Climate change will make people sicker. Trump may pull out of Paris anyway.

Jun 1, 2017

By Julia Belluz

President Donald Trump is poised to make good on his campaign promise to pull the US out of the Paris climate agreement, which would delay much needed progress on fighting global warming and damage America’s image abroad.

Less appreciated is what the move could mean for human health — and the implications of delaying action on climate change are staggering.

Researchers have long been arguing that the effects of climate change could undermine the last 50 years of gains in development and medicine, increasing the spread of deadly infections like yellow fever and the risk of chronic diseases like asthma and heart disease. So now is simply not the time to be scaling back efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The December 2015 agreement, which has been signed by nearly 200 countries, aimed to cut greenhouse gas emissions and keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius. (The US had committed to cutting its emissions by up to 28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025.) These goals were widely viewed as a win for public health. Now, Trump’s retreat could be a major setback.

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20 comments on “Climate change will make people sicker. Trump may pull out of Paris anyway.

  • @OP – Climate change will make people sicker. Trump may pull out of Paris anyway.

    Trump doesn’t care about making people sicker!
    He has already repealed the pollution controls on the US coal industry, and is removing the health care from millions!

    Christiana Figueres, former executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change who helped broker the Paris accord, lamented Trump’s order.

    “Trying to make fossil fuels remain competitive in the face of a booming clean renewable power sector, with the clean air and plentiful jobs it continues to generate, is going against the flow of economics,” she said.

    The order directs the EPA to start a formal process to undo the Clean Power Plan, which was introduced by Obama in 2014 but was never implemented in part because of legal challenges brought by Republican-controlled states.

    The Clean Power Plan required states to collectively cut carbon emissions from power plants by 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.

    Some 85 percent of U.S. states are on track to meet the targets despite the fact the rule has not been implemented, according to Bill Becker, director of the National Association of Clean Air Agencies, a group of state and local air pollution control agencies.

    Trump’s order also lifts the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management temporary ban on coal leasing on federal property put in place by Obama in 2016 as part of a review to study the program’s impact on climate change and ensure royalty revenues were fair to taxpayers.

    It also asks federal agencies to discount the cost of carbon in policy decisions and the weight of climate change considerations in infrastructure permitting, and it reverses rules limiting methane leakage from oil and gas facilities.

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  • I see in his withdrawal from the Paris agreement, Trump assured his applauding gullible crowd, that he loved the environment, and Americans would have “clean air and clean water”. – Presumably achieved Trump-style, by derestricting power-plant smoke-stack pollution, and dumping coal waste in streams and rivers!

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  • quarecuss #1
    Jun 1, 2017 at 11:56 am

    paris is a sham anyway according to james hansen
    it might be better if trump stayed out

    The Paris accord is likely to be improved upon as the clean power systems come on-line and out-compete and undercut the obsolete polluting systems.

    his negotiators would attempt to water down
    already feeble paris plans to cut ggs

    As President Macron of France has quickly pointed out to Trump – there is NO prospect of the 174 countries who remain in support of the Paris Agreement renegotiating with Trump.
    They will simply continue independently on their own, along with some American states, cites, and corporations, until the USA replaces Trump with a competent president and his fossil fools go bust!

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  • The US joins Syria and Nicaragua outside the Paris agreement!
    Syria is in the midst of a civil war. Nicaragua said the Paris Agreement “was not tough enough”!
    The US has a disruptive pariah president who is pig-headed a science illiterate with no respect for expert advice!

    “Syria and Nicaragua are the only nations that didn’t sign the Paris Agreement. Nicaragua said it wasn’t tough enough. What’s Trump’s excuse?” the representative from Florida tweeted June 1.

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  • “He’s stayed where he’s always been, and not for a lack of trying by those who have an opposite opinion, ” said Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president. “He started with a conclusion, and the evidence brought him to the same conclusion.”

    As fine an example of confirmation bias as you could wish for.

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  • Marco #6
    Jun 2, 2017 at 6:56 am

    said Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president.

    She has nearly enough brain to grasp the one consistent policy which operates in the Trump Cabinet, . . . .

    “Try to make the president’s lies and incompetent babblings, sound plausible to the ignorant cheerleaders at his rallies”!

    . . . . and grossly less than is necessary to connect with evidence in the real world or rational educated citizens!

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  • On 2017-06-01 Trump announced the withdrawal of the USA from the Paris Climate Change Accord. The USA is the only major country that does not belong to it. According to Environment Canada, climate change is second only to nuclear war as a planetary peril. Mad Trump has declared ecological war on the entire planet including his own country. Oddly, Trump did not deny climate change was real and dangerous, only that it was economically advantageous for the USA to renege and leave the heavy lifting to everyone else. Morally, this is analogous to refusing to pay your share of a group meal at a restaurant.

    How should the rest of us respond?

    Stop all trade with the USA, both imports and exports, as far as humanly possible.
    Kick the USA out of NATO.
    Terminate all treaties including military arrangements with the USA.
    Kick out the American ambassadors.
    Pressure other countries that do not join the boycott with boycotts.

    I don’t think Trump has any idea what a hostile act that is to the rest of the planet. There are many countries that will disappear altogether under the waves. China, India and Pakistan will lose most of their arable and habitable lands. I see no reason they would take that lying down. I think the USA should expect terrorism coming from all quarters. I think the terrorist game, when played by large national states, will escalate to dirty bombs and nukes. Trump will damn well deserve what happens to the USA. Trump will not be able to track the culprits because every nation on earth will want the USA annihilated.

    Floridians are already on the verge of uncontrollable flooding. They were idiots to vote for Trump. Their real estate will soon be worthless. They fully deserved that fate.

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  • I see that as usual, Trump does not seek or listen to expert advice, but disputes anything which tells him he is wrong, and then appeals to the next level of authority, when considered judgements rule against him!

    In Scotland he persisted with his attack on the Aberdeen windfarm development through court at various levels, until the UK supreme court threw out his case!
    His latest denials of climate change and promotions of pollution, show he learned NOTHING from those court cases!

    The White House has asked the US Supreme Court to reinstate a travel ban on people from majority Muslim countries.

    The ban has been blocked by lower courts which have said that it is discriminatory.

    Two emergency applications have now been filed by the government with the court’s nine justices that seek to overturn those lower court rulings.

    The controversial ban has prompted protests and debate across the US.

    “We have asked the Supreme Court to hear this important case and are confident that President Trump’s executive order is well within his lawful authority to keep the nation safe and protect our communities from terrorism,” said Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores.

    “The president is not required to admit people from countries that sponsor or shelter terrorism, until he determines that they can be properly vetted and do not pose a security risk to the United States.”

    The administration has asked the court to grant emergency requests that would see the travel ban reinstated immediately. That ruling could come within two weeks.

    The court will then decide whether to hear the administration’s full appeal. If it does, that could take place in October.

    Hopefully, even with his Republican appointed judges, (unlike his cheerleading muppets, and sycophant clown cabinet), the courts will be unimpressed with irrational “arguments by persistently repeated assertions” of nonsense!

    The American Civil Liberties Union, tweeted: “We’ve beat this hateful ban and are ready to do it again.”

    Karen Tumlin, legal director of the National Immigration Law Center, told Associated Press: “Again and again, our nation’s courts have found that President Trump’s Muslim ban is unconstitutional. We will continue to defend our plaintiffs’ right to live free from fear of discriminatory treatment by the federal government.”

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  • Floridians are already on the verge of uncontrollable flooding. They
    were idiots to vote for Trump. Their real estate will soon be
    worthless. They fully deserved that fate.

    Hi Roedy. You paint with broad strokes my friend. I’m one of the Florida “idiots” who voted in the last election, for HRC if it needs to be said. Let’s not group us all together, mmmkay? And while I broadly agree with your arguments I must assure you that Florida is not on the verge of uncontrollable flooding. How do I know this? I live here. Very near the west coast (Tampa area/Gulf of Mexico). Things here are just fine right now. And on the other coast (Atlantic). The not so distant future? Who knows, but fear mongering does not help the current situation. Let’s stick to facts. And to say an entire state, many of whom voted for HRC deserves that fate? Come on man. Sharpen your focus. You likely didn’t try to, but that was insulting.

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  • BTW: The underlying bedrock is limestone with caves and underground
    rivers, so sea walls won’t work, as sea water can flow underground and
    come up inland.

    Indeed, this is a real issue and will make the future potentially ominous indeed (I’ve not yet perused your link) in FL. And it’s the future that’s at stake; I likely won’t see the true effects of this in my lifetime. But my daughter might. As I noted, the facts weren’t what I had issue with. It was the tone and dogmatic approach. Dogma is not just a device used by the religious; anyone can wield this device. I agree with 80% of Roedy’s post. But I have issue with the last paragraph, which comes off as panicky and needlessly mean spirited.

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  • I heard that parts of Florida has already seen terrible flooding, and is highly vulnerable even right now. There are numerous articles about that.

    Did anyone see that little libertarian, that little savage Rand Paul, talking to Jake Tapper about coal jobs? They never stop!! Same old BS. It’s all cyclical, the left is engaging in “fear-mongering”; and he kept referring to the “alarmists.” The Republicans and the libertarians are the enemies of Reason and science, and are serving the interests of big business, the Koch brothers, are thoroughly immoral, sinister, greedy. So is Trump, Bannon (a man obsessed with wealth, a truly villainous man); and everyone who supports him in general and supports his decision to withdraw from the Paris accords in particular is either inculcated or a pathetic moron – or both.

    Speaking of inculcation this gesture on the part of Trump the asshole sends a terrible message and sets the stage for more (real) fake news, anti regulation/pro big business/bank propaganda (Sinclair company) which will, I fear, soon be greatly intensified, will permeate and saturate the media like never before. That is the worst thing of all.

    Oh, by the way, the models are unreliable and it’s all cyclical; it’s liberal alarmism – and we’ll lose millions of jobs. End of story.

    Damned the Republicans. Damn them all to hell.

    I did read that the shareholders of Exxon Mobile are demanding to know more about climate change. They know that it can, will, be economically disastrous as well if we don’t start investing the right way. That’s something at least:

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  • I heard that parts of Florida has already seen terrible flooding, and
    is highly vulnerable even right now. There are numerous articles about

    Dan, I can point to numerous articles about flooding all over the US, primarily due to heavy rains. Let’s not conflate the issue. I just did a google search on “heavy flooding in” and the algorithm filled in the rest with, in order: Peru, California, Missouri, Makkah and Texas. Florida doesn’t even come up in the initial search. Florida has heavy flooding every year during storms and the rainy season. King tides however are increasingly becoming an issue, largely due to climate change.

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  • Steven007 #14
    Jun 2, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    The other danger as well as “king tides” and “heavy rains” adding to the hazard of rising seas,, is tidal surges from hurricanes – with bigger surges and stronger hurricanes related to the energy of global warming.

    BTW: My Nat. Geog. link @#11 is well worth a look if you want local details.

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  • Dan #13
    Jun 2, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    BTW: If you are interested in your local green energy turbine project, it is operating in New York regardless of Trump!

    On January 23, 2012, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a pilot commercial license for the RITE Project – the first-ever commercial license for a tidal power project in the United States. Under the license (FERC No. P-12611), Verdant Power is authorized to install up to thirty 5m diameter Gen5 KHPS turbines in the East Channel of the East River. The installation is to advance in a phased approach with staged environmental monitoring as the field expands.

    Generation 4 System Demonstration Success
    During 2006-09, Verdant Power completed a grid-connected demonstration of its KHPS (Gen4) at the RITE Project. The demonstration included the operation of six full-scale tidal turbines, which delivered electricity to operating New York City businesses, representing the world’s first operation of a grid-connected tidal turbine array.

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  • Steven,

    I heard Chris Hayes talk about a wealthy section of Florida last night hit hard, as a result of global warming. Sorry, I thought Florida was getting it a bit worse than other states – and I don’t mean the normal flooding due to rain.

    I’m glad, however, to be proven wrong about the sunshine state. (Unlike that recalcitrant fellow on the rabbi thread, right Alan?)

    New York City is the best place to be right now, I think; but I’m partial.

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  • Dan,

    No issues. Listen, when global warming hits hard(er), FL will obviously be in its cross-hairs as well as CA and all coastal areas. So yes, it will encroach on us before it encroaches on other locales. That only makes sense. But as of today it is largely status quo on the coast, with the exception of the things mentioned by me and Alan. That said, you would shake your head at all the development still being done right on the coast. Not forward thinking at all.

    Alan, yes, I will definitely check that out after work, likely this weekend. Thanks.

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  • The Republican politicians are extremely irritating, with their asinine questions like: “wasn’t there global warming before the industrial revolution? That was before the industrial revolution…. you liberal stooge of the liberal fake-media… you tree hugging hippie, you fatuous flamer, you alarmist, you pinko, you Commie…”

    It’s all over YouTube. Some go back a few years. There’s this senator or whatever named Johnson. He kept asking why a certain year was colder than the previous year. A thug in business attire doing a hit job. Dunning Kruger effect too. He thought he had outsmarted the scientist.

    What I don’t understand is why someone like Jake Tapper, who is not a scientist, wouldn’t get a climate scientist to put guys like Rand Paul, who sucks the Koch brothers’ blank, in their place. Tapper, with an anguished look on his face, just read something from NASA. That wasn’t enough. I guess it’s all just show biz. I hope not.

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  • Steven007 #18
    Jun 2, 2017 at 5:10 pm

    That said, you would shake your head at all the development still being done right on the coast. Not forward thinking at all.

    After Hurricane Sandy, a whole lot of re-building went on in New York in the devastated areas!

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