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5 Reasons Donald Trump Cannot Ruin Absolutely Everything — and how you can help

Posted by India Thorogood - 29th November 2016

It’s fair to say that here at Greenpeace we are not reacting well to the words ‘President-elect Donald Trump.’ Not only do we fear for all the people Donald Trump has threatened and ridiculed over the last few months, we fear he might destroy the very planet under our feet.

Trump has argued man-made climate change is a lie, talked about ripping up the Paris Climate Agreement and made bringing back coal a focal point of his campaign. He even has investments in some of the energy companies fighting to complete the Standing Rock oil pipeline.

Despite all of this though, Trump could be fighting a losing battle when it comes to climate progress — if we are willing to fight hard enough. Here’s why we can scupper his plans — and how you can help.

1. He’s not President just yet

Donald Trump does not become President until January 20th. So we’ve a few weeks to get our act together — and we can start with Standing Rock. President Barack Obama has already paused the pipeline plans and he has the power to stop them all together before Trump reaches the Oval Office.

So how about joining the millions of people across the world by signing the petition asking President Obama to revoke permits at Standing Rock? Or how about using the next few weeks to call on banks across the globe to stop financing the project? After months of high profile outcry, one Norwegian bank has already divested from the companies behind the pipeline. Let’s use the next few weeks to stand against Trump — and to stand alongside Indigenous people.

2. Even when he does become President, most of the world is not on his side

It’s hard to believe that the next President of the USA denies man-made climate change and even blamed it on a Chinese plot. But there is good news – recent research shows 70% of people in the US do believe in climate change and a whopping 84% in the UK believe in man made climate change. So you needn’t stress that we have to convince people that Trump is wrong on climate — we simply need to galvanise that belief into action, to get those people to roll up their sleeves.

So how about joining or start a local activism group, meeting your MP or even running for office yourself? Trump might not admit how serious the challenge we face is — but we do, so let’s turn that belief into action.

3. The next generation is definitely not on his side

Much like with Brexit in the UK, a majority of young people in the US did not vote for Donald Trump. Those young people will be future congresswomen or community leaders if we can galvanise them into positive action. Some of them are already at it, like the 21 amazing kids who are taking the US government to court over inaction on climate change.

Seeing as they’re on our side, let’s empower young people all around us, in the UK, the US and across the world to make change. Do a school talk, discuss activism with your children, or volunteer for an organisation working with young people to create change. The likelihood is that hanging out with the next generation is going to be a lot more cheerful than staring at our news channels right now.

4. Renewables are fast becoming unstoppable

Trump might be big into coal, but renewables are becoming cheaper and more lucrative by the day. Everywhere from Wales to Iceland is going 100% renewable. The world’s biggest wind farm is even about to be built near Grimsby. Renewables aren’t just for wealthy companies & loaded individuals either — solar panels can now come in flat packs and are even springing up in favelas.

Even Trump could be swayed if he truly values good business. After all, everyone from Apple, to Tesla, to Ikea are building successful businesses around renewable energy.

So how can you help speed the transition along and help make sure Donald Trump doesn’t revitalise coal? You can invest in renewable energy with as little as £5 with organisations like Thrive Renewables and be a part of history.

5. People power still works

Throughout history people have come together to create change — whether it was ending segregation, getting women the vote or stopping the Keystone pipeline. That’s not about to stop — in fact we’ve seen people springing into action since election day.

Since Donald Trump won the election 46,000 people have donated to Planned Parenthood (the US’s family planning lifeline) in the name of VP-elect Mike Pence. $940,000 has been donated to the American Civil Rights Union the International Refugee Assistance Project and more. We’ve even had people joining Greenpeace groups the week of the election to show they’re not giving in!

So, as Trump takes power, let’s remember the wise words of Alice Walker

“The most common way people give away their power is believing they don’t have any”

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About India Thorogood

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Digital Campaigner at Greenpeace UK