With Trump pulling out of Paris accord, United States has hit rock bottom

SS Dhawan
SS DhawanJun 02, 2017 | 19:42

With Trump pulling out of Paris accord, United States has hit rock bottom

When the going was good, presidents of the United States never really kept an eye on the bottom line.

But now they have a bookkeeper called Donald Trump in the White House, who is insisting on meticulously counting the pennies that will go into a rabbit hole called climate deal.

By also insisting that he will rewrite the ground rules — so that the US alone is not bankrolling the fight against global warming — Trump hopes to knock billions off the $20 trillion in national debt.


The entire rationale being that an average US citizen worries more about the economy collapsing than about sea temperatures rising and coastal India getting flooded!

This is not just about a demagogue who is sticking to his campaign rhetoric or about Trump trying to bolster his poor domestic ratings.

Those who worry about the planet and other such mundane matters need to understand that Trump, like some fellow citizens, is not inclined to look beyond his neatly manicured lawn.

So, for the moment US has decided to stop the world and get of. Climate can wait until Trump's tenure ends or he gets re-elected, whichever is the more palatable scenario after five years. If, in the meantime, the rich, especially the European nations, agree to share the burden of the poor equitably, well and good!

What should worry some of us is that the United States is also the world’s second largest emitter of greenhouse gases; to that extent the US putting money into the international effort made perfect sense.

But Trump's primary concern is that under the Paris accord the rich nations will be putting a fortune into the pockets of the poor under the guise of energy control, and that too without "as much as a thank you note".


To Trump it matters that he has brought the shutters down on his predecessor Barack Obama's thriving business of national charity and devious plan to pawn the country's silver to fund a phantom agenda. Photo: Reuters

Germany was more than infuriated by Trump's skewed reasoning and one newspaper lambasted the US president in a page one headline on June 2 that said: "Earth to Trump - f**k you!"

That it may not be a cake walk for Trump in Europe was apparent when Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged "more decisive action than ever" to protect the climate after the pullout.Europe fears Trump's next port of call could be NATO — the wartime treaty that the US president is threatening to scrap. In fact, the online joke on Friday was that Trump would be billing NATO for decades of Communist rule.

China, the world's greatest polluter, predictably, tried to muddy the waters further and vowed that it will uphold the "hard-won" Paris accord.

Incidentally, India has been singled out by Trump as one of the countries which is making emission curbs contingent on higher foreign aid.

"The agreement is a massive redistribution of United States wealth to other countries... This agreement is less about the climate and more about other countries gaining a financial advantage," Trump lamented.


If one were to go by the hullabaloo on internet, one would conclude that to Trump all this talk of global warming is mumbo-jumbo. Because the US president, who from all accounts has never read a book in his life, honestly believes that global warming is cyclical and can't be regulated; and that the best way to curb emissions is to plant more trees!

That the leader of the free world will be sitting in the dugout with the likes of Syria and Nicaragua while India and China burn their fossil fuels matters little to a man who wants to make America great again!

Politically, what indeed matters to Trump is that he has brought the shutters down on his predecessor Barack Obama's thriving business of national charity and devious plan to pawn the country's silver to fund a phantom agenda.

Surprisingly, many in the US also share the perception that Obama was indeed funding a chimera: no wonder Trump's decision was hailed by online cheerleaders as an end of an elitist Ponzi scheme that was part of a larger carbon emission scam!

Ironically, the US is tucking its feet under even as nearly 196 countries have decided to come together to prevent temperatures from going through the roof — 2C more than pre-industrial era.

"I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris," was Trump's profound remark as he announced the pull out, oblivious to the fact that the steel hub of Pennsylvania had voted for Hillary Clinton, not him.

But this was a statement symptomatic of a man who grew up as a kid in Queens and worked in Brooklyn — that partially explains the outer-borough mindset: "Tough, resentful, puffed up and provincial."

The incorrigible Trump could not resist taking potshots and pointing out that India and China have worse emission records; so why should the US oblige?

"China will be allowed to build hundreds of additional coal plants. India will be allowed to double its coal production by 2021. And we are supposed to get rid of ours!"

But he omitted that China also has many times the United States' population and that the latter is now a superpower with negligible responsibility.

The online constituency of Trump supporters, carefully nurtured, cares two hoots for such "trivia" as global meltdown and carbon footprint. So, for them greenhouse emission is a lot of stuff and nonsense like the conspiratorial theories about the ever widening hole in the ozone layer.

The anti-climate protagonist Trump, unlike the character Vitalstatistix, the chief of the Gaulish village, is convinced that the sky will not fall on the United States' heads even if the climate deal runs aground.

But there may be still respite for the rest of the world: it will take US another three years to withdraw from the Paris accord and by the end of the fourth year at least the countdown would have started for the US presidential election.

Last updated: June 02, 2017 | 19:42
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