Today Trump made his announcement that the U.S. is pulling out of the Paris Climate Change Agreement. I listened to his speech but it didn’t really address climate change and he doesn’t seem to understand the nature of an international agreement that essentially is a voluntary and consensus-based agreement to internationally address the problem of global climate change. He talked instead mostly about economic nationalism, basically asserting American isolationism as a response to a problem that is global. In short, America is no longer a world leader of any importance.
Most people (including most Americans) don’t understand International Law because it tends to be a very esoteric subject. I studied it in law school but it actually took me awhile to understand how much of it, aside from imposing sanctions for bad behavior, is consensus-based – how punishments are often simply the lowering of your status in the international community, etc., etc., – there’s so much to it that it can take quite a bit of study to grasp.
I found a very good explanation at Snopes.com on the Paris Agreement and the complications of pulling out of the agreement: Does Trump Have the Authority to Pull Out of the Paris Climate Agreement?
Another recent article (on ThinkProgress 5/31/17): Top European Union official says Trump doesn’t understand Paris climate accord.
@TeamPelosi tweeted this today: Map of the Participants and Non-Participants of the Paris Climate Agreement We are now right up there with Syria and Nicaragua as the only hold outs.
By the terms of the Agreement itself, the U.S. cannot actually “pull out” until Nov. 2020. Many leaders at NATO and G7 tried to explain this to Trump, but he “didn’t get it.” Perhaps by Nov. 2020 we will have a new American president.
Combatting Trump Fake News on the Paris Agreement – Paris Agreement: What Experts Say vs. What the White House Says (ClimateNexus 6/1/17).
There’s lots of backlash being reported on the news as I write this. But for now, it just seems pretty hypocritical that the country that has been documented as the World’s second largest polluter is choosing to ignore any responsibility to help dial back the problems to which we so substantially contributed.
The best response I’ve heard so far today came from former Secretary of State John Kerry on CBS News tonight. Here’s some links for those interested:
Full CBS interview Transcript: John Kerry on Trump’s climate agreement decision (CBS News 6/1/17).
MSNBC video interview of Kerry.
Basically Trump is treating the rest of the world the way he treated his contractors on construction jobs where they were screwed out of payment: We (America) get to pollute if we want. You all do the work and pay for the cleanup, and we’ll contribute only if we (Trump) feel like it. He is making enemies for the U.S. left, right and center in every country on the planet (except maybe Russia). He is not asserting American “sovereignty”, he is dealing America completely OUT of any international participation or cooperative alliances, and this will hurt us in the long run. (Just watch “Survivor” for crap’s sake!! Alliances work! Right?)
Someone needs to educate the US president that the Earth is not flat, and that what happens in America does not stay in America.
It is just plain “Sad!” that so many Trumpers believe his fake news, and #trumpfakenews was smattered liberally in his speech today. The Paris Agreement did not “force” America to do anything. He could simply have ignored the agreement (or altered the U.S. commitments) and pretty much nothing would have happened. Instead he chose to badly damage the reputation of the United States as a participant on the world stage by what he said and did today.
There is and was no connection between the Paris agreement and Trump’s campaign slogan of “Make America Great Again” or even some kind of external stress on American jobs! This is Trump’s made up #trumpfakenews rhetoric that he spouts loudly because he knows it will be repeated endlessly by the media and thereby sink into the consciousness of intellectually-vulnerable Americans. Let’s not believe this jerk. Please.
Instead, as French President Emmanuel Macron said today: “Let’s Make Our Planet Great Again!”
What’s Next (since America’s abdication as a world leader):
A couple of contenders for the new World Leadership title (I have to include because they are both very cute!):