It was hardly surprising that the short-sighted, narrow-minded, ill-informed occupant of America’s Oval Office pulled out of the Paris Climate Agreement on Thursday. He said he would, after all.
The reasons – ranging from ridiculous to petulant to outright lies – didn’t matter. Most of the nation does not support him and many mayors, governors, scientists, teachers and average people have vowed to do their parts to help America meet its obligations in combating this existential threat despite the incredible hubris of Donald J. Trump.
We find Trump’s action abhorrent and unforgivable, and we’re not alone. A sampling:
▪ Santa Rosa Press Democrat: Abraham Lincoln once explained his steady and thoughtful decision-making process, saying that he may walk slowly, “but I never walk backward.” On Thursday, President Donald Trump walked backward – and he took the nation with him.
▪ Gov. Jerry Brown: Climate change is an existential threat to all of humanity, to the natural systems on which all life depends. Not tomorrow, but starting very quickly, we’re seeing changes. California has lost 100 million trees from the drought. Sea level is rising. The Antarctica is seeing ice melting at an ever rapid rate, some say in an irreversible way. … This move by Trump makes no sense, and it’s going to hurt America and it’s going to cost jobs, not the reverse.
▪ Los Angeles Times: (Our) petulant president has put the world on a path – potentially, but increasingly inevitably – to irreversible catastrophe. … Trump’s decision, while expected, is nonetheless stunning in its short-sightedness, its rejection of clear science, and its utter disregard for the nation’s long-standing role as a world leader.
▪ Vatican spokesman Sanchez Sorondo: (Withdrawal is) not only a disaster but completely unscientific. Saying that we need to rely on coal and oil is like saying that the earth is not round. It is an absurdity dictated by the need to make money.”
▪ San Diego Union-Tribune: Let’s not mince words here: Withdrawal from this landmark accord will mark the single worst executive decision of Trump’s lifetime, not just his presidency.
▪ Minneapolis Star Tribune: Carelessly throwing away American leadership in the global agreement gives adversaries an opening they will seize. ... Innovation will happen beyond our borders. Instead of pioneering the technology that will power the future, Americans will buy it from German, Chinese or French corporations.
▪ French President Emmanuel Macron: I tell you firmly tonight: We will not renegotiate a less ambitious accord. ... Don’t be mistaken on climate; there is no plan B because there is no planet B.
▪ New York Times: Trump justified his decision by saying the Paris agreement was a bad deal for the United States, buttressing his argument with a cornucopia of dystopian, dishonest and discredited data based on numbers from (carbon) industry-friendly sources. Those numbers are nonsense, as is his argument that the agreement would force the country to make enormous economic sacrifices...
▪ Barack Obama: The nations that remain in the Paris agreement will be the nations that reap the benefits in jobs and industries created. I believe the United States of America should be at the front of the pack. ... I’m confident that our states, cities and businesses will step up and do even more to lead the way.
▪ Tampa Bay Times: President Donald Trump undermined the nation’s security and American leadership in the world … The move amounts to a staggering abdication of this nation’s responsibility for the warming climate ...