Once again, President Trump has attempted to capitalize on unrest in other parts of the world to fuel his own nihilistic anti-climate science agenda and regressive tax policies.

The yellow vest movement, as it has become widely known, began as a demonstration by French truck drivers against a proposed fuel tax hike by the French government that would have shifted the tax burden onto lower- and middle-class French citizens instead of high-income individuals, who disproportionately benefit from unsustainable policies.

Because this was the original issue behind the protests, President Trump jumped on the confusion to claim that the fuel tax hike is a result of the 2015 Paris climate accord, and he claimed that efforts to curb climate change should be scrapped for the sake of the French economy.

This is a gross misrepresentation of the issues in play in France, which are largely the result of public dissatisfaction over tax policy, wages and staggering wealth inequity, as well as the immense unpopularity of President Emmanuel Macron.

The U.S. must act on climate and ignore the deliberate falsehoods of the Trump administration. If the U.S. government will not act on climate, then it is imperative that citizens do everything they can at the local and state levels to hold their elected officials accountable to the goals outlined by the Paris climate accord as well as the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals.

Kirsten Gonya

South Berwick


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