Environmentalists are panicking over President Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement.
“Donald Trump [is] issuing a suicide note for the rest of the world, including, ultimately, for the people of the United States, as well,” Kumi Naidoo, the former head of Greenpeace, told Democracy Now in an interview Thursday.
Trump announced Thursday he would withdraw the U.S. from the Paris accord, but he also said the U.S. may rejoin the agreement if they can get a fair deal. Environmentalists were still freaking out.
“Even right now, to be honest, we cannot believe that the United States government will act against the interests of its own people and the interests of people across the world,” Kaidoo said.
During his presidential campaign, Trump vowed to “cancel” U.S. participation in the deal, but environmentalist repeatedly urged him to reconsider. Former President Barack Obama unilaterally used his authority as president to join the Paris agreement, without a vote in the Senate, so Trump can remove the U.S. from the accord without a vote.
“Donald Trump has made a historic mistake which our grandchildren will look back on with stunned dismay at how a world leader could be so divorced from reality and morality,” Michael Brune, executive director of The Sierra Club, said in a statement. “This is a decision that will cede America’s role internationally to nations like China and India, which will benefit handsomely from embracing the booming clean energy economy while Trump seeks to drive our country back into the 19th century.”
Notably, Greenpeace’s official Twitter accounted claimed that the withdrawal only has the potential to increase global temperatures, not that it will actually increase them.
— Greenpeace USA (@greenpeaceusa) June 1, 2017
Scientists suspect that even with the U.S.’ cooperation, it will be essentially impossible to meet the agreement’s goal of limiting global warming by 2 degree Celsius by 2100. A study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) concluded that if every single country met its pledge, this would only reduce global temperatures by 0.2 degrees Celsius.
That hasn’t stopped environmental groups from claiming withdrawal from the agreement would destroy the U.S.’ diplomatic credibility.
— NRDC (@NRDC) June 1, 2017
Naidoo complained in the exact same interview that the Paris agreement wasn’t actually tough enough to stop global warming.
“The Paris accord actually dealt with a very complicated set of politics, power, vested interests and so on,” Naidoo said in the same interview. “We wanted to get a much more ambitious agreement, with much more clear targets, much more aggressive timelines to get us off our addiction to fossil fuels.”
Several environmental groups are even claiming that Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement is racist.
— 350 dot org (@350) June 1, 2017
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) floated a similar claim.
Pulling out of the Paris Agreement would be a massive step back for racial justice, and an assault on communities of color across the U.S.
— ACLU National (@ACLU) June 1, 2017
Naidoo left Greenpeace International in December 2015 because the organization was allegedly excluding “people of color” and not enacting “social justice” friendly measures.
Naidoo and other leaders of environmental groups are increasingly attempting to make them both “more people centric” as well as part of the social and environmental “justice” movement. They have refereed to attempts to address global warming through international negotiations as “climate apartheid,” a subtle form of racism. Naidoo repeatedly claimed that social justice, women rights and human rights were interconnected with the environment and that Greenpeace should advocate for them all.
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