In regards to climate change, protecting the environment, and the Paris Agreement, I do not understand why the United States holds the position it does. The future of our world is at stake, and denying the problem exists is just as bad as working against the solution. The United States has a responsibility as a global power to lead the world to a sustainable future, but our current trajectory does nothing to lead anyone in terms of fighting against climate change.
One major concern that people have is that moving towards renewable resources will destroy jobs in coal, petroleum, and oil industries. However, the renewable energy industry is already growing rapidly. If the government were to promote this growth, wouldn’t we be able to offset the job loss by jobs created? If we continue to use nonrenewable resources, these resources will eventually be used up once and for all, and these jobs will cease to exist at some point in the future. Renewable resources create a sustainable job market in that they will always be required.
This is not to say that the people who work with nonrenewable resources ought to be abandoned. Job loss is a valid concern, and the concerns of those who work in the fossil fuel sector should not be discredited. Their jobs should be protected, but we need to begin the transition from dependence on non-renewable resources to renewable resources. People with experience in these fields could help head the transition by looking for ways to combine renewable and nonrenewable energy sources so that the transition between the two goes smoothly, and we do not try to change everything all at once.
Creating concrete goals is not impossible. Other countries have made strides or passed legislature to meet certain goals. France plans to ban diesel and petrol automobiles by 2040. The Dutch rail network already makes use of wind energy for power. The Netherlands plans on cutting greenhouse gas emission levels by 95% by 2050. While time will tell how many countries will succeed in meeting these goals, the smallest steps help us progress towards preserving the current state of the world, and even a little effort is better than none at all.
I understand that change takes time, and we cannot expect the infrastructure of the entire energy sector to move from nonrenewable to renewable, but at the same time, I have a lot of frustration for the current administration that thinks there will be no consequences to denying that there is a problem.
The sooner we work towards making a change, the better future we create.