During the Bill Clinton and Barack Obama administrations, the U.S. had leaders who expressed concern about climate change but who were unable to deliver strong actions to lessen its impact. With the election of Donald Trump, the U.S. will have a leader who views climate change as a hoax.

Given the overwhelming evidence that human activities play a major role in driving this present and looming climate crisis, it is hard to fathom Trump's position. For example, the World Meteorological Organization just issued a report for the ongoing climate change conference in Morocco. The report found that the 2011-2015 period was the warmest on record, a trend that is increasing the prevalence of extreme weather including flooding and drought.

There is clearly no sense of urgency among U.S. political/corporate leaders to deal with climate change. It appears as if these leaders don't care about future generations, including their own children and grandchildren. Trump's position does not bode well for the lives of coming generations who will suffer the brunt of the worsening climate disaster.

Native Americans understand that we have a responsibility to protect the planet and its resources for future generations. For example, here are two relevant quotes:

We must protect the forests for our children, grandchildren and children yet to be born. We must protect the forests for those who can't speak for themselves such as the birds, animals, fish and trees.


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— Qwatsinas, Nuxalk Nation

Only after the last tree has been cut down, Only after the last river has been poisoned, Only after the last fish has been caught, Only then will you find money cannot be eaten.

— Cree prophecy

Unfortunately our current leaders seem to worship mammon and don't acknowledge their responsibilities to the future. They are intent on continuing the extraction of fossil fuels from the earth, further increasing the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and exacerbating the crisis.

Fortunately, Dakotas and other Native Americans are using nonviolent action in North Dakota to stop an oil pipeline that is damaging their sacred sites and is in violation of their treaty rights (see counterpunch.org/2016/08/30/solidarity-with-standing-rock-sioux-tribe-against-dakota-access-pipeline). In addition to greenhouse gas considerations, Native Americans are trying to protect the water supply for themselves and others, including future generations, from the predictable contamination associated with pipelines. Disappointingly, the local police and the North Dakota National Guard are using violent means to support the pipeline company.

To support these Native Americans, go to standwithstandingrock.net.

The Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center's "Peace Train" runs every Friday in the Colorado Daily.