Daniel Melo/ Contributing Writer
Recent political actions by the elitist few undermine academic integrity and honest pursuit of a fulfilling education in some fields and these actions might render certain job markets inhospitable for future graduates.
President Donald Trump recently withdrew from the Paris Agreement, which was designed and strung together by many world leaders in an effort to combat climate change in 2015. This is a deplorable decision that will have unimaginable consequences in the near future.
The Paris Agreement is a partnership built upon almost every country in the world, except for Syria, Nicaragua, and now — the United States. The basic components of this agreement are a collaborative effort to attack, minimize and adapt to the changing climate. Countries work in unison to push the global temperature rise below two degrees celsius while ultimately aiming to limit the temperature down to one and a half degrees celsius.
This is no easy feat, and there must be full transparency, trust, and teamwork to achieve such an ambitious goal.
The success of the Paris Agreement depends on new systems of operations, which include financial aid to countries in need of funding, a whole new technology sector that is accountable for developing new and improved ways of using renewable energy, and more developed countries need to assume a larger position by offering assistance to smaller countries in meeting their designated objectives.
With the U.S. no longer being a part of such an agreement, the level of emissions could rise significantly — causing all the efforts already made and the future efforts that are being developed, to be futile.
In 2014, the U.S. released approximately 15 percent of all emissions from fossil fuel combustion and some industrial process — with no cap on how much emission can be released now, we can easily expect this number to increase in the oncoming years. With increased levels of greenhouse gasses being released, the rate of climate change will also increase.
Dr. Philip Stoddard, mayor of South Miami and biology professor at FIU, discussed the most significant portion of the Paris Agreement, which was that it “commits to greenhouse gas reductions, with the intention of being able to reduce the predicted scope of global warming.”
However, the Paris Agreement wasn’t enough, according to Stoddard. It was the best we could orchestrate at the time, but we have to do more than the Paris Agreement in order to efficiently combat global warming. The U.S. leaving this coalition is “reprehensible, [and] absolutely inexcusable,” he said.
Tiffany Troxler, director of the Sea Level Solution Center, said “there are only disadvantages by leaving the Paris Agreement.”
Not taking immediate action on GHG emissions makes South Florida more vulnerable to sea level rise in the future. It could cause a great deal of distress on the ecology of South Florida and have a noticeable impact on the immediate climate; it inescapably “affects quality of life for every world citizen.”
The Green Revolution has the potential to produce an enormous amount of jobs for developed countries — that is, if they take it seriously and attempt to convert as much fossil fuel energy to renewable energy.
“President Trump has ended the American century. He’s handed it to China on a silver platter — the Chinese are going to step in at this point,” said Stoddard.
“They are working to dominate the renewable energy situation on the planet, and they will do it. The U.S. is handing the Chinese a multi trillion dollar gift by backing up and stepping down from a leadership position,” he continued.
After extensive satire on Trump’s part about Barack Obama’s ‘lead from behind’ motto, Trump follows up with an even worse philosophy: ‘don’t lead at all.’
After years of being invested in global affairs and ensuring global security and prosperity, America is now dissociated with the consciousness of modern society. This of course, is a tremendous downfall in the hands of President Trump.
With this withdrawal, potential harm can fall upon academic fields who rely on funding from the government.
Dr. Troxler said, “the U.S. leading the market in new technologies ensures that the U.S. will have a competitive edge in these markets that continue to create new U.S. jobs.”
However, by following the discontinuation of U.S. support and commitment of the Paris Agreement “we undercut our capacity to bring these opportunities to American companies and workers. As the marketplace drives demand for the workforce, this dynamic puts U.S. academic institutions behind the curve in education, research and development and training opportunities for U.S. students,” she said.
Bill Gates, a household name and currently the world’s richest man with an estimated fortune of $86 billion, had some inspirational tweets for graduates earlier on this year:
The key word that I’m referring to in that tweet is energy. Gates clearly states that energy is the future of innovation, technology and business. With the U.S. backing out of the Paris Agreement and attaching a negative connotation to global warming as a whole, we risk the chances of losing all of this anticipated revenue in the near future.
Dr. Stoddard also mentioned that the U.S. isn’t supplying the federal funding required to propel advances in development in regards to renewable energy. These funds could lead to U.S. research labs, U.S. patents and U.S. jobs that quite simply aren’t going to be established because of the lack of the funding.
“Other countries are doing it. They’re putting huge amounts of resources into the same thing. The U.S. is not going to put those resources and that’s a loss for the people of the United States. Fewer jobs, fewer companies, less innovation, less commerce, less business, less prosperity,” Stoddard said.
The Paris Agreement was a step forward in global cooperation and commerce. By the U.S. pulling back from such a tremendous coalition, we risk our importance on the global stage and the potential competitive advantage on an industry that is undoubtedly the future.
The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of Panther Press Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.
Photo taken from Flickr.