Trump’s need for vin­di­ca­tion hurts the world

CityPress - - Voices -

‘One of the most shame­ful acts in US history.” Those are prob­a­bly the kind­est words said by pun­dits across the world af­ter Don­ald Trump’s with­drawal from the Paris Agree­ment on cli­mate change on Thurs­day.

The US now joins Syria and Nicaragua as the only coun­tries that are not part of the deal.

To put that into per­spec­tive, Nicaragua did not sign the agree­ment be­cause it be­lieved the deal did not go far enough to make rich coun­tries pay for en­vi­ron­men­tal dam­age. And Syria ... well, the coun­try has a despot as a leader and it’s pretty much bombed into obliv­ion al­ready.

The US is the sec­ond-big­gest car­bon diox­ide pol­luter af­ter China, ac­cord­ing to the lat­est data avail­able from the World Bank. The US is also the big­gest pro­ducer of car­bon emis­sions on a per per­son ba­sis.

In 2005, the US com­mit­ted, un­der for­mer pres­i­dent Barack Obama, to re­duce its own emis­sions by 26% to 28% by 2025.

And there’s the prob­lem. Trump’s Obama fix­a­tion, plus the fact that big oil and coal busi­ness is run­ning his po­lit­i­cal party, has led to this con­tempt for the world and its fu­ture.

Trump will ar­gue that this is sim­ply ful­fill­ing a cam­paign prom­ise of putting Amer­i­can in­ter­ests first and bring­ing the coal in­dus­try back to life.

It’s all hog­wash. The sim­ple fact is that clean en­ergy (wind or so­lar) will pro­duce and sus­tain more jobs than coal will ever do. This is a cheap po­lit­i­cal stunt and it has made Amer­ica the laugh­ing stock of the world.

Sadly, poor na­tions, which have contributed the least to global warm­ing, will end up pay­ing the great­est price.

Stupid pol­i­tics by a stupid politi­cian will have ter­ri­ble con­se­quences for our world.

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