Thursday, June 1, 2017

Again I ask: Why Is the President Allowed to Make This Decision Alone?

Can we get anyone in that office less capable than tRump? It'll be hard. He's told NATO countries that they're not holding up their end of the agreement, and now he's pulled the US out of the Paris climate accord. He's turning our country into as big a dick as he is.
As negotiators headed to Copenhagen in December 2009 to forge a global climate pact, concerned U.S. business leaders and liberal luminaries took out a full-page ad in the New York Times calling for aggressive climate action. In an open letter to President Obama and the U.S. Congress, they declared: “If we fail to act now, it is scientifically irrefutable that there will be catastrophic and irreversible consequences for humanity and our planet.”

One of the signatories of that letter: Donald Trump.

Also signed by Trump’s three adult children, the letter called for passage of U.S. climate legislation, investment in the clean energy economy, and leadership to inspire the rest of the world to join the fight against climate change.

And today...
“In order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord,” Trump said in the White House Rose Garden. “But begin negotiations to re-enter either the Paris accord or a, really, entirely new transaction on terms that are fair to the United States, its businesses, its workers, its people, its taxpayers.”

“So we’re getting out, but we will start to negotiate and we will see if we can make a deal that’s fair,” he continued. “And if we can, that’s great. And if we can’t, that’s fine.”

No. It isn't "fine".
The President complained about China and India’s own stated emissions targets under the deal, saying they were unfair to the United States [...] in order to deal an economic blow.


“The rest of the world applauded when we signed the Paris Agreement. They went wild. They were so happy, for the simple reason that it put our country, the United States of America, which we all love, at a very, very big economic disadvantage.”


The United States’ withdrawal from the agreement could encourage other nations to back away from their enforcement of the voluntary arrangement, which is non-binding and has no penalties for missing the mark on emissions goals. Rather, it works through peer pressure and diplomacy.
Until you get someone like tRump.
Every nation on Earth signed on to the deal except for two: Syria, still in the midst of a brutal, years-long civil war; and Nicaragua, who insisted the deal didn’t go far enough.
So, we're in good company.

The extraordinary unity of the rest of the world’s nations in tackling global warming, allied with the booming green economy, driven by plummeting renewable energy costs, are strong reasons to think [the world will not tip into fiery catastrophy with the US pulling out of the Paris agreement].

A much more likely casualty of Trump’s choice is the US economy he claims to be protecting: America’s brilliance at innovation, investment and building businesses will no longer have its government’s support. The prize of leadership in the 21st-century economy could be sacrificed in a doomed attempt to revive the fossil-fuelled economy of the 20th century.

I couldn't agree more.
However much Trump “digs coal”, he cannot force companies to build coal-fired power stations if wind and solar are cheaper and executives are smart enough to realise that a billion-dollar bet on a new plant – likely to be closed by Trump’s successor – is not a winner.

Instead, US states and cities will continue to pursue the green future that secures clean air, water and the promise of climate stability for their citizens.
I certainly hope so.
That is no small deal: combined together, California and New York City would be the fourth biggest economy in the world.


But the US pullout still undoubtedly brings risks for the rest of the world.


Even a flattening of the decline in US carbon emissions – if not compensated for by other nations – will slow progress and might bump up global warming by a tenth of a degree or two. That could be enough to push the most vulnerable nations under the waves of a rising ocean.


The US has also been a major funder of climate aid programmes, which have been vital in winning over developing nations that view global warming as a crisis inflicted on them by industrialised nations. Billions more will have to be contributed by the richest nations.
So, the NATO countries can tell tRump that they'll pay "their share" into the defense fund as soon as the US pays "its share" into climate programs.
German environment minister Barbara Hendricks said on Thursday: “The world’s climate will survive for eight years without the US.” But, despite the good reasons for optimism, a one-term Trump presidency would be even safer.
Please, god.
Explaining his choice to withdraw the US from the Paris climate agreement, Trump said: "I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris."

Pittsburgh's Democratic Mayor Bill Peduto promptly took to Twitter to push back against the President's alliterative phrasing.

"The United States joins Syria, Nicaragua & Russia in deciding not to participate with world's Paris Agreement. It's now up to cities to lead," Peduto tweeted.


Peduto said Pittsburgh will continue to honor the agreement, even though Trump has chosen not to: "As the Mayor of Pittsburgh, I can assure you that we will follow the guidelines of the Paris Agreement for our people, our economy & future."


...but hey, do what you will anyway.

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