By JOHN SICILIANO • 2/23/17 1:06 P
Hundreds of scientists skeptical of climate change urged President Trump on Thursday to withdraw from the United Nations framework on global warming, arguing that doing so would support the administration’s pro-jobs agenda and help “people bootstrap themselves out of poverty.”
The 300 scientists, led by well-known climate researcher Richard Lindzen of the Massaschusetts Institute of Technology, sent a letter to the White House with a petition urging the U.S. to exit from the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The framework was established in 1992 as a compact among 150 nations to begin addressing manmade global warming, which many scientists say is caused by higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels.
“Since 2009, the U.S. 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,” according to the letter.
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The letter asserts that carbon dioxide, considered by many scientists to be the primary cause of climate change, “is not a pollutant” at all, but a necessary ingredient for nourishing life on Earth. “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,” according to the letter.
Removing the U.S. from the framework would essentially scuttle all U.S. involvement in the 2015 Paris climate change agreement signed by former President Barack Obama, which Trump vowed to do during the campaign.
“Candidates Trump and [Mike] Pence promised not only to keep the U.S. out of a harmful international climate agreement, but also to roll back misdirected, pointless government restrictions of CO2 emissions,” the letter read. “Dr. Lindzen and hundreds of scientists support you in this.”
The letter follows a campaign by thousands of climate scientists in recent months, asking Trump to not withdraw from the Paris deal and to continue forward momentum on climate change regulations in the United States.