What can be done now that Donald Trump has pulled the US out of the Paris climate agreement?
In the latest episode of Last Week Tonight, John Oliver called on all Americans to act on climate change themselves, because “we cannot afford to just wait for four years to vote Trump out of the office.”
Oliver noted that state and local governments now have the duty to fulfill the pledges Trump refuses to. That means Americans should find out “where your mayor, governor, and even your state reps stand on climate change.”
Doing so will reveal some “interesting” theories local politicians hold about global warming, Oliver noted. For example, Pennsylvania senator Scott Wagner has suggested that heat generated from human bodies might be the cause of climate change.
Americans should work to get such officials out of the office as soon as possible, Oliver said. He acknowledged it’s a difficult process requiring time and energy, but “Trump may have inadvertently done us a tiny favor this week.” He theorized:
“The problem with climate change is it’s always felt so abstract, impersonal, and far off into the future. And the usual symbols we use don’t do much to fix or help that—it’s either a graph that’s difficult to understand or a sad polar bear on a small piece of ice. And it’s hard to get emotionally fired up over that…
But finally, this week, the climate change movement may have gotten a symbol to rally around because apparently it was never quite enough for us to motivate ourselves out of love for this large gassy orb [Earth], but maybe, just maybe, we can now motivate ourselves to do something out of our loathing of this one [Trump].”