How far is Paris, France, from Paris, Maine? When he announced that he would pull the U.S. out of the climate accord, President Trump said that he was elected to promote cities such as Youngstown and Detroit, and “not Paris.”

The Paris accord, of course, isn’t just about Paris, France. It is also about Paris, Maine (and Rumford, and Lewiston, and Bangor, etc.). Climate change affects the whole world — that means everyone and our children. Mainers considering what climate change means for us only have to read a bit farther in the June 1 newspaper to see a review of what local researchers are documenting — a lot more ticks, torrential downpours alternating with longer droughts, warming waters in the Gulf of Maine. None of that is good for Maine business (think farmers and lobstermen, but also hikers and tourists) or for the health of Maine residents.

Fortunately, corporate leaders have already made it clear that they will continue in the spirit of the Paris Accord. They know that the future belongs to those who understand the science of climate change, and innovate accordingly. Even big car companies such as General Motors know that reducing emissions is good business and will sell cars.

Paradoxically, it is quite possible that climate change could be “good for business” — but only if businesses (and citizens) acknowledge the seriousness of the challenges we face.

Jane Costlow, Auburn

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