People are still debating whether climate change is real. The president of the United States is one of them. Last week Donald Trump decided to pull America out of the landmark Paris agreement which was signed last year by almost every other country on earth. His reason? “They’re laughing at us.” For once he’s right, and he seems to think killing the environment will stop the laughter. Presumably since you can’t laugh when you’re dead. Trump also said that the agreement hurts the US economically, that he wants to renegotiate a better deal, and that (spoiler alert) he’s not the mayor of Paris. So how did everybody react to all of this? Well, foreign leaders are saying “this IS the best deal, trust us”, Syria and Nicaragua are saying “welcome to the club!”, and pretty much everyone else is saying “this is a very bad idea”.
So why did he actually do this, you ask? That’s the 64 thousand dollar question. Some say President Trump is trying to keep his fan base happy. Others say he’s in denial or willfully misinformed about the science. Others think he’s trying to stick it to Obama, the media and those pesky liberals. Others say Trump, and at least a dozen Republican politicians, are in the deep pockets of big oil, gas and coal. Still others say chief strategist Steve Bannon orchestrated the whole thing for his own amusement. Whatever the reason, his scorched earth policy and refusal to take responsibility for America’s massive carbon footprint (FYI the US is the second biggest carbon emitter, behind China) isn’t helping Dealmaker Donald win friends and influence people.
In pulling out of Paris, President Trump is damaging America’s global standing and foreign relations, obstructing world goals of limiting global warming, and hurting American job creation through renewable energies. So what’s going to happen now, you ask? Well with the US taking a timeout, China seems pretty eager to step into the shoes of global (climate) leader. Many of the largest US tech, investment and energy companies, as well as individual cities and states, are making moves to commit to the Paris agreement in defiance of Trump. And the rest of the world is still committed and moving ahead with their own climate goals. What Trump doesn’t realize is that while those climate goals may not align with his own interests, American companies could stand to gain from them in the future. And Trump has just walked away from a seat at the table where the framework for the future will be created. So who’s laughing now?
Feel like this is a dark day for Mother Earth? Movie for your doomsday mood: Armageddon