Humans have radically altered the landscape of the earth over the past hundred years. While we cannot reverse the damage done, we can do our best to limit it and preserve our world for future generations. Legislative actions are needed; from the Paris Climate Accords to domestic policy, our legislators have a responsibility to protect the environment from individuals and corporations who forsake it for economic gain. Actions on a personal level are needed; we can take shorter showers, ride our bikes, and hitch a ride with friends to work.
With specific goals and timetables, the agreement was accepted by nearly every country in the world, with each attempting to reduce global warming. By withdrawing, the United States risks both falling behind economically and negatively affecting the environment. Currently, America will leave in November 2020. Contact your local congressman to urge the president to reverse the decision.
The United States has yet to put an economy-wide price on carbon emissions, but momentum is building in the states to do just that. Legislators are working towards tackling the challenges of climate change by setting a price on carbon. We must urge our politicians to support and enact mechanisms to "not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but to improve public health, create jobs, and grow the economy in the process."
As the rest of the world shifts toward sustainable, renewable energy the U.S. lags behind. Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) require utilities, municipalities and electric cooperatives to sell a specified percentage or amount of renewable electricity. These RSP's have been implemented in 29 states and both promote the creation of jobs and foster the growth of our economy.
We must adapt to the environment around us and mitigate the consequences of climate change. "State legislatures can provide state agencies and local communities with the tools to implement climate adaptation plans and mitigation strategies. Legislators can also create state interagency councils to facilitate more effective communication, provide funding for local or private entities, and require climate change as a facet of land use planning." - National Caucaus of Environmental Legislators.