has worked so long and hard to reach such an agreement to curtail the effects of climate change, which not only imperil the natural world but the lives and livelihoods of millions of our fellow human beings.
A kick in the teeth, but perhaps also a much needed kick up the jacksie?
Christiana Figueres, the former General Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) said this:
“Thank you Trump. You have provoked an unparalleled wave of support for the Paris Agreement and determined resolve on climate action. Deeply grateful”
So Trump has initiated a four-year process (the length of time it will take to leave the agreement) which will culminate right around the next US Presidential election. This will likely make climate change one of the key issues of the next election campaign. What an opportunity!
The 21st century is going to be powered by clean energy and in this self-defeating act Trump has rung last orders on American climate supremacy. The low-carbon industrial revolution is up for grabs.
To Trump I say this; never tell a group of committed citizens that they can’t change the world (or, indeed, abseil off their school building). You’ve forgotten that obstruction is the only way some people find their voice.