For too long, liberals have been treating climate change as a third or fourth tier issue. As the pulls exits the Paris Accord, it’s time for liberals to re-evaluate an issue that subsumes all others.
On Thursday when the announcement hit that Trump was taking America out of the Paris Climate Accord, my social media feed predictably blew up. As an environmental journalist with a lot of left-leaning friends, you can imagine what it looked like: anger, frustration, shock, sadness, another outrage from the world’s most outrageous leader. All of a sudden every one I knew was talking about climate change; I’ll admit it was a nice change of pace, but after nearly ten years of covering climate change I also knew it would be fleeting.
Liberals have been the champions of climate action for decades, but they’ve largely championed it as an after thought, something that comes near the end of a long to-do list, like the brussels sprouts you conveniently forget to pick up at the grocery store (polling bears this out). When I bring up climate change during chats with left-leaning friends, I often get that pause – that suspended moment – when I can see someone in the group look askance. I can see what they’re thinking, “Again, Jeremy, with the climate change?”