Climate · Global Warming · Trump

Trump is rebuked around the world for withdrawing the US from the Paris climate accords.

On Thursday afternoon Donald Trump, speaking from the Rose Garden at the White House,  withdrew the US from the Paris climate-change accord.   And this morning, Friday morning, the news is full of US and world leaders and many top journalists rebuking Trump for the serious mistake he has just made.

A roundup of some of the most important of these articles on the Trump withdrawal follows.  And this is just the tip of the iceberg.  It would be easy to add hundreds more articles pointing out the idiocy and immorality of Trump’s withdrawal of the US from the Paris accords.

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In the New York Times Paul Krugman writes that “Trump gratuitously rejects the Paris Climate Accord.”  He says that, “As Donald Trump does his best to destroy the world’s hopes of reining in climate change, let’s be clear about one thing: This has nothing to do with serving America’s national interest. The U.S. economy, in particular, would do just fine under the Paris accord. This isn’t about nationalism; mainly, it’s about sheer spite.”

Bill McKibben, perhaps the most famous of all global warming activists, almost the first person to write about Global Warming in his famous book, The End of Nature back in something like 1989, wrote an essay this mornings New York Times titled “Trumps stupid and Reckless Climate Decision.  McKibben begins the essay by saying, ”

“People say, if all you have is a hammer, then every problem looks like a nail. We should be so lucky. President Trump has a hammer, but all he’ll use it for is to smash things that others have built, as the world looks on in wonder and in fear. The latest, most troubling example is his decision to obliterate the Paris climate accord: After nearly 200 years of scientific inquiry and over 20 years of patient diplomacy that united every nation save Syria and Nicaragua, we had this afternoon’s big game-show Rose Garden reveal: Count us out.

It’s a stupid and reckless decision — our nation’s dumbest act since launching the war in Iraq. But it’s not stupid and reckless in the normal way. Instead, it amounts to a thorough repudiation of two of the civilizing forces on our planet: diplomacy and science. It undercuts our civilization’s chances of surviving global warming, but it also undercuts our civilization itself, since that civilization rests in large measure on those two forces.”

In another New York Times article , two reporters wrote about a number of US cities and states and companies who are committed to the Paris Accord in spite of Trump.   

“Representatives of American cities, states and companies are preparing to submit a plan to the United Nations pledging to meet the United States’ greenhouse gas emissions targets under the Paris climate accord, despite President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the agreement.

The unnamed group — which, so far, includes 30 mayors, three governors, more than 80 university presidents and more than 100 businesses — is negotiating with the United Nations to have its submission accepted alongside contributions to the Paris climate deal by other nations.

“We’re going to do everything America would have done if it had stayed committed,” Michael Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor who is coordinating the effort, said in an interview.”

On Wednesday, even before Trump’s Rose Garden speech withdrawing the US from the Paris climate-change agreement,  John Cassidy of the New Yorker said Donald Trump Can’t Turn Back History.   

And then today, John Cassidy of The New Yorker, wrote another article titled “Donald Trump’s ‘Screw You’ to the world. ”   He said that when “Trump withdrew the US from the Paris Accord,  Trump was ignoring the advice of his senior economic advisers, many of his fellow-businessmen, and, reportedly, his own daughter and son-in-law.”

Amy Davidson, also of the New Yorker, wrote an article about how Angela Merkle saw Trumps withdrawal of the US from the Paris accords as the last straw.  In her article,  “Angela Merkel and the Insult of the Trumps Paris Climate-accord Withdrawal” Davidson  said  ” During the past few days, Merkel seemed to have had it with Trump, in some significant measure because of his flashy contempt for the climate deal and for his fellow world leaders.”

On May 16, Elizabeth Kolbert of the New Yorker wrote about “Why Trump will make the wrong decision on Paris.”  She says that “On the Paris climate accord, the Trump Administration has split into two camps, with Scott Pruitt, the head of the E.P.A. on one side and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on the other.”

Elizabert Kolbert, the environmental writer of the New Yorker said “It’s possible that President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris accord, while evidently wrongheaded, won’t make all that much difference” in her article “Au Revoir: Trump exists the Paris Climate Agreement.”  Kolbert said that “It is telling that several of the U.S.’s largest tech companies, including Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Intel, signed an open letter to Trump, urging him to “keep the United States in the Paris Agreement.” The letter states, “By expanding markets for innovative clean technologies, the agreement generates jobs and economic growth.” On Tuesday, Apple’s chief executive, Tim Cook, reportedly put in a call to the President, urging him to remain in the agreement.”

David Roberts on Vox has a whole series of articles about how wrongheaded Trump is on the climate issue.  In my opinion, Roberts is the foremost journalist writing on energy, climate change and the environment right now.  His articles are always incredibly detailed, thought provoking and full of brand new perspectives.  I think the four articles below are the best of the bunch I have cited in this post.

On May 30 David Roberts wrote that Bannon is Pulling one over on Trump.  There is zero reason to exit the Paris climate accord. ”  He said that “Pulling out of Paris is reckless and would shoot the US in the foot. ”

On May 31, David Roberts wrote “How Trump policy will affect US carbon emissions, in one graph.”  He said that “America’s progress on carbon is set to stall.”

On June 1, David Robert’s wrote “Trump’s Paris climate decision shows the threat rising tribalism poses to the planet.   He said that “cosmopolitanism must win the war, or we’re screwed.”

On June 2, David Robert’s wrote “The five biggest deceptions in Trump’s Paris climate speech.”  He added that “It wasn’t easy narrowing these down.”

Eric Roston reports for Bloomberg Business Week that “The US is the Loser as Trump Dumps the Climate Accord.”  He says the “The exit will undermine Americas’s economics competitiveness, the technological innovation and global leadership.  Not to  mention the planet.”

Gina McCarthy in Foreign Policy said on May 31 that “If Trump dumps the Paris accord, China will rule the energy Future.”  She says that “The US isn’t just forfeiting its environmental leadership.  It’s shipping jobs and influence to Beijing.”

Elizabeth of the New Yorker reports that even the Wall Street Journal was urging the the US to remain in the Paris Climate Agreement.  Kolbert says that, “In another open letter to the President, which ran as a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal, the heads of thirty other mammoth companies, including 3M, Cargill, Bank of America, and Morgan Stanley, wrote to express their “strong support for the United States remaining in the Paris Climate Agreement.” The C.E.O.s said that they were concerned about the “strong potential for negative trade implications if the United States exits from the Paris Agreement.”

Brad Plumer in the New York Times wrote an article asking “What to expect as US leaves Paris climate accord.” 

Here is a major article in the New York Times by Chris Buckley, dated June 2, 2017.  “China’s role in climate change and possibly in fighting it.”   This article begins this way…..

BEIJING — When President Trump announced that he would take the United States out of the Paris climate accord, a treaty to limit global warming, he threw an accusing spotlight on China, the planet’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases from fossil fuels and industry.

Under that treaty, “China will be able to increase these emissions by a staggering number of years – 13,” and “be allowed to build hundreds of additional coal plants,” Mr. Trump said.

But China has said it is serious about cutting greenhouse gases. Is China living up to its word, and what more could it do if it wanted to become a global leader in fighting climate change? Here’s an explanation.

On this same note, here is an older article by David Roberts at Vox.  This article was written on May 16.  Roberts says that, By 2020 every Chinese coal plant will be more efficient than every US Coal Plant.  Roberts says that a recent report by The Center for American Progress says that China has big plans about cleaning up coal.  Roberts says that ….

The result is a report — authored by Melanie Hart, Luke Bassett, and Blaine Johnson — that offers the clearest picture yet of the big picture on coal in China. And a closer look, it turns out, utterly destroys the conservative argument. Far from sitting back and coasting while the US acts, China is waging an aggressive, multi-front campaign to clean up coal before eventually phasing it out — reducing emissions from existing plants, mothballing older plants, and raising standards for new plants. Unlike the US, it is on track to exceed its Paris carbon reduction commitments.

In short, while the US dithers along in a cosmically stupid dispute over whether science is real, China is tackling climate change with all guns blazing. The US, not China, is the laggard in this relationship.

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OK, I quit.  I could go on  all night finding articles that point out Trump’s  huge error in withdrawing the US from the Paris climate accord.  How this plays out is going to be very interesting.  My guess is that the world is going to go right on moving away from carbon fuels, with or without Trump.  Trump will certainly slow this down.  But I think that fighting global warming is far bigger than Trump and that progress will continue to be made.  Unfortunately, it is now far too late to completely avoid all of the dangers of global warming, but hopefully not too late to save civilization.  It will be awhile before we know  the extent of the disaster, but, in my opinion, this will not be as far into the future as many think it will be.

Fred Hanselmann

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Green Dory and Dock in Maine

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