On Thursday afternoon, President Donald Trump ended weeks of speculation by announcing the United States will officially pull out of the multinational Paris Accords—the global framework to combat the clear and present danger posed by climate change.
In doing so, America will now join Syria and Nicaragua as the sole nations that have rejected the agreement.
“In order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord,” Trump declared, to smattered applause.
“But,” the president continued, “[the U.S. will] begin negotiations to reenter either the Paris accord, or really entirely new transactions on terms that are fair to the United States, its businesses, its workers, its people, its taxpayers.”
“So we’re getting out,” Trump reiterated. “But we will start to negotiate and we will see if we can make a deal that’s fair. If we can, that’s great. If we can’t, that’s fine.”
Sure, catastrophic climate change is “fine.”
While ultimately unsurprising–Trump has previously referred to global warming as hoax “created by and for the Chinese,” and un-ironically stated “the global warming we should be worried about is the global warming caused by NUCLEAR WEAPONS in the hands of crazy or incompetent leaders!”–the declaration came even after massive push by politicians, religious figures, business leaders, and even oil industrialists to convince the president to keep the United States as a signatory to the agreement. The President’s daughter and top advisor Ivanka Trump also reportedly pressured her father to keep the U.S. in the accords.
While the president promised on Thursday to “negotiate” a better deal than the “draconian” Paris accords, it remains to be seen whether this White House—which has yet to pass a single major initiative without fumbling the ball—can muster both the political will and wherewithal to make anything significant happen. The alternative, of course, being that we, as a species, all roast to a crisp, or drown, or both. Not necessarily in that order.
But, hey, America first, right?