Donald Trump’s election has raised more than a few concerns about the future of the planet, leaving environmentalists scrambling for a solution to stop the potential eco-devastation.
“This isn’t the outcome we had hoped for,” said Heather Leibowitz, Director of Environment New York, in a statement. “At a time when sea levels are rising, temperature records are being smashed, and extreme weather events threaten Americans across the country, we need to rapidly shift to 100% renewable energy and away from dirty fossil fuels.”
During his campaign, the president-elect has repeated called global warming a “hoax,” despite the data disproving this claim. According to the latest research, carbon dioxide levels have reached their highest point ever, and the earth faces a grave risk of an increased 11 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100.
Even without looking into the future, the results of global warming are already visible: loss of ice, unusually warm seasons, increasing desertification, extinction of several animal species.
“At a time when children are being poisoned by lead in their drinking water and sewage and manure pollute our rivers, we need to strengthen our clean water protections and invest in clean water infrastructure,” said Leibowitz.”
The Paris Agreement, signed just a few months ago, aims at tackling the climate issue in a cooperative way. But Trump said during his campaign that he is considering revising the agreement and possibly withdrawing the U.S. from it altogether.
If he does this, it will be a huge step back. It took almost 20 years, since President Bush refused to sign the Kyoto Protocol on climate, for the U.S. to join other countries in the collective effort to revert the global warming.
“Spurred by overwhelming public support, our country has made some real and meaningful progress reducing pollution and improving the quality of our environment,” said Leibowitz. “We have no choice but to maintain and accelerate this progress.”
Trump has also stated that he might shut down the Environmental Protection Agency.
“Environmental Protection, what they do is a disgrace,” said Trump during an interview. “Every week they come out with new regulations. We can leave a little bit, but you can’t destroy businesses.”
In spite of these worrying statements, Leibowitz is ready to cooperate with Trump in the next four years.
“As Hillary Clinton said, we owe Donald Trump an open mind and chance to lead, ” she explained. “Despite President-elect Trump’s campaign rhetoric, we stand ready to work with him to protect the air we breathe the air, the water we drink and the future of our planet.”
But should Trump follow up on his campaign statements — a huge unknown, as the businessman-turned-politician has flip-flopped and outright lied to the public repeatedly throughout the election season — Environment New York is ready.
“…should President-elect Trump decide to attack our country’s fundamental environmental protections, we will work to mobilize our members and allies to vigorously defend them,” stated Leibowitz. “The American people did not vote for dirty air, dirty water or the destruction of our precious lands and wildlife, and we will work hard to stop any rollbacks as we have in the past.”