Why Trump Pulled the US Out of the Paris Agreement

It is hard to develop a global consensus on anything. That would even be true if aliens were invading the earth and all humanity would have to unite in order to fend off the threat. It is especially true when the threat faced by humanity is less than immediate and apparent.

For many years that is why humanity has not been able to unite around a sensible solution to slowing down — let alone reversing … climate change. BTW, in case you are wondering, economists have estimated that we could avoid the worst effects of climate change with a modest investment in technologies that would have minimal effects on our lives. In other words, we can do this if we choose to.

The Paris Agreement is our best effort so far. It is not the ultimate solution, but at least it is a tiny step in the right direction.

This is the key point

…  the Paris Agreement, with its emphasis on consensus-building, allows for voluntary and nationally determined targets.[31] The specific climate goals are thus politically encouraged, rather than legally bound. Only the processes governing the reporting and review of these goals are mandated under international law.

In other words even if one is not sure that climate change is an issue, THERE IS NO REASON TO OPPOSE THE PARIS AGREEMENT. It does not force any country to meet any specific target. The only requirements relate to reporting. And what is wrong with getting a better idea about what is going on around the world?

BTW, the US was a major player is watering down the Paris Agreement this way. And now Donald Trump has anounced that the US will pull out of the Paris Agreement – after we  got it watered down in order to get our approval.

WTF? This is why Trump did it. The only reason Donald Trump is doing this is to focus attention on something other than the Russia election hacking and influence investigations. Trump is desperate to show that he is having impact as president. ANYTHING to provoke his base into gathering around him and fending off his detractors.

Which brings me to my point. Trump will keep on doing this sort of stuff until one way or another he is kicked out of office. That is his game. So strap on your hemets. This is going to be a crappy time for anyone — left, right, or center — who is serious about public policy. And that is on top of serious concerns whether Trump has US interests in mind at all as he blunders forward.

And if you support Trump, you might ask yourself, why is pulling out of the Paris Agreement — an agreement that does nothing — so important now? Will it change global opinion on climate? No. Will it enhance US position in the world? No. Will it have any positive impact on the US economy? No. Will it damage US interests around the world? Yes. So, why do this?

Think about it.


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