Global Warming

We can attack global warming without Trump

It would be nice if President-elect Donald Trump took one of the most serious threats to life on earth seriously, but he does not. Trump called global warming a Chinese “hoax” during the campaign, and he’s assigned a science dunce to lead the transition at the Environmental Protection Agency.

The comforting news is that America can move past the black hole of ignorance in Trump’s Washington — or New York or wherever he is. Enlightened state and city governments, as well as the private sector, can provide the leadership. As it happens, they’re already on the case.

Huge example: During the Paris climate change conference last December, Bill Gates organized a handful of billionaires and came up with $15 billion for his Breakthrough Energy Coalition. The group’s mission is to fund research on radical new clean energy technologies.

California’s war on greenhouse gases is already 10 years old. Its original goal was to reduce the state’s carbon footprint to the 1990 level by the year 2020. The new goal is to shrink the carbon footprint to 40 percent below the 1990 level by 2030. California is the world’s sixth-biggest economy.

Regional compacts in the West, in the Northeast and elsewhere are following California’s lead. There’s also one in South Florida, where “king tides” are now flooding streets on perfectly sunny days.

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, again running for the office, vows to slap a carbon tax on American imports if Trump pulls us out of the Paris climate deal. Could that happen?

Absolutely, according to Esty. Countries failing to meet international standards that form the base line for fair competition can be punished. And 195 nations have joined the Paris agreement.

Climate change has become a major priority for the U.S. Department of Defense. Rising waters already threaten Navy installations along the mid-Atlantic coast. And as the Arctic ice melts, Russia is opening bases in the region.

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