I buy this:
Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement was not really about the climate. And despite his overheated rhetoric about the “tremendous” and “draconian” burdens the deal would impose on the U.S. economy, Trump’s decision wasn’t really about that, either …
No, Trump’s abrupt withdrawal from this carefully crafted multilateral compromise was a diplomatic and political slap: It was about extending a middle finger to the world, while reminding his base that he shares its resentments of fancy-pants elites and smarty-pants scientists and tree-hugging squishes who look down on real Americans who drill for oil and dig for coal. He was thrusting the United States into the role of global renegade, rejecting not only the scientific consensus about climate but the international consensus for action …
If Trump had really wanted to frustrate Paris and move America away from its commitments, he would have pulled a Harper: Don’t deny climate change or reject a voluntary international agreement. That’s what lip service is for! Instead, ensure no serious actions are taken within government and, to the private sector, send the message that climate change is not on the agenda in any serious way. So others needn’t talk about it either, except in the most general, vacuous way. Avoid the topic, don’t upset the general public and don’t give your opposition any reason to unite and mobilize.
Which is what Trump just did.
Representatives of American cities, states and companies are preparing to submit a plan to the United Nations pledging to meet the United States’ greenhouse gas emissions targets under the Paris climate accord, despite President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the agreement.
The unnamed group — which, so far, includes 30 mayors, three governors, more than 80 university presidents and more than 100 businesses — is negotiating with the United Nations to have its submission accepted alongside contributions to the Paris climate deal by other nations.
“We’re going to do everything America would have done if it had stayed committed,” Michael Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor who is coordinating the effort, said in an interview.
This puts leaders – corporations in particular – in a very awkward spot. Do they sign on, explicitly rejecting Trump, or do they stick with the President, effectively rejecting the science and implicitly agreeing to worsen the severity and imminence of climate change? Burn that coal!
It would have been so much easier if he had followed the advice he was getting from corporate leaders and his own Secretary of State, Tillerson of Exxon, and stayed with Paris. Then screwed it from within, quietly.
Not the Trump style.