Just once we would like to see President Donald Trump get something right, even if by accident. After all, he is President of the United States and is supposed to represent us on the world stage.
On the issues we hoped he would be sincere, he hasn’t been, like his repeated promises while a candidate to never threaten to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid that the other Republican contenders vowed to do. We also hoped he would maintain his stance on engaging in “dumb wars.” On the issues we hoped he would abandon, like the border wall, repealing the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”), and his travel ban, he has remained disappointingly steadfast.
There’s another position we wish he would abandon–this ridiculous notion that climate change is a “Chinese hoax.” Meeting with other leaders during this week’s two-day G7 conclave in Taormina, Italy could have provided him the dose of reality he needed to recant. Sadly, it became another bullet point in the ever-growing list of disappointments.
Pressure from European countries, Canada, and Japan were not enough to persuade Trump into supporting the United Nations’ landmark 2015 Paris climate change treaty. Trump walked away from discussions with a Saturday announcement via tweet:
“I will make my final decision on the Paris accord next week!”
German chancellor Angela Merkel said:
“[The discussions] had been very difficult and not to say very unsatisfactory…Here we have a situation of six against one, meaning there is still no sign of whether the US will remain in the Paris accord or not.”
The other six G7 nation participants–Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom–asserted their commitment to the Paris plan President Obama pledged would cut domestic greenhouse gas emissions 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.
During the meeting in Taormina, leaders implored Trump to recognize that as the world’s second biggest carbon emitter, the United States has a duty to show leadership on climate issues.
French president Emmanuel Macron reportedly told Trump he would be erring and ceding ground to China if the US did not support the Paris accord.
“It is essential for international equilibrium and the reputation of America that it remains engaged with the Paris treaty. The G7 had shown issues such as climate change are not side issues that can be left to others.”
Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau commented:
“You cannot build a strong economic future unless you are protective and mindful of the climate.”
Other countries warned Trump he would set a dangerous precedent if the other 195 signatory nations to the climate deal saw American withdrawal from the treaty as an excuse to renege on their own commitments.
But it looks as though Trump didn’t have to mull it over too long, because according to Axios, he has privately informed multiple officials, including EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, he plans to leave the Paris agreement.
As Axios reports:
“Pulling out of Paris is the biggest thing Trump could to do unravel Obama’s climate policies. It also sends a stark and combative signal to the rest of the world that working with other nations on climate change isn’t a priority to the Trump administration. And pulling out threatens to unravel the ambition of the entire deal, given how integral former President Obama was in making it come together in the first place.”
Computer simulations suggest earth’s temperatures could rise by 0.2 degrees Celsius if the US pulled out of the UN treaty.
This apparently doesn’t conform to Donald Trump’s narrative in “making America great again” because it would involve disappointing his base, which he is apparently still pandering to despite winning the election.
Featured image from YouTube video.