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Au Revoir to Paris?

© Jeff Danziger

And the “Insult Europe Tour” isn’t over yet. Today, everyone is expecting Donald Trump to withdraw the US from the Paris Climate Accord, joining only Syria and Nicaragua in opposing the agreement. Our allies in Europe have been leading the fight against climate change, and now they are watching the US sink itself.

Why would Trump do this, when 71% of Americans support the Paris deal (including 57% of Republicans). In addition, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, and his daughter Ivanka Trump all want Trump to stay in the deal.

On the other hand, withdrawing from the Paris agreement plays to his base at a time when his most ardent supporters are starting to become disenchanted with Trump. Trump has accomplished almost none of his campaign promises other than appointing a conservative Supreme Court justice, and this is one of the few things that Trump can do without help from a Congress that is increasingly opposing him. And, perhaps most satisfying to Trump, it is a big chance to petulantly destroy one of Obama’s big achievements.

Personally, I am not sure how I feel about withdrawing from the Paris accord. Indeed, even some climate activists are in favor of pulling out from the agreement. They argue that the agreement is far too weak (which is why Nicaragua opposes it), its enforcement is “voluntary, insufficient, and impossible to monitor”. Worse, it provides cover for “powerful, retrenched fossil fuel interests and other bad climate actors and rogue climate states. The Paris agreement affords oil, gas and coal companies a globally visible platform through which to peddle influence and appear engaged on climate change while lobbying for business as usual.” Indeed, it is suspicious that Exxon Mobil, Chevron, BP, Peabody coal, and other fossil fuel companies support staying in the agreement, which helps protect them from lawsuits. Withdrawing from the agreement would actually make it easier for environmental organizations to “strengthen the most vigorous avenues of climate action left to us, which are through the courts and direct citizen action.”

On the other hand, as the comic implies, pulling out of the Paris climate accord could harm the US far more than it harms the rest of the world:

Ostensibly, the purpose of withdrawing from the Accord is to reduce regulation, thus allowing job creation and economic growth. But if the Chinas and the Germanys and the Frances of the world decide the U.S. is more trouble than it’s worth, and increase their dealings with one another, then it could depress the stock market, wreck the dollar, and reduce job growth.

In the end, Trump may be cutting off his nose to spite his face, but it is the rest of us who will suffer.



  1. Thatguy wrote:

    Wait… Rick Perry is in favor of the accord?

    That’s perhaps the most significant negative I’ve heard about it.

    Thursday, June 1, 2017 at 10:10 am | Permalink
  2. Jonah wrote:

    This presidency has become a reality show. The decision will be announce at 3 PM EST ie in 30 minutes. Quite a few decisions he has made have been at a specific time.

    That reminds me, it will be comeys turn next week on the 8th. Can’t wait.

    Thursday, June 1, 2017 at 12:29 pm | Permalink
  3. redjon wrote:

    It was said during Trump’s campaign that, it is good that he is obscenely wealthy because that means he cannot be bought.

    First, the fact that he possesses such wealth also means he can afford to lose as much of it as he needs to in order to make a point. Second, in spite of his wealth, Trump has a deep need to be the center of attention in the same way many teenagers have a deep need to be the center of attention and in exactly the same way that teenagers will be destructive and even self-destructive, if need be, in order to get the attention they crave.

    The solution would be for Trump to stop acting like a child but, if that hasn’t happened by now, and it obviously has not, then there’s not much hope for him.

    Pathetic, really. So much potential to do something worthwhile just by virtue of the office he holds, and all we have is a drama queen.

    Thursday, June 1, 2017 at 12:29 pm | Permalink
  4. j. wrote:

    I look at the Paris Climate Accord as a symbolic place to start, an acknowledgment of the problem. The act of pulling out of the Accord is then, a statement of denial. j.

    Thursday, June 1, 2017 at 2:49 pm | Permalink
  5. PatriotSGT wrote:

    Some facts to consider.
    Pulling out of the agreement does not limit our ability to meet or exceed emission targets.
    Under the agreement the #1 and #3 leaders in emissions (China and India) do not plan on curbing emissions until 2030. In fact China plans to continue increasing emissions until 2030 and then leveling out before considering reductions.
    Leaving the agreement does not deter them from reducing their emissions just like it has no power to force them to reduce emissions.
    The US pulling out does not effect the EU form increasing their payout to less developed nations, they are free to pay more.
    Pulling out does not prevent us from continuing to provide aid to many developing nations or from helping or rewarding them for getting greener.

    Pulling out does release us from an agreement not approved by the people’s representatives ( congress)but entered into by Obama alone. So it’s completely fair that Trump can exit the accord without consent from the people’s representatives.

    If we want to really go green, we need to IMO go nuclear. It is safe, has 0 carbon emission. Best of all we could create jobs, export technology to developing nations and creat more jobs.

    That’s my take on this.

    Thursday, June 1, 2017 at 6:54 pm | Permalink
  6. Anonymous wrote:

    China shuts down coal plants

    Thursday, June 1, 2017 at 7:26 pm | Permalink
  7. Hassan wrote:

    Free market is working, many companies have said they will continue good practices to protect environment.

    Here is liberal Chris Hayes on it:

    Obama did unilateral action on it without congress, and it is finished by same mechanism. That is why process is important whether it is D or R. Big government and stronger executive with unlimited rights proponent liberals forgot that after Obama, someone as douche-bag as Trump can follow him.

    Thursday, June 1, 2017 at 10:17 pm | Permalink
  8. Jonah wrote:

    The us after trump reminds me of clint eastwood in gran torino. An old man who doesnt want anything to do with the rest of the world, shrinks into his shell and yells at people to get off his darn lawn. There’s a lot of talk about how Trump withdrawing from the accord is meaningless and nothings going to happen. Less talked about is what the benefits are. Which industry(s) is(are) going to benefit? A dying industry like coal?? Instead of leading a clean tech revolution this country is withdrawing into its shell. Does Trump seriously think that he’s going to make american great again by opening more coal mines in west virginia or by creating the next clean energy industry in the US?

    One of the main reasons why we should have stayed in the accord is simply the symbolism. The US being a leader in ensuring that our kids and grand kids have a planet thats liveable. Instead a rich country like ours is acting like a petulant child that wants children who are less well off to hand over their toys. Doesn’t want to be the adult in the room.

    Lets just renegotiate the accord after southern florida is under water.

    Friday, June 2, 2017 at 3:00 am | Permalink
  9. Jonah wrote:

    In the meantime here’s trump cleaning the swamp

    Friday, June 2, 2017 at 3:04 am | Permalink
  10. Jonah wrote:

    Hopefully the outcome will be whats described here. Not what trump intended though

    Friday, June 2, 2017 at 4:21 am | Permalink
  11. Ralph wrote:

    Accidently posted this in Friday’s post. Worth a repeat.

    “Nicaraguan businessman friend: “A group of us will ask Ortega to sign Paris Accord. Being in same group w/Trump is so damn embarrassing.” – @ananavarro. (Ana Navarro is a Republican strategist. You may have seen her on one of the Sunday yak shows. “Nicaraguan by birth. American by choice.”)

    Friday, June 2, 2017 at 6:13 am | Permalink
  12. Ralph wrote:

    From an early April twitter post by Jester Actual (@th3j35t3r), a popular subversive on the net. So a bit dated (remember early April? Good times!). There’s probably another dozen or so “this I believe”s one could think of about Dear Leader since then, but thought it informative to review all the reasons why we love and believe in him so. /s
    I believe the President. I have always believed him.

    I believed him when he said he wanted to ban Muslims from entering the United States. And I believe him now when he says his travel ban has nothing to do with religious discrimination.

    I believed him when he said Mexico is sending us its rapists and criminals, and I believed him when he said he loves Hispanics. I believe that Trump Tower makes the best taco bowls.

    I believe that Donald Trump will drain the swamp and that his election has delivered us from the corruption of Bill and Hillary Clinton. I believe him when he says there’s no reason for him to disclose his tax returns. I believe him when he says there’s no reason to divest himself of any of his financial holdings.

    I believed him when he protested that he wasn’t trying to get a security clearance for his daughter and son-in-law. And I believe him now when says he needs his family installed by his side in the West Wing. I believe the Emoluments Clause applies only to Democrats. And I believe that only rank partisanship and media bias explain the skepticism about his finances running rampant in the press.

    I believe Temple Taggart McDowell is a cheap tramp who was asking for it. I believe Rachel Crooks is a cheap tramp who was asking for it. I believe Natasha Stoynoff is cheap tramp who was asking for it. I believe Mindy McGillivray is a cheap tramp who was asking for it. I believe that all of the other women who have accused the President of sexual assault are also cheap tramps who were asking for it.

    In any event, I also believe that the President was merely engaged in “locker room talk” when he boasted of grabbing women by the pussy. I believed the President when he said he was going to repeal and replace Obamacare and I believed him when he said it was the Democrats’ fault that he didn’t repeal or replace Obamacare. I believe him now that it’s all the House Freedom Caucus’s fault that Congress has left Obamacare in place. I believe him that it’s time to move on to tax reform. I believe the President that he’s a great deal maker, and I look forward to his negotiating new trade deals on my behalf.

    I believe there is nothing unusual about Trump’s solicitude for Vladimir Putin. I believe that the whole Russia connection story is “fake news” designed to cover up an embarrassing electoral loss on the part of the Democrats.

    I believe there is nothing unusual about Michael Flynn’s dealings with the Russian government.
    I believe there is nothing unusual about Carter Page’s dealings with the Russian government.
    I believe there is nothing unusual about Paul Manafort’s dealings with the Russian government.
    I believe there is nothing unusual about Jared Kushner’s meeting with a sanctioned Russian bank while working for his father-in-law’s transition. I believe that kind of thing happens all the time in all transitions.

    I also believe there is nothing unusual about having a member of a Hungarian extremist party working in your White House while he is resolving a pending gun charge for trying to bring a handgun onto an airplane.

    And yes, I believe that Barack Hussein Obama wire tapped Trump Tower. I believe Devin Nunes was merely conducting an impartial investigation when he came across information the President needed to know about and that he therefore raced over to the White House to inform him of his discovery.

    I believe any patriot would have done the same. And I believe that stopping briefly before going in and before coming out of the White House to tell the press all about it is perfectly consistent with complaining about leaks. I believe it makes all the sense in the world to rush over to the White House to inform the President of material you learned from the White House.

    I believe that leaks are the real story.

    And finally, needless to say, I believe that Donald Trump will Make America Great Again.

    Ben Wittes – April 2017

    Anyone feel a little bit silly yet?

    Friday, June 2, 2017 at 7:52 am | Permalink
  13. Ralph wrote:

    Oh, here’s another “this I believe” I thought of already and nicely encapsulated by the Jester in the post I captured below.

    I believe there’s nothing coincidental or suspicious about Trump returning the Russian diplomatic compounds, seized by Obama as punishment for Moscow interfering in the 2016 election, within a week of Russia threatening to otherwise take “counter measures”.

    Oh please please please God, let there be a “pee tape”!

    Friday, June 2, 2017 at 8:12 am | Permalink
  14. Ralph wrote:

    For those interested, here’s a brief profile of the aforementioned Jester, an anonymous “white hat hacker”, including his first ever interview granted shortly after the election where he discusses his exploits with Russian hackers and his take on the emerging cyberwars we now face.

    Friday, June 2, 2017 at 9:15 am | Permalink
  15. Ralph wrote:

    I’m ashamed to even admit he’s from my state.

    Rick Santorum stuns CNN panel while mansplaining renewable energy: The Sun is not ‘reliable’ or ‘consistent’

    Ok, I’m stopping now before my head explodes…

    Pleasant weekend all.

    Friday, June 2, 2017 at 9:31 am | Permalink
  16. Iron Knee wrote:

    Great links. I especially love the point made by the link in comment #10, that the US pulling out of the Paris accord will probably make the accord stronger. The same thing happened with Brexit. The UK was always dragging their feet and demanding special exemptions. Their withdrawal makes the EU stronger.

    Saturday, June 3, 2017 at 10:01 am | Permalink