“In unsurprising news today, Donald J. Trump announced that the United States would be formally withdrawing from the Global Agreement on Climate Change finalized in Paris in December 2015.
Fulfilling yet another promise made in the 2016 election, Trump’s decision clearly demonstrates his callous disregard for our shared planet and for the communities that are bearing the brunt of violent changes in our climate and weather patterns. While the administration’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement is an inexcusable step backward in confronting the challenge of dramatic climate change it is not a particularly dramatic departure from the status quo approach to climate change that we have seen from both major political parties in the United States.
While the Paris Climate Agreement was widely applauded by mainstream environmental organizations, the agreement represents a global consensus on a neo-liberal corporate approach to global warming. The final deal, signed by over 200 nations, favored the rights and voices of corporations over the rights and voices of people across the planet. It excluded the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, omitted reparations to the Global South and lacked significant mechanics to implement its stated aspirational goal of reaching 1.5 degrees warming. Essentially, the Paris Climate Agreement represented false hope to large well-funded environmental groups and liberal governments across the planet.
While the Paris Agreement and the neo-liberal global consensus certainly falls far short of meaningfully addressing the current climate crisis, the rising authoritarianism and denial of climate science exhibited by the Trump administration embodies an even more dangerous direction. The appointment of right-wing climate denying politicians and fossil fuel executives into powerful positions at the Departments of State, Interior, Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency is troubling sign that struggles around environmental and climate justice will be more difficult. Furthermore, Trump’s disturbing rhetoric from global warming being a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese to the criminalization of migrants, Muslims and many others further signals that truth, reason and equity are continued fabrications in the White House.
Regardless of the status of global climate agreements, we still live in a moment that demands people-powered escalation against the corporate state. As it becomes more and more apparent that the state is not interested in–or capable of–addressing the current climate crisis we must recognize that it is the responsibility of communities across the country and around the world to engage in bold direct action to stop the fossil fuel industry and build an equitable and ecologically sound future..
Today, as oil began flowing through the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and new revelations about DAPL’s parent company, Energy Transfer Partners, hiring a private mercenary firm to run a counterinsurgency operation against water protectors in North Dakota and elsewhere, Rising Tide North America will continue to stand in solidarity with movements and people directly affected by the climate crisis. We will continue to build people-powered movements in response to these threats upon all of our lives. We will organize direct action that mobilizes people to challenge ongoing racism, imperialism and capitalism perpetrated by politicians and corporations throughout the world.
Relying on governments and trying to work with corporations has been the dominant strategy of the mainstream environmental movement as a whole for over 50 years. This has failed, utterly. Only by relying on each other, taking risks, and escalating – even in the face of the ongoing criminalization of direct action– can we preserve a livable, just planet for all.”
Rising Tide North America is an all-volunteer anti-capitalist climate justice network working to challenge the root cause of climate change.