Yesterday Donald Trump made a great argument for the Salem Climate Action Plan that was a major focus of last night's City of Salem Strategic Plan open house at the Broadway Commons.
In one of the most shameful actions in his scandal-plagued presidency, Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement.
His announcement gave no coherent reasons for doing this. Trump simply lied, as he always does.
Yesterday, President Donald Trump gave a speech announcing that the US would withdraw from the Paris climate agreement.
It is a remarkable address, in its own way, in that virtually every passage contains something false or misleading. The sheer density of bullshit is almost admirable, from a performance art perspective. Trump even managed to get in some howlers that had nothing to do with climate change. He started by citing an act of terrorism in Manila that wasn't terrorism. He said, “our tax bill is moving along in Congress,” but there’s no tax bill. And so forth.
A proper fact-check would run longer than the speech itself. To keep this quick, I’ve selected the top five deceptions.
Human-caused global warming is a scientific fact. There is essentially zero doubt about it.
Nothing in life, or science, is absolutely certain. But the evidence for human-caused global warming is so strong, only a fool or a deceitful manipulator of the truth would deny the need for humanity to act now to preserve the habitability of our planet. (Check out the highly persuasive graphics in this Bloomberg piece, "What's really warming the world?")
So with Trump deciding to have the United States join Syria and Nicaragua as the only countries that have rejected the Paris Climate Agreement, the responsibility for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in this country shifts from the federal level to states, cities, corporations/businesses, and non-governmental organizations.
Along with individuals, of course. But the global warming problem is so massive, collective action is a necessity.
Tracy Loew talked about this in a story in today's Statesman Journal, "Oregon moves forward on climate plans, with or without Trump." Embarrassingly, our daily newspaper didn't quote a single person from this town, which shows how, once again, Salem lags behind more with-it cities.
The Portland City Council voted Thursday to commit to 100 percent renewable electricity by 2035 – just hours after President Trump announced he will withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement.
It’s just one of the actions cities and states across the country are taking as federal climate policy weakens under President Trump.
...Eugene created its plan to address climate change in 2010, focusing on reducing community-wide greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel use, and identifying ways to help the community adapt to climate change.
Salem, which vies with Eugene for the state’s second-largest city, does not have a climate plan. But Beaverton, Corvallis and Ashland all do.
This is one of my biggest gripes about Salem city government: the folks at City Hall are followers rather than leaders. We have a crappy mass transit system compared to other big cities in Oregon. We're the last major city to allow ride-sharing and "tiny houses." Our bike/pedestrian infrastructure sucks. And we're the only large city in the Willamette Valley to not have a Climate Action Plan.
Hopefully the enthusiasm for a Climate Action Plan shown at last night's Strategic Plan open house will spur the Mayor and City Councilors to adopt climate change mitigation as an additional long-range planning goal.
I got to the open house about halfway through the 6-8 pm drop-in time. These photos were taken around 7:30 pm.
People could write comments about existing Strategic Plan goals on sheets of paper stuck on the walls. This sheet was used to show support for a Salem Climate Action Plan. Forty-six people had added a checkmark supporting "New Goal - Climate Action Plan."
Nearby, a couple of trays were filled with tickets Strategic Plan open house attendees had been given to show their support for favored goals, and with feedback forms urging adoption of a Climate Action Plan.
Bottom line: This has to happen.
Several times I've asked city leaders, both elected officials and people in the private sector, if they accept the science of human-caused global warming and the need to act to reduce carbon emissions. Progressives have responded affirmatively. Conservatives mostly have ignored the questions.
This is telling. Global warming denial isn't limited to the Trump administration. Many people right here in Salem, including some of the folks who run City Hall, don't accept the science of climate change.
Well, they need to get out of the way of a Salem Climate Action Plan. Anyone at the City of Salem who doesn't support adoption of a Climate Action Plan needs to understand that a clear majority of the Salem citizenry wants to have this town as environmentally-friendly as possible.
As noted above, this is especially important now that Trump has turned his back on the need to reduce carbon emissions. His withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement means that states and cities are now on the front-line of the War to Save Our Planet for Human Habitation.
This is no joke.
I'm one of many who view it as the most important thing government officials have to do. It's absurd to think of the environment as being just one of many goals that have to be juggled by the folks who run City Hall. Actually, it is the overarching goal that supports everything else we want for Salem.
Without a habitable environment, economic growth is a fantasy. So is social equity, quality of life, sustainable development, and every other good thing we want.
Ever the optimist, it's difficult for me to imagine Mayor Bennett, City Manager Powers, and Salem's eight city councilors blocking adoption of a Climate Action Plan as an additional goal for the Strategic Plan. I can't imagine that they'd fall prey to Trump's bullshit refusal to say whether he believes in the proven science of global warming.
The Earth is warming rapidly. Humans are causing it. Future generations depend on us, right here and right now, acting to reduce carbon emissions. We have no other option.
If you agree, email City officials and tell them: [email protected]