Trump ditching Paris climate deal isn’t the end of the world

Jun 2, 2017

By Catherine Brahic

Yesterday US president Donald Trump declared “we’re getting out” of the Paris climate agreement, swiftly followed by a pledge to begin negotiations to re-enter it on “better” terms.

The decision will unavoidably damage businesses and research in the US, as well as the health of its population and its international reputation. But how much damage will it inflict on global efforts to keep warming below 2°C? In short, has Trump doomed us all?

Current political pledges, including US targets set by the last president, Barack Obama, add up to a global temperature rise of 3.6°C. To bring that down to 2°C, global emissions must peak as soon as possible, ideally within the next three years, and cease entirely by 2070. That’s a tall order, but the energy sector and industry more generally have undergone a remarkable transformation in recent years. Best of all, much of it is happening on the international stage, independent of US federal decisions.

First, the dirtiest of fossil fuels – coal – is in decline, most notably in the US and China. As Trump is at pains to point out, the US coal industry is dying; most agree his best efforts are unlikely to reverse that. Coal-fired power stations around the world are being retired at unprecedented rates and in the last few years, the amount of coal mined globally has fallen.

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14 comments on “Trump ditching Paris climate deal isn’t the end of the world

  • @OP – Yesterday US president Donald Trump declared
    “we’re getting out” of the Paris climate agreement,
    swiftly followed by a pledge to begin negotiations to re-enter it on “better” terms.

    Which is yet another example of incompetent delusional wish-thinking on his part!

    https://www.axios.com/merkel-and-macron-we-wont-renegotiate-paris-deal-2429575853.html

    The heads of state and government of Germany, France, and Italy — fellow G7 leader Theresa May was notably absent — issued a joint statement that “[takes] note with regret” President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement and hits back at Trump’s call to renegotiate the deal.

    Summing it up: “We deem the momentum generated in Paris in December 2015 irreversible and we firmly believe that the Paris Agreement cannot be renegotiated, since it is a vital instrument for our planet, societies, and economies.”

    And French President Emmanuel Macron gave a televised address on Trump’s decision, stating that,
    “On climate, there is no plan B because there is no planet B,”
    adding, “The United States has turned its back on the world, but France will not turn its back on Americans.”




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  • @OP – but the energy sector and industry more generally have undergone a remarkable transformation in recent years. Best of all, much of it is happening on the international stage, independent of US federal decisions.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-40136908

    Trump climate agreement: Rest of world rallies around Paris deal

    China, the EU and India, which along with the US make up the four biggest emitters of carbon dioxide, have restated their commitment to the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.

    Top EU official Donald Tusk said at a summit with China that Brussels and Beijing would step up co-operation.

    Mr Trump announced the US was leaving for economic reasons, saying the deal would cost American jobs.

    Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the US would still curb emissions.

    Amid widespread international condemnation of the US decision, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he would “not judge” Mr Trump.

    The Paris agreement commits the US and 194 other countries to keeping rising global temperatures “well below” 2C above pre-industrial levels and “endeavour to limit” them even more, to 1.5C.

    @OP- Donald Trump declared “we’re getting out” of the Paris climate agreement, swiftly followed by a pledge to begin negotiations to re-enter it on “better” terms.

    The mighty intellect of Trump has spoken, so 194 other countries are of course going to bow down to “Trump’s superior knowledge” on climate, (as a committed climate change denier with an admiring sycophant denialist cabinet of science illiterates! ) and renegotiate the “hoax” science!!! :-)-
    at least that is what is imagined in Trump’s egotistical delusional mind!

    The UN World Meteorological Organisation said on Friday that, in the worst scenario, the US pullout could add 0.3C to global temperatures by the end of the century.

    European Council President Donald Tusk said after meeting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang that the two powers took their responsibilities seriously.

    “Today, China and Europe have demonstrated solidarity with future generations and responsibility for the whole planet,” he told reporters at a joint news conference.

    “The fight against climate change and all the research, innovation and technological progress it will bring will continue with or without the United States,” he added.

    Mr Tusk was echoing similar pledges by EU politicians such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel who said the path set out by Paris was “irreversible”.

    A spokeswoman for the Chinese foreign ministry, Hua Chunying, said China was ready to take a leading role in the fight against climate change.

    Trump’s decision on leading in developing new clean industries and technologies:- China first – America last! !

    “In the future, China will continue to tackle climate change in all ways, will proactively participate in the multilateral process of tackling climate change and resolutely uphold the global climate management process,” she said.

    Indian Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan said: “As far as the Paris accord is concerned… our government is committed, irrespective of the stand of anyone, anywhere in the world.”

    The group of the world’s 48 least developed countries accused Mr Trump of showing disregard for millions of lives.

    Scientists have warned the poorest countries across the globe will be the hardest hit by climate change as they lack capacity to cope with extreme weather events.

    I see that Trump has also assured his allies that he is still committed to “protecting the environment”, but actually, that merely illustrates his commitment to reckless lying and double-talk!



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  • Yesterday US president Donald Trump declared “we’re getting out” of the Paris climate agreement,

    And claimed that as a result of this. . . . . .

    Trump: The world won’t laugh any more at US
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-40136908

    He was wrong as usual!
    While it is saddening that the world is to be damaged by this reckless stupidity, the notion that pompous selfish assertions of ignorant science illiteracy, will stop people laughing at him, is entirely wrong!



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  • So now we can see how Trump will gradually come undone. Although he seems to have support from many others like Theresa May, Vladimir Putin and his own republicans like Rex Tillerson, this is not true support, just a lack of criticism, at the moment. His so called friends will soon turn away if he becomes too toxic. He has been painting himself into a corner and the time is rapidly approaching where he will be completely trapped. Political friends can be particularly fickle and sadly for Trump it does seem a day of reckoning may not be far off.
    In many ways he may have inadvertantly helped those who oppose him by uniting them in a common cause. That can only be for the good of all, so we may even end up thanking him for being so totally incompetent as to actually achieve the opposite of everything he has set out to do.
    I would even go so far as to say he has deliberately set out to fail. Strangely it seems to be very similar with various politicians in the UK right now. It seems like they are just acting a part and not really trying to acieve anything at all. Maybe no one wants to, or thinks they are able to properly manage Brexit.
    The stakes are a lot higher with climate change, in the end nature will decide and no god will be there to get us out although I’m sure there are many who must be doing all they can to delude themselves about it.



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  • It looks like some of the better educated and informed Americans are working to cut the mad-house – err – White House, out of the process of meeting carbon reductions.

    Support for the Paris agreement is largely a statement of intent and attitude to the real problems.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-40141411

    The US can still meet its commitments to fight climate change, despite President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris accord, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said.

    Mr Bloomberg is the UN special envoy for cities and climate change.

    Mr Trump said the 2015 Paris agreement would cost American jobs.

    His decision, announced on Thursday, triggered widespread international condemnation.

    China, the EU and India, which along with the US make up the four biggest emitters of carbon dioxide, restated their commitment to the accord.

    It committed the US and 194 other countries to keeping rising global temperatures “well below” 2C (3.6F) above pre-industrial levels and “endeavour to limit” them even more, to 1.5C.

    “Americans don’t need Washington to meet our Paris commitments, and Americans are not going to let Washington stand in the way of fulfilling it,” Mr Bloomberg said following talks with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris.

    “I want the world to know that the US will meet its Paris commitments and that through partnerships among cities, states and businesses we will seek to remain part of the Paris agreement process.

    “We are already halfway there and we can accelerate our process further even without any support from Washington,” he added.

    Meanwhile, President Macron restated his position that the Paris accord was “irreversible” and would be implemented.



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  • Tim Smith #4
    Jun 2, 2017 at 7:55 pm

    I would even go so far as to say he has deliberately set out to fail.

    Actually I would say that what Trump is trying to do is the very opposite. He’s still playing to his base which is all he really has left as those who voted for him just to give him a try or because they hated Hillary are deserting him in droves now. I think people still don’t appreciate just how much racism is a factor in all this. His base want America to be all white which is what “Make America Great Again” really meant. Back to the 50s when niggers knew their place. A wall to keep out Mexicans, a ban to keep out Muslims and a crack down on blacks by the police and courts. His base are also very low information, especially about the rest of the world, and conditioned by the jingoism that thinks America is god’s own country, maybe even the only real country and they have no interest in anywhere else unless perhaps it’s currently being bombed and they want to find out where it is.

    Trump is just shutting out another part of the world, or at least its affairs, that his base have no interest in on the pretext that it will save the USA money and create jobs in coal. It’s pathetic but we’ve seen that his people can believe Hillary ran a paedophile ring out of a pizzeria so they’ll certainly believe anything he tells them.

    What is more bizarre is how he has done or tried to much of what he promised his base but also introduced a healthcare bill that hurts them more than anyone else. Chances are that he never understood what was in the healthcare bill anyway though. It was more than one page long.

    So I’m sure he isn’t deliberately trying to fail but his incompetence is so huge he never gets anything right.



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  • Arkrid Sandwich #7
    Jun 3, 2017 at 7:45 am

    Chances are that he never understood what was in the healthcare bill anyway though.
    It was more than one page long.
    So I’m sure he isn’t deliberately trying to fail
    but his incompetence is so huge he never gets anything right.

    I think it has been obvious for some time now, to all except his chorus of uneducated clowns, that when it comes to solving the real problems of the world, Trump is simply a rather dangerous, obstructive, bumbling, irrelevance!



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  • Meanwhile – In countries with those governments which USE real science advisors and expert advice, rather than cutting their budgets and staff, to try to silence them, and then appoint substituted muppet propagandists in their place:-

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-40144613

    Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has vowed his country will go “above and beyond” the 2015 Paris accord on combating climate change.

    Speaking at a news conference with French President Emmanuel Macron, Mr Modi described the agreement as part of “our duty to protect Mother Earth”.

    Speaking after a meeting with Mr Macron, Mr Modi said France and India had “worked shoulder to shoulder” on the Paris accord.

    “The Paris agreement is the common heritage of the world. It is a gift that this generation can give,” Mr Modi said.

    India is the world’s fourth-biggest emitter of carbon dioxide, after China, the US and the EU.



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  • I don’t think one can understand Trump, who does not want to fail, without understanding Bannon. I believe that Bannon is not sane. At the very least he is truly villainous, is obsessed with wealth, and wants to create an authoritarian regime based on the social Darwinian principle of survival of and rule by of the wealthiest. This is no exaggeration; he compares himself to revolutionary Lenin, has praised Trotsky and Cromwell, and at the same time is an uber-libertarian, believes in no financial or environmental regulations. Quite mad. And most of the Republicans in Congress are not far behind him.

    I also think that Trump would like to establish an authoritarian regime. Hillary Clinton had an astute observation, which had eluded (even) me: that business with the weird tweeted word was a tactic; it was done deliberately to distract us from what is going on: the controversial and monstrous religious liberty order, for example – and other more surreptitious maneuverings. And the media fell for it. That is one of the things authoritarians do; they distract.

    Let us not forget how truly corrupt and dangerous this administration is. It is neo-fascist*: the travel ban, the fake news, militarization celebrated and defining our political discourse, the lies, the constant preoccupation with our enemies, the denigration of the press, etc.

    No. He does not want to fail. God knows what he will do to maintain control if he really feels his base is starting to turn against him or if he feels provoked, threatened.

    *Lethal, indiscriminate, arbitrary deployment of force by the state among other things.



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  • Dan #10
    No. He does not want to fail. God knows what he will do to maintain control if he really feels his base is starting to turn against him or if he feels provoked, threatened.
    *Lethal, indiscriminate, arbitrary deployment of force by the state among other things.

    You make it sound like the black comedy film Red State. Does the setup of US government make it possible for him to act like that in reality?

    I don’t actually think he wants to fail, but is trying to implement all the ludicrous election promises whilst not actually making a real change as he is being circumvented by other parts of the system every time he passes something too radical.
    I make the basic assumption he is sane as surely this would be the quickest route to remove him from office if he were not? Almost too good to be true scenario.

    If the agenda is really as you say then he will have to start making constitutional changes in order to push through the worst of his plans. I am not an expert on the US constitution so don’t know how easy it is to change, but if movement starts in that direction it would suggest you have it right.

    The other route would be to have sufficient control over the judcial system so no changes are needed, just a reinterpretation of the exsting constitution. A method his religious friends will be very familiar with.

    If he is setting up a dictatorship with such ease I would suggest the US system of government must be seriously flawed. That doesn’t seem quite credible but again I’m not an expert on how it all works in US, certainly different in UK.

    Reading your posts I think you are more pessimistic than most about Trump’s eventual goal. But assuming you are right, what should or can be done now to avoid the really black scenario you suggest may be his final objective?



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  • Hi, Tim. I prefer bellyaching to thinking about solutions. (Kidding.) I am not sure what can be done. I can’t think of a thing at the moment; but I do hope we will survive this crisis; perhaps “Putingate” will be his undoing; perhaps the courts will prevent him from carrying out his promises; perhaps a sufficient portion of his recalcitrant base will then become disenchanted; perhaps – and this is a big If – there will be more informed voters than low-information voters as time goes by. But it’s a precarious situation, and the Republicans and the Koch brothers et al rely upon “the stupid majority” (term coined by Mr. Norman Mailer), and take great pains in trying to maintain that advantage. (Case in point: Fox News.)

    I alternate between intense pessimism – and some modicum of optimism (based on facts): they haven’t been able to pass any legislation. The executive orders will have to fight massive bureaucratic inertia. Mid term congressional elections are around the corner. It spells trouble for Republicans that support a president that has the lowest approval ratings in the nation’s history. See? Not so pessimistic (right now).

    But let me leave you with this:

    The ruling elites will attempt to divert the growing frustration and rage toward the vulnerable—undocumented workers, Muslims, African-Americans, Latinos, homosexuals, feminists and others. White vigilante violence will be directed at those the state demonizes with little or no legal ramifications. New enemies, at home and abroad, will be manufactured. Our endless wars in the Middle East will be expanded, perhaps to include a confrontation with Russia . . .

    . . . Trump is emblematic of what anthropologists call “crisis cults.” A society in terminal decline often retreats into magical thinking. Reality is too much to bear. It places its faith in the fantastic and impossible promises of a demagogue or charlatan who promises the return of a lost golden age. The good jobs will come back. The nation will again be prosperous. The decrepit cities will be rebuilt. America will be great again. These promises, impossible to achieve, are no different from those peddled to Native Americans in the 1880s by the self-styled religious prophet Wovoka. He called on followers to carry out five-day dance ceremonies called the Ghost Dance. Native Americans donned shirts they were told protected them from bullets. They were assured that the buffalo herds would return, the dead warriors and chiefs would rise from the earth and the white men would disappear. None of his promises was realized. Many of his followers were gunned down like sheep by the U.S. army.

    . . . We face the most profound crisis in human history. Our response is to elect a man to the presidency who does not believe in climate change. Once societies unplug themselves from reality, those who speak truth become pariahs and enemies of the state. They are subject to severe state repression. Those lost in the reverie of the crisis cult applaud the elimination of these Cassandras. The appealing myths of magical thinking are pleasant opiates. But this narcotic, like all narcotics, leads to squalor and death.

    —Chris Hedges on Trump’s victory



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  • P.S. I wasn’t suggesting that Trump will become a classical dictator, Tim; but there is something called corporate tyranny, and that we are approaching. And clearly he is trying to undermine or remove all checks to his authority. But you’re right; Trump will in all probability never become a Stalin or even a Mussolini, and I do agree with you that our constitution and our system is not so flimsy. Not flimsy at all. But history has shown that things can change. Things, I repeat, can change. Democracy is not a carpet under our feet. And if we ever do become totalitarian, most of us won’t even know it; it will be subtle and disastrous. I will try to explain that apparent contradiction some other time. Exhausted; it’s the wee hours of the morning where I am.



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  • P.P.S. A friend of mine corrected me on something and said “Dan, we don’t have to win a majority of white working class voters to win the presidency.”

    He says this because of the below fact:

    Of the more than 120 million votes cast in the last presidential election, 107,000 votes in three rust belt states effectively decided the election. WE JUST NEED TO WIN BACK THOSE 107k votes.

    That is how close the election was! My friend does not think we will get back to the days when the working class mostly voted for democrats any time soon. This is due to many different factors, the destruction of unions by the Republicans being perhaps the biggest factor in his mind. “As unions used to have massive get-out-the-vote efforts and directed their members to vote democratic for years. But now unions are effectively dead and are not able to have the same kind of impact on a national election as prior.”



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