After milking the fate of the planet for maximum drama, Donald Trump announced today that the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris climate accord. To reach this decision, the President had to dismiss decades’ worth of research by the country’s most prestigious scientific organizations. He needed to resist pleas from the U.S.’s staunchest allies; ignore appeals from many of its largest corporations, including ExxonMobil; and disregard the counsel of his Secretary of State. All this for, well, what? To shore up his base on the coal-hugging right?
“analysis: telling literally every other country in the world to fuck off will probably create problems down the road,” David Roberts, who blogs about climate policy for Vox, tweeted, as the news of the move began to leak out. But, if Trump’s decision is evidently wrongheaded, it’s also possible that it won’t make all that much difference. This is in part because the U.S. had already effectively exited the agreement. In part it’s because just about everybody outside the Trump Administration seems to understand that the U.S. is making a world-historical mistake.