Trump abandoning Paris is nothing
compared to Congress abandoning us.
Yes, Trump just sold out world efforts to fight increases in our long-term costs from warming. But in the next few months prepare for a much bigger betrayal of America’s ability to protect itself. And most of us don’t see it coming.
The administration’s abandonment of the Paris Accord, the Clean Power Plan, and auto emissions standards all hurt the fight to reduce carbon emissions, the causes of warming. That’s critical, especially for future generations, but even if emissions ceased today, the world will continue to heat up, building costly effects of warming, like stronger storms, drought, flooding, and health hazards over many decades. To counter those growing effects, we need to have local protections. This summer Trump’s and Congress’ budget could take those away from us too.
Consider FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund for temporary housing, debris removal, emergency protective measures, repair, replacement and restoration of disaster-damaged public facilities, and disaster unemployment assistance. Republican tax plans would cut the federal share of these costs in most disasters from 75-100% down to 25%.
What about the SBA’s Disaster Loans Program, which supply funds to help businesses, homeowners, and renters repair and replace damaged property? Republicans argue this program discourages us from buying commercial insurance.
If the Republican budget is passed, NOAA’s advancing weather forecasting and modeling programs, as well as new satellite data gathering will be gone or heavily downgraded. Many local programs, like research and help for coastal communities guarding against storm surge and rising seas, would be eliminated entirely.
The list goes on: solar energy loans, requirements for climate impact statements on federal projects, most EPA programs to fight the effects of warming, Medicaid, dozens of federal initiatives to tackle here-and-now threats – all would be cut or eliminated.
We may be indignant (not to mention ashamed) as our government ducks out of the Paris accord and abandons the rest of the world. But we need to start resisting as they begin abandoning us.