“We are here to say yes to God and no to Donald Trump.”
Upset about the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, the Rev. Steve Hammond led a service Thursday on Tappan Square with a small crowd of nearly 20 congregants.
“We’re out here because we care about this planet we live on,” he said, urging Peace Community Church members to appreciate the trees, grass, and animals of the park around which Oberlin is built.
Later he added, “Never apologize for being a tree-hugger.”
Hammond read liberally from both Genesis chapter one and a New York Times opinion piece titled “Trump’s stupid and reckless climate decision” by environmentalist Bill McKibben.
The material, which criticized the president’s anti-science stance on global warming, drew nods of agreement from those gathered. It also drew snorts of derision at mention of Trump’s name.
World leaders have had similar reactions since the president backed the U.S. out of the United Nations-sponsored accord, which aims to greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions starting in 2020. President Barack Obama signed America into the agreement last year and 195 other nations are also signatories.
The United States is responsible for more than 14 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions. The largest single offender is China, which accounts for nearly a third.
But the U.S. is home to only about 4.5 percent of the world’s population, compared to China’s 20 percent.
Trump has rejected the overwhelming scientific consensus that climate change is real and driven by humans. He has tweeted his rejection of peer-reviewed global climate science on any number of occasions.
“The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive,” he posted on Nov. 6, 2012.
“This very expensive global warming bull—— has got to stop. Our planet is freezing, record low temps,and our GW scientists are stuck in ice,” he tweeted Jan. 1, 2014. That year broke the record for hottest since humans began charting climate data (the record was broken in 2015 and again last year).
Shortly after being sworn into office, Trump signed an executive order to rekindle the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipeline projects. In February, another order took aim at clean water provisions put in place by Obama. Then the president appointed climate change denier Scott Pruitt as head of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.