The following is a response from reader Madi Fuller:

This letter is in regards to the article titled “Withdrawal from the Paris Agreement: Merit or Mindlessness?” by J. [Thomas] Purdue on June 8th. Although I agree that the withdrawal decision from President Trump is not the end of times and a dead end as far as climate change prevention, I do believe that this is a huge mistake that should be opposed by all US citizens regardless of their position on the political spectrum. Because of my economic background, I am constantly drawn to look at the economic side of situations. In response to this article, I argue that removing the US from the Paris Climate Accords is going to hurt the US economy in the long term.

Regardless [of] your beliefs about climate change, the reasoning behind cutting carbon emissions is real and unquestioned in the scientific community. This is why all but three countries in the world now are a part of these agreements and have started investing in renewable energy. The best way to get the public to support renewable energy is through government incentives, which are unlikely to happen without these accords. If we fall behind the rest of the world in renewable energy, there will be no way for our economy to recover in the long term. The upfront costs of investing in renewable energy are obviously large, but they are nothing compared to the money that will be spent in damage repair in the future.

Since the federal government seems unlikely to do anything positive about climate change, these changes must now be made in a bottom-up fashion. Several other cities and universities in the US have come out in support for the climate agreements and promised to keep up with the goals. I strongly urge readers to contact President Morehead to push for UGA’s independent support of the Paris Accords to help the US keep their competitive power in the world.

-The Editors would like to thank Madi for her readership and her taking the time to respectfully respond to the article and its main points. We encourage such discussion, as it is to the benefit of everyone to best understand all sides of an issue.