Both signed by Presidents who were democrats, but senators who were largely republican would not ratify.
First was the Kyoto Protocol signed in the 90s.
Even major oil companies were against withdrawing from the Paris Agreement. As were some of Trump's senior staff. It seems the main advocates for withdrawing were Bannon and the new EPA head Scott Pruit (EPA=Environment Protection Agency, in case anyone was unknowledgeable or forgetful of that fact). Ex-ExxonMobil head, and now Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson was for staying in the agreement, as was, purportedly, Trump's daughter and son-in-law.
I am fairly certain that this largely has to do with a peevish desire to destroy Obama's legacy, and keep a strong/dominant image, on Trump's part. Matches the desires of the ideological Trump supporters that don't care if their house gets burnt down as long as the houses of liberals get burned too.
Some quotes from #45 today from WaPo:
...permanent disadvantage [vis a vis India, China, other rising powers] ...
…[tantamount to putting U.S. vast energy resources basically put] under lock and key...
In order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord but begin negotiations to reenter either the Paris accord or an entirely new transaction on terms that are fair to the United States, its businesses, its workers, its people, its taxpayers.
The rest of the world applauded when we signed … for the simple reason that it put our country … at a very, very big economic disadvantage.
At what point does America get demeaned? At what point do they start laughing at us as a country? We want fair treatment for its citizens and we want fair treatment for its taxpayers. We don't want other leaders and other countries laughing at us anymore - and they won't be.
I don't even know where to start with it.
The U.S. is 5% of the world's population, but responsible for at least 15% of the emissions. So 3x more than what their population would indicate. The Paris Agreement would had 21% of the total worldwide emissions reduced be in American. To America, this would have meant a 26-28% reduction by 2025, based in 2005 levels. So, they'd still have twice the emissions per capita than the average person in the world.
And if you want to talk resources, instead of emissions, the U.S. uses 33% of the world's paper, 25% of the world's oil, 23% of the coal, 27% of aluminum, 19% of the cooper, and produce 50% of the world's solid waste.
It might be the hill some may fight to die on, but it is certainly not the moral high ground.
Who exactly is this unfair to? The U.S. already has an advantage, if they follow through it will be a slightly less advantageous than currently, but still more advantageous than most countries. And you aren't gambling the ability of our planet to support life as we know it.
Well, not gambling as hard, most scientists say while the Paris agreement is a good start, but not enough, to prevent some of the effects of climate change.
To act like something is being unfairly taken away from the U.S., 1st of all requires pretending American people are an island unto themselves, 2nd requires to imagine a world with infinite resources, 3rd requires to ignore most 1st world wealth is from ill-gotten gains as a result of the history of colonization.
So this leaves it, in the U.S., to private organizations (both for-profit and non-profit), and individuals, to leave the fight against climate change and for environmental protection.
As aside, I heard an interesting piece of history recently, the history of corporation personhood in the U.S. and they included a case. My computer is acting up so I will not be able to find a link. Basically, post civil war, there were some butchers immediately upriver of New Orleans. They polluted the waters, and New Orleans said "Maybe the reason why we are getting so much cholera is those butchers. Let's make a law that they have to operate down river". So they did. The butchers fought it in court, arguing that their corporations, like people, have the right to do whatever they want with their property, while on their property. I don't know how it wound its way through the courts, but the cholera outbreaks did stop when the butchers moved. But the U.S. is basically those butchers. The rest of the world New Orleans.
People talk about how Trump's longest lasting legacy will be his USSC Justice Gorsuch. This will be longer, especially if US states, localities, business, organizations, and people, follow Trump's lead.
Edited by sierraleone, 01 June 2017 - 07:02 PM.