Home | About | Donate

Want to See US Climate Progress? Support City and State Leaders and the Grassroots Groups Who Hold Them Accountable


Want to See US Climate Progress? Support City and State Leaders and the Grassroots Groups Who Hold Them Accountable

Elizabeth Sawin

Less than a week after President Trump announced the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, cities and states across the US have adopted the goals of the agreement as their own. Supporting those cities and states (and the grassroots coalitions that hold them accountable) provides a significant opportunity for progress on climate change and for making gains on health, equity, and economic vitality.


While it is good to see so many city mayors signing on for climate progress it is important to keep in mind the that the US has thousands of local governments and a large majority of the population does not live in the larger cities. Moreover, it is in the suburbs with numerous local governments that are source of the most emissions. The landscape in the suburbs is dominated by roads and parking lots and single family homes. That adds up to energy inefficiency and a difficult problem to deal with. The number one source of emissions in the US is now the transportation sector. Very little progress has been made in reducing emissions in the transportation sector. All this suggests it will take a vast effort with all levels of government involved as well as many types of institutions and many millions of individuals.


We have never seen anything like this before in America. Moreover this Resistance is by municipal officials many of whom have taken their citizens by surprise by the decision to join with other cities’ mayors opposing Trump’s ridiculous and ill informed pull out from the Paris accord. Environmentalists and progressives have been given proof that the knowledge of climate change is much more widespread across the country than the mainstream media lets on. How many people do these 200+ mayors represent in America? The greatest number of people live in cities! Not only do these 200 cities represent a huge number of people but also many are in states and areas of the country supposedly supportive of Trump or denialist in general.

For officialdom to oppose Trump should tell us all that things may not be as we are repeatedly told by a corporate controlled press. We all know that even the least informed people all know about climate change even if they claim spurious rationales and babble about cycles they have no knowledge of and add that the sun is getting hotter nonsense. These mayors show us support for the environment is much more widespread and reaches across even political lines and agendas than we ever we would have expected to read and hear reports by the media.

For all that Trump causes us all embarrassment and dismay, these mayors have abruptly changed the game. Maybe the media will regain a conscience or at least a spine and remember their role as the fourth estate and start reporting about climate change that reflects the groundswell of support for the environment these mayors have shown exists all across the country.?


By all means, support them. Currently US greenhouse gas emissions are at 1996 levels after peaking in 2005. And the US withdrew from of Kyoto as well.


Act local

Impact global


Like all effective movements this one is self generating. These city mayors have done what all of us must eventually do, balance the risks. Fight against the corporate interests and end up with a urban setting without smog, and with well managed public transportation and clean lungs or stick with the program that even its supporters cannot demonstrate a good outcome. There is absolutely no rational reason to support the fossil fuel industry.