Ever since the American Revolution, when Lafayette fought beside George Washington and the French fleet under Admiral de Grasse trapped Cornwallis in Yorktown, leading to the final American victory, France has been a good ally to the United States.
Now, after President Trump announced that he was pulling the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement signed in October 2016, French President Emmanuel Macron is appealing directly to Americans who disagree with Trump’s decision to work together with the French to lead the world on fighting climate change.
Watch the video below, where Macron refers to our shared history, a clear reference to the Revolution and one that for me invokes the spirit of Lafayette.
Of course the Paris agreement wasn’t perfect. And I’m not sure it’s even the best way for America go to forward today to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. Something simpler, such as a carbon fee and dividend as supported by a bipartisan group of Democrats and Republicans, might be more effective than the historic but unwieldy compromise negotiated by nearly 200 nations at Paris.
But leaving the Paris agreement sends the wrong message to the world: that the U.S. is no longer committed to fighting climate change.
Real patriots know that putting your country first doesn’t mean ignoring what happens in the rest of the world. Climate change will hurt the U.S., as it already has started to do by flooding our cities, making hurricanes on the East Coast more deadly and making drought and wildfires out West more severe.
Trump’s action won’t stop solar power, though it might slow it down a bit.
So solar patriots who care about the climate must work even harder to spread solar panels across America.
And we should welcome help from France. They’re too reliant on nuclear power, so they need more solar as much as we do. More cooperation could help both countries take our rightful position as leaders in solar power to match the two powers’ leadership in world affairs.
Together, solar patriots of both nations will be stronger together as we fight a threat to our freedom and way of life even more dangerous than King George III. And if Washington and Lafayette could beat the British Empire in 1781 then American and French solar patriots today can beat dirty energy today.
— Erik Curren, The Solar Patriot