Thanks to David Smith, reporting in Washington for the Guardian, for this story that keeps us on the lookout for those model mad institutions and people expressing their resistance in creative, powerful ways. In this case, it is the graceful presence of an accomplished primatologist whose soft words are wielded like a big stick:
Leading conservationist Jane Goodall has condemned Donald Trump’s bid to rip up America’s climate change policies as “immensely depressing” and flying in the face of scientific evidence.
The US president signed an executive order on Tuesday aimed at dismantling Barack Obama’s clean power plan, intended to limit greenhouse gases from power plants, a move that calls US commitment to the Paris accord into question.
“I find it immensely depressing because many of us – not just my institute – have been working really hard to create the Paris agreement and global effort to cut carbon emissions,” Goodall told journalists ahead of a speech at American University in Washington. “Thinking that the USA isn’t going to play its part, such a major industrial country, is really very, very sad and it just means we’re going to have to work harder.”
The British primatologist, renowned for her work with chimpanzees, expressed dismay that Trump and others in his administration have questioned the scientific basis of climate change. “Because I’m traveling all over the world 300 days a year, I have seen the result of climate change and we know, science has shown, that global temperatures are warming and these so-called greenhouse gases are blanketing the globe,” she said, noting that ice is melting, sea levels rising and oceans losing their ability to absorb carbon dioxide.
“There’s no way we can say climate change isn’t happening: it’s happened. The argument that people give is, ‘Well, we can’t prove that human activities are the main cause of this,’ and I just heard the other day that one of the president’s people [Scott Pruitt of the Environmental Protection Agency] said, ‘Well, we don’t think carbon monoxide is the main greenhouse gas.’”…
Read the whole story here.