Guadalajara was graced by the presence of a Nobel Prize winner last Tuesday, a guest speaker for the Forum on Climate Change in the Palacio Municipal.
The dignitary did not mince his words, and delivered a sharp rebuke to U.S. President Donald Trump and his stance on global warming.
Rajendra Pachauri, who in 2007 was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, urged leaders to not let the recently-elected U.S. president’s comments and actions discourage them from prosecuting efforts to combat climate change. In particular, he singled out for praise California’s defiant stance against Trump’s repudiation of a wealth of scientific evidence proving the existence of global warming and his decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement.
“It’s very sad that the most powerful nation in the world is being led by somebody who has decided to live in ignorance. It’s shameful. The world needs to understand that climate change is a reality and understand that it affects everybody,” Pachuari said.
In his address to the forum, he exhorted Mexico to take a leading role in efforts to fight climate change, citing as reasons the nation’s proximity both geographically and culturally to the United States, its vulnerability to the effects of climate change and its prominence among Latin American countries.
Pachuari also praised several green initiatives operating in Guadalajara, including the Mi Bici public bike program, the newly-constructed cycle lanes and the “great” work being undertaken in the Colomos Park.
“I’m very impressed with everything I’ve seen and definitely this is a city that is moving in the right direction,” he said.
In addition, Pachuari recommended recycling and electricity conservation as the best ways for citizens to make a positive impact on the environment in their daily lives.