Backing Out of Paris Agreement Could Make US a Rogue Nation

November 18, 2016

Mary Robinson served as president of Ireland from 1990 to 1997, and U.N. high commissioner for human rights from 1997 to 2002.

I’m happy to see congruence between Robinson’s observations on the UN COP 22 conference, and what I heard from Glaciologist Jason Box and Environmental Scientist Cara Augustenborg in my newest Yale Climate Connections video.

Main take away?
America will hurt primarily itself, and sacrifice not only our leadership in the exploding clean energy revolution, but what may be left of our leadership of the world community.

Box and Augustenborg agreed that China seems more than happy to assume not only technological and economic, but Moral, leadership of the planet.  Republicans, the party of Science denial,  are willing to see the country fail in service of their fossil fueled clients.

Your call, science deniers.

Mother Jones:

Conservative TV host Bill O’Reilly is urging Donald Trump to stick to the Paris climate agreement, the global pact to reduce emissions that the president-elect has railed against for months. “It doesn’t really amount to much anyway,” O’Reilly told his Fox News audience Wednesday evening. “Let it go.”

O’Reilly is no fan of climate action. He said in 2011 that “nobody can control the climate but God.” But on Wednesday, O’Reilly said staying in the Paris agreement would “buy some goodwill overseas” for the incoming president. At least one prominent politician—Nicolas Sarkozy, the former leader of France who is running again for the presidency—has proposed tariffs on US imports should Trump pull out of the deal, which was signed in December 2015 and came into force just before the election.

On Thursday, Britain announced it had ratified the deal, while hundreds of major companies co-signed a letter urging Trump to uphold America’s climate pledges. The 360 companies included Nike, General Mills, and Hewlett Packard.

Trump has said that climate change is a hoax invented by the Chinese and has pledged to slash funding to United Nations climate programs. He put a prominent climate change denier, Myron Ebell, in charge of his Environmental Protection Agency transition team.

7 Responses to “Backing Out of Paris Agreement Could Make US a Rogue Nation”

  1. dumboldguy Says:

    Good insights from Mary Robinson, and it’s nice to see the “confluence” of ideas.
    However, it’s way too early to know how the first few months of the Trump presidency are going to go, so it’s all just hopeful and wishful thinking right now.

    If Trump drives the U.S. and global economy into a corner of the swamp he’s supposedly draining, it will be “the ship is going down!—every man for himself!” among the world’s countries, and climate change will go on the back burner for many. That said, I hope enough countries DO stay strong and fight back—-the proposed French carbon tax on U.S. imports is a good first step. Of course, we all know how well Trump responds to those who disagree with him—-the “coastal elites” that lost the election by backing Hillary can kiss their french wines, cheeses, and fashions goodbye when Trump sanctions them in retaliation—-the Joe six-packs in flyover country will cheer him on, especially when he forces all American restaurants to call FF’s “freedom fries”. Build them walls!

    (And although Robinson makes good points, I wonder what she’d say if we attacked her for allowing Ireland to become one of the tax avoidance havens and “inversion” countries that have done so much damage to the ‘human rights” of the American middle class?)

    • toby52 Says:

      I live in Ireland, and have worked for many companies from the US and other countries. They are here for other reasons besides tax – to be close to their market, mostly, so that Ireland’s corporation tax hurts our neighbours more than the US. But English language, political stability and a young well-educated workforce help as well. We are more concerned about the EU introducing a common rate of corporation tax (which we would veto) than we are about the US.

      From my own reading of the Climate Agreement, China would be only too glad to take leadership of the G9+5 on climate, and isolate the US on carbon emissions. It is an opportunity to exercise the “soft power” of moral leadership that the US used to thrive on. The US will also be isolated within the G9 and it will be a thorn in the side of US diplomacy if they abandon all involvement in the UN climate program. The EU and Canada have to much at stake to give it up that easily.

      Of course, a far-right takeover in many European countries would make Trump feel right at home, and then we would have many more problems than just climate. If Trump really wants to facilitate Putin pushing the US out of Europe, and it is quite possible that is an isolationist goal he desires, he might further such a takeover. A European Economic Union with Russia calling the shots would be the greatest defeat of US interests ever.

  2. andrewfez Says:

    CA, WA, NY, OR, VT &c. should send their own representatives; Washington ain’t gonna do anything until there is a Constitutional Amendment to get money out of politics in place and the old guard dies off.

    • redskylite Says:

      Lot of heavy concepts in that. Sounds like “Divide and Rule” has triumphed over “United We Stand” – seems to simplistic me that is the aim of the shady right. Divide, confuse, profit, patronize and rule.

      • dumboldguy Says:

        Yes, the notion of “divide” seems to be in the ascendancy (but whether any actual “ruling” by the pussy grabber and his minions takes place remains to be seen—-the right is delusional about their prospects there).

        Andrew has a good idea—-things are to the point that the only alternative to laying down and dying is for sane states to take action on their own (CA is almost a country in its own right), and for individuals to fight back in any way they can. And the most important fight of all is getting the dirty money our of politics—-All of us MUST read Dark Money to understand that. End Citizens United!

        I blew a lot of money on political contributions this year, and have only Tammy Butterworth and Maggie Hassan to show for it. I’m scraping together the pennies and making contributions to the environmental and political organizations that carry on the continuing fight against climate change denial, dirty money in politics, and the swine on Wall Street that are taking our money.

        (PS Peter could use some end-of-year donations to Crock. IMO, he has the best understanding and blend of the science, politics, economics, and psychology-sociology of AGW and denial. I’ve sent mine along. Help keep Crock strong—-send $$$)

  3. mailtemp1234 Says:

    The USA will do NOTHING regardless, and it has done nothing major under Obama. People who argue Democratic vs Republican over climate change are pathetic and do not understand the scope of the situation.

    The only thing that will make change is when a Hurricane sinks major cities in Florida , or new York. Like Pearl Harbor only then will the effort needed to deal with it occur.

    Until then its business as usual in Washington, the Lobbyists and Clinton like corruption with all the “Pay to Play” schemes is very much alive and well in Washington and it is going no where.

    The Media with its corporate controlled propaganda is also not going to change and report what is really going on.

    Most people just do not make the effort to study how corrupt the Government is in the USA and elsewhere. Criticizing Trump as if he is somehow different is frankly really pathetic when he is not even a Professional Lying Politician.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      Comment #5 today from our boy malintent on as many threads. Maybe I’ve been unfair to him—-maybe he just got drunk last night and his inner demons took over. He shows some small bit of confused rationality in this comment, particularly with:

      “The only thing that will make change is when a Hurricane sinks major cities in Florida or new York. Like Pearl Harbor only then will the effort needed to deal with it occur.”

      That’s something I and others have been saying for a long time. (And the “corrupt” government is an outgrowth of the “corruptness” of run-amok capitalism, the dirty money it generates, and the moral inadequacies of the human animal). Sober up, sonny, and then maybe you’ll make better sense.

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