The text came in from my husband: “Canada is going to be getting warmer all the time.”
That was his way of telling me today’s news that President Trump is pulling out of the historic, global climate change agreement. It makes me sad and brings to mind the words of Pope Francis in his encyclical letter “On Care for Our Common Home”:
“Reducing greenhouse gases requires honesty, courage and responsibility, above all on the part of those countries which are more powerful and pollute the most.”
Leadership “…is manifest when, in difficult times, we uphold high principles and think of the long-term common good.”
“International negotiations cannot make significant progress due to positions taken by countries which place their national interests above the global common good. Those who will have to suffer the consequences…will not forget this failure of conscience and responsibility.”
We must hear “both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.”
President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement will have historic, monumental, and grave consequences for public health. The most vulnerable will suffer. As an American, I already feel responsible for that suffering.
Georges Benjamin, MD, executive director of the American Public Health Association released a statement saying:
“Today’s reckless decision is further abdication of leadership at the federal level to protect public health.”
Yesterday I saw a grade school boy in Virginia who was wearing one of those red “Make America Great Again” baseball caps. I hope he quickly sheds that cap and learns that America can never be great with a President who ignores science and uses his power to favor the few over the many.