Last month, the Trump administration took down the EPA's climate change website.
That sucks. The website was full of useful science information as well as years of data. The administration said the takedown was part of a "review," although considering scientists thought the page was fine, it appears the takedown could have been politically motivated.
But guess who just saved the day? Hi, Chicago!
On May 7, the city of Chicago put up a full copy of the pages on its own website — and they're encouraging other cities to do the same.
"The Trump administration can attempt to erase decades of work from scientists and federal employees on the reality of climate change, but burying your head in the sand doesn't erase the problem," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a press release.
The current administration might be hiding from the reality of climate change, but it's encouraging to see our cities step in to take action.
While the massive federal government is led by an administration that rejects climate science, smaller and more politically nimble cities have stepped up. According to the Sierra Club, 27 U.S. cities have adopted 100% clean energy plans.
Cities matter — they're home to more than half of the world's population and produce 75% of our carbon emissions. Good thing thousands of them all around the world are taking action. For example:
- Miami Beach, Florida, is deploying pumps and seawalls to fight flooding caused by sea level rise.
- New York City is making new building projects adhere to strict energy-use standards.
- San Francisco is aiming for zero waste by 2020, which, among other things, would reduce methane emissions from landfills.
- The tiny English village of Ashton Hayes is rallying together to reduce its carbon footprint.
- Paris halved its reliance on coal energy for heating and wants to install 870 miles of bike paths by 2020, which will help people leave their cars at home. Speaking of cars...
- Oslo, Norway, is taking it a step further by banning private vehicles in its city center altogether.
- Shenzhen, China, is experimenting with carbon markets to limit greenhouse gas emissions.
As Benjamin Barber recently wrote for The Guardian, the answer to climate change might be to set the nation aside and put cities like Chicago in charge.