Heather Hastie on Trump and the Paris Accord

I’ve kvetched a bit about Trump’s stupid decision to remove the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accords, but, over at Heather Hastie’s site, she’s produced a much better critique: “Trump has exceeded himself in stupidity.” It starts this way and then gets into the nitty-gritty:

The recent meeting of the G7 in Sicily saw Donald Trump lose what little respect other world leaders had left for him. Today’s announcement that he was withdrawing the US from the Paris Climate Accord was in effect his confirmation that he was resigning as world leader.

Go read the rest for yourself.

I apologize to the rest of the world for what America did in November.


  1. Đani Stojanov
    Posted June 2, 2017 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    I was rather indifferent to this idiot thus far, but this kinda made me hate him.
    Complete idiot playing tough guy.

  2. Eric Hayman
    Posted June 2, 2017 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Where, in the Paris Climate Accord is there any mention of reducing populations in all countries? The basic cause of human made climate change is the number of people now on the planet. China and India tried telling people to have fewer children – and were blasted by the rest of the world. Improved medicine, food production and living conditions are fuelling human made climate change. Only a smaller overall population with have any real effect. Make two children per couple the norm or the most.

    • dabertini
      Posted June 2, 2017 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      Can you say Logan’s Run? It seems that population control, which has been mentioned by PCC(E),is critical to a healthier environment.

    • Posted June 5, 2017 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      I think a very large majority of studies have shown that less poverty equals fewer children. If you drag people out of poverty, you’ll get something closer to replacement children level.

      I hardly think that the number of people on the planet is the “basic cause” either. While it’s undoubtedly true that more people eat up more resources, those of us in more prosperous countries like the USA consume markedly more resources per capita than does the poor farmer in Nigeria.

      My guess is that if the poorest 1b people on earth suddenly became totally resource neutral, the overall effect would be reasonably negligible. If the richest 1b people on earth were to suddenly become resource neutral, the effect would be manifestly enormous.

      • Eric Hayman
        Posted June 5, 2017 at 10:53 am | Permalink

        The supposed “poor farmer in Nigeria” or his ancestors will have cut down woodland to create farmland, will have goats eating anything left, will be using aquifer water becauser there is no surface water – and will be having several children who themselves will have several children each. Northern Nigeria – I have been there as I lived and worked in Africa – is close to desert, largely because of human destruction of natural land cover. Lesotho – where I lived and worked for five years – has five times the population for the food that can be produced from its own land, and that number grows yearly – largely because churches tell women to “have as many children as God gives you.” Yes, individuals in countries such as the USA use more resources on average than those in Africa, but that does not mean that every country should not cut its population. As for richer families having fewer children, Blair and Cameron have four children each. And it takes generations to raise economy levels so that most families have fewer offspring. Promoting smaller families can have an immediate effect.

    • Eric Grobler
      Posted June 6, 2017 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      Hi Eric

      I agree with you in principle but many developed countries like Japan and Germany will suffer demographic implosions.
      One could argue that in the West intelligent educated people who care about the planet are not reproducing – dysgenics perhaps?

      • Eric Hayman
        Posted June 6, 2017 at 10:31 am | Permalink

        “Demographic implosions”? At the moment we have a demographic explosion which no one is prepared to tackle. Not even China now. If governments can run “Just say no” campaigns about drink and drugs, why not “Two’s enough” when it comes to having children? It is not difficult.

  3. Stephen Barnard
    Posted June 2, 2017 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Anyone still smug about voting for Jill Stein?

    • Craw
      Posted June 2, 2017 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

      This is backwards. Before the election we knew there were a number of people who had already decided that the difference between Clinton and Trump did not matter to them. Those are voters we already know didn’t see defeating Trump as the top priority. (Most of those had decided for Gary Johnson in fact.) So if you think that defeating Trump is more important than anything, if that (not electing Clinton per se) is what matters most you should have pressed Clinton and Clinton voters to support the most popular third party candidate — presumably Johnson. It is Hillary Clinton’s refusal to place stopping Trump as her first priority that enabled his victory.
      Gore Vidal wrote a play that became a good movie on just this idea, The Best Man.

      (For the record, I supported a third party candidate, and would again.)

      • Posted June 2, 2017 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

        A simple yes would have sounded better.

      • Randy schenck
        Posted June 2, 2017 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

        Actually your thinking is what looks wrong to me. How many votes did your 3rd party get. How many have they ever gotten in this country. The most as I recall was Teddy, way back in the early 20th century. Allowed Wilson to get the job. The third party has been nothing or at best a spoiler. And by the way, Hilary did get the most votes, just screwed up in that electoral junk.

        • Craw
          Posted June 2, 2017 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

          Add all of HC’s votes to GJ and I bet GJ win’s the election.

          The point of my comment of course is that the question about Jill Stein voters makes the assumption that somehow HC was robbed of those votes by miscreant Stein voters. And that’s not true.

          • Randy schenck
            Posted June 2, 2017 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

            Yes well, if I added all the people who live in the Dakotas and Nebraska there would still be more people in Chicago. Since all the people who voted for Hilary would never all just vote for Johnson it is purely a mythical idea. You said, you voted for the third party and you would do it again. I am only pointing out what that gets you.

            • Stephen Barnard
              Posted June 2, 2017 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

              Right. What it gets you is virtue signaling at the cost of a treasonous lunatic in office.

          • Stephen Barnard
            Posted June 2, 2017 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

            If Stein’s voters had voted for Clinton in Wisconsin Clinton would have narrowly won and Trump wouldn’t be President. If Johnson’s voters in Wisconsin had voted for Clinton she would have won with a very comfortable margin. I haven’t looked at the numbers for Pennsylvania and Michigan, but it’s probably the same story.

            We don’t hear it much about it any more, because of some obvious facts, but during the election we used to hear that there’s no substantive difference between the Republicans and the Democrats. This is so stupid that I hold the third party voters in more contempt than I hold the Trump voters, and that’s saying something.

            • Craw
              Posted June 2, 2017 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

              You realize Trump won by more than Wisconsin?

              But the logic is unchanged. If the Stein voters added to Clinton would have stopped Trump then likewise that Clinton voters added to Stein would have stopped Trump.

            • Posted June 2, 2017 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

              “and Trump wouldn’t be President”

              Exactly. And I wouldn’t be checking my twitter feed from Germany to check if nuclear missiles have been launched yet for some utterly stupid reason.

              There are times when an anti-establishment vote can be worth it in the long term, but that was not one of them.

              Go ahead and destroy your own country for your stupid vain principles if you must, but don’t wreck the rest of the world.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted June 2, 2017 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

      Gary Johnson — you mean the guy who thought Aleppo was a dog food?

      Look, I like Gary Johnson. Hell, I wouldn’t mind getting high with Gary Johnson (if I still did that kinda thing). But Gary Johnson wasn’t presidential material — though compared to Donald Trump, he came off as positively Churchillian.

      Would’ve been a lot more practical and sensible for the Johnson voters to have bit the bullet and voted for Hillary to avoid Trumpism (rather than vice versa).

      • Craw
        Posted June 2, 2017 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

        I thought GJ was worse than Trump actually. But you are missing my point, so let me imagine a new scenario. We vote on two days. After day 1, 10% had voted and they all voted for GJ. Then if your only objective is to beat Trump voting for GJ makes sense, right? Well on Election Day we all knew the GJ voters were indifferent between T and C, so it’s analogous. There might be 54% available for a non Trump, but if GJ has 10% in the bag only he can win.
        This is basic game theory btw. Look for “incredible threat”.

        • Randy schenck
          Posted June 2, 2017 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

          Holly crap…Hypothetically I get your point. But keep your hat on and no one will know. Hee Hee.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted June 2, 2017 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

          Oh, I get the game-theoretic aspect; it’s your factual basis I dispute. The support for third-party candidates is notoriously soft. As election time nears, people want their votes to count, so move toward the major-party candidates, not away from them.

          Look no further than GJ himself. While he sometimes polled at upwards of 10% (and was at 5% on election eve), he ended up with a mere 3.27% of the vote.

          If the vote was going to move in a direction likely to defeat Trump, it was going to move from Johnson and Stein to Clinton, not the other way round.

  4. Veroxitatis
    Posted June 2, 2017 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Splendid article by Heather. I very much enjoyed reading it. I do however hope that the US and its commitment to the development of renewable energy and technology are not judged solely by the idiocy of Trump. Surely a number of states will continue to harbour businesses which are at the forefront of the renewables industry. These states will attract inward investment, skills and talent and thrive. The state’s heartening back to the mid 20th century or earlier will continue to decline to a deeper shade of Red.

  5. macha
    Posted June 2, 2017 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Macron’s “Make the Planet Great Again” was a defining moment.

  6. Curtis
    Posted June 2, 2017 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    Trump’s decision is both stupid and meaningless because we will come close to meeting the Paris commitments whether we are in the accord or not. In 2016, the US emitted our lowest amount of CO2 since 1991. Our total greenhouse emission are about 14% less than in 2005 and the Paris agreement commits us to a 26% drop.

    Our reduction in CO2 has virtually nothing to do with stopping climate change. It is almost completely due to technology changing the economics of electricity production and the drop will continue regardless of whether we are in in the Paris accord or not. Fracking has made natural gas cheap. No one in their right mind will ever build another coal plant. Hooray!!!

    It is possible that Trump’s pro-nuclear stance will reduce CO2 emission more than Obama/Clinton’s pro-renewable stance.

    • Desnes Diev
      Posted June 2, 2017 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

      With Trump and his Yellow House aides, you can suspect that the meaning of this decision is to distract attention from more damaging matters.

      If he is an artist, it is not in dealing but in red herring throwing.

  7. Merilee
    Posted June 2, 2017 at 2:02 pm | Permalink


  8. RPGNo1
    Posted June 2, 2017 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    I LOVE Macron’s response to Trump’s shortsighted decision.

    • Posted June 2, 2017 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

      Excellent! Can we trade Trump for Macron? Please!!

      Yet again, we in the U.S. are hanging onto the caboose of history, trying to retain coal and oil-based technologies when the future (if we are to have a future) must go forward. Instead of doing our part, we have leaders who want to continue with coal and oil production to benefit a relative few and harm the rest of us. C’mon folks! To have a future, we must change and develop skills and investments in technologies that promote the future. Trying to stay in the past could be the death of our planet.

      • Larry
        Posted June 2, 2017 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps Macron’s courteous way of communicating is too subtle for Trump to understand or even appreciate. Trump is not on Macron’s level.

    • Stephen Barnard
      Posted June 2, 2017 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

      Loved his white knuckled handshake with the asshole in chief.

      • Posted June 5, 2017 at 10:15 am | Permalink

        That may not have been the best strategy. Trump appears to have taken that as a personal affront and he is now and always has been a vengeful man.

        • Stephen Barnard
          Posted June 5, 2017 at 10:45 am | Permalink

          What’s he going to do — nuke France? I think no opportunity to ridicule and insult Trump should be missed.

    • Posted June 5, 2017 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      I find it interesting that Macron is the first “important country” leader in my lifetime that is *younger* than I am.

      I don’t quite know what to make of that yet, though.

      • Eric Hayman
        Posted June 5, 2017 at 11:56 am | Permalink

        How old are you? You will have to get used to it – as with most policemen being younger than yourself. Soon they all will be.

  9. Posted June 2, 2017 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    What was mainly a US problem, apparently brought about by voter apathy, is rapidly becoming a problem for the rest of the world. There are plenty of ignorant buffoons out there, but allowing one of them to be your leader is astonishing.


  10. Posted June 2, 2017 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    I keep wishing he was an aberration and a Trumpe-l’œil (as in Trompe-l’œil).

  11. Posted June 3, 2017 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    That was an excellent article. I do have a criticism though: Elon Musk owns an electric car company that is currently not really profitable. It serves his agenda to push climate change control. Even though he is right on the general point, quoting him provides a cheap shot for the deniers.

    And his tweet about India requiring all cars being sold to be electric by 2030 is self serving crap if India is producing too much electricity with coal plants.

  12. Posted June 5, 2017 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Electric cars and India “or anywhere” requires a cost/benefit analysis. What produces the fewest carbon emissions, oil fueled cars or electric, depends on the way the fuel is generated. Multiple studies say that electric cars are less environmentally friendly than gas. Multiple studies go the other way.

    I think the evidence is stronger for electric but it somewhat depends are how your electricity is generated. I’d think that if you live in Las Vegas or Seattle for example, areas where there is a lot of hydroelectric generation, you’d do better than if you are in coal fired areas.

    India is going solar in a big way too. I think it’s something that needs to be studied some but I think there are plenty of “well to wheel” studies that show the electric is the better choice.

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