This week’s must watch: former Rep. Bob Inglis reacts to Paris decision. (MSNBC)
This week’s must read by Dr. Katharine Hayhoe: Yeah, the weather has been weird (Foreign Policy)
After weeks of promising a decision, President Donald Trump convened in the White House Rose Garden yesterday to announce that he is withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris climate accord. “As of today, the United States will cease all implementation of the non-binding Paris accord and the draconian financial and economic burdens the agreement imposes on our country,” he said. The decision makes the U.S. only the third country, along with Syria and Nicaragua, to reject the agreement.
In the days and weeks prior, eco-right thought leaders and lawmakers weighed in with the White House, asking the president to honor the U.S. commitment to the international agreement or at the very least, attempt to renegotiate the terms. A snapshot of the myriad responses from the eco-right:
Rep. Elise Stefanki wrote in a statement that “United States innovation and business leadership have been key drivers to lowering our carbon emissions over the last 20 years, and we should continue to have an influential seat at the table as the rest of the world addresses these issues. Withdrawing from the Paris Agreement is misguided and harms the ongoing effort to fight climate change while also isolating us from our allies.”
House Climate Solutions Caucus co-founder Rep. Carlos Curbelo said in a CNN interview that the U.S. “should have stayed at the table. It’s very difficult to modify an agreement and organization from the outside. When you’re on the inside you can really work with your partners and make progress.”
We’ve just given up our seat at the table, yielded leadership to China & Russia & put U.S. on a list w/ Assad’s Syria & Ortega’s Nicaragua pic.twitter.com/lxkaxDY7xd
Rep. Carlos Curbelo (@RepCurbelo) June 1, 2017
Fellow Caucus members also weighed in. Pennsylvania’s Rep. Patrick Meehan said the decision “diminish[es] America’s leadership role on the world stage” and New York’s Rep. John Faso called the withdrawal “ill-advised.”
In the Senate, Maine Sen. Susan Collins tweeted her disappointment.
Carmel, Indiana Mayor Jim Brainard said the decision to withdraw from Paris “will send a message that we don’t care about being a great country. Great countries take leadership roles. Great countries ensure that their air and water quality is as good as it could be and great countries look out for future generations.”
Jay Faison, founder of ClearPath: “America’s withdrawal from the Paris accord is a personal blow to me. I have said many times that we don’t need to agree on the level of climate risk to agree on clean energy solutions. However, joining Nicaragua and Syria as the only countries not on board assigns zero risk to carbon emissions. The world will move on without us, probably with China in the lead.”
Several corporate leaders also signaled their disappointment.
In other news, republicEn.org welcomes to the table the latest conservative carbon reduction organization, Alliance for Market Solutions. According to their mission, a carbon tax “would let markets (instead of government) allocate resources, stimulate innovation and capital investment, support clean energy, and effectively reduce carbon emissions. Critically, it would produce higher economic growth and more jobs than under current regulatory policies when paired with pro-growth tax reforms.” Read their paper here.
Need a laugh? There were many climate jester candidates this week, but we bestowed the honors on Michigan Rep. Tim Walberg, who assures us not to worry about climate change as “there is a creator in God who is much bigger than us. And I’m confident that, if there’s a real problem, he can take care of it.”
What an exhausting week. The hard work for the eco-right just got a little harder, but we remain committed and hope you do too.