Remembering Paris

To bookmark the day Donald Trump decided to pull out of the Paris climate accord, an appropriate stencil piece by Colombian street artist DJ Lu.

Much has already been written this evening about this foolish and catastrophic move, which can be summed up by The New York Times’ introduction to its editorial on Trump’s dumb decision, aptly titled Our Disgraceful Exit:

Here’s what Trump’s decision on the climate change pact says to the world: America cares little about science, its allies and competitiveness.

Based solely on what I’ve read tonight, a few thoughts before calling it a day:

Trump did what he said he would so we shouldn’t be especially surprised.

Lost in much of the immediate discussion, at least in US-based media, is that the accord is fairly weak in the first place, based mostly on voluntary “contributions” by nations — which was the only way to get the US on board.

There’s also a narrative developing that Trump’s predictable withdrawal somehow “weakens US leadership”, which I can’t buy. You can make persuasive arguments that Trump is weakening US influence on many fronts. But that’s not the case in the fight against climate change because, sadly and simply, the US never played a leading role in fighting it. To their credit, in their push for Paris Barack Obama and John Kerry tried to at least make up for some lost time.

That said, there’s no way to understate the damage Trump has done with his ludicrous and short-sighted decision to join just two other countries in rejecting the accord. Years of diplomacy went into the accord, efforts that resulted in some difficult compromises being reached. He’s further underscored his disdain for science, pushed away (even further) key historical allies, and put his obliviousness on further display by giving up his seat at the table of future accord negotiations. And we’re not even six months into his presidency.


Today’s Pic du Jour the site’s 1,245th straight, was snapped on 10 June 2015 in Bogota, Colombia.




  1. So there was an article in the NYT yesterday about how institutional investors had succeeded in forcing Exxon to do some positive stuff on climate change. The investors realized that climate change threatened a lot of their investments (it really took them this long?). Anyway, probably too little too late, but I’m looking hard for reasons not to despair.

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