Trump Exits Climate Pact And Leaves America To Stand Alone (Editorial)

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Trump exits climate pact and leaves America to stand alone (Editorial)

Why work to save our wounded planet when you could instead attempt to please your most fervent political supporters?

That, boiled down, is the essence of President Donald Trump's thinking in deciding to pull the United States out of the Paris Climate Accord.

His foolish decision makes America the third nation in the world not to be part of the agreement. The others are Syria and Nicaragua. The former, of course, has long been engaged in a civil war. And the latter didn't join because the agreement wasn't strict enough.

In other words, Trump wants America to stand alone.

America first?

No, it's America last. Last century, that is.

Leading up to Thursday's Rose Garden announcement that the United States would exit the accord, there had reportedly been a good deal of internal strife inside the West Wing, with whackadoodle adviser Steve Bannon pushing the president to bid adieu to Paris, while Trump's daughter Ivanka and her husband, close presidential aide Jared Kushner, waged a losing fight to remain.

It's long been said that Trump tends to listen to the last person to have his ear. Too bad that Bannon, the administration's most fervent America-firster and most virulent anti-globalist figure, apparently talked last to Trump. Or at least loudest.

In making the announcement, the president said: "I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris."

It's meant to sound profound, but it's nothing more than a wiseacre statement. It falls flat upon even a moment's reflection.

The nearly 200 nations that signed onto the Paris accord wrote their own rules and set their own goals for reducing carbon dioxide emissions. To suggest that the agreement is the work of some nefarious group of central planners, toiling in some far-flung land - and speaking French while they work - is to play to the fears of those who know nothing of the accord. Or of efforts to combat climate change.

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, who noted that the majority of his city's residents voted for Hillary Clinton in last year's presidential election, wrote on Twitter: "I can assure you that we will follow the guidelines of the Paris Agreement for our people, our economy & future."

Thankfully, he was not alone.

Many businesses and local governments vowed not to be deterred by Trump's move. Tech companies such as Apple and Tesla and Microsoft and IBM said they'd continue to take the steps they've been taking to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

Further, Tesla Inc. founder and CEO Elon Musk and Walt Disney Co. CEO Robert Iger both resigned from a White House advisory council on which they'd agreed to serve. Their departure only makes sense. If the president is going to ignore your best counsel, why waste your time offering it?

Trump, egged on by Bannon, may well believe that he's taking some sort of leadership role. Just making America great again, don't you know.

Instead, he's sidelining our nation, abdicating our fundamentally important role in reducing carbon emissions and keeping the planet from overheating.

Not to worry, Trump says - we'll just renegotiate the agreement.

Major European signatories effective response: In your dreams.

In a telephone chat with Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron rejected the idea that the accord could be changed. Later, a joint statement from the leaders of France, Italy and Germany said that the agreement "cannot be renegotiated."

But that's no cause to fret when your primary goal is pleasing your political base.

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