President Donald Trump took what critics are saying is “one of the most ignorant and dangerous actions ever taken by any President” Thursday afternoon and pulled the United States out of the Paris climate agreement.
“An abdication of American leadership and an international disgrace,” was how Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) described the move, announced from the White House Rose Garden.
With scant mention of the word “climate,” Trump framed the decision as one being made in the interest of the “forgotten men and women” of America, who he has vowed to protect against the “exploitation” of foreign nations, putting “America first.” Long-debunked fossil fuel industry talking points about lost jobs and economic “suffering” peppered the speech that was said to be “literally wrong about every single thing.”
The real estate mogul said “we are getting out” of the non-binding accord but said he’d either re-negotiate the current agreement or forge “an entirely new transaction on terms that are fair to the United States, its businesses, its workers, its people, its tax payers… and we will see if we can make a deal that’s fair. And if we can, that’s great, and if we can’t, that’s fine.”
He ended the address saying that it is time to put American cities like “Youngstown, Detroit, and Pittsburgh…before Paris, France.”
Climate campaigners and other advocates of a global effort to combat global warming immediately condemned the move.
“Generations from now, Americans will look back at Donald Trump’s decision to leave the Paris Agreement as one of the most ignorant and dangerous actions ever taken by any President,” declared Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune. “Trump’s decision to ignore the vast majority of the American public and the scientific community will harm our country, costing us lives, jobs and our role as a world leader. Trump has isolated our country on the world stage, ceding our leadership position and our economic advantage on clean energy to India and China, and justifying it all by chanting a slogan from a baseball hat.”
“It’s a stupid and reckless decision,” declared 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben in a Thursday New York Times op-ed. “Our nation’s dumbest act since launching the war in Iraq. But it’s not stupid and reckless in the normal way. Instead, it amounts to a thorough repudiation of two of the civilizing forces on our planet: diplomacy and science.”
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