On behalf of my generation and on behalf of those generations that came before me, I profoundly apologize to you, my children, their children and generations of children yet unborn.
About two years ago, almost every country on the planet came together and agreed to make the changes necessary to confront what could be the single greatest threat ever faced by mankind: the changes in the global climate that are a direct result of human activity.
Today, Thursday, June 1, 2017, US President Donald Trump abrogated his responsibility as the leader of the country that, in raw numbers, is the second worst polluter in the world. When those numbers are rejiggered to the per-capita pollution, the USA is the worst. He announced his intent to withdraw from this agreement.
I can’t honestly say this is a surprise. He promised he would do it on the campaign trail. And that promise alone should have been reason for any sane person not to vote for him.
Still, this action, which will take four years to complete, makes me ashamed to be an American. I just want to underscore that Donald Trump does not speak for me on this issue.
I have been making a concerted effort, at my own level, to combat additional damage to the environment, as both my electric car and the solar panels on my roof will attest. Not quite as visible are the water-saving measures on every faucet, hose, and spigot in my house.
I have said it before: even if the climate weren’t changing (which it is) and even if we weren’t responsible (which we are), I don’t see how cleaning up the planet — this beautiful, lush planet — and reducing or eliminating pollution can be perceived as a bad thing.
If there is criticism of the agreement that we are backing out of, it’s that it’s not aggressive enough in combating harm to the environment.
I still hope that the US can still take responsibility before the withdrawal is complete. To abide by the terms of the agreement, if not improve upon them. To restore sanity to the nation and to the world.
But today, I can only say I’m sorry.