When you’re the fifth largest economy in the world, throwing your weight around can make a big difference. As reported in The New York Times, “California is emerging as the nation’s de facto negotiator with the world on the environment. The state is pushing back on everything from White House efforts to roll back pollution rules on tailpipes and smokestacks, to plans to withdraw or weaken the United States’ commitments under the Paris climate change accord.” Trump, who has called global warming a hoax, has been leaning towards exiting from the Paris agreement, and recently signed away plenty of Obama-era climate change prevention measures. Even scarier is the anti-science, climate change denying stance of the current administration, and the fact that EPA data is disappearing.
In a recent meeting with the Pope, Trump was gifted with a copy of Laudato Si’: On Care For Our Common Home, a collection of writings, or an “encyclical”, on climate change and environmental protection, authored by the Pope himself. Released in 2015, it criticizes relentless consumerism, reckless development, the destruction of biodiversity, and explains the need for everyone to pay attention to the science of climate change and help cut back on carbon emissions.
California Governor Jerry Brown flies to China next month to meet with climate leaders there on a campaign to curb global warming. And a battery of state lawyers is preparing to battle any attempt by Washington to weaken California’s automobile pollution emission standards. The NYT adds that fighting the administrations roll backs is a common cause, crossing party lines. “Arnold Schwarzenegger (video), who served as governor from 2003 to 2011, and led the state in developing the most aggressive pollution-control programs in the nation, has emerged as one of Mr. Trump’s biggest Republican critics.” He, too, has been aggressively pushing back on the administration’s efforts to roll back climate friendly legislation.
Read our related article To March or Not to March: When Science Gets Political