Thursday, June 8, 2017

Too Many Reasons To Count Why Trump's Withdrawel From Paris Accord Was Dumb

Donald Trump apparently using his fingers to demonstrate
the firepower of his tiny intellect, including in
relations to climate change. 
I've always said the most dangerous people in the world are those who think they are really smart but are instead really dumb.

By withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord Thursday, President Donald Trump proved that point bigly, to borrow a fake word from our Dear Leader.

Heads up: Expect a lot more vitriol from me in this column than you're used to, but I just have to unload.

There are so many things wrong with Trump's "logic" about getting out of the Paris accord that I don't know where to start.

Let's start by pretending that climate change is indeed fake, an falsehood that Trump says is a product of evil Chinese trying to gain economic advantage over the United States, as Trump's paranoia would have it.

I know, I know, climate change is actually real, but go with me here.

By bailing on the Paris Accord, Trump has made the United States less trustworthy on the world's stage, a task he's already been accomplishing anyway.

Since the rest of the world - except the illustrious global leaders Syria and Nicaragua - are on board with the Paris Accord, other leading countries in Europe and Asia are more likely to go it without us on this issue, and anything else that comes up that's important to the world.

This weakens our negotiating position on any number of topics - trade, war, political stability. Trump claims to be this great negotiator, yet he weakened his - our - bargaining position. Nice job, Donald.

"President Trump has turned his back on the world on an issue they care deeply about....This will have repercussions for how other countries respond to the U.S., not just on the climate playing field, but well beyond," said Andrew Light, a senior fellow at the World Resources Institute and a former State Department officials who focused on climate change during the Obama administration.

Speaking of negotiation, Trump claims he will negotiated a newer, better Paris Accord, one that is more advantageous to the United States.

It takes two ( or more) to tango, and already, major countries are saying they're unwilling to reopen negotiations.  What's Donald going to do, talk to himself? Oh yeah, he does that already, at least probably.

Oh, and remember how I mentioned Trump's paranoia about China?  Well, he just handed them a major victory.

As Huffington Post points out:

"'This move from Trump also gives China the chance to "cast themselves as the new champions of globalization,'  says Andrew Small, a China expert at the Marshall Fund think tank.

'Politically, Beijing sees this as a gift-wrapped opportunity to position itself as a responsible global leader at the expense of the United States,' Small said. 'For countries that see climate change as an existential issue - not least the European leaders who are meeting the Chinese PM for their summit this week - closer cooperation with China now becomes a necessity.'"

In other words, Trump is putting the United States out of the loop. And ceding world leadership to countries like China.

Trump claims the withdrawal from the Paris agreement is meant to boost United States business success and job creation.

If that's the case, why did so many major U.S. corporations implore Trump to stick with the Paris accord?  These businesses famously included fossil fuel behemoths like Exxon-Mobil, Shell and Chevron.

PolitiFact had a field day picking apart Trump's nearly fact-free speech announcing the withdrawal from the Paris Accord.

Trump said the pact would create a $3 trillion drop in United States gross domestic product, and we'd lose 6.5 million industrial sector jobs by 2040.

Says Politifact:

"All of these statistics come from a March, 2017 study, prepared by NERA Economic Consulting, that estimates the potential impact of hypothetical regulatory actions necessary to meet the goals of the Paris agreement. The study makes assumptions that gave several economics and environmental professors pause when reacting to the NERA study for"

I'll say!

The assumptions in the study that Trump apparently bought hook, line and sinker include:

--- That other countries don't make emission reductions in line with the Paris agreement, forcing leading American companies to relocate to other nations.

 -- Industries and static and don't change to adapt to regulations.

--- There is no increase in clean electricity generation compared to a baseline scenario.

In other words, not only does Trump peddle fake news, he also peddles fake studies.

On the bright side, people are starting to get adept at just ignoring Trump, and making end runs around him.

According to Reuters:

"Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg submitted a statement to the United Nations on Monday that over 1,000 U.S. governors, mayors, businesses, universities and others will continue to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement abandoned by President Donald Trump last week.

Bloomberg, who is the U.N. Secretary-General's special envoy for cities and climate change, submitted the "We Are Still In" declaration to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa."

Of course I'm happy Bloomberg is organizing this, and I'm also glad that here in Vermont, Gov. Phil Scott, a moderate  Republican, said the Green Mountain State will also join the coalition to adhere to the Paris climate accord.

It's still shockingly disappointing though, that the supposed leader of the free world, Donald Trump, can't seem to lead anything. If thousands if not millions of people can get ahead of Trump on issues of great worldwide importance, it's really sad.

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