1. The USA will join Syria and Nicaragua as the only three nations not part of the Paris Agreement. 70% of adult USA citizens support the Paris Agreement, and yet, our congressman put out a press release here saying, “Today’s decision to exit the Paris Climate Agreement was the right move. […] The agreement puts significant burdens on the United States while we have already taken substantial steps in reducing CO2 emissions in our country. We all want a healthy environment to pass down to the next generation, and we should continue to work toward this goal on the international front in a way that preserves both the American economy and the environment.”
The US bears significant burdens because we are responsible for more emissions, past and present, than any other country. While we are no longer the world’s larest single emitter of greenhouse gases, we are still the most prolific in per person carbon emissions. The 28 countries of the European Union, taken as a group, come in just behind the United States in historical emissions. This is why there is a significant amount asked of the US, and it is why we need to take responsibility and put the protection of our country’s and world’s environment above greed. (Read more about the Paris Agreement from the NYT here.) Contact Goodlatte and tell him that support the Paris Agreement and are appalled by his stance.
- Goodlatte: Staunton (540) 885-3861, Harrisonburg (540) 432-2391, Lynchburg (434) 845-8306, Roanoke (540) 857-2672, Washington DC 202-225-5431 and email form here.
- Suggested script: “Hello, my name is _______, and my zip code is ________. I am contacting Representative Goodlatte to express my support for the Paris Agreement and to say that I am appalled by his support of the US withdrawing. There are significant burdens put on the US because the United States is historically responsible for more emissions than any other country, and still remains one of the largest contributors. With great power comes great responsibility. We have a responsibility to put protection of the environment above greed.”
2. In reaction to Trump’s executive order yesterday proposing massive hits to environmental protections regarding energy production regulations and emissions, over 70 U.S. mayors—representing around 41 million Americans—have declared their cities won’t enforce Trump’s new policies. (Curbed.com has an article on the topic here.) Although cities cannot technically join the agreement, they can informally agree to its guidelines. As Staunton is not a major industrial or agricultural city, this would be mainly symbolic, but it would also model that Staunton thinks both locally and globally, and is dedicated to protecting the environment currently and for future generations. Ask Mayor Dull to join these other mayors, and agree to the guidelines of the Paris Agreement.
- Mayor Carolyn Dull email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Suggested email: “Mayor Dull, I am very concerned by the prospect of the US pulling out of the Paris Agreement. I have read about mayors across the country saying that though cities cannot technically join the agreement, they will informally agree to and abide by its guidelines. As Staunton is not a major industrial or agricultural city, its agreement to adhere to the guidelines would be mainly symbolic. However, it would demonstrate that Staunton is dedicated to protecting the environment. Please consider taking a stand to support the Paris Agreement as many other mayors have done. Thank you.”
3. UPCOMING EVENT – Staunton Goes Green: A Citizen Initiative
Wednesday, June 7 at 6-8 at the Staunton Public Library
Join us as Staunton City Council Member Eric Curren shares with residence the opportunities for making our city greener, more environmentally friendly, and more sustainable. Bring your ideas for how to make our beloved city greener. Solar schools, #NoPipeline signage, increased recycling, no idea is too big or too small! The goal is to leave this meeting with the concrete list of initiatives we will be asking Staunton City Council to put into place city-wide. More info at the Facebook event here.