Only 22 out 52 Republican Senator supported withdrawing from the accord. That leaves 30 who didn’t.
All Obama had do is convince 16 of those 30 Republicans to support the accord. Now he would have had to trade something to get their support, defunding Planned Parenthood, lowering the corporate tax rate, approving the XL and Keystone pipelines, maybe 15 individual pieces of pork, giving Republicans input on the Supreme court nomination etc.
If the Paris accord is so critically important to the planet as Armando says, then its clearly worth giving up something of value to ensure that next administration couldn’t walk away. Same thing is true with the Iran nuclear treaty.
Yeah, that’s simply bizarre. The only way they’ll lend support to something that the entire WORLD supports is if Obama agrees to let them have some shitty concession that benefits their shitty policies.
A final addendum: Watching this speech, I kept noticing a now-familiar phenomenon: Trump will dutifully read a speech as written for a while until some passage sparks recognition or interest, and he’ll pause and interject. Sentence structure and word choice dip from a 5th grade level to a kindergarten level, only to lurch back up when he starts reading again. It is disorienting.
Consider this passage:
Yet under this agreement, we are effectively putting these reserves under lock and key, taking away the great wealth of our nation. Great wealth. Phenomenal wealth. Not so long ago, we had no idea we had such wealth. And leaving millions and millions of families trapped in poverty and joblessness.
The part I italicized is where something triggers Trump — Wealth? Wait, I like wealth! Wealth is so great. — before he goes back to reading. This has the effect of suggesting that Trump is encountering his speech along with the rest of us, knowing as little about it in advance as we do.
Yeah, it can be pretty obvious that he is reading a prepared statement when it includes proper grammar.
What’s sad, SAD, is that he is so bad at improvising. I picked up some copies of illustrated classic books at a garage sale over the weekend. My son wanted me to read him the submarine one (20,000 Leagues Under the Sea). It is above his comprehension level, so I was reading, and editing on the fly in my head to make it more understandable. That real time edit was still more coherent, structurally sound, and grammatically accurate than anything 45 says. Not to mention more grammatically complex. My 3.5 year old can understand more complex language than the President is capable of generating.
The thing with Trump is that he just doesn’t do his homework. He is profoundly lazy, and refuses to do even the bare minimum of effort required to prepare for these things.
If you read about other presidents, like Reagan, he’d pour over these speeches for hours, making tons of personal edits to them so that he’d really “own” the speech. So it’d more closely reflect his own style of delivery. Obama did the same thing. And as a result, when they spoke, it carried real weight.
Trump is either just babbling like an idiot, or he’s reading a speech like a barely literate child, with no real comprehension of what the words even mean.
That misunderstands what the Paris agreement was trying to accomplish. Look at the Paris accords from a different angle by comparing it to GATT:
After WWII, there was an attempt to create a massive international agreement on how to regulate post-WWII trade between nations. This original treaty (which would have created the International Trade Organization) was ambitious, was going to be run out of the UN, and was strict enough to require ironclad approval from all the countries. In retrospect, it’s easy to see why the US Congress (as well as a bunch of other countries) refused to sign on. The whole thing mostly crumbled, though it did eventually spawn the IMO and the World Bank, in weakened form.
Seeing the failure of the mandatory stick, the second try was a voluntary carrot: The Global Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). GATT proposed that various countries agree to reduce or forego tariffs on just the general goods that no one was particularly worked up about. Fifteen, then 23 countries signed the non-binding agreement. It didn’t cover EVERYTHING, it just covered a lot (about a third of world trade), and it provided an “if you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” kind of reciprocity that countries could buy into if they wanted to join the club.
When the agreement was revised in the 60s, they added some anti-dumping stuff and some 40-odd countries were participating. When it was revised again in 1994, the 123 participating countries added a bunch of agricultural and territory agreements and incidentally created an organization to oversee disputes (they called it the World Trade Organization).
THIS is what the Paris agreement seeks to emulate - create a framework with few restrictions, then add more and more meat to it as it proves itself to be viable and the various participants see that being inside the clubhouse is far better than being outside. Eventually, it should have enough meat and teeth to do some real good.
This is a very good analogy, and I’m surprised it has not been used before. Especially because the Kyoto agreement took a similar approach and also failed.
An important difference, is there are obvious and important benefits to free trade that are missing in the Paris accord. If you aren’t part of GATT your exports get hit with tariffs which hurt the exports. In contrast in Paris accord if you can avoid making additional expense to reduce CO2, but all the other countries spend money reducing CO2 to avoid global warming, that is the best outcome for a country. Although if nobody does anything you have the tragedy of the commons problem.
I think the point I’m trying to make is the actual impact on the environment of the US pulling out is pretty minimal because.
A. The goals of the agreement/enforcement mechanism were fairly modest, to begin with.
B. The US is very likely to hit the power sector goals no matter what because of the economic of switching from Coal to Natural Gas. Transportation may be harder, but with folks like Elon Musk leading the way it shouldn’t be hard to hit the milestones even without prodding by the EPA.
C. The vast majority of the reduction is going to happen via private enterprise, individual and cities and state.
D. The US is only 14% of total world CO2 emissions and shrinking.
That said the real harm to pulling is more to the US, in terms of loss of prestige, reliability, and opportunities for US Cleantech business. Not having the US participate will make it harder for a more effective follow-on agreement to be created. Although even that shouldn’t matter much as long as Trump doesn’t get re-elected.
The climate data isn’t showing change, it’s been hacked! Not like that silly DNC election data which was NOT a hack, the real hack is to make all the climate data fake a turn upwards in order to “steal national sovereignty and overthrow national governments”. Also, the Paris Accords were GENOCIDE to forests (and vaccines and fluoride kill you) YOURE WELCOME
Trump is a tribalist
The hallmark of tribalism (a term I prefer to “nationalism,” as it gets at the deeper roots) is that it views the world in zero-sum terms — if one tribe benefits, it is at another tribe’s expense. As has been much remarked (see my post on Trump’s mindset), this describes Trump to a tee. He views all interactions, both personal and international, in terms of dominance and submission.
Tribalism has also entirely subsumed the US conservative movement. The intellectual core has all but rotted; what remains are older, rural and suburban white men and their wives, angry that their tribe is being demoted from its hegemonic position. At a barely beneath-the-surface level, Trumpism is about restoring old hierarchies: the powerful over the powerless, whites over minorities, men over women.
This same zero-sum attitude animates Trump’s foreign policy. This extraordinary quote from his advisers H.R. McMaster and Gary Cohn, regarding Trump’s recent trip overseas, puts the issue in stark terms:
That is tribal thinking in its essence: Everyone’s out for themselves. It’s Us versus Them, forever jockeying for advantage, and we are stronger.
And just gonna leave this quote by Einstein here (because it’s tragic just how far we are from it)
“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
Playing devil’s advocate, doesn’t that just mean that coffee production in Ethiopia and Brazil is under threat? If the 4C warming they mention in the article holds true, could other regions be opened up for growing coffee?