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A Largely Overlooked Issue That Should Defeat President Trump

 Whether or not humans are causing climate change should not be a political issue. In the scientific community, it is a settled debate. Climate experts agree that the world must undertake changes to avert devastation of human civilization due to climate catastrophe. Yet, President Trump and almost all Republican legislators have denied human-caused (anthropogenic) climate change and have rolled back or weakened regulations designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

     Climate change is a major threat to human civilization. Broad society breakdown could occur by the end of this century, and self-reinforcing positive feedback loops (vicious cycles) might cause global warming to spin out of control even sooner.

      This is not just my view but that of science academies worldwide, 97% of climate scientists, and virtually of the many peer-reviewed papers on the issue in respected scientific journals, all of which argue that modern climate change is seriously exacerbated by human activities and poses a dire threat to humanity and all life on this imperiled planet.

     An October 2018 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), an organization composed of leading climate experts from many countries, asserted that “there is no documented historic precedent” for the scale of changes needed by 2030 to avoid a catastrophic climate future.

The world is seeing the many negative effects of climate change. The world’s temperature has significantly increased in recent years. Every decade since the 1970s has been hotter than the previous decade and all of the 20 years in this century are among the 21 hottest years since temperature records started being kept in 1880. 2016 was the hottest year globally, breaking the record held previously by 2015 and before that by 2014, the first time that there have been three consecutive years of record world temperatures. And, 2020 is on track to possibly become the hottest year.

     In efforts to reduce temperature increases and other negative climate effects, leaders of 195 nations, including the U.S. and Israel, attended the December 2015 Paris Climate Change conference. They all agreed that immediate steps must be taken to avert a climate catastrophe and most of the nations pledged to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Unfortunately, these pledges are non-binding, and many nations are not on track to meet their goals. Even if every pledge was fulfilled, the average world temperature, which is now about 1.1 degrees Celsius (two degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels, would increase by an additional two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of the century, resulting in catastrophic climate conditions.

     Just as a person with a high fever suffers from many negative symptoms, there have been many harmful effects of the increased global temperature. Polar icecaps, permafrost, and glaciers worldwide have been melting rapidly, faster than scientific projections. This has caused an increase in ocean levels worldwide with the potential for major flooding.

     There has also been an increase in the number and severity of droughts, wildfires, storms and floods.

     Another frightening factor is that the Pentagon and other military groups believe that climate change will increase the potential for social instability, terrorism and war by reducing access to food and clean water and by causing tens of millions of desperate refugees to flee from droughts, wildfire, floods, storms, and other effects of climate change.

     Also alarming is that, while climate experts believe that 350 parts per million (ppm) of atmospheric CO2 is a threshold value for climate stability, above which the potential for more frequent and severe climate events is greatly increased, but the world has now reached 415 ppm.

     Limiting climate change is an especially important issue for Israel, because a rising Mediterranean Sea could inundate the coastal plain where much of Israel’s population and infrastructure are located. Also, the increasingly hot and dry Middle East that climate experts are projecting makes terrorism and war in the region more likely according to military experts.

     Given the above dangers, averting a potential climate catastrophe should be a central focus of civilization today, in order to leave an inhabitable world for future generations.

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    Based on the above frightening facts, the Trump administration should prioritise averting a climate catastrophe. However, tthey have done just the opposite, aligning with the fossil fuel industries in rejecting or discrediting the unequivocal scientific findings.

The Trump administration has removed the United States from the Paris climate agreement mentioned above, and it has eliminated or scaled back over 150 environment measures.

    Trump has also appointed to the Environmental Protection Agency and other agencies overseeing the environment people with ties to industries they would be regulating, with records of climate denialism, and/or with little relevant experience. He has ordered federal employees not to publicly discuss climate change and even that the words “climate change” not appear in governmental reports.

     Trump’s main environmental priority seems to be to dismantle all of former President Obama’s climate and environmental legacy. Climate and environmental experts believe that he has done more to overturn environmental legislation than any previous president.

     Given all of the above, even if one ignored all of Trump’s other negatives, he should not be re-elected.

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