A quick bit on the Paris Agreement / by Raven Duran

Despite disagreeing with Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris Agreement this evening—I am extremely encouraged to see various U.S. state officials now rising to the occasion in spite of his decision. Some government officials including Gov. Jerry Brown are already publicly declaring their intent to continue the previous administration's efforts to reduce America's environmental impact. State leaders are expressing their willingness to cooperate with the remaining world leaders in order to further the clean energy agenda. I'm also happy to see so many people activated and discussing the topic of climate change, the effects of pollution on our ecosystem and why it's imperative that we prioritize the development of sustainable energy.

Perhaps this is exactly what we needed to happen in order for the masses to begin to question the negative press Trump is receiving surrounding his decision to exit the Paris Agreement. Perhaps they will begin to wonder about the actual severity of the situation we now find ourselves in as a species as opposed to the mere speculation of it. The headlines may inevitably compel the climate change naysayers to do their own research in regards to the environmental impact America has on the planet and the impact this decision will have on all of our futures as well as our reputation on the world stage. Only time will tell, but I believe that all of this attention on the subject matter at hand will ultimately lead to a more enlightened public. Do not forget that an energized and enlightened group of people can invoke change without measure.

Let's focus instead on the most beautiful thing about this situation—195 nations have come together in agreement that the survival of our planet and every living thing on it is now a universal priority for all nations and all people. Tonight I am still celebrating this fact. I am in hopes that by 2020 we have elected a new leader who prioritizes the health and sustainability of our planet and our people. Until then we must remain steadfast and continue to support the efforts of the scientific community and those who are vanguards for clean energy (thanks, Musk). Now it is critical that we implement changes in our own daily lives in whatever capacity we can to curb our personal impact on the environment.

In moments such as this I hear John F. Kennedy's words ringing loud and clear, “My fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for youask what you can do for your country.”

What can you do? What can you do for your planet? It's time now that we focus on what we are doing as individuals to create the kind of world we'd like to see for our future children and their children. Waiting for the President and his administration to make the right decisions is no longer an option.

-R