Profs come out against ‘tragic’ withdrawal from Paris agreement

Several Stanford University professors are calling President Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement a “tragic” event of “profound sadness.”

Speaking with Stanford News on the topic, several experts at the elite institution chimed in to offer their “sobering perspectives” on the Trump administration’s latest move.

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Chris Field, professor of biology and the director of Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, for instance, argued that the administration’s “tragic” move will “increase the risks of climate change” in the future.

“My main reaction is one of profound sadness,” he said during an interview.

It is “deeply frustrating to see [the] government knowingly increase the risks of climate change,” he added. “And it is so tragic to see the administration abandon the best path for making the United States the leading nation, economically, technologically and morally, of the 21st century."

Field’s colleagues expressed similar sentiments about the commander-in-chief’s move, underscoring what they view to be clear risks of the new policy.

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“The seas will continue to rise, relentlessly. Blaming and shaming other countries, and making excuses, might be petty temptation,” suggested Katharine Mach, the director of the Stanford Environment Assessment Facility.

Noah Diffenbaugh, a senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, warned that “backing away from our commitments to reduce emissions puts the safety and security of Americans at greater risk,” while Michael Wara, an associate professor of law at Stanford Law School, argued that Trump’s decision was simply an attempt to “deliver on a campaign promise to his base.”

“President Trump’s decision today damages international efforts on climate and overall U.S. credibility with our most important global partners on critical issues in order to deliver on a campaign promise to his base,” Wara explained, saying that withdrawal is “bad for U.S. interests, bad for U.S. firms and the people they employ, and bad for the planet.”  

Meanwhile, numerous universities and colleges around the country have been similarly critical of the president’s decision to withdraw from the agreement, with some pledging to uphold the environmental standards of the accord.

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According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, over 100 colleges and universities have signed a letter objecting to Trump’s move while promising to commit to the agreement regardless of the official U.S. withdrawal.

Stanford did not immediately return Campus Reform’s request to clarify if it had also signed the letter protesting the policy change.

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