Around 30 HSU Faculty Join With Others Across California in Letter to President Trump Calling on Him to meet ‘Greenhouse Gas Emission Targets’

One booth at the 2015 Climate Change Conference in Paris

One booth at the 2015 Climate Change Conference in Paris [Photo by Jim Hight]

Concerned that President Donald Trump may pull the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement, around 30 faculty members of Humboldt State University signed a letter to President Trump along with about 2300 faculty members of other California universities calling on him to “maintain our country’s commitment” to reducing greenhouse emissions.

Below is the letter. (Click here to see who signed it.)

An Open Letter to President Donald Trump and His Administration

We the undersigned are calling on you, in the most urgent terms possible, to maintain our country’s commitment to meeting the greenhouse gas emission targets set forth in the Paris Climate Agreement. This agreement is the first of a series of steps required to avert substantial climate change. The Earth’s climate is entering a state that has not been experienced in human history. Continuing to produce greenhouse gases at current rates will have catastrophic, unstoppable consequences for our environment, our economy, and our country. Bold and decisive action may still avoid the worst scenarios, allow for adaptation to the changes, mitigate the damage, and bring new economic opportunities to our country. To this end, we ask that you ensure America’s place as the global leader on climate action.

With this letter, we aim to express the degree to which the scientists and intellectual leaders of our state, speaking for themselves and not on behalf of their respective employers, agree on the facts of climate change. Despite misleading portrayals, there is widespread consensus in the scientific and academic communities that human-caused climate change is real, with consequences that are already being felt. The science of how greenhouse gases trap heat is unimpeachable. Climate records are being broken as human-caused changes add onto natural oscillations (e.g., El Niño) in the climate system. Fossil records from pre-human times show much higher sea levels and a reorganization of vegetation patterns when greenhouse gases were higher and Earth’s climate was much warmer than today. Increasing levels of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere set in motion regional variations in weather, weather extremes, the loss of major ice sheets, and declining biodiversity that has been associated with mass extinctions in Earth’s past.

Scientists have warned for decades of the dangers of overreliance on fossil fuels. The world has been slow to respond and, as a result, we run an increasing risk of major damage to America’s economy and security. We have had an unusually large number of serious natural disasters in the past decade that are in line with climate change predictions. The Southeast and West suffer from increasing droughts. Miami floods at high tide as sea levels rise. Major cities on the Eastern and Gulf coasts regularly suffer major damage from violent weather. Western forests die because winters are insufficiently cold to prevent insect infestation of drought-stressed trees. Left unchecked, the frequency and severity of these climate change events will increase with time, as will their economic impact. To secure and conserve our way of life, our economy, and our environment, we need immediate action.

The United States now has a unique opportunity to lead the world in developing innovative ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. By investing in and incentivizing clean energy and carbon sequestration technologies now, we position ourselves to be the economic and political leaders of the 21st century.  To do otherwise cedes these opportunities to others and undermines our national security, food security, water security, and the future of our children and grandchildren.  For these reasons, we ask you to maintain and increase our country’s commitment to taking action on climate change, beginning with the current Paris Climate Agreement.

Signed by,

2329 faculty members, listed on the following pages.

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50 comments

  • Let the hysterical environmentalists march on!

  • Snowflakes. What else would you expect from them? Thinking?

  • They cry when he’s elected yet go ask him for favors, pfst, typical kids.

  • There’s 2329 nutty professors who signed this letter. So I hope Trump doesn’t just wipe his ass with it.

  • The tons is a myth. Put yourselves to good use & perform your own studies without bias.
    A few questions I saw lately might be of interest.
    What is the ozone made of? How long does it to take to create ozone? Why do plants need CO2? Do humans exhale CO2? What do trees exhale? What do humans inhale? Does marina life utilize CO2? How so? What would be the diasterous effects if CO2 were omitted? What would be the benefits? How do we weigh the measures? Why is zero toxin levels acceptable? Why is it not?
    What are the criticisms against the data? Have the criticisms been tested? What data was used for the data collecting? What data was left out?
    Oh wait, this is a 5th grade quiz. My apologies.

    • Your answers, sir. Odd questions, though.

      Well, lets see. I had fifth grade science.
      1 Ozone is a type of oxygen molecule, that has 3 atoms of oxygen in it.
      2 Ozone is made quickly by electric discharges into atmosphere, though it takes months and years to reach the “ozone layer” in the upper atmosphere, if it makes it up that high at all. Usually upper atmosphere ozone is made in the upper atmosphere, it seems. Waves also make ozone due to the electrical charges created by the salts in sea water.
      3 Plants take in by osmosis C02 in the making sugars from sunlight with their chlorophyll.
      4 Yes, they do.
      5 Trees don’t actually exhale. It takes lungs to exhale. They do release 02, amongst other gasses, by osmosis through special cells.
      6 Humans inhale atmospheric gasses normally.
      7 Marina life does utilise CO2.
      8 Usually marina life uses CO2 in the form of beer, champagne, and soda bubbles; though if the marina life is really hopping dry ice may be used for fun, to make fog in punches and drink tubs. Sometimes the dry ice is used to flash freeze fish.
      9 Without CO2 the beer, champagne, and soda would be flat, disastrously ruining the flavor and effervescence.
      10 I can see few benefits of flat beer and soda, though you could still get drunk on flat beer.
      11 Weighing the measure of CO2 in beverages would take an extremely sensitive scale. One that could tell the difference between beer with bubbles and beer without. Measuring dry ice could be done with nearly any scale suitable for the sample size measured. Volume of gasses can also be used to calculate the weight of the CO2 as well.
      12 Toxins often ruin booze, which is why zero toxin levels are acceptable and preferable. Some toxin levels are ok in booze, depending on what type and amount.
      13 Zero toxin levels wouldn’t be acceptable if the toxin was a flavouring ingredient. An example would be the oils from the hops plant, which make IPA’s taste great as well as last a long time in storage containers. It is why the British used it in sea going beer stores, so the beer would last all the way from Britain to India.
      —– side note: these marina life questions are fun!——
      14 Usual criticisms include being too drunk from a day of marina life, forgetting to turn on the computers that record information, and being too drunk to remember to back up the hard drive before the party gets wet and wild!
      15 Yes. I blew a .07, which while technically not drunk, still required some sleeping it off. The computer was ruined by a spilled glass of whiskey, which had no CO2 in it as far as I could see, but it did have ice. Crushed ice is hard to get out from inbetween keys, by the way.
      16 The data about marina life was recorded by hidden camera. Many girls were shy about being part of the party while normal cameras were rolling.
      17 All the data was left out. My girlfriend made me delete it. >;o)

      • You, good sir/madam, have too much spare time. 🙂

        I’m going to have to take a few points off your grade though, for not recognizing that toxin-less booze would contain no alcohol, and thus no longer be considered booze.

      • Your girlfriend is Republican?

      • I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time. Bushytail is correct, but the toxins are in perfect harmony for Sculpin, as you discovered. Their 7% sting can intoxicate even the most studious of us. I give you the missed point back. Congrats on your score, the highest I’ve seen yet. Cheers!

  • On the heating of our atmosphere....

    While I still am not sure that the Theory of the greenhouse gasses causing atmospheric temperature rise is correct, there are plenty of other things that might be causing it. Things that can be tested out in everyday life that leave no doubt that hotter temps are indeed there. Some things you can do yourself, or just remember doing.
    It is cooler under a tree, than it is not standing under a tree, particularly when it has still captured the coolness of the night air under it. With out that coolness temps get hotter faster in deforested areas. And deforestation is obvious throughout the world. Just look at some satellite pictures of around us. Many cleared fields that have crops are warmer than ones that are still covered in grasses as well.
    Standing on grass in bare feet is cooler than standing on concrete, which is also cooler than standing on blacktop. Blacktop and concrete soak up the heat of the sun. And blacktop has been spread all around the world in the forms of roads. It may only raise the temps a few degrees from far away from a road, but that road is HOT during the day. Plus, millions and millions of blacktop parking lots.
    Every internal combustion motor on the planet pumps out heat. Just grab a tail pipe and you’ll burn your hand. With a couple billion motors running every day, thats a lot of heat pumping directly into our environment. Plus, power stations that boil water are pumping heat out into the environment in massive amounts. Just feel the cooling water release sometime.
    Ever noticed how a heated house is warmer than the natural environment? They are; just walk outside sometime tonight. Now, there are a couple billion houses all over the world who are also leaking out heat, on top of the artificial atmosphere that is in the house. And don’t forget those air conditioners cooling down homes and buildings in hot places have a hot exhaust pouring out the back of them, going outside so the inside can be unnaturally colder.
    Roofs of houses tend to be warm places in comparison to grass covered ground, or even uncovered ground. If you haven’t had to work on a hot roof, I suggest you do it at least once.
    And one last one, though I am sure there are more.
    Just about every meal we as humans eat uses a stove of some kind for part of it. That’s billions of fires, around the world, in ever single kitchen. Some kitchens having multiple fires per oven, and some having multiple ovens. If every person uses about a square foot of fire for their meal, that means billions of square feet of fires every day . Sometimes three or four times a day for some folks.
    Altering the environment for our purposes is what we do. From roads to dams to houses it’s a defining character of being human. Doing a better job of it; one that makes things grow instead of killing things off, is the best idea.
    As for the CO2 thing…… Science has shown that when CO2 comes in contact with water a bit of Carbolic Acid is created. When there is enough diluted into water, it starts killing fish eggs. And seeds. I like fishing, and eating fish. Keeping the oceans from becoming acidic is very important. That water becomes rain, and then we have acid rain.

  • Just too many people

    • If they all lived on the same side of the island, the island would tip?

    • “Just too many people”

      Not really. There’re enough resources on the planet to care for 10billion humans.
      Currently, those resources are poorly and unfairly distributed.

      “I also said that when we get to the point where we now know on our planet–which I have been trying to make very clear–there is now enough to go around, for everybody to live at the highest standard of living we’ve ever had. Therefore, from now on, selfishness is no longer integrity!

      We’re talking about a new kind of socialism, a socialism of four-and-a-half-billion billionaires. It’s not a socialism of pulling the top down and sharing the misery, its a matter of pulling the bottom up and doing so, only because we now can do so much more with each pound of material, each erg of energy, each second of time. The increase has been about 99-fold. That’s the only thing that makes it possible.”
      – Buckminster Fuller

      https://www.bfi.org/about-fuller/biography

  • EPA illegally pumped diesel fumes into humans to try to prove their theories. It didn’t work.
    http://junkscience.com/2017/01/elections-have-consequences-even-with-epas-illegal-human-experiments/

  • “Individual passion. Individual imagination. Individual initiative. Individual courage. These are the keys to our survival.” – Captain Paul Watson

    ‘Why Fighting Donald Trump On Climate Change Is A Waste Of Time’
    11/15/2016
    Captain Paul Watson, Founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society,

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-watson/why-fighting-donald-trump_b_12951212.html

    Before everyone gets overly upset about Donald Trump and climate change consider this one thing: Donald Trump’s denial of climate change is irrelevant.

    Climate change is a scientific reality and the denial of climate change as a problem does not make the threat go away. The reality cannot be changed by the personal beliefs of the President of the United States. This is akin to King Canute demanding that the tide cease to rise. When he failed to force the Ocean to his will, he proclaimed, “let all men know how empty and worthless is the power of kings.”

    Presidents, like kings, have no authority over Nature.

    And when you really think about, just what is the difference between a president that denies climate change and a Prime Minister who acknowledges it, yet acts as if he is denying it?

    It is of course the politically correct thing to acknowledge climate change as a reality but none of these world leaders are actually doing the ecologically correct thing and doing something about it.

    Greenpeace sent me, and thousands of others, a message yesterday. They see Trump as an opportunity to raise funds. This was the Greenpeace message:

    This week, so many people have reached out about how they can help — and there are many ways you can get involved, but one of the most direct ways for us to prepare for the threats to our climate, communities, and planet is by making a donation to Greenpeace today. The road ahead will not be easy. Trump’s upcoming presidency poses a direct and real danger to our climate, our environment, and our democracy. But, Greenpeace is not going anywhere. We’re not giving up — and we are ready for this fight.

    Today I received this message from the Environmental Defense Fund:

    Everything that we’ve fought so hard to accomplish in the past eight years is under attack, and we must not waste any time fighting back. Join the fight to protect our environmental legacy by making your first online gift to EDF this weekend.

    Also today, there was a message from the Sierra Club:

    The next four years will be decided by how hard we fight right now. We are launching an emergency campaign to stop Trump’s efforts to derail everything we’ve achieved. Monthly giving is the best way to support our fight. Become a Wilderness Guardian today.

    I’m not sure how making contributions to Greenpeace, the Sierra Club and EDF is going to stop Trump. Not much was accomplished over the last eight years outside of promises on paper and some nice speeches by some politicians.

    What will people receive in return for their donations? Certainly not any influence over Trump or the Republican Congress.

    My question is this. Just how is President-elect Donald Trump any different than Prime Minister Justin Trudeau?

    There is this myth that Trudeau is doing something to address climate change. He’s not. His energy policies are not much different than former Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Trudeau has not stopped development and extraction in the Tar Sands, he’s pro-pipeline, pro West Coast tanker traffic and pretty much pro anything that is going to profit the energy corporations. He even denied that the devastating fires earlier this year in Alberta were linked to climate change and chastised Canadian Green Party leader Elizabeth May for suggesting that it was.

    But at COP 21 he said he was going to take real action on climate change…. like someday — maybe, or maybe not.

    What has the U.S. under Obama done? I mean really! Trump will not diminish the Obama, Bush and Clinton efforts. He would actually have to try hard to do less than they did.

    I very vividly remember that it was Al Gore who refused to sign the Kyoto Accord and I also remember everyone in Canada and Australia giving the Americans hell for not signing that accord, yet the Canadians and the Australians were creating more greenhouse gas emissions per capita than the Americans at the time and continued to do so.

    So it seems that signing a climate change agreement is more important than actually doing something about the problem and acknowledging climate change and doing nothing about it appears to be more significant than denying it and doing nothing about it.

    Many people will now throw their energies into fighting Trump on this issue and this will make leaders like Turnbull in Australia and Trudeau in Canada look relatively good while they do nothing more substantial than Trump in reality.

    We humans do love our illusions.

    Fighting Trump on this issue will also serve to send a message to all those who voted for him that he’s their man. Making the Libs, the Greenies and the Lefties angry is something that will endear him even more in their minds. They want him to be seen as the climate change denying hero. Instead we need to ignore him because climate change deniers are irrelevant to reality. By challenging the deniers, we validate them, we engage them and thus they are taken even more seriously.

    “Climate change deniers are irrelevant to reality.” – Captain Paul Watson

    Donald Trump is not really a stupid man, although he plays the role quite well. He knows damn well that climate change is real but he needs to tell his base what they want to hear and challenging him on this helps him to send that message even stronger.

    Trump is not a scientist and therefore does not need to score any points with science. He is a politician wooing people who he knew wanted to hear the message that climate change is a hoax and, as is his way, he embellished it with a silly explanation that the Chinese created it. Does he really believe that? Of course not, but he wanted the people who want to hear him deny climate change to think that he does. It’s called politics, also known as the ‘art of the possible’.

    Confronting Trump on climate change achieves less traction than ignoring him. Saying he is a dunce with the science does not hurt him, in fact it only makes him stronger with his base and his base has demonstrated that science pulls very little weight when it comes to their self interested priorities.

    What he and his climate change denying constituents will not be able to ignore is when Mother Nature continues to slap them in the face harder and harder than the year before. They can only ignore super-storms, floods, drought, rising sea levels, devastating fires, etc., for so long until the realization that something is not quite right sinks through their hard skulls into that area of their brain that can comprehend consequences

    Trying to get a politician, any politician, to actually withdraw from energy addiction is akin to trying to get a hardcore junkie to lay off the needle.

    The Greenpeace, Sierra Club and EDF message state that Trump poses a direct and real danger to our climate, our environment, and our democracy.

    But does he? The threats to our climate, our environment and our democracy have been the same threats for decades, well before Trump. He did not just jump out of the bushes to scare us with these threats. Are the Native Americans at Standing Rock being pepper sprayed and beaten because of Trump? Did the Deepwater Horizon disaster happen because of Trump? And what could be a greater threat to our environment than BP’s disaster in the Gulf and the fact that they were never really punished. If I deliberately or even accidentally poured just one barrel of oil into the harbor I would be in jail. This double standard is not Trump’s creation.

    I think the oligarchs would love nothing better than to scapegoat Donald Trump for their sins. He is, after all, a loose cannon in their eyes. They would much rather replace him and most likely they will. Mike Pence would be a better fit for them and they know it. Not as good as Hillary Clinton, but more manageable than Trump.

    These COP conferences are accomplishing absolutely nothing but talk, talk, talk and more freaking talk. We’re up to COP 22 now with this recent meeting in Morocco and without the charisma and energy of a Nichola Hulot with COP 21, hardly anyone has even heard of COP 22.

    How many COP’S will there be before anything substantial is actually done. COP 33? COP 57? These charades are simply cop-outs from action.

    Not one of these COP gab-fests has shut down a single coal fired generating plant or a single pipeline. Not one.

    The only thing that excites any government appears to be the possibility of imposing a tax. Politicians love taxes and carbon taxes are just another scam to secure tax dollars. Carbon trading is yet another scam.

    “The threats to our climate, our environment and our democracy have been the same threats for decades, well before Trump.” – Captain Paul Watson

    There is not a single nation that is undertaking the effort to realistically and effectively address climate change.

    Is anyone shutting down fracking, drilling, open pit mining, deep water exploration? No. Is there a single nation cutting subsidies to energy companies or to the destructive fishing industries? No. Will we stop slaughtering 65 billion animals a year to reduce a carbon footprint that is even greater than that of transportation? Hell no, “I like my hamburger” is the answer.

    Is there a single world leader ready to make economic sacrifices for the environment? Absolutely not.

    “Oh but….,” say my critics, “there are great educational programs underway.” How’s that working? Not that great?

    Some want us to waste our energies battling Trump The climate change Denier as if that’s going to accomplish anything. It won’t. When will we stop reacting to the circuses so we can actually focus on taking the initiative?

    My point is that Donald Trump simply is no worse and no better than all the rest of these so-called leaders whose agenda is to serve the corporations and to enrich themselves.

    He won’t do much but he will most likely do just as much meaning very little as Trudeau, Turnbull and May have done, or will do.

    The North American Free Trade Deal happened under Clinton. The Trans-Pacific Trade Deal was an Obama goal. Trump is against it. Fracking was initiated and supported by Obama and Clinton. The embarrassment of the Dakota Access Pipeline is happening under the Obama administration.

    Would Hillary Clinton have stopped it if elected? Would she actually do a damn thing to address climate change if she had won? The evidence indicates that she would have done everything to maintain the status quo which has brought all these problems to us and will present much greater problems in the near future.

    I did not vote for Trump but I’m not going to pretend that on this issue, i.e. climate change, anyone else would mean anything different.

    I can see fighting Trump on women’s issues, LGBT+ issues, immigration issues and many more important social issues. I will support any such efforts with both passion and action BUT I have no intention of fighting Trump on climate change. To do so would simply be a distraction away from the fact that not one goddamn world leader is actually doing anything at all to address the problem. I have no intention of contributing to making them all look good compared to Trump.

    Because when it comes to climate change Trump is on par with Trudeau, Turnbull, May, Hollande, Abe, Putin, and the leaders of China, Brazil, Mexico and everyone else meaning that they all are pursuing agendas that are contrary to the reality of climate change.

    So where do we look for answers?

    People of passion, of imagination, courage and commitment. People like Elon Musk, Gildo Pastor, Leonardo DiCaprio, James Cameron, Ethan Brown, Cyrill Gutch, John Paul DiJoria, Chief Raoni, Dale Vince, Naomi Klein, Jasmine Thomas, Wangari Maathai and so many others.

    Individual passion. Individual imagination. Individual initiative. Individual courage. These are the keys to our survival.

    Depending on a politician to solve any of these problems is like depending on an oil executive to promote solar energy. It is simply not in their interest or as Bill Clinton once put it, “It’s the economy stupid.”

    That is a fact. Politicians serve the economy. They do not serve the Environment. It’s like asking a high school history teacher to teach advanced math. They won’t do it because they can’t do it.

    We need to look beyond the limited horizons of elected officials because the answers are to be found well beyond their restricted and blinkered worldview.

    To paraphrase Matthew in Matthew 22:21 “Render to the Donald the things that are the Donald’s.”

    Climate change is not one of his things and never will be. It is our thing, those of us who understand the consequences and thus it is our responsibility to explore and invent alternatives and to fight the technologies, not the hired mouthpieces of these destructive technologies.

    • That was long.
      The entire Constitution is a faster read.
      The Government can make marching orders for their own little 10sq mile area but the Constitution forbids the Government from giving orders to the people.
      The people are free to create innovative ways & means to tackle any issue, without fear of dictatorship, theft through fines & taxations, or threat of bodily force.
      The people are free to spend their funds on innovations.
      This is the difference between the two camps. One camp, the falsely labeled “deniers”, want their funds spent on fruitful ways, provided through the free market system. The other camp, the “freaks”, wish to force all people to believe, speak, and donate through force, only mandated non agreeable solutions.
      When everyone is free to chip in, solutions happen.
      When everyone else is forced to chip in, more “fear issues” are raised.
      Calling free thinkers a conveniently labeled term, is political propaganda.
      Marching in step with the propaganda is Nazism, Marxism, Communism, and all isms that America does not stand for. America stands for freedom.
      In order to achieve greatness, inticement is the answer, not enslavement.

    • Like I said , and you just reinforced my previous comment, too many people, and as far as getting everyone on board with climate change, here is your answer, NOT GONNA HAPPEN, went to Mexico this winter , those people could careless, hunting in Africa, those people could careless, visited Europe , those people could careless, majority of the world could careless about climate change , educating the world and then hoping they take climate change seriously not gonna happen, so here is the deal, you will just have to live with climate change until mother nature cures the problem I have stated. Damn simple,

      • “Individual passion. Individual imagination. Individual initiative. Individual courage. These are the keys to our survival.” – Capt. Paul Watson

        “What he and his climate change denying constituents will not be able to ignore is when Mother Nature continues to slap them in the face harder and harder than the year before. They can only ignore super-storms, floods, drought, rising sea levels, devastating fires, etc., for so long until the realization that something is not quite right sinks through their hard skulls into that area of their brain that can comprehend consequences.” – Capt. Paul Watson

        When enough sh!t hits the fan everyone will be splattered by it, and that’s when the clean up begins in earnest. In the meantime, sane and aware individuals will continue to peacefully work toward the inevitable, doing what’s possible right now: laying groundwork for the greater, concerted effort.

      • “went to Mexico this winter…hunting in Africa…visited Europe”

        Sounds like you had a good time. Many, many others were travelling the planet working on and promoting solutions when you were on your travels.

        Perhaps your next journey could be centered around helping to promote awareness of the facts or working on a permanculture project. That could well be at least as much fun as were the things you did on those trips. Plus, you’d end up consorting, cavorting and conspiring with caring, concerned cohorts.

        “…hoping they take climate change seriously not gonna happen”

        It’s easy to believe that perspective. It’s just as easy and a lot more fun to believe and work toward the opposite.

        • Maybe I should of, could of , would of , but like 99% of the population, I won’t , just the way it is , it’s called human nature, so simple but somehow escapes you, good luck in educating the masses and then getting them to act

          • It’s easy to believe that negative perspective. It’s much easier and a lot more fun to believe in and work for the positive. Do as you wish, of course.

    • Visitor, your biblical quote tickled my funny bone!

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