Why the "fallout?" Because once again, the president lied about the reasons why the United States needed to exit the Agreement. According to Trump, the Paris Climate Accords do a number of bad things for America and therefore, despite 192 countries signing on, we the (former) leader of the Free world must turn our backs on it. Why? He claims we can "negotiate a better deal for America (if we walk away from the existing accords), one that would be more "fair" to us. Except nothing in the Paris Climate Accords obligated us to do anything except create parameters for environmental behavior. It was not enforceable in any way. Now despite what you may read by the public educated by Right Wing Media, The United States did not commit to anything that could lead to punishment or trial in some World Court for violating the Accords. I say this because many in support of President Trump make these claims.
I raise it further because I understand why the United States Senate could not agree and ratify the League of Nations provisions in the Treaty of Versailles as it obligated America to enter War(s) should fellow member nations be attacked. This clearly would abdicate the power of Congress under Article I of the Constitution to "Declare War" before militarily committing our nation. But no such language exists in the Paris Accords granting any other country enforcement authority over America. None. So another lie believed by the ignorant and easily manipulated.
Second, President Trump claimed the Agreement prohibited America from building coal plants while allowing China to build "hundreds of additional coal plants." Nothing in the Accords prohibited or allowed any single country to increase or reduce coal plant construction. Ironically, China has officially declared a policy to reduce fossil fuel emissions and encourage the development of alternate clean fuel sources (See: news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/05/china-renewables-energy-climate-change-pollution-environment/). Another lie from the President.
A third reason for his determination America must walk away from the accords? Climate compliance "could cost American workers up to 2.7 million jobs by 2025." What? Could? Yet, there is no data to support his claim of job losses. Moreover, it ignores the growing clean energy technology sector and all of the jobs it would create by 2025. So perhaps not an outright lie, but one so misleading it's damn close to one.
A fourth reason? Because even if fully implemented it will only lead to a "2 tenth of a celsius reduction in global temperatures by 2100." This too is an unsupported dubious claim. The Accord allows for each country to agree to modify and adjust emission standards no later than 2030. So how can the man make a judgment based upon the year 2100 (and ignore the 2030 adjustment date)? Just another lie. (See: www.nytimes.com/2017/05/31/climate/qa-the-paris-climate-accord.html). Regardless, many States and Cities now have decided to continue to comply with the Accords, no matter what the President claims.
President Trump's claim "I was elected to represent Pittsburgh and not Paris" may have been a catchy soundbite carefully thought out and created by his "spin team." Yet, Pittsburgh has a long history of recovery from being one of the most polluted cities in America to now being one of the cleanest. In fact, Bill Peduto the mayor of Pittsburgh himself, in reaction to Trump's announcement tweeted: "As mayor of Pittsburgh, I can assure you that we will follow the guidelines of the Paris Agreement for our people, our economy & future." (See: qz.com/996765/paris-climate-agreement-pittsburgh-and-paris-mayors-reject-trumps-claim-that-he-speaks-for-pittsburgh-not-paris/). So much for protecting Pittsburgh Mr. President.
This week the President also claimed Congress was working on his beautiful tax reform bill. Except no such bill has been introduced in Congress. Just another lie from the "spin doctors" of the Trump Administration. (See: www.cnbc.com/2017/06/01/trump-cites-nonexistent-tax-bill-that-is-moving-along-in-congress.html). Yet, millions of Trump supporters believe everything that the man says. The intellectually blind seem so easy to mislead (my apologies to those actually blind - I would believe their other senses would be engaged that would make them less susceptible to the mounting lies coming from the White House). So as we continue careening through the Trump presidency, rocking and rolling, shifting back and forth, dropping and twisting (the truth), we can now see how President Trump and his team are working hard to spin falsehoods into beliefs while crafting polices more geared toward advertising than actual substance. Governing is a tough business. Lying repeatedly is no way to lead.
But my final point is clear. Throughout the Obama Administration, Right Wing media and its supporters seem to make political headway with the talking point that America lost its way by the then president "leading from behind." That by waiting for others to move, we someone lost our leadership role in the world, making America less safe and less powerful. Yet, those same critics seem suddenly mute when actions by Trump no longer have us leading from behind, but not leading at all. President Trump scolds NATO, blames Germany for their nation's choice to spend less on imports and now says America can't afford to be bound by international agreements. With all of the blood, sweat and tears poured into saving the world after WWII, walking away and giving up our role as leaders of the Free World is certainly not going to make America great again. It simply makes America nothing less than second rate. Not something Americans should be particularly proud of.
As President John F. Kennedy once wrote; "Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty." Leadership often comes at a hefty price. The price already paid by America over the past 80 years should not be so readily ignored or discarded by a president careening from one mistake to another. Have a great week!