President Donald J. Trump just announced that he is pulling the United States out of the Paris Agreement. The Paris Agreement is a necessary step towards reversing climate change and the damage humans have inflicted upon the environment; it has been approved by all the world’s countries except Syria, Nicaragua, and now the US.
Mr. Trump said the U.S. will “begin negotiations to reenter either the Paris accord or an entirely new transaction on terms that are fair to the United States…So we’re getting out but we’ll start to negotiate and we’ll see if we can make a deal that’s fair.”
“Fairness” for Mr. Trump comes back to dollars and cents rather than human dignity, care for creation, or a preferential option for the poor. This attempt to increase wealth and make “America first” continues to put the earth and people in situations of poverty last. As pollution increases, temperatures soar, and water levels rise, people in poverty are quickly and negatively affected. The poor are subject to increased thirst, starvation, and disease as well as increased conflict and war over access to basic human needs.
Mistreating our earth and our people will eventually catch up with the United States for we are not immune to the damage we create. Climate change’s effects cannot be contained to the coasts and to those with the least amount of wealth for long. In the end, we breathe the same air and drink the same water, and we must see that when we hurt one another and creation we also hurt ourselves.
Sr. Patricia Chappell, Executive Director of Pax Christi USA, said, “The biblical mandate to care and tend to the earth for its people transcends individual countries and nations. Today’s decision makes a mockery of democracy and Pax Christi USA pledges to use every nonviolent means in joining with others to resist this decision.”