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2,300 California scientists write to Trump over climate fears

In Climate change, Democracy, Environment, Human rights, Justice on February 5, 2017 at 3:12 am

Gov. Jerry Brown promised California would continue to vigorously pursue climate science the annual American Geophysical Union fall meeting in San Francisco.
BY ADAM ASHTON, THE STATE WORKER, JANUARY 31, 2017

In response to reports that President Donald Trump would break an international climate agreement, more than 2,300 California scientists have signed an open letter to the White House urging the administration to uphold commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

State scientists have guardedly watched news about Trump’s plans for NASA and the Environmental Protection Agency since his election.

Ben Houlton, director of the John Muir Institute of the Environment at UC Davis, is one of the California scientists who’ve signed on to a letter urging the Trump administration to uphold the 2015 Paris climate agreement. More than 2,300 California scientists wrote an open letter to the White House urging the Trump administration to uphold the Paris climate agreement. Gov. Jerry Brown participated in talks that followed the signing of the United Nations climate change pact in 2015. Ben Houlton, director of the John Muir Institute of the Environment at UC Davis, is one of the California scientists who’ve signed on to a letter urging the Trump administration to uphold the 2015 Paris climate agreement. More than 2,300 California scientists wrote an open letter to the White House urging the Trump administration to uphold the Paris climate agreement. Gov. Jerry Brown participated in talks that followed the signing of the United Nations climate change pact in 2015.
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More than 2,300 California scientists wrote an open letter to the White House urging the Trump administration to uphold the Paris climate agreement. Gov. Jerry Brown participated in talks that followed the signing of the United Nations climate change pact in 2015. Michel Euler AP file, 2015
Their fast response to remarks made by a former Trump adviser over the weekend reflected their fears that Trump will reverse climate pacts championed by the Obama administration or make their work more difficult by restricting access to climate data that has been publicly available.

The letter is centered on the Paris climate agreement, a 2015 pact ratified by 127 countries that aims to slow global warming. It commits the U.S. to slashing its greenhouse gas emissions by 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels over the next eight years.

“With this letter, we aim to express the degree to which the scientists and intellectual leaders of our state, speaking for themselves and not on behalf of their respective employers, agree on the facts of climate change,” reads the letter, which was drafted by UC Berkeley associate professor of astronomy Aaron Parsons. “Despite misleading portrayals, there is widespread consensus in the scientific and academic communities that human-caused climate change is real, with consequences that are already being felt.”

Former Trump adviser Myron Ebell told reporters this week that the president would back out of the climate agreement within days.

“The environmental movement is, in my view, the greatest threat to freedom and prosperity in the modern world.” Ebell told reporters this week.

Most of the scientists signing the California letter are faculty at University of California campuses, including UC Davis. Scientists from the California State University system and California Community Colleges also are represented.

 

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