One of the strangest things about Donald Trump’s announcement of the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris accords was that in his rambling statement he said absolutely nothing about climate change — he refrained from even uttering the phrase.
There can be no more emphatic expression of climate denialism.
The New York Times reports: The United States, with its love of big cars, big houses and blasting air-conditioners, has contributed more than any other country to the atmospheric carbon dioxide that is scorching the planet.
“In cumulative terms, we certainly own this problem more than anybody else does,” said David G. Victor, a longtime scholar of climate politics at the University of California, San Diego. Many argue that this obligates the United States to take ambitious action to slow global warming.
But on Thursday, President Trump announced the United States would withdraw from a 195-nation agreement on climate change reached in Paris in 2015.
The decision to walk away from the accord is a momentous setback, in practical and political terms, for the effort to address climate change.
An American exit could prompt other countries to withdraw from the pact or rethink their emissions pledges, making it much harder to achieve the agreement’s already difficult goal of limiting global warming to a manageable level.
It means the United States — the country with the largest, most dynamic economy — is giving up a leadership role when it comes to finding solutions for climate change.
“It is immoral,” said Mohamed Adow, who grew up herding livestock in Kenya and now works in London as a leader on climate issues for Christian Aid, a relief and development group. “The countries that have done the least to cause the problem are suffering first and worst.” [Continue reading…]