Today, Monday, November 4, the Trump administration made it official: The United States formally notified the United Nations that our country will withdraw from the Paris agreement on climate change. This was not much of a surprise, coming as it did from someone who used to refer to climate change as a “hoax” created by China—presumably, in President Trump’s mind, with the intent of stifling American manufacturing.
As President Trump told a cheering crowd at a natural gas conference last month: “They were taking away our wealth. It was almost as though it was meant to hurt the competitiveness—really, competitiveness of the United States. So, we did away with that one.”
(Never mind that none of it is true on any level: Climate change is no hoax, China is not involved, and dealing with one of the greatest threats to life on the planet is certainly not intended as some sort of con game to hurt this quarter’s US economic news.)
The bottom line is that Trump has had a vendetta against the Paris Agreement from the get go—and, in fact, a vendetta against anything to do with fighting global warming. Trump has trumped up all sorts of so-called facts to support his position, all of which were roundly disproved.
But it’s not as if we weren’t forewarned. Trump gave ample evidence on the campaign trail of what he intended to do, as can be seen from this 2016 New Yorker article by journalist Evan Osnos.
Titled “President Trump: What Would He Do?” the article told exactly what to expect for the next four years, and how bad it would be. The article seemed extraordinarily well-sourced, judging from this paragraph: “Over the summer, I interviewed several dozen people about what the United States could expect from Donald Trump’s first term. Campaign advisers shared his plans, his associates relayed conversations, and I consulted veterans of five Republican Administrations, along with economists, war gamers, historians, legal scholars, and political figures in Europe, Asia, and Latin America.”
Osnos sums it all up at the very end, saying that we cannot expect “that his presidency would be something other than the campaign that created it.”
But rather than despair, activists have been taking a line from a labor organizer of the early 1900s, named Joe Hill. According to lore, shortly before he was to be executed for a crime he did not commit, Hill sent a telegram to his supporters: “Don’t mourn. Organize.”
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