Earth Doctor / Climate Troubadour

7,400 cities are “still in” despite Trump’s withdrawal.

7,400 cities are “still in” despite Trump’s withdrawal.

7,400 cities worldwide have now confirmed their continuing commitment to the Paris climate agreement, including 250 American mayors representing 59 million Americans. Equally significant, many of the 800-pound gorillas in American business are “still in” as well. Some of the most stalwart Republicans have weighed in recently with the conservative case for climate action.

Last week, the Chinese province of Qinghai (over 5 million people) ran on 100% renewable energy according to Xinhua News Agency, saving 535,000 tons of coal.  Solar costs continue to fall by nearly 5% every year, all over the world. India is now installing utility-scale solar PV for an astonishing 65¢ per watt.

While Mr. Trump dithers in delusional dreams of “clean coal”, the rest of the world is rapidly replacing coal with healthy, cheap, clean renewable energy.  The global clean energy transformation is driven by low cost, as well as the obvious health benefits of eliminating fossil pollution. And it just might save us from runaway climate change.

America could perfectly well be leading the way in this transition. Solar was invented in Bell Labs, New Jersey in 1954. The US has far better wind and solar resources than most of the world. We have a huge and capable workforce to address this inevitable transition. At the moment, we are being held back by an administration of billionaires and their political minions protecting the financial interests of a small handful of people.

Fortunately, the market, and the rest of the world, are acting rationally despite our present backward policy. Mr. Trump, if anything, seems to have helped the rest of the world get serious about climate action. The glass is half-full.

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