Friday, June 02, 2017

The Chaos of Donald Trump: Pulls Out of Paris Accord And Why ... by gimleteye

Steve Bannon was the big winner yesterday, as President Trump ended the reality TV show moment and announced to scattered, light applause, the withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Accord. Bannon is the chief proponent of the Trump doctrine: transactional nationalism.

Earlier in the day, our nemesis Russia announced its intent to stay within the world community and endorsed the Paris Accord, leaving the U.S. to join Syria and Nicaragua as the only nations to withdraw. Well played, Mr. Putin because it cost Russia nothing.

Russia does not obey the rule of law on any level. Trump made his mad-lib pitch that the climate accord was "voluntary" and so useless, as if the principle of anything means something to him. It doesn't. So Trump was played the fool, again, in service of exactly what?

Yes, Trump made promises to his wealthy fossil fuel supporters but especially his aggrieved white base on climate change: "it's a Chinese hoax". But Trump already walked back his campaign promises to curb China, "so very, very bad", so why not climate change?

The easy answer is that Trump is so deep in the White House bubble, so surrounded by the echo chamber of Fox and Friends, Facebook sock puppets and bots, and the reassuring claps on the back from the petroleum and coal barons, he simply can't see how immensely unpopular and how estranged this decision makes him, from the majority of American voters.

Trump seems determined not to expand his base so much as encapsulate it like an acrylic desktop tombstone of a real estate deal: this is mine.

Meanwhile, the real actors -- like Bannon -- a blinking, unhealthy weed in the Rose Garden -- have used climate change to prosecute their main point: they oppose multilateral agreements like trade deals and NATO because "America First". No longer will we bankroll stability. The Trump doctrine is form of brutish nationalism entirely outside the frame of American normalcy. What Trump stands for, except his favoritism to fossil fuel producers, doesn't bear the least resemblance to a GOP platform, yet there it is; unchallenged by any Republican leaders.

As to the Paris Accord, itself, Trump is dead wrong on its value. Humanity, with respect to climate change, is still in a delayed-response and defensive reaction. Yes, there are individual nations that are embracing sustainable development and renewable energy technologies; some more than others. By declining to support international cooperation on this issue, Trump is ceding America's most valuable asset: the spirit of innovation will pass to other nations.

Yesterday, Trump bumbled his way through a set of inarticulate and inchoate talking points about the need to promote our boundless fossil fuel resources to protect America's natural beauty and "the best environment in the world". He honestly believes, one imagines, that the pinnacle of the best environment can be viewed from a fairway into the hazards of one of his golf courses.

Trump yesterday dimmed the aspiration that some day we will cap C02 and other greenhouse gases -- the direction where the Paris Accord pointed. It is an awful and sad day for American leadership, but if there is a ray of hope it rests with the possibility that Trump is making himself so widely unpopular and even reviled that Republicans will lose across the board in 2018.

The GOP deserves a very harsh rebuke by voters for inflicting so much damage on the United States.


Anonymous said...

One commentator compared it to investing in horse shoes at a time when travel with horses were giving way to the automobiles. The whole world knows he is stupid. The question is how long will the American establishment permit him to stay in that role? Others must now step -up- states, counties, cities, businesses.

Anonymous said...

He is a senior citizen who wants to go back to the 20th century. Coal is a 20th century solution. We have to stay on the cutting-edge of 21st century developing energy technologies. Addressing climate change is an integral part of this effort. We can't afford to miss a beat on this journey while he is in the White House.