Climate · Global Warming · Trump

Trump’s climate-change sociopathy

This post is a summary of an article titled “Trump’s climate-change sociopathy”
by Jeffrey D. Sachs.  It appeared in Project Syndicate.  Here is a link to the complete article.  All quotations in this post are from Sachs’ article.

Jeffrey D. Sachs is Professor of Sustainable Development and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University.  He is Director of Columbia’s Center for Sustainable Development and of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. His books include The End of Poverty, Common Wealth, The Age of Sustainable Development, and, most recently, Building the New American Economy.

This is an excellent article on the basic data about the US and global warming and also a good article about Trump’s role in the global attempt to deal with climate change.

Trump says that he thinks climate change is real and that it is caused by humans.  If this is true, then, say Sachs,  “Trump is knowingly and brazenly jeopardizing the planet” by dropping out of the Paris climate accord.  Sachs says that it seems to him that this attitude could be called  sociopathy.

When Trump pulled America out of the Paris accord he said that the Paris accord is somehow a trick, an anti-American plot and that the rest of the world has been laughing at us.   Sachs says that “These ravings are utterly delusional, deeply cynical, or profoundly ignorant. Probably all three. And they should be recognized as such.”

Trump claimed that he was representing Pittsburgh, not Paris.  Unfortunately for Trump, “the mayor of Pittsburgh immediately declared that Trump certainly is not representing his city. In fact, Pittsburgh has made the transition from a polluted, heavy industrial economy to an advanced, clean-tech economy. And it is home to Carnegie Mellon University, one of the world’s great centers of innovation in information technologies that can promote the transition to zero-carbon, high-efficiency, equitable, and sustainable growth – or, more simply, an economy that is “smart, fair, and sustainable.”

One of the best parts of the article are all the good climate data that is included.  Below is a sampling of the best of this data.

22 Republican senators sent Trump a letter calling on him to withdraw from the Paris accord.  These senators, and their counterparts in the House of Representatives, are all taking money from the oil and gas industry, which spent $100 million on campaign contributions in 2016, of which 90% went to Republican candidates.  And this is certainly just a fraction of the total money flowing into the pockets of Republican congressmen.  Most of it is untraceable because of the Citizens united and other Republican sponsored actions.

According to data from the World Resources Institute, the US accounted for an astounding 26.6% of global greenhouse-gas emissions from 1850 to 2013. America’s population today is just 4.4% of the world’s population.

The world’s CO2 emissions from energy and industry averaged 4.5 tons per person, world wide.

US emissions were nearly four times that level, 16.2 tons per person

India’s per capita emissions are 1.6 tons, just one-tenth of the US level.

Sachs says that since the US has contributed most of the CO2 that is now in the atmosphere, we should be the one who do the most to get the world out of this immanent danger. Instead Trump wants to pull us out of the fight against global warming completely.   If America  has an ounce of decency, it seems to me that it should be eagerly cooperating with the rest of the world.

Instead, says Sachs, “Trump’s sociopathic behavior, and the corruption and viciousness of those surrounding him, has produced utter disdain for a world nearing the brink of human-made catastrophe. The next human-caused climate disasters should be named Typhoon Donald, Superstorm Ivanka, and Megaflood Jared. The world will not forget.”

Post by Fred Hanselmann

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Biking in Boston.  Picture by Jeff Hanselmann of Hanselmann Photography

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