Dear Mr. President:
Citizens of the USA and America’s admirers everywhere support of your campaign promises to place a common-sense focus on international environmental agreements, either enacted or proposed. In just a few weeks, more than 300 eminent scientists and other qualified individuals from around the world have signed the petition below, urging you to withdraw from the ill-advised United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). More are signing on every day.
We petition the American and other governments to change course on an outdated international agreement that targets minor greenhouse gases, primarily Carbon Dioxide, CO2 for harsh regulation. Since 2009, the US and other governments have undertaken actions with respect to global climate that are not scientifically justified and that already have, and will continue to cause serious social and economic harm—with no environmental benefits. While we support effective, affordable, reasonable and direct controls on conventional environmental pollutants, carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. To the contrary, there is clear evidence that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide is environmentally helpful to food crops and other plants that nourish all life. It is plant food, not poison.
Restricting access to fossil fuels has very negative effects upon the wellbeing of people around the world. It condemns over 4 billion people in still underdeveloped countries to continued poverty. We are now at a crossroads. Candidates Trump and Pence promised not only to keep the US out of a harmful international climate agreement, but also to rollback misdirected, pointless government restrictions of CO2 emissions. My fellow scientists support you as you seek to keep your campaign promises.
It is especially important for members of your administrative team to hear from people like the signers of this letter, with the training needed to evaluate climate facts, and to offer sound advice. Climate discussions have long been political debates—not scientific discussions—over whether citizens or bureaucrats should control energy, natural resources and other assets. Rolling back unnecessary regulation helps Americans, and can be done in a way to provide the clean air and clean water you promised.
Dr. Richard Lindzen
Professor Emeritus of Atmospheric Sciences
Massachusetts Institute of Technology