President Trump, who sucks at presidenting, is a masterful reality show star. He’s America’s first reality show president. Today, in formally announcing that America would back out of the Paris climate accord in a pompous ceremony in the White House Rose Garden, which was preceded by months of suspense as Trump publicly weighed this decision in much the same way he weighed the decision as to who to fire at the end of each episode of The Apprentice, Trump managed to turn a monumental decision with global consequences into just another exercise in narcissism.
It is obvious that he loved every minute of it. Whether to remain in the pact is, unlike many things Trump has tried and failed to do, uniquely within the power of the president. There are no pesky courts or Congress waiting to spoil his moment in the limelight. CNN, that purveyor of fake news, said:
The uncertainty over Trump’s decision has lent the Paris announcement a reality show-like air, with Thursday’s unveiling a finale to a months-long debate that has split members of the President’s inner circle and led to deep consternation from global allies. Trump, a former reality star himself, advertised the announcement in a tweet late Wednesday. Earlier in the day, he told reporters he was “hearing from a lot of people both ways.”
The only positive thing that can really be said about withdrawing from the climate change pact is that fulfilled one of Trump’s campaign promises. It is based on bad science and worse economics. On the economic front, Trump’s claim that complying with the carbon emissions targets would cost jobs, and withdrawing from the Paris accord would result in job growth in America, is not grounded in reality:
President Donald Trump has declared that abandoning the Paris climate agreement would be a victory for the U.S. economy. Many economists have big doubts.
They say the agreement would likely help create about as many jobs in renewable energy as it might cost in polluting industries. Should the United States pull out of the pact and seek to protect old-school jobs in coal and oil, it would risk losing the chance to lead the world in developing environmentally friendly technology — and generate the jobs that come with it. What’s more, over the long haul, climate change itself threatens to impose huge costs on the economy.
“Withdrawing from the Paris agreement is hardly going to create jobs in the U.S.,” says Cary Coglianese, professor at the University of Pennsylvania and editor of the book “Does Regulation Kill Jobs?” ”While specific environmental regulations can sometimes lead to job losses, they also can and do lead to job gains — with the result being roughly a wash.”
On the science front, Trump has rejected the reality of the scientific consensus that human-produced greenhouse gases are a major contributor to global warming, calling it a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese to cost America jobs. Of course, rejection of science and facts is fashionable among the wingnuts who support Trump no matter what crazy shit he does.
And being the only country out of 195 to disavow a scarcely year-old agreement is crazy shit, make no mistake. Trump has hurt our standing with our allies and given the go-ahead to countries like Russia and China to take the lead on the global effort to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Trump is withdrawing America from the world stage and putting us in a clubhouse that includes Syria and Nicaragua (the only countries, other than the U.S., to reject the Paris accord).
To Trump, though, none of these consequences matter. He is a reality show star, not a president. He is not a serious person. He is a self-aggrandizing fool. He doesn’t care how all this affects global relations or future generations who will have to live with his bone-headed decision. He got to put on a show, and all eyes were on him.
To Trump, that is what is important, and that is all that is important.
“Environment, You’re Fired!!”