So obviously the big news that we’re barely hearing about *cough* thanks covfefe *cough* is the U.S. pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement. This puts us on a grand list of countries that include Nicaragua and Syria. Actually, scratch that, that put on on a list of countries that only include Nicaragua and Syria.
The main argument that Donald Trump has given about this agreement is that it is bad for the U.S. economy and bad for U.S. jobs, and also that the rest of the world essentially conspired against the U.S. in creating this deal to make us less competitive. Obviously both of these are vastly incorrect, but Donald Trump will never admit to being wrong, less alone to making a simple typo.
For the sake of you climate deniers, I am not going to even broach the subject of climate change. If you’re still arrogant [or do I mean ignorant?] enough to believe that, then nothing I, nor any expert on the subject, can change your mind, therefore I’ll leave it firmly in the sand.
Let’s look at U.S. jobs, first, shall we? Donald Trump & Co. try to tell us that we’re destroying the coal industry and that we’re putting coal workers out of work. While I am not necessarily an expert in this area, I do know that coal industry isn’t in dire straights. Coal is obviously on the decline, however, because newer, more efficient, and cleaner options are available. Also, coal mines are becoming harder to operate, as we do believe in workers safety, therefore we’re not going to pack coal carts to the max with children and men and literally work them to death. Some quick coal statistics can be found here and here. So yes, the coal industry is on a slight decline.
When you look at just the coal industry, one can make an argument that jobs are being destroyed. When you look at the U.S. job market on a macro scale, however, there is a different picture being painted for us. What boggles me about Republicans, is how clean energy isn’t supported by their agenda. Clean energy is one of the largest growing job creators in this nation, and truly, around the world. Clean energy boosts the manufacturing industry. When you are creating more solar panels, more windmills, and more hydro-electric dams (of which I am more against due to their ecological impact on the area, but again, staying out of the nature side of things here) then you obviously need manufactures for those. If the U.S. continues to lag behind in the clean energy push, then so, too, will our manufacturers. This will ultimately put other countries ahead of us in this game. Later on, when we finally decide to get into the clean energy game, it’ll be harder and more expensive to manufacture these right here in the U.S., as the top clean energy manufacturers will already be established abroad. This is obviously something that goes against a huge Trump/Republican agenda item. Winning clean energy keeps manufacturing jobs in the U.S.A.
Sticking with jobs, there are more than just manufacturing jobs to be had here! Engineering jobs, those upper-middle class jobs, will also soar. With a “new” energy market there is more room for innovation. We’ve innovated coal/gas for hundreds of years. Much of the top technology in these fields are already here. With solar and wind power, however, we are still creating newer and more efficient ways to generate power. If we as a nation lag behind here, other nations will fill those gaps. We will no longer be competitive in the world of engineering, as we fall behind in innovation.
Donald Trump loves to talk about buying American steel. He thinks that Chinese steel is crap and that the U.S. should ultimately shut down on any steel imports from China and other countries. Clean energy would be a great way to boost the American steel market. Obviously as you create more windmills and solar panels, you need steel in this process. Energy independence can also go hand-in-hand with being independent in our resource production for this. We can keep all steel, copper, aluminum, silica, etc. production right here in the U.S.A. This again creates jobs, boosts our markets, and keeps that money here, as opposed to overseas. (I’ll keep away from a rant about steel magnates putting away their profits in overseas banks, again, for the sake of keeping to the point.)
Continuing with jobs; who is going to construct and set-up all of these wind generators and solar panels? More American jobs! Who will monitor the new power grids created by these wind generators and solar panels? More American jobs! Who will go out and repair and maintain these structures? More American jobs! Republicans who are all about creating and building American should be signed up on this, one would think.
So, I think jobs have been fairly well covered here. How else can clean energy benefit the U.S.? Well, if we create our power right here in the U.S.A., that means we are less dependent on foreign markets. This is another thing Donald Trump keeps preaching to us. He wants Chinese influence gone! He wants Middle Eastern influence gone! Here’s the thing though, we can’t do that without clean energy. Even if we’re producing tons of oil, coal, and natural gas, prices are still highly dependent on the global market. If there is a huge coal and oil demand surge in China, our prices increase. If there is unrest in oil rich areas of the Middle East, our prices increase. With clean energy, that helps us cut the cord of being governed by foreign powers with our prices. As long as the sun keeps shining and the wind keeps blowing we will have steadier energy costs here in the U.S.
This leads me to my last point, the consumer. The Republican Party champions their own selves as the savior of the common man. Donald Trump says he cares about the lower and the middle class and helping them. Clean energy does this! If energy costs are lowered and less dependent on foreign powers, that cost can also be passed along to the consumer. Also, having a steadier market and steadier prices helps the consumer. Energy savings for Joe and Jane to keep their A/C running, as well as energy savings for the big store down the street ultimately create a whole lot of winning for all parties involved. So much win with such a simple idea.
Trump surrogates are telling us that we needed to get out of the Paris agreement because this was other countries imposing restrictions on the U.S. This is a flat-out lie. The Paris deal was largely created by the U.S. and was a mass collaboration from various global powers. Why would the U.S. author and create our own handcuffs and give them to our competitors?
Regardless of whether you believe in or agree with climate change isn’t a factor. The truth is that clean energy and ultimately true energy independence can be one of the biggest booms to the U.S. since the Industrial Revolution. The only question here ultimate is do we want to be a global leader in this sector, or do we want to be left in the dust…