In June, Trump became the subject of intense backlash after announcing he would withdraw the United States from the Paris Accord. Trump’s decision to exit from the agreement, which aims to reduce greenhouse gases and stem the effects of climate change, has drawn international condemnation from world leaders and environmentalists alike who predict it could damage U.S. international standing on environmental concerns.
Last November, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti last November rallied 71 U.S. mayors, whose cities are homes to tens of millions of people, to sign an open letter calling on Donald Trump, then the president-elect, to honor the Paris Accord. Once the president prepared to trigger an exit from the agreement, they––a list which includes the mayors of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, and Phoenix––have doubled down on their pledge to “forge ahead even in the absence of federal support.”
French President Emmanuel Macron further excoriated the president, choosing to appropriate Trump’s signature campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again,” altering it slightly to reaffirm France’s commitment to the agreement.
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) June 1, 2017
Macron also issued a call to American researchers and scientists, encouraging them to work with like-minded people abroad, assuring them that France will “put forward a concrete action plan to increase its attractiveness for researchers and companies in the ecological-transition sector and will take initiatives notably in Europe and Africa” on the subject of climate change. The French government has already started to award scientists grants to continue their climate change research.
A piece written by Victoria Herrmann, the managing director of the Arctic Institute and a National Geographic explorer, for The Guardian in March made the rounds again shortly after the president’s ill-advised tweet made national headlines. In it, Herrmann slams the president for deleting citations on climate change in Arctic regions from government websites:
At first, the distress flare of lost data came as a surge of defunct links on 21 January. The US National Strategy for the Arctic, the Implementation Plan for the Strategy, and the report on our progress all gone within a matter of minutes. As I watched more and more links turned red, I frantically combed the internet for archived versions of our country’s most important polar policies.
I had no idea then that this disappearing act had just begun.
Since January, the surge has transformed into a slow, incessant march of deleting datasets, webpages and policies about the Arctic. I now come to expect a weekly email request to replace invalid citations, hoping that someone had the foresight to download statistics about Arctic permafrost thaw or renewable energy in advance of the purge…
n a remote region where data is already scarce, we need publicly available government guidance and records now more than ever before. It is hard enough for modern Arctic researchers to perform experiments and collect data to fill the gaps left by historic scientific expeditions. While working in one of the most physically demanding environments on the planet, we don’t have time to fill new data gaps created by political malice.
So please, President Trump, stop deleting my citations.