Letters to the Editor

Climate accord needed for survival

For as long as I can remember, I’ve counted myself lucky to have been born in the U.S. Our country has been a beacon of freedom, an industrial powerhouse and the sole mighty polity to regularly be found occupying the moral high ground.

I like it when we call attention to the bad behavior of other nations by sanctioning them. If you visit the U.S. Treasury’s website, you’ll find a list of countries we think should be doing better. The list includes Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Somalia, Syria and Russia, among others.

I’m having second thoughts about my country since the president announced that the United States will be exiting the Paris climate accord to join the two remaining holdouts, Nicaragua and Syria. The accord, which is the first successful step toward a solution to the desperate problem of anthropogenic climate change, is possibly more essential to the survival of modern civilization than most of the wars staining mankind’s recent history. It’s no solution, but an opportunity to find a path away from disaster. My country, for a host of bad reasons, has thrown a spanner in the works, and I’m ashamed.

Perhaps our administration will recant its shocking decision. If logic can’t prevail, if science is powerless, if popular sentiment is irrelevant, then perhaps the U.S. needs to experience the sanctions of other nations. Because our country is trying to damage the world, it’s time for other states to make us suffer enough to change our ways.

Joseph Griffin, Bellefonte