Saturday, November 9, 2019

Between Earth & Sky: the Astrology of a broken Paris Accord

Climate change-related damage to the Great Barrier Reef.

“Mother, I am the reason the birds are missing. I am the cause of salmon who cannot spawn and the butterflies unable to take their journey home. I am the coral reef bleached death white and the sea boiling with methane. I am the millions running from lands that have dried, forests that are burning or islands drowned in water.”

—Eve Ensler, The Apology

“Humankind cannot live wisely, sanely or gently without the Cosmos.”

—Matthew Fox, Original Blessing

November 4th was marked by Donald Trump’s official notification to the U.N. that the U.S. will be withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord in one year’s time—as it happens, the day after the November 3, 2020 presidential election. This is no surprise, of course—we knew this day would come, based on Trump’s eagerness to pull-out of any kind of international accord from day one of his administration. One that obligates us to be responsible stewards of the only Earth we have?…one that asks us to be responsible global citizens, to act as if the rest of the planet matters?—fuhgeddaboudit! 

Despite the usual Trumpian arrogance toward and willful ignorance of anything scientific, there’s growing evidence that we ignore climate change at our short-term (not long-term) peril. But let’s not get bogged down in all that—we know the story; it’s being told all around us and we can see the ravages of climate change with our own eyes in the news, if not in our own neighborhoods. 

The question here is, what does all this look like astrologically? Assuming we’d like to continue inhabiting this planet with a modicum of comfort and security, what energies are available to tackle the unimaginable scope of this challenge? Even more significantly, what forces are currently posing obstacles to success? 

Clearly, we’re seeing both active and passive destruction of the environment—and in cases like the most recent California fires, we’re getting a sneak preview of the types of intense clashes that loom on the horizon between the interests of humans and the environment. As one expert put it, “California was made to burn”—the forces at work in their ecosystem naturally demand that sort of clearing process, and human settlements are simply in the way. And yes, climate change has made a naturally precarious situation only worse. 

The latest California fires came perilously close to Los Angeles.
So by that logic, it would seem that anything making climate change worse would be avoided as a matter of good policy, right? If Trump’s DC cared about Californians—or the entire nation, for that matter—that would be another story. As for California, he might at least stop threatening to cut federal emergency aid to them, but since most of them didn’t vote for him (how dare they?), they are shunned by D.C. and hung out to dry. 

All of this makes Trump’s pulling the U.S. out of the Paris Accord (on top of his total decimation of our environmental regulations) such a bitter pill: clearly, he’s not about to put the well-being of citizens or the planet above corporate interests—he’s eagerly pursuing ways to open up protected lands, the Arctic and more for fossil fuel extraction industries, and all this climate change talk must be supremely annoying. 

Bottom line, the States better be prepared to handle any climate-change-fueled emergencies virtually on their own while he’s in office—Trump won’t even admit a problem exists!  Fires decimating communities across the state?  It’s California’s fault for not “cleaning” their forest floors! Huh?!

What astrology can tell us

One key point looms over all else here: the Earth and the Cosmos are astronomical flip sides of the same reality. It’s easy to forget this—how often do we consider that when we examine a geocentric (earth centered) event chart, sitting opposite the Sun in that chart—as the beating heart of our solar system, esteemed as a creative force, a kind of cosmic, yang “father figure”—is the implied presence of Mother Earth. When the Sun transits Scorpio, for instance, the “blue marble” beneath our feet is traversing the Taurus sector of the tropical Zodiac. 

Here’s astrologer Susannah Meel’s take on what happens when we add the Earth to a horoscope:

“Adding Earth to an astrological chart is so easy to picture because whatever sign your Sun is in, the Earth will be 180 degrees from it. So, if you are a 15 degree Leo Sun, your Earth sign is 15 degrees Aquarius (the signs of Leo and Aquarius are opposite to each other.) Naturally it would fall in the opposite house from your Sun as well. This creates an axis, the fulcrum of which can bestow a new sense of wholeness and balance to the native. As far as traits, Earth in the chart does just what you’d think it does. Like the element earth, it grounds the house or other planets and points it touches. It’s about manifestation, fertility, and practicality. It’s also about basic beginnings, the foundation of a project. It represents your earthly mission.”
I would just add that the Earth is already there in the chart—its presence implied if not physically noted. It’s probably well past time that we start acknowledging its presence, too (hopefully astrology software programs will start making this easier), because our relationship with the Earth couldn’t be more critical. Cosmologist and very wise spiritual leader Matthew Fox says we can’t live “wisely, sanely or gently without the Cosmos:” well, we and the planet we inhabit are integral parts of that Cosmos! 

And even though a horoscope is essentially a symbolic blueprint for cosmic energies at work in any given moment and location, there’s a pragmatic reality present in that map, as well: our relationship with the Earth functions on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels, and that’s all reflected in the charts we cast for ourselves. This is a complex story for another day, but for now, let’s at least acknowledge the Earth’s presence.  
This perspective is equally important whether we’re talking about the individual or collective/mundane levels of existence. An important centerpiece in any society’s identity is its relationship with the Earth: is our home planet widely valued as a treasure that children grow up respecting and learning to conserve well into the future? Or is it seen as a windfall of resources to be exploited for all its worth, for as long as it lasts?

Granted, social attitudes can evolve over time: this certainly happened in 1970 when the first-ever Earth Day celebration was held in the U.S. This was the same year that then-president Richard Nixon’s administration established the Environmental Protection Agency; after all those miserable years of war overseas, the time was ripe for developments of a peaceful, life-affirming nature. 

Rachel Carson's work is as relevant as ever these days.

The need for an EPA was at least partially inspired by scientist Rachel Carson’s stunning 1962 study known as Silent Spring, of course, a study that vividly detailed the destructive impact of chemical pesticides on the environment and on public health. Public awareness of environmental issues was profoundly impacted by her work, but now, despite even greater environmental concerns with climate change, the Trump administration would have us believe that none of this matters, as long as there are fossil fuel and other carbon-driven corporate profits to be made. 

This is an apt time to point out that yes, it matters astrologically that the Earth is considered a “feminine” energy, too: that Sun-Earth opposition implicit in every chart reflects the essential yin-yang dynamic around which life on this planet is wound. Kind of like the tension on display between Trump and Pelosi in D.C.—can we imagine how much worse things could get if Trump was allowed to act on every whim unopposed? And, while we’re at it, isn’t it striking that the way Trump treats the Earth tracks pretty closely with the way he’s treated other “women” in his life? Yes, the Earth is our “Mother,” and that can get complicated. 

So how do we conceive of this whole topic astrologically? Since it’s an ongoing, ever-present issue, we will need to pinpoint specific milestones that might tell us something useful. So let’s begin by looking at the chart for Trump’s withdrawal announcement from the Paris Accord (November 4, 2019), set against the Accord’s December 12, 2015 radix chart. The date for the latter chart is based on the following (from the account on Wikipedia):

“The [Paris] agreement's language was negotiated by representatives of 196 state parties at the 21st Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC in Le Bourget, near Paris, France, and adopted by consensus on 12 December 2015.[4][5]

Biwheel #1: (inner wheel) Paris Agreement adopted, December 12, 2015, 12:00 pm ST (noon chart, no exact time known), Paris (Le Bourget), France; (outer wheel) Trump officially announces Paris withdrawal, November 4, 2019, 12 p.m. ST (no exact time known), Washington, DC . Tropical Equal Houses, True Node.
Paris Agreement 2015 (PA) Sun (Sagittarius) conjoins Trump-Paris withdrawal (T-P) Jupiter-Ceres (Sagittarius), sextiles both Mars (Libra), squares PA Jupiter (Virgo), T-P Neptune (Pisces) and PA Chiron (Pisces), and trines both Erises (Rx, Aries). To make a long story short here, the PA is a cosmic “hot” topic. Even more connections exist between the PA Sun and transiting points in the outer wheel, but let’s start here. Note the key role both Jupiters are playing—between the December 2015 radix chart and this T-P chart, the gas giant has transited into its first square to itself, so there’s a cyclical milestone at work here that suggests the agreement will suffer “growing pains.” Sure enough it is doing just that, yet this is far from a death blow to the entire effort. 

Instead, transiting Ceres’ presence in this powerful sector of Sagittarius, conjunct that sign’s expansive ruler Jupiter, suggests that the agreement will be nurtured and cultivated, and quite possibly expanded upon. 

Again, growing pains are to be expected—efforts to undermine, obfuscate and corrupt (T-P Neptune aspects with PA Sun and both Jupiters) are likely, but the conjunction of both Mars and their joint sextile to PA Sun-con-T-P Jupiter reflects an opportunity to maintain the momentum of the PA. These Mars points are strengthened (they’re not especially powerful in Libra) by their opposition to both Erises and PA Uranus (all Aries), which reinforces the strident call for change contained in the Accord. 

The goals promoted by the Paris Agreement.

Notice that T-P Uranus (Rx, Taurus) has transited from mid-Aries to early Taurus since the 2015 adoption of the Accord, however—the nations who have signed on are less caught up in their bold actions than they are with finding pragmatic, technology-based solutions for the Agreement’s Sustainable Development goals. This attitude and mindset are reflected in T-P Uranus’s trine to PA Mercury (Capricorn), but we can also see that progress in this direction could be complicated by an inconjunct to T-P Venus (Sagittarius).  This makes perfect sense, given the sheer breadth of change and the financial issues taken on as the signatory nations voluntarily committed to in the agreement. 

Transitioning the world economy away from dependence on fossil fuels—an increasingly urgent goal, according to scientists—will require unprecedented cooperation between the signatory nations and will demand a crazy level of leadership. Is it any wonder Trump wanted out? Clearly he disagrees with (or simply won’t recognize) the goals of the agreement, but his job is supposed to be to act on our behalf, not his own. Why bother to pull out of a voluntary agreement that only asks for a non-binding commitment, in the end? 

Writing for The Atlantic, Robinson Meyer reports on a conversation that offers a theory:

“’We’re withdrawing from something that’s purely voluntary. It doesn’t make any sense,’ says Bentley Allan, a professor of political science at Johns Hopkins University. ‘It’s reprehensible—it’s absurd that we’re withdrawing.’ The only reason to leave such a treaty is if ‘you want to actively make the symbolic act of damaging this thing,’ Allan told me.”
We know how transactional Trump’s nature and mindset are, so we have to wonder what he would stand to gain from “damaging this thing.” Ego satisfaction—just to prove he can? The satisfaction of undermining an Obama priority? The satisfaction of “trolling the Libs?” Any one of these fits a pattern we’ve seen since day one of Trump’s presidency.  Someday we’ll explore the picture that emerges when we set Obama’s chart against Trump’s, just to put some of this enmity into context—suffice to say here, there’s no love lost between these two!

Returning to the issue at hand, it’s interesting that the PA Nodal Axis (Virgo-Pisces) squares Trump’s natal Gemini-Sagittarius full Moon-Uranus-Nodal axis). When the Accord was signed on Earth Day, April 22, 2016, this square was nearly exact, in fact (chart not shown). The idea of “doing the right thing by the Earth” (Virgo) simply doesn’t compute with our “stable genius.” 

More on this potentially personal connection between Trump and the Paris Accord in the discussion following Biwheel #2 below—as with so many issues, he tends to see every issue from an intensely self-centered perspective. What’s in it for me? How will this make me look? And, as we’ve become keenly aware lately, what’s the “quo” for my “quid?” Since he’s refused to divest himself from his businesses, we even have to wonder how much his real estate businesses influence his decision making! For now, back to the PA and Biwheel #1.

Interchart T-Square: Both Mars (Libra) oppose PA Uranus-both Erises (Aries); this axis squares T-P Saturn-Pluto (Capricorn) conjoined PA Pallas-Pluto. Here we see that the T-P Nodal Axis falls in a significant sector—along the Cancer-Capricorn axis, with the South Node transiting pretty close to the action with T-P Saturn-Pluto. Clearly, since the PA was adopted and signed, we’ve been through a shocking period of upheaval and discord (Mars opposite Uranus-Eris) and it’s far from over. 

Violent protests have disrupted several nations this year.
Very real parallels seem to exist these days, in fact, between the “shock and awe” being felt in societies (globally, with several nations in the news for serious disruptions, protests, government crackdowns on liberties, and so on) and the shocking disintegration we’ve seen in the environment, with climate change accelerating far more quickly than expected. 

A bit of a side note: We’ve examined the outer planetary cycles that are so critical these days in several blog posts to date, yet it bears repeating that all of Jupiter’s cycles (with Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto) and all of Saturn’s cycles (with Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto) are waning during these times, and three of these major cycles will complete and start fresh in 2020. Waning periods are times to clear out any outworn, toxic energies that have stagnated and corrupted the power dynamics in society, so these periods in major cycles are often marked by disintegrating circumstances. The cycles launching anew in 2020 include Saturn-Pluto (January), Jupiter-Pluto (April) and Jupiter-Saturn (December). 

I bring this cyclical information up now because the Paris Accord will either benefit or suffer from these new cycles. Saturn-Pluto kicks-off at 22°+Capricorn in January, exactly trine PA Jupiter (Virgo)¸so I’m hopeful the Accord will gain in structural integrity and institutional clout. Jupiter disposes PA Sun (Sagittarius), which the Saturn-Pluto launch degree will semi-sextile—challenges and frustrations will remain, but its goals for climate change mitigation and prevention (i.e., “doing the right thing” for the Earth) should gain support. 

Then in April, Jupiter-Pluto joins the new cycle brigade at 24°+Capricorn, also trine PA Jupiter-No. Node (Virgo)—the power dynamics at work among signatory nations in the Accord should keep things moving, whether the U.S. is one of them or not. 

Technological solutions will be critical for tackling climate change.

Finally, the Jupiter-Saturn cycle launches anew in December, 2020 at 0°+Aquarius, square its disposing planet, Uranus (Taurus). Pragmatic solutions based in technology and a radical new approach to environmental justice and stewardship will be the challenge, and that square should help keep the signatories motivated. 

T-P Neptune (Pisces) sextiles T-P Saturn (Capricorn), quincunxes both Mars (Libra), opposes PA Jupiter and squares PA Sun (Sagittarius). Unfortunately, most of these aspects reflect  passive aggressive tactics that could be used to erode and undermine the Accord. Resisting efforts to chip away at the signatories’ stated goals to the point where nothing real can be accomplished will be key. To gain maximum support and create an encouraging collaborative, rather than punitive framework, the framers of the agreement made it voluntary and non-binding, but these loose requirements may also be used to undercut and dilute the entire enterprise.   

Keeping the various players motivated and organized around tangible achievements and goals (Saturn’s role in all this) will be another key; this complex of aspects suggests that focusing on the idealistic dimension of these Neptune connections (and avoiding the pitfalls of corruption, obfuscation, etc.) will help. Transparency will be key.

Finally, given the slippery nature of Neptune, this complicated network of aspects suggests a host of possible, unintended consequences from Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Accord. Here are some relevant thoughts from Foreign Policy

“In one way, the Trump administration’s decision is huge: The United States is the world’s second-biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, behind only China, and is by far the largest cumulative greenhouse gas emitter in history. With the United States outside the Paris agreement, the pact will now cover only about 80 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, down from 97 percent previously. That’s bad news now that global emissions are at record levels and rising fast, after several years of apparent success in stabilizing the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases pumped into the atmosphere. 
With the United States abdicating any responsibility for curbing emissions, it will be that much tougher to convince China, India, and other growing sources of greenhouse gases that they have to do more.
U.S. isolation could have other second-order effects. U.S. firms may be at a competitive disadvantage in the future, if the European Union dusts off nascent plans for some sort of carbon border tax, which would slap tariffs on all goods coming from countries that don’t tackle climate change. And being outside the Paris agreement could end up making it harder to secure a new trade pact with the EU; France opposes doing a trade deal with any country outside the agreement.
At the same time, formal membership or not in the Paris agreement matters less in practical terms than concrete steps taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and there all Paris countries are falling short. The United Nations found recently that all the voluntary pledges that make up the Paris agreement will still fall well short of meeting the pact’s goal of limiting the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels (and that was when the United States was still formally part of the agreement). 
Unless all the signatories to the Paris agreement ramp up their ambition and take steps to cut emissions a lot faster, even the goal of limiting the temperature increase to 2 degrees may be out of reach, the U.N. found.”

Greenhouse gases, by the way, are ruled by Neptune, with Pluto playing a role in producing them with its dominion over the extraction of underground fossil fuels. Notice that T-P Neptune conjoins PA Chiron (Pisces) and together they square the PA Sun-Earth axis (Sagittarius-Gemini). I can’t think of a better way to represent the concern expressed earlier in The Atlantic:
“’It’s reprehensible—it’s absurd that we’re withdrawing.’ The only reason to leave such a treaty is if ‘you want to actively make the symbolic act of damaging this thing…’”  

Appearances matter

It is telling that the only natal point Trump has in an earth sign is his MC in Taurus, but he is experiencing a Progressed New Moon as we speak, in early Virgo. Could that be why he keeps insisting his infamous call with the Ukraine president was “perfect?” It’s quite possible that his progressions are delivering a cosmic heads-up on what’s perfect and what isn’t. 

Back to the issue at hand, however: this is a good time to consider more deeply why Trump is so firmly opposed to the Paris Accord, even as a voluntary matter, and the relative deficit of earth signs in his nativity is worth note. Even his earthy MC may not help; it seems to assure that Nature = Real Estate = Power & Influence to him. This thinking was undoubtedly cultivated in him by his father, Fred Trump, whose own history in the cutthroat New York real estate world suggests he was never a fan of government regulations and oversight—environmental or otherwise. Donald Trump’s MC, of course, is a parental indicator, so this connection had a profound influence on him. 

Adding more recent context, Biwheel #2 below sets the Paris Accord (PA) chart we’ve already examined against Trump’s nativity, which should lend us further insight. Let’s begin.

Biwheel #2: (inner wheel) Donald J. Trump, June 14, 1946, 10:54 a.m. DST, Jamaica, NY; (outer wheel) Paris Agreement adopted, December 12, 2015, 12 pm ST (no exact time known), Paris, France. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node.

Interchart T-Square: PA Sun (Sagittarius) conjoins Trump Moon-So. Node (Sagittarius) and opposes Trump Sun-No. Node-Uranus; this axis squares PA Jupiter (Virgo). It’s interesting to note here that this PA Jupiter exactly conjoins two key midpoints in Trump’s chart, as well: Sun/Moon and Mars/Jupiter. These connections could mean a number of things, but they generally represent areas of emotional identity, self-absorption and recklessness in an individual, which seems to fit his character and the matter at hand. To return to an earlier point, the "Earth" point in the PA chart is conjunct Trump's Sun-No. Node-Uranus; this almost feels like a cosmic "joke" of sorts, doesn't it? 

That aside, the t-square we see here could have inspired Trump with an awareness of opportunities offered by the Paris Accord. This makes sense: for those with cash to invest in new “green” industries, this could be the perfect time to get a foot in those doors, even if it takes a while to reap the benefits. This is especially true since signatory nations are highly motivated to support those industries right now. 

Trump may "dig" it, but the market for coal is dying (a Bagley cartoon).
Trump’s Uranus-charged Sun, however, never hesitates to be contrarian—as the campaign t-shirt says, Trump “digs coal.” To make matters more complicated, his Sagittarius Moon here seems to be emotionally invested in this pro-coal perspective—as though it amounts to an ideological, rather than a rational position. 

This shouldn’t surprise, of course: Trump “digging coal” is well in keeping with his MC’s “Nature = Dollars = Power” equation, and coal-country constituents are some of his strongest supporters. Perhaps the short-term adulation he gains from championing coal-mining jobs is all that matters to him, but it’s also possible that what he really finds satisfying in the end is having the power to exploit that resource for all it’s worth. His own financial security is an issue as well—this MC sextiles his Saturn-Venus (Cancer), but clearly, he’s doing those constituents no long-term favors. 

If this was about them, and he really cared about their futures, he’d make sure that training was available so they could find good-paying jobs outside of that industry. According to the Brookings Institute, market forces will determine the fate of the coal industry, and the trend clearly suggests that coal is on its way out as a major source of fuel. This is reinforced by the fact that the current Saturn-Pluto cycle is in its final balsamic phase—the market for underground fossil fuel sources is waning along with it.

Bottom line, if Trump was interested in pragmatic reality and opportunities for growth for workers (Virgo Jupiter), he wouldn’t maintain his contrarian position. 

Needs no explanation.

Interchart Grand Trine: PA Sun-Trump Moon-So. Node (Sagittarius) trine PA Eris-con-Uranus (Rx, Aries), which trines Trump Mars-ASC (Leo).  It’s too wide in places, but we can also view this wild fiery configuration as part of a “kite” formation with Trump’s Sun-No. Node (Gemini), which reflects the very personal challenge he perceives in opposing Paris Accord goals. He is playing a strong hand in this configuration, unfortunately: the situation engages his self-protective “warrior” nature (Mars-ASC) in a “battle” scenario (PA Eris-Uranus), and unless those who support the Accord are able to co-opt his opposition for their own purposes (PA Sun conjoins Trump Moon, etc.), he could do real damage to the agreement. 

Based on the sheer force represented in this fiery grand-trine based configuration, it will be interesting to see if Trump actively throws his weight around on this issue with other national leaders (what stops him, right?), trying to undermine their participation, as well. As the earlier excerpt from Foreign Policy suggested, trade relations will be one critical arena in which those cooperating with the Accord’s goals will perhaps go one way, while those who don’t will have to find alternative opportunities. 

To whom will coal companies sell all that coal Trump wants to dig if the market for it has dried up? Why would any nation want to pollute its air with it if there were cheap, cleaner alternatives?  

Serious issues loom ahead with this and much more, as the U.S. withdrawal becomes a done deal. Bottom line, maintaining a united front is essential to the Accord’s success, so there’s a lot at stake.

PA Saturn (Sagittarius) quincunxes Trump Mercury (Cancer) while PA Neptune (Pisces) trines Trump Mercury. PA Saturn squares PA Neptune. This is a significant complex of aspects which reflects the rather loose framework of the Accord, not to mention its vulnerability to the forces that want to maintain the status quo: no carbon-based restrictions on the extractive industries or on commerce. 

We’re seeing these forces acting out most dramatically in places like Brazil, whose new right-wing leader, Jair Bolsonaro—with Trump’s support—is promoting resource raids that are ravaging the rainforest. The latest egregious example of this is that vast areas are being cleared in the forest (in violation of indigenous land rights) for the sake of mining gold
So will Brazil follow the U.S. lead and leave the Accord as well? Bolsonaro seems to take affront at everything European leaders do (sound familiar?), but it’s still probably too early to predict. Will Trump use his influence to undermine the Accord if he’s given a second term in office? Sounds like a pretty safe bet, given the dynamics we see here. The rather tense connection between PA Saturn and Trump Mercury here suggests that he seriously chafes at the restrictions (and the framework) built into the Accord, and his Mercury rules a lot of what happens in his chart. 

The PA Neptune trine to his Mercury unfortunately supports his climate denialism, although this Neptune, planted in his 7th house for a long-term transit, also quincunxes his natal 2nd house Neptune (Libra), suggesting that he may be experiencing a sinking feeling that the rest of the world is moving on and leaving him behind, and he may fear this will translate into a financial negative (2nd house Neptune rules his Pisces 8th). Rather than admit any mistakes, however, he’s far more likely to work on cashing in on his denialism by influencing others to join or support him. 

PA Mars (Libra) conjoins Trump Juno-Chiron-Jupiter Rx (Libra) and quincunxes PA Chiron (Pisces). PA Mars trines Trump Gemini points and sextiles his Sagittarius points. Notice that we’re seeing the personal stakes Trump may have in opposing the Accord. As a world leader and a nation of 300+ million people who depend upon the health of the environment for their own wellbeing, the U.S. has far different stakes in the success of the Accord. 

In this set of aspects we see that to Trump, being a child born into wealth was a mixed blessing, painfully wounding (Chiron) at times. It may have even stunted his own independent growth (his father’s Sun-Mercury conjunction exactly conjoins son Donald’s Jupiter RxFred Trump bailed son Donald out of several business failures). It couldn’t help, either, that Donald’s marriages (Juno) have twice ended in divorce (Chiron). 

All this combined may have something to do with the bitterness Trump seems to harbor against anyone he thinks is getting “something for nothing” from him. He’s carried this attitude into his dealings as president, which often doesn’t make sense for the nation: the U.S. has always gained important influence (access to sites for strategic military bases, for instance) from the foreign aid relationships it carries on, but he prefers to wield influence in ways that reinforce his “tough guy” self-image. As we can see every day in the news, this preference has gotten him into difficulties, with the Ukraine scandal and impeachment inquiry.   

Final thoughts

I began this post by wondering out loud about the energies available to us to tackle the incredible scope of the global climate change problem, but clearly the chief task at hand is to banish the very real geopolitical obstacles to doing so. The spread of a particularly regressive form of nationalist populism in nations like Brazil, Hungary, Poland, and the re-emergence of social blights like anti-Semitism in parts of Europe that should know better is troubling and counter-productive because it works against collaborative efforts between nations. 

Revolts against any taxes the Macron government has sought to impose to meet the Agreement's goals were the basis for serious "Yellow Vest" protests in France this past year--with right-wing Populist Marine Le Pen's full support. These revenue issues will be a serious obstacle: the responsibilities need to be spread as fairly as possible.

On another, very timely note, Russia’s thuggish war on Ukraine has a lot to do with maintaining its dominance of the natural gas market in Europe by force, if it has to—resources wars are far from a thing of the past, it seems. 

So there’s a lot more at stake here than getting 194 nations to sign a friendly sounding agreement and believing that it will achieve anything concrete. Disputes that threaten the goals of the agreement must be addressed; the financial needs of nations that are falling prey to unproductive populist pressures because of climate-change related immigration need to be recognized and addressed. Even the most expansive good will and cooperative spirit among nations is going to encounter insidious short- and long-term challenges, and unfortunately, our president has chosen to be part of the problem instead of the solution.  

Thankfully, the Millennial generation appears overwhelmingly determined to push back on Trump’s exploitative designs. As the most populous generation since Trump’s post-WWII generation, they feel as strongly about climate change mitigation and a clean energy economy as Boomers felt about the Viet Nam war. They seem to be keenly aware (and a bit angry) that it will be their job to clean up the environmental mess and move forward, and they would like to stop wasting time. They’re probably thinking that if only the older generations would get out of their way… 

Maybe the time isn’t quite ripe for them to take the political reins, but it will be soon, and it will benefit us all if they are allowed to have a strong voice in the environmental policies we adopt between now and then. Even Trump can’t stop individuals, municipalities, states and corporations from working on their own to mitigate climate change, so maybe it’s time to put our efforts there, pinning our hopes on each other instead of on Trump.

Swedish student activist Greta Thunberg stands out as a prime example of what individuals can achieve: such young people are our children and grandchildren—why would any of us stand in their way? 

Raye Robertson is a practicing astrologer, writer and former educator. A graduate of the Faculty of Astrological Studies (U.K.), Raye focuses on mundane, collective-oriented astrology, with a particular interest in current affairs, culture and media, the astrology of generations, and public concerns such as education and health. Several of her articles on these topics have been featured in The Mountain Astrologer and other publications over the years.

She is also available to read individual charts—contact her at:

© Raye Robertson 2019. All rights reserved. 

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