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Column: Climate Change Is Real – It Should Not Be Politics

Not all change should be political.

An overwhelming majority of climate scientists agree that climate change is real.  In fact, it’s 97% of climate scientists.  In 2016, The United States, under then President Barack Obama, entered into the Paris Agreement of 2015; a global agreement to combat climate change.

Most countries have signed-on to the Paris Agreement; all but two of 197 have (Syria and Nicaragua).  In true American political fashion, something that is settled science, well-proven in research, and generally accepted worldwide, is becoming a political standoff.

President Donald Trump is reportedly undecided whether the U.S. will remain one of the 195.

But, the earth – it’s necessary for us to live, no?  As much as that seems rhetorical, politicians, specifically Trump on the campaign trail, have branded branding climate change fixes, like green energy promotion, a job killer.  He promised to put coal workers back to work.

He has been weirdly outspoken about climate change denial.

Policy advisers have suggested he stay in the Agreement, but GOP Texas Senator Ted Cruz not surprisingly disagrees.

“According to a recent National Economic Research Associates Economic Consulting study, the Paris Agreement could obliterate $3 trillion of GDP, 6.5 million industrial sector jobs and $7,000 in per capita household income from the American economy by 2040. Meeting the 2025 emissions reduction target alone could subtract $250 billion from our GDP and eliminate 2.7 million jobs.”

Maybe Cruz is right and many of the American fossil fuel jobs will cease to exist.  What he and Trump lack is the fundamental understanding of the business decision of green energy.

Solar is growing 12-times faster than the economy, wind is the fastest growing in the world, and green energy jobs are growing more rapidly each year.  This is the future of the energy sector, but the U.S. is stuck to old ways where black lung continues to kill coal workers.  That’s the American way?

The United States is the second biggest emitter of greenhouse gas, which causes climate change; second behind China.  Yet, China has a comprehensive green energy plan to reduce its emissions.

China is making a clear statement on how it views climate change as a global problem, but the U.S. is showing more concern for its economy.

Oil industry executives are not opposed to finding solutions that work with the Paris Agreement.

“The world needs more energy, but it needs less CO2. We think we can get there,” CEO John Hess of Hess Corp (HES.N) said.  Hess runs the third-largest oil producer of North Dakota, but sees climate change as a “serious problem”.

If Trump is the great businessman he claims to be, he’d see the significance to the energy sector green energy could be and would stop politicizing our futures.

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