The 45th G7 summit concluded in a similar, dramatic way as last year’s meeting. The event, which took place in France from August 24 until August 26, was defined by President Trump’s resistance to international cooperation. His actions were an embarrassment for himself and the country.

For those who may not know, the G7 summit is an annual meeting of the world’s largest, advanced economies. The seven nations that make up the group are the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy and Japan. Representatives of the European Union are also invited.

The 2018 G7 meeting ended with Trump angered over remarks made by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The president retaliated by not endorsing any of the group’s official decisions. He then, of course, issued several tweets criticizing Trudeau.

His shameful behavior carried over into this year’s summit. It ended with a noticeable empty chair during a climate change discussion. For some unknown reason, the president of the United States missed this urgent talk, even though six major world leaders were able to attend.

At this point, Trump’s childish behavior and unpredictable decisions are just  embarrassing. Much of the world has come to expect it. But his actions still have negative consequences.

By taking America out of the conversation, Trump is damaging both the country’s reputation and the world’s health. His denial of climate change may present a false view of Americans’ opinions on the subject. His actions on Monday contributed not to the good of the planet, but to the destruction of global confidence in the United States.

Trump Takes America Out of the Conversation

Trump’s views on climate change are not concrete. He tends to push for greater environmental protections when politically beneficial. More often than not, however, he deems it fake news, using false information to make it seem like it is not real.

Since his administration began, the president has worked to take America out of the climate change conversation. He pulled out of the Paris Agreement in June 2017. He isolates himself by calling climate change a Chinese hoax. And on Monday, he again skipped a global discussion on the issue.

America needs to be part of the solution. Not only is our nation affected by rising temperatures and stronger storms, we are responsible for putting ourselves in this dangerous position. Every nation on the planet is.

The United States’ greenhouse gas emissions, which scientists say contributes towards higher temperatures, are rising. That fact alone is embarrassing, as we once were part of the landmark Paris Agreement. The accord is meant to hold countries accountable for lowering carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions. Trump failed the country by turning his back on the other 194 countries. Our nation now has to face the humiliation and consequences of his poor decisions.

Trump does not Represent America’s Opinion

Trump should represent the views of the nation. He fails to do this when it comes to climate change. Polls from earlier this year show that the majority of Americans are worried about environmental changes and the effects.

At least 69 percent are “somewhat worried” and another 29 percent are “very worried,” in a survey from Yale University and George Mason University. Other polls give similar indications that many citizens see climate change as a threat. Despite the president’s refusal to deem it a danger to our country, many understand that we are changing the environment for the worse.

However, Trump’s actions are somewhat reflective of the country’s reluctance to do much about the issue. While Democrats push for expansive green solutions and carbon taxes, their constituents are less supportive. Climate change often seems like an overwhelming, unsolvable issue.

But that does not mean Americans want to be out of the conversation entirely. The nation is used to leading the world in addressing and solving great issues. Trump does not make decisions based on the wants of the people. If he did, he would swallow his pride and show up to meetings like the one last Monday.

Danger of Climate Change Exemplified in Amazon Fire

While there is quite a bit of false information about the current fires in the Amazon, it is easy to link their increasing occurrence to climate change. This is because wildfires in the United States are becoming bigger and deadlier. Scientists have found that climate change is to blame.

Fires like the one that destroy Paradise, California last year are why more Americans see climate change as a threat. As the earth heats up and droughts become longer, forests become tinderboxes. The increase in Amazon fires is also linked to deforestation. 

Yet, the Amazon, as the world’s largest rainforest, should not be burning as much as it is right now. Many of the fires were probably started to clear the land for farming and ranching. But drier vegetation means the fires can easily get out of control. The number of fires in the rainforest have been rising for a while and 2019 is the worst year yet.

The Amazon fires demonstrate the full, deadly power of climate change. The forest produces a significant amount of oxygen for the planet and all those trees are now at risk. The delicate ecosystems in the rainforest are burning, along with species we have yet to discover. The smoke is blocking the sun and worsening air quality to people across South America.

The climate continues to change for the worse. The world is starting to realize how at-risk we all are if we allow it to continue to grow unchecked. Trump’s empty chair represents the worst in humanity. It embarasses every American because we cannot have our voice in the conversation to be missing. Once again, the president’s actions showcase both himself and the nation in the worst light.

Kayla Glaraton

Kayla Glaraton is a Generation Z Voice at The Pavlovic Today. Her interests include human rights, American politics and policy, the environment and international affairs. Kayla is studying journalism and...