We’ll always have Paris

If you are upset about Trump and upset about Trump pulling the US out of the Paris agreement, please let me help you get through the day.

Trump announcing that the US is pulling out of Paris does not mean the end of Paris, the end of action on climate change, or much else about global warming. I’ll explain why in a moment. The US pulling out of Paris could even be interpreted as better than the US staying in. I’ll explain that too.

I’m not saying that Trump should have pulled out, I’m just saying that at the moment, if you are deeply concerned about the climate and the future, which you should be, don’t let this get you down too much because when you add up all the complications and nuances, Trump’s decision about Paris is not that different than his decision about immigration. A big league tweet followed by an awkward presentation of his racist America First agenda followed by not much.

First, I’m going to list a few reasons that PAREXIT is not the end of the world. None of these arguments individually means much, but this will give you an idea of how this is not YASBTTTD (yet another simple bad thing that trump did). Then, I’ll tell you the real meaning of PAREXIT and why, in my view, this will backfire on Trump. Then, I’ll give you a few money quotes and links to commentary by my smart and trusted colleagues so you can read all about it.

1) We have made arrangements and are part of Paris already, and leaving the Paris agreement therefore will take time. It will likely take a few years, which is longer than trump will be President. Here is the President of the European Commission explaining that since Trump does not “get close to the dossier” (translation: can’t read or think) he has announced a thing he can’t really do.

2) There are almost 200 nations in the agreement, and the US would have been only one of them. Yes, we are the bigliest and the bestliest and among the most polluting and all that. But think about this for a second. How many times in the past has there been something like a 200:1 ratio of countries on two different sides of something? Answer: Never. Not once has that ever happened. Even Hitler had a couple of other bad hombres on his side. The sheer yugeness of this imbalance makes what Trump does not count for much. See below for more aspects to this part of PAREXIT.

3) If the US were to remain an active participant in Paris, with Trump and his anti-environmental, anti-planet Republicans in charge, they would ruin the agreement. Right now, there are a lot of people quietly breathing a sigh of relief that the next few years of acting on Paris can ignore the US.

Trump has said and done a lot of dumb things, and among those things have been a number of serious insults to other countries. The whole building a wall along the Mexican border thing is a good example. Trump’s attack on a huge portion of the world, directly, and insult to everyone else, indirectly, with his stance on Immigration seriously affected the view other countries have of the US. His coziness with Putin pisses off Europe. Every chance he has had to be nice vs. insult a foreign leader, he’s chosen the bully-brat approach and mostly insulted.

All this together made everyone else in the world look at Trump with suspicion. But, world leaders remained diplomatic, sometimes even hopeful, said nice things, and tried to live with it all.

Then, Trump went to the Middle East and Europe. While in Europe he violated the old proverb, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.” By the time Trump returned to the US, his standing among world leaders was pretty nearly ruined.

But not totally ruined, there may have been some hope, and he still got along with the Orb People.

But then, PAREXIT happened and the Trump is now on the very edge of being a full on pariah globally, and the US is teetering on the edge of utter irrelevance in the areas of diplomacy, trade, or anything that requires cooperation or conversation. The following graphic is optimistic, allowing for a tiny bit of hope which we assume Trump will erase within the next week or two.

And that is the true meaning of PAREXIT

This all sounds bad but it can be good, and here’s why. Once the rest of the world is allowed to no longer take the US seriously, and more importantly, once the rest of the world is required to not take the US seriously for their own preservation and protection, then they can do something about trump and the Republicans.

For example, if other countries are trying to meet Paris goals, they may need to suspend trade with the US. If you are Argentina and you are mostly non-fossil fuel powered, you can’t really buy cars or electronic parts from the Dirty US, can you? You’ll get them from Germany or France. If you are Mexico, and you are trying to meet Paris goals, you can’t let American based airlines land in your country. It is not Trump that is going to shut down all the trade agreements. It is everyone else.

When US business that supply manufactured good and technology overseas are shut down by the Paris countries (= all the countries) and all those nice people in Wisconsin and Michigan who want to fly down to the Maya Riviera next January can’t, the disastrous nature of Trump’s decisions and Trump himself will gain special meaning.

And it goes on from there. The US has to negotiate and communicate and get along. Remember just a few days ago when the UK intelligence services said they would stop sharing certain information with the US because of photos from Manchester being released? That was a line of crap. The photos were released to news agencies by a British based source. That was something else going on. It was the UK intelligence services creating an opportunity to “USEXIT” the special relationship before it became a disaster, because trust with the US was gone. Just to be clear, the thing that keeps getting called the “special relationship” is not just some valentine’s day card aphorism. It has a specific meaning. It means that the US and the UK share intelligence between each other at the same level that we share intelligence within our own services. No other two countries do that, or maybe a couple but not most. The UK has been for years in a special place within that special relationship, having experienced the worst case of double-agent caused loss of trust ever, years ago, and ever since then the Americans have been able to hold the UK’s feet to the fire and make them feel bad whenever necessary. It was like the UK had an affair and the spouse (the US) could never really trust them again. Now, with Trump, the shoe is on the other foot, an the UK is seriously reconsidering the marriage.

Every single thing the US does from now on will be tainted, until Trump is gone and not replaced by the equivalent. The US is now a second-level power. It is now Russia, China, and the EU (with Germany leading) that run the world with Japan.

Look for big moves. Look for the “G-7 minus one” because if you are the other 6 countries in the G-7, you do not want Trump at the table. Maybe Mexico will build a wall and make Trump pay for it. Other things. Many other things.

PAREXIT is not about Paris or the climate. It is about the end of American exceptionalism, and there are both bad and good things about that.

And now the other things. Some of this is from before PAREXIT but very much related.

A Veteran’s Day warning: Trump’s climate policies will create more war, more refugees

Donald Trump’s climate policies would create dozens of failed states south of the U.S. border and around the world. They would lead to hundreds of millions of refugees and more authoritarian demagogues like Trump himself.

Trump’s policies would assure that a tremendous number of people become veterans of one of the ever-growing number of climate-related conflicts.

Trump just cemented his legacy as America’s worst-ever president

Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris treaty is a mostly symbolic act. America’s pledges to cut its carbon pollution were non-binding, and his administration’s policies to date had already made it impossible for America to meet its initial Paris climate commitment for 2025. The next American president in 2020 can re-enter the Paris treaty and push for policies to make up some of the ground we lost during Trump’s reign.

However, withdrawing from the Paris treaty is an important symbolic move…

REFERENDUM NOVEMBER 3, 2020 ON TRUMP’S WITHDRAWAL FROM PARIS AGREEMENT NOVEMBER 4, 2020

Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement means that the United States formally abdicates its role as world leader on November 4, 2020. By coincidence, the United States will hold a referendum vote – and, make no mistake, it will be a referendum vote – on November 3, 2020.

RL Miller, cofounder of Climate Hawks Vote, states: “Trump’s fuck you to the world redoubles our determination to end his regime. We will take back Congress in 2018, expose him for the traitor and grifter that he is, and elect climate candidates up and down the ballot, culminating in the election of a climate hawk President on November 3, 2020 to restore America’s place in the world.”

Paris Agreement: What Experts Say vs. What the White House Says

In President Trump’s speech today announcing his intention to pull the US out of the Paris Agreement, there were several false and misinformed statements.

Trump falsely claims Paris deal has a minimal impact on warming

In a speech from the White House Rose Garden filled with thorny lies and misleading statements, one pricks the most: Trump claimed that the Paris climate deal would only reduce future warming in 2100 by a mere 0.2°C. White House talking points further assert that “according to researchers at MIT, if all member nations met their obligations, the impact on the climate would be negligible… less than .2 degrees Celsius in 2100.”

The Director of MIT’s System Dynamics Group, John Sterman, and his partner at Climate Interactive, Andrew Jones, quickly emailed ThinkProgress to explain, “We are not these researchers and this is not our finding.”

Trump’s Paris exit: climate science denial industry has just had its greatest victory

The foundation for Trump’s dismissal of the Paris deal – and for the people who pushed him the hardest to do it – is the rejection of the science linking fossil-fuel burning to dangerous climate change.

Or rather, Trump’s rejection of the Paris deal was built on the flimsy, cherry-picked and long-debunked talking points of an industry built to manufacture doubt about climate science. Once you fall for those arguments, making an economic case suddenly feels plausible.

Trump Abandons Paris Climate Deal At Bidding of Fossil Fuel Interests

Condemnation from environmental groups was swift.

“President Trump’s decision to exit the Paris Climate Agreement sends a dangerous signal to the rest of the world that the United States values fossil fuel industry profits over clean energy innovation and the health and well-being of our citizens,” Earthworks’ Executive Director, Jennifer Krill said in a statement. “The over 12 million people living within a half mile of an oil and gas facilities deserve action to reduce air pollution, not head-in-the-sand climate denial.”

Tobacco To Fossil Fuels: Tracing the Roots of Trump’s Claims on Paris Climate Deal

To understand why President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the global Paris climate agreement, we might start by looking at the sources he relied on to justify his decision.

But we’re not going to start there, but we will end there.

Instead, let’s go back to the early 1990s….

We’ll always have….oh, never mind

The Paris Climate Agreement represents rational order. It aligns the planet’s nation-states behind a common understanding of our gravest collective threat. It provides a weak but coherent structure for needed actions. Flawed and tentative though it is, it plants a stake in the ground for humanity’s collective will to save itself. It memorializes what global climate sanity there is.

That’s why Trump can’t stand it….

Withdrawal From Paris Climate Accord Makes Covfefe Sense

For the first time in history, the United States has removed itself from a worldwide agreement negotiated to protect the world’s atmosphere.

Trump’s reputation as a dealmaker is a sham, walking away from Paris proves it

His decision Thursday to abandon the Paris climate agreement proves he is in reality one of the worst dealmakers in history.

Of course, with six bankruptcies and an astounding 4,000 lawsuits over three decades, Trump has always been less of a dealmaker and more of a con man, as Michael Bloomberg and so many others have described him.

The world needs the U.S. in fight against climate change

President Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement is not only bad for the country, it’s bad for the world.

The Paris Agreement is the fruit of more than 20 years of negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The accord was struck almost exactly 50 years after researchers presented President Johnson with the first official expert report warning of the dangers from burning large amounts of fossil fuels.

Comments

  1. #1 Zach
    June 2, 2017

    Resident of Pittsburgh here, and I shook my head as Trump claimed that he did this for cities like Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh Mayor Peduto was absolutely correct in stepping up to denounce this claim, as the city has spent the last fifteen years or so becoming an east-coast tech and medical hub. Trump talked about bringing back mines and mills, meanwhile outside my window was a self-driving car developed by Uber in cooperation with Carnegie Mellon University. Fuck steel mills, I want robot cars.

    His statement could have set back public perception of our city thirty years. Outside of a few stubborn old mules who still want to work at steel mills decades after that industry left, we like our city (except regular cabs…they are terrible).

  2. #2 Obstreperous Applesauce
    June 2, 2017
  3. #3 dean
    June 2, 2017

    Perhaps we’re speaking of different things re Manchester: Tillerson is on record as saying

    The United States government takes full responsibility for leaks of the British police investigation into Monday’s deadly bomb attack in Manchester which killed 22 people, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Friday.

    https://goo.gl/hzXigy

  4. #4 Wow
    June 2, 2017

    It means that the rest of the world will be looking to China, Europe or even Russia to lead. And the USA will be left behind.

    All because the un-potty-trained shitgibbon hated Obama so much they have to remove anything that he achieved.

    i would quite like to grab Obama by the scruff of his neck, shove it at the TV news and say “LOOK at what your desperate need for ‘a legacy’meant, idiot! When you were so busy trying to be the most moderate and centrist president in the USA and pre-giving-up just so that you could get SOMETHING agreed rather than try for something really changing and risk failure, nothing you did get agreement on will last because you’re nothing more than a negro to them, and you don’t even have the legacy of TRYING left”.

  5. #5 Greg Laden
    June 2, 2017

    I’m never, ever going to base a fact, belief, supposition, or suspicion on something Rex Tillerson says! I’m sticking with the story from the NYT reporters who said they got it form the brits.

    Feel free to prove me wrong, but not with Tillerson.

  6. #6 Wow
    June 2, 2017

    If Rex was the last one in the room with tiny hands, HE’D believe him!

    Brain so empty, it can’t hold more than one of someone else’s thought.

    I think that it’s possible that the problem with his dad for Eric is smart enough to see that trump is thick as pig shit, but not smart enough to know to pretend otherwise.

    Which may be smarter than Trumpo.

  7. #7 Dean
    June 2, 2017

    Interesting. I agree that overall tillerson is a dirtbag, but I haven’t seen a way his saying something like that if it weren’t true would be useful to the white house folks.

  8. […] this post for many links to many commentaries about Trump’s folly. See this post for the Washington Post’s fact […]

  9. #9 Greg Laden
    June 2, 2017

    Dean, he’s just protecting the special relationship. Everybody denied everything, not just Tillerson.

  10. #10 Wow
    June 2, 2017

    It’s meaningless anyway.

    “i’m sorry I ran over your cat, but there’s nothing to do to bring it back and I will not do anything to compensate or change my ways to see that this accident doesn’t happen again, and if you don’t just accept this apology and forgive me, then you’re the one with the problem, dead-cat-owner.”

    Will the white house stop trump leaking shit? They can’t stop him getting pissed on on film, ferchrissakes!

    So what result was tillerson’s acceptance of the error? Nothing.

  11. #11 Jazzlet
    Near Manchester, UK
    June 2, 2017

    The pitctures, which weren’t of anything useful, were secondary to the leaking of the bombers name before the police had had time to access the properties he had lived at, and to track down even his closest contacts. The police were extremely pissed off because this could have been detrimental to rounding up any accomplices, although in the end it turned out not to be disasterous as it looks like he was working alone. If we did leak the pictures it may have been to give us an excuse to stop sharing things with an ally we knew to be so leaky.

  12. #12 Cjones1
    June 4, 2017

    Trump did right to drop out ot the Paris Climate Accord. Liberals will have their Griffin moments and blame the Russians for their suffering lot in life, but I are not sorry that Trump rained on the international climate charade.
    Scientists can’t agree on why and how the last ice age ended and flooded the World in Biblical proportions – so much so that sea levels 400 feet (120 meters) higher remain with us still. The AGW “experts” speak with absolute certainty that runaway global warming will occur because of higher CO2 levels. Bah Humbug!
    Those “experts” ignore the history of climate change and the volcanoes, sunspot cycles, Milankovitch orbital cycles, impacts, and release of methane from blue ice that have caused past climatic changes. C02 levels never climbed above 200 ppm from the end of the Pleistocene until about 100 years ago – wasn’t CO2 levels that caused the mile high glaciers in NY to melt – and throughout most of Earth’s history CO2 levels were much higher…2000 ppm during the Eocene.
    If the history of climate change is cyclical and we are doomed to repeat it, there is a good chance we could experience a Little Ice Age starting late 2019 if the sunspot cycle continues on a downward trend similar to the Dalton or Maunder Minimums.
    Trump saved us from the kumbaya international greenfest whose science is based on modeling no more accurate than a bone throwing shaman. You may have money to throw away on Gore’s and Obama’s boondoggles like Solyndra and other subsidized reward programs with no controlling authorities, but that penny pinching Trump kept us out of it and we are thankful.
    So chill out and throw another log on the fire.
    The Ice Age Cometh!

  13. #13 Cjones1
    Washington, D.C.
    June 5, 2017

    Trump did the right thing.
    Liberals need to quit having their Griffin moments and blaming the Russians for their rotten lot in life.
    The scientists can’t agree on why the last ice age ended and yet AGW “experts” declare with absolute – no debate allowed – certainty that runaway global warming caused by CO2 levels is about to occur. Bah Humbug!
    Those experts ignore the history of climate change. CO2 levels never climbed above 200 ppm from the end of the Pleistocene until about 100 years ago – it wasn’t CO2 that caused those mile high glaciers in New York to melt. CO2 levels were 2000 ppm during the Eocene and were higher than present levels throughout most of Earth’s history. Past climatic change has been dramatically influenced by volcanoes, solar sunspot cycles, Milankovitch orbital cycles, bolide impacts, the release of large quantities of methane from methane hydrate formations, and other factors.
    If the history of climate change is cyclical and we are doomed to repeat it, we may well go into a Little Ice Age starting around late 2019 as the sunspot cycle continues a downward trend similar to the Dalton or Maunder Minimums of the past.
    The climate models that predicted global warming all these years have been about as accurate as a bone throwing shaman.
    Many bemoan that Trump rained on the international kumbaya greenfest and charade, but not me. The liberals may have money to throw away at Gore’s & Obama’s boondoggles like Solyndra or other subsidized projects which support their friends, but that penny pinching, controlling authority Trump just saved the U.S. public a bundle.
    Chill out and throw another log on the fire.
    The Ice Age Cometh!

  14. #14 Sanderson
    UK
    June 5, 2017

    It is sad that after embracing the realities about Trump, the ones that the rest of the world has no compulsion to deny as an act of nationalism, not patriotism, nationalism, you then wander off back to Trumpery as if you can’t really go all the way through fear of being called un-American.
    The photos of Manchester were not published by a British newspaper because you just don’t do things like that whilst people are grieving, not in the UK, I say this with the same “FU buddy, this is a free country” that Americans feel empowered to do when the opportunity to make money arises, I don’t care if Americans struggle to hear the truth. The photos were shared with the US as per usual, then leaked by some US reprobate who gave not the shit about the victims families or the possible intelligence it may have been revealing, to an equally callous American newspaper who had no feelings for the victim’s family probably but not definitely (they could have been just as unkind to Americans) because they aren’t American and therefore a sub-species.
    Trump is like a child with a hall pass, God help America. I pray that this worrying era in global history passes very soon.

  15. #15 Jeff Harvey
    June 5, 2017

    Oh dear no, another Dunning-Kruger infected armchair expert of course lacking any relevant qualifications (Cjones1) spewing utter nonsense about an impending little ice age that of course is not going to happen in 2019 or any time in the near future as atmospheric concentrations of C02 continue to rise. This impending cooling canard has been relentlessly produced by the illiterati over the past two decades as temperatures have continued to rise. The scientific community has long left idiots like Cjones1 behind and for the past decade the discussion has focused on solutions; anthropogenic climate change and the potentially serious consequences of failing to deal with it are now the broad consensus position among scientists. It is symptomatic of how successful the well funded right wing climate change denying hate machine has been when clowns like Cjones1 and many other scientifically vacuous armchair pundits still feel that the debate is focused on whether or not the planet is warming or causation. It isn’t. Every scientific Academy and every major scientific organization on Earth affirms the reality of anthropogenic global warming and none of them believe a little ice age is just around the corner. Yet blogs and other social media outlets are full of this nonsense. In every scientific conference that I have attended over the past 15 years I have yet to meet a scientist who disputes the reality of AGW. The fact that the blogosphere is full of conspiracy theories and views that dispute AGW reveal more about the ignorant mindset of many in the general population than about scientific reality.

  16. #16 Jeff Harvey
    June 5, 2017

    To reaffirm my point above, its clear that Cjones1 has absolutely no expertise in any field of science. Some of the things he states are utter gibberish. And I for one will listen to the views of real experts like Gavin Schmidt, Kevin Trenberth, Ben Santer, James Hansen and Michael Mann – who have a combined total of over 700 publications and 30,000 citations – over those of an uneducated self-taught layman any day.

  17. #17 Wow
    June 5, 2017

    “Liberals will have their Griffin moments”

    And RWNJs will have their Ted Nugent moments. And more of them. And be in a permanent state of it with Orange-orang in charge.

    None of it changes reality, though, and basically all cjones is doing is proving to the RWNJs of the world that reality doesn’t matter, only affiliations and rhetoric.

  18. #18 Wow
    June 5, 2017

    “FU buddy, this is a free country”

    Odd, though, that it’s not free if you run an internet casino even if you never solicit USians. It’s not free to promote ISIS. It’s not free to show videos of US servicement committing crimes or to show people what the government is doing. It’s not free to use the stuff you bought because someone claims copy rights to “their property” that they sold to you.

    It’s not free if you want to sell on the international markets in euros. Nor is it free if you want your own elected president if they don’t like the USA.

    It’s not free if they decide that you’re a terrorist. No matter where you are in the world.

    Becuase freedome is whatever the meaning appropriate to the US interests at that time and in that place means. It means THEY are free from others.

  19. #19 Wizzy
    June 12, 2017

    @Cjones1
    “The scientists can’t agree on why the last ice age ended and yet AGW “experts” declare with absolute – no debate allowed – certainty that runaway global warming caused by CO2 levels is about to occur.”
    IPCC, http://www.ipcc.ch/meetings/session31/inf3.pdf:
    “For instance, a “runaway greenhouse effect” – analogous to Venus – appears to have virtually no chance of being induced by an thropogenic activities.”
    You are lying, sir. Most scientists concerned about AGW don’t expect _runaway_ warming by AGW to occur, and that is also well documented in any scientific book about AGW.

    All the nice other things you mentioned, volcanoes, Milankovic, solar cycles etc. are made known to you by the papers of the very same scientists concerned about AGW. You should study more.

  20. #20 Wow
    June 12, 2017

    Wizzy he’s also lying when he claims “absolute certainty”, since that isn’t being claimed (except by the nuts who are ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN it’s a scam). And lying when he says “no debate allowed”.

    Because when a denier starts lying, there’s no real reason to cut back on it.

  21. #21 Wizzy
    June 13, 2017

    @Wow
    Yeah you’re right that those claims of Cjones1 are incorrect too, if judged by looking into the publications and literature. However, I for my part take back the “lying” accusation and I’ll give Cjones1 the benefit of doubt. Maybe he just was angry and writing passionately, more like guessing some stuff (wrongly) by guts than actually lying. It’s hard to tell via the web, I’m just hoping Cjones1 can be reasonably discussed with – and hopefully more people are more sensible than it may seem. It’s easy also for me to get angry too quick in pure virtual space.

  22. #22 Wow
    June 13, 2017

    Wizzy, that’s generally laudable, but what, exactly, is the better option?
    1) They knew it was BS and said it anyway, hence “lying” is correct
    2) They didn’t know, didn’t bother to check, but said it as authoritative and well researched, thereby lying on the implication of it being based in researched evidence.
    3) They don’t know enough to know what they’re saying, but say it anyway.

    if calling #3 a liar hurts their feelings or makes them look bad, then maybe this will make them work on comprehension BEFORE speaking. And if it doesn’t change their behaviour, in what way is it bad to call them a liar? It made no discernable difference to the actions, and actions are all we have to go on, since mindreading isn’t a thing.

  23. #23 Wizzy
    June 13, 2017

    @Wow Probably you’re right. Sometimes it’s harsh to expose the truth.

  24. #24 Wow
    June 13, 2017

    And it’s up to you to decide how harsh or how far you bend over backwards you want to be. I’m not telling you you have to call out lying when you are uncomfortable with making that likely, but unproven, assertion. I’m not saying you cannot change your mind about an accusation. I’m saying that you should decide yourself whether you want to change your claims or attribution as makes you feel you have best expressed them.

    If you’re wrong, be honestly wrong. Wrong can be corrected. Dishonesty can’t be corrected, whether right or wrong.

  25. #25 Craig Thomas
    June 15, 2017

    You’ve allowed yourselves to be distracted by CJones’ science-y red herrings.

    This has nothing to do with the science.

    This is 100% about a tiny fraction of American society telling Trump what policy to follow in order to maximise their own profits at the expense of the environment that the other 99.99% live in.

    Talk about past ice ages is just a diversion. Nobody has any information that casts any doubt on the fact that human activity is causing 100% of current global warming. All they have is stories recycled from talking heads.

  26. #26 Wizzy
    June 18, 2017

    @Craig Thomas #25
    I agree, but that doesn’t change the fact that substantial parts of the general public believe otherwise (i.e., science would be still actively debating about wheter GW is occuring and/or anthropogenic and/or dangerous). So aside from science, there is something wrong: Scientific ideas do not get to the heads of the majority. There is just no strongly developed way for scientific ideas to get to everybody, as e.g. school teachers are not always up-to-date or do know about current state-of-the-science. And all that is dangerous. I think that (apart from media and opinion-multipliers who are at fault) scientists are sometimes not very empathic to adequately pass their findings to people who initially doubt them.