Welcome Back, USA

Lauantai 7.11.2020 klo 19:58 - Mikko Nikinmaa

From the environmental point of view, the presidential election of USA was the most important ever for the world. There can hardly be a bigger difference than there was between Donald Trump and Joe Biden in environmental affairs. President-elect Biden has said that in the first day of his presidency he will return USA to the Paris Climate Accord. Although many states (and companies) have voluntarily remained in the accord, it is conceptually very important that the USA as a nation returns to the Accord.

So, welcome back, America

Kommentoi kirjoitusta. Avainsanat: climate change, Paris climate accord

Like the Dance Band on the Titanic - Trump Government's Environmental Actions

Tiistai 5.11.2019 klo 15:50 - Mikko Nikinmaa

In the news today one heard that Trump government had officially left the Paris Climate Accord. He had said this already when becoming president, but the accord stated that one can leave it first three years after signing, which is now. The reason for leaving the accord is, according to Trump, that it causes economic problems, and does not treat USA economically fairly. Similar reasoning is behind the government’s choices to remove environmental legislation in the US as much as possible. When California is suffering from the wildfires, which have now become a yearly feature, Trump government does not see the need for increasing environmental action, but says to Californians: “Stop whining, you are not in the need of federal funds.”

At the same time that Trump government is downplaying any Smog.pngneed for environmental actions because they disturb economy, Delhi in India is suffering from the worst smog ever, and it is estimated that the costs of the smog in India can be more than 100 billion €/year. Naturally, such costs do not disturb the economy, as any health costs are not paid by the companies involved in causing the problem, but by the health-care system. (One must admit, though, that in India much of the air pollution is caused by the lack of environmental legislation and largely caused by poor people burning anything to cook food and keep warm). This is overall a huge problem, companies all over the world can make profits without taking the environmental effects into account. A profound change should be made so that natural capital would be a part of any decision: if an economic action causes the deterioration of the environment, it should be financially compensated for.

But, Trump government is like the Dance Band of the Titanic, playing marching tunes (i.e. reversing needed environmental actions) while Titanic (i.e. the Earth) in approaching the iceberg (i.e. unstoppable environmental deterioration).

Kommentoi kirjoitusta. Avainsanat: climate change, Paris Climate Accord, smog, air pollution