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10 Things You Can Do To Resist Trump’s Historic Paris Mistake

10 Things You Can Do To Resist Trump’s Historic Paris Mistake

Maura Cowley

Donald Trump made a historic mistake by announcing he will be withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement. This unprecedented move is catapulting the U.S. into last place -- we’re now one of only three countries in the entire world who aren’t a part of the Agreement. In case you were wondering, that’s yuge, and in the worst way possible.

Fundraise with Team Sierra. YOU are Team Sierra–you care about clean energy, protecting the places we live, and you’re taking action! Continue standing with us by creating a Team Sierra page and asking five people to donate.

That’s right, never let a good crisis go to waste. So much for Common Dreams not having advertising…

We can debate the effectiveness of personal lifestyle choices by themselves, but even if only from a hypocrisy factor standpoint, it seems that everyone needs to start with reducing their own carbon footprints as much as possible - most notably the significant visible ones like automobile use before they are in a position to press the politicians for new policies and programs.

Yet, this comes up very little anymore in discussions about climate policy.


Since when is fundraising appeals for advocacy of the issues we all support considering “advertising”? Change does not happen by itself, it requires organizing, and when organizing, volunteerism has its limitations. All effective organizations rely on paid (albeit poorly paid) staff and office space at a minimum.

(Disclosure: I’m not a big fan of the white bourgeois Sierra Club but my remarks apply to any activist organization)

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No reason to say we must do this before we can do that. Reducing my footprint is a change of lifestyle, and it’s as progressive as the changes envisioned by the Paris Accord. And advocacy for change on local, regional, national, and global levels is likewise a process, and holding political leaders accountable is a way of life that needn’t wait for some mythical completion of the personal process to begin.


Yep! I agree; activate yourself first. Two years ago, I budgeted $40/mo for auto gas …so far, so good. As a matter of fact, these past 3 months have been closer to $30 – easier to do when retired. Gas and electricity average about $50/ea per month.

Common Dreams didn’t pay the commentator for the Fundraise comment! Who’s Wrong Smith?

If it weren’t for a hang gliding hobby, and now a old house in a remote part of WV I’m helping to maintain, I would do fine without a car at all. Walking, an electric motorcycle and public transit work for all my local travel. The car might sit a couple months without being started. My wife has a longer car-commute to almost full time job. We have a Smart electric drive, leased for only $84 a month, for that. It costs about $20 a month in electricity. Gasoline costs per month are too little to count.

My brother have live just fine car free in Pittsburgh then Toronto for 16 years.

The key is get out of suburbia and find a urban home with walking access to basic shopping, entertainment and transit. It isn’t very hard to do - although thanks to gentrification the most walking/transit friendly neighborhoods are becoming very expensive.

I’m not sure what a “personal process” is. I am talking about only looking at prospective houses or apartments in a walkable transit-served location and making it a higher priority than the bathroom fixtures. It means then walking and using the transit. It means a large number of smaller things like using a clothesline rather than an electric dryer even if the neighbors stare, it means sweaters in winter and learning that sweat is not bad for you in the summer rather than using AC. These are not a “personal process”, they are things you simply do.

There is no supply of green infrastructure without a demand. This really come up with public transit, where every millennial yuppie gentrifying my city and clogging its narrow streets with cars parked up on the sidewalks and already living right on a bus line, will say they will not use public transit until the service gets better (and by “better service” they usually mean a return to streetcars that white yuppies love so - which simply is never going to happen - buses work just fine. They seem to forget that nothing gets improved without demand, and demand only occurs if they make the minor sacrifice of using what service is available.

I’m simply arguing against binary choices and chiding others to make the same decisions we have. I live only in that “old house in a remote part” of (well, as much as we have them) NJ. 4 rooms, and the one where I spend most of my time is 3/4 underground, so it takes less to hold it at 70 through the winter than to bounce the temp down when I go to bed and back up when I come down in the morning. Upstairs stays at 60 most of the winter. Downstairs has no need of AC either, and the only real reason I ever turn on my teeny AC unit in the bedroom is for white noise when my neighbors are partying. I’ve allowed my 2/3 acre of slope to revert to woods from lawn and regularly fight various battles against the invasive species planted by my predecessor, learning which of the natives are strong enough to overcome on their own and which need the land cleared for them first. I do use an electric dryer, but because of (a) disability, (b) shade, and © birds.

Not all of us can live in the urban centers, for various reasons. But none of us needs to tell others what to do. I read the Paris Agreement last night and was struck by the number of times words like “encourage” and “support” were used. Let’s try those with each other on the micro scale too.

I guess what it comes to is if the price of gasoline is raised to European levels $8/gallon - as is needed if the US is ever going to get serious about global warming. Will you join the mass protest against it or will you defend it as necessary?

I’ll probably go on dealing with the price of gas as I have done. I have no obligation to answer your demands with no clear idea who you may be.

Common Dreams took “content” with the ad in it. That’s advertising last time I checked. Advertisers pay the publication, not vice versa

When was the “last time [you] checked?” And where, with whom and what did you check? Your references will help me do my own checking.

Actually, limiting animal product consumption is better than auto use or solar panels – just measuring for GHG emissions. Of course it also curbs the flip side of the coin which is ecocide and mass extinction.

I too live car free and love it.
But that’s not nearly the top thing to reduce GHG emissions.
Turns out avoiding food waste and plant-heavy diets are better.
I do those things too - if composting counts, lol