Michigan congresswoman: Pulling out of Paris Agreement 'dangerous for planet, health, nation'
Michigan Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn) took to Twitter this week after reports that President Donald Trump will withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement.
Dingell calls the move "stunning" and said it is "dangerous for our planet, health, national security and economy."
Adopted Dec. 12, 2015 during the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris, the agreement's goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on a global scale. The United States is one of the top countries when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions, second only to China.
At the state level, according to a report from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the state of Michigan's climate is changing. In an August 2016 report titled "What Climate Change Means for Michigan," the EPA says a changing climate will affect the water quality in Lake Erie and Lake Michigan.
Changing the climate is likely to harm water quality in Lake Erie and Lake Michigan. Warmer water tends to cause more algal blooms, which can be unsightly, harm fish, and degrade water quality. During August 2014, an algal bloom in Lake Erie prompted the Monroe County Health Department to advise residents in four townships to avoid using tap water for cooking and drinking. Severe storms increase the amount of pollutants that run off from land to water, so the risk of algal blooms will be greater if storms become more severe.
Severe rainstorms can also cause sewers to overflow into lakes and rivers, which can threaten beach safety and drinking water supplies. For example, heavy rains in August 2014 led to nearly 10 billion gallons of sewer overflows in southeastern Michigan, much of which ended up in Lake St. Clair and eventually Lake Erie. More severe rainstorms could also cause sewers in Milwaukee and Chicago to overflow into Lake Michigan more often, which could pollute beaches in Michigan.
According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, "All Climate Divisions in Michigan experienced warmer average annual temperatures during the 1981-2010 period than during the 1951-1980 period. Increases ranged from 0.6° F in southeastern parts of the state up to 1.3° F in the Northwestern Lower peninsula." The state health department warns of heat illness, respiratory diseases, waterborne diseases, vector-borne diseases, injury and CO poisoning due to climate change.
So whether or not Americans, including President Trump, believe climate change is a real problem, other elected leaders along with federal and state agencies do, and they have been tackling it head-on.
This government war against climate change is something Trump has tackled head-on since he took office. He has made severe cuts to the EPA during this first five months in office. This was all part of his campaign during which he repeatedly pointed to areas where he believes the government is wasting funding.
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