The discourse of solidarity in recent times has been reduced to the status of religious charity which one decides to give out of his own benevolence. On the contrary, solidarity must be a default attitude for any meaningful conversation on global economics, ecological protection and inequality. It is the very foundation for social inclusion, justice and peace. The challenge of solidarity is that it essentially requires a recalibration of the human heart for a different type of value system that puts the common good at the centre of national economic decisions. The decision of President Trump to dump the historic Paris 2015 climate agreement in favour of his presumed economic growth through the development of his coal industry is the most recent attack on our collective resolve to save our planet.

Scientists have warned that a rise of 2°C is all that it will take to trigger-off a range of dire ecological changes of unimaginable proportions. In other words, a rise of 2°C is enough to force global ecological balance to breaking point. At that point, the globe as a system will lose it ecological resilience. The anticipated scenario may be likened to the breaking point of an elastic system as expressed in Hooke’s Law[1] or the shift in equilibrium of a closed system as expounded by the Principle of Henry Louis Le Chatelier[2].  In short, the scientific evidence suggests that, with a 2oC increase, the earth will reach a ‘tipping point’ and be forced to reshape itself ecologically and otherwise. The fear is that the “new balance” of the earth will be largely uninhabitable by human beings.

Already, many parts of the world are suffering from the adverse effects of the rise in temperature that has been recorded since the Industrial Revolution. The worst affected are the developing countries and the small island states. Millions of people are forced to migrate in search of shelter and food. The pressure to accommodate migrants continues to mount for EU and other receiving nations. The situation is aggravated by violent conflicts in many lands.

For the global community, the Parish 2015 Accord is the most promising expression of human resolve to address the climate change issues. While the nations are moving towards renewable and cleaner energy, the second world largest polluter (USA) strategizes to pollute even more without a thought for the capacity of the vulnerable global south and the islands. Climate change is already impacting heavily on the water resources, agriculture, food security, human health, terrestrial ecosystems and biodiversity of Africa. The situation of the small island countries is already hanging in a delicate balance ready to tilt; that is why the decision of President Trump to pull the world’s second largest polluter from the Paris accord is very worrisome.

It once again demonstrates the general habit of the heart of the “big boys” to disregard the common good in the pursuit of their economic and technological power, forgetting that what goes around comes around. The same attitude of “power is might” has continued to govern the general attitude of the global north towards the south. Trump’s decision, rather than make America ‘great again’, makes her smaller as she is gradually leaving the leadership of the world to China and Russia. It is a giant step in the wrong direction! We are more powerful when we willingly share power with others rather than exercise power over them unilaterally.

AEFJN asks for a change and calls on President Trump to retrace his steps in the interest of our shared humanity. The State of California (USA) has shown that going green brings more economic gains than the unbridled resource exploitation. What is needed is a new attitude and relationship with Mother Earth, a review of our consumption habits, value systems and a review of Western economic models. The joy is that the international community is still willing to move on in the direction already charted, rejecting the flag of economic growth which President Trump is flying. We strongly commend them!

[1]  Hooke’s law states that Forces can cause objects or system to deform. The way in which an object deforms depends on its dimensions, the material it is made of, the size of the force and direction of the force.

[2] Le Chatelier’s principle states that changes in the temperature, pressure, volume, or concentration of a system will result in opposing changes in the system to achieve a new state of balance.