Trump’s mostly symbolic exit from the Paris climate deal means nothing, yet threatens everything.

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Let’s begin by putting things into context, shall we? In 2015, the Paris climate accords were signed by nearly every country in the world in an effort to confront the (very real) global threat of climate change via voluntary emission reduction pledges.

“The Paris agreement establishes the enduring framework the world needs to solve the climate crisis,” then President Obama said. “It creates the mechanism, the architecture, for us to continually tackle this problem in an effective way.”

Quite simply, the agreement laid out a voluntary set of benchmarks for partner nations to self-audit greenhouse gas emissions and deliver a five-year plan to improve their own self-scoring for future measurements.

It also pooled developed nations’ resources as benefactors to designated, underdeveloped regions that are classified as high risk zones to climate change damage – such as drought, disease, famine and flooding – as a means to catalyze risk mitigation in these areas.

Scores of CEOs, industry titans, scientists, engineers and financial experts around the globe called on the current president to not exit the agreement, as did national leaders at last week’s G7 summit. In fact, every educated, informed voice on the matter at hand unanimously confirmed that the decision to exit the accords would be wrong, period.

“This would be a colossal mistake,” said Nick Burns, who served as Under Secretary of State under George W. Bush. “It would also devastate our international credibility. We are one of the two largest carbon emitters, with China. We are the ones who put this deal together. It is the first step to try to do something about climate change. For President Trump to take us out, it is anti-science.”

The agreement’s terms are even currently supported by Trump’s own Secretary of State and former Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson, and the majority of fossil fuel companies even have publicly persuaded Trump to remain in the accords, including the (current) CEOs of both Shell and Exxon.

But in a disastrous victory on behalf of national ignorance and scientific bastardization – as well as a symbolic gesture to show the world who’s boss – President Donald Trump has announced plans to exit the international accords.

This decision – despite Trump’s blunderous pandering to fossil fuel interests and feigned dedication to working class Americans – was made with the direct purpose to further the freshman president’s charge of symbolically nullifying the Obama administration’s multiple environmental efforts.

His decision to exit the agreement is a damaging ruse; it means nothing, yet affects everything. It gains no political validation, earns no profits, saves no jobs; yet it underscores his ludicrous commitment to undo the Obama legacy for no other reason than the sad fact that his supporters will love him for it. It perpetuates an image to the rest of the world that the newest leader of the United States of America is radically unhinged and will not adhere to reason or resolve, nor will he forge ahead as a leader on the world stage with regard to technology and (renewable) energy independence just so long as he gets to send a clear and concise message to the 65 million people who didn’t vote for him.

Trump eyes Obama legacy
Win McNamee/Getty Images

And on the world stage, Trump has now set a dangerously low precedent that exemplifies a leader unfit and unwilling to lead. He has created a scene in which China – arguably the most nefariously environment-screwing  nation in the world – is committing to more action against climate change than the United States of America.

“We still uphold that all sides should move with the times, grasp the opportunities, fulfill their promises and earnestly take proactive steps to jointly push the enforcement of this agreement,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said in March. “No matter how other countries’ policies on climate change, as a responsible large developing country, China’s resolve, aims, and policy moves in dealing with climate change will not change.”

Premier Li Keqiang of China, in Berlin for meetings with Chancellor Angela Merkel, said Thursday that his country remained committed to the fight against climate change and to participating in international efforts for a greener world.

“China will continue to uphold its commitments to the Paris climate agreement,” noted Premier Li Keqiang of China yesterday. “Step by step, and very arduously, together with other countries, we will work toward the goals set” by global leaders in 2015.

Trump’s decision also places the U.S. in similar rankings with progress-defiant nations like Syria and Nicaragua (who have not signed the accord) and radically undermines the United States’ global negotiating power. Without a “seat at the table” for future endeavors concerning energy, resources and global sustainability, the U.S. is in a vulnerable, minority-held position.

Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump models a hard hat in support of the miners during a rally at the Charleston Civic Center on May 5, 2016 in Charleston, West Virginia. (Photo by Mark Lyons/Getty Images)

“Humanity is at a fork in the road,” said Kai Sauer, an ambassador from Finland. “One hundred and ninety countries going on one path, and the United States, Syria, Nicaragua going on another? It seems a bit strange. This definitely also changes how we are looking at the United States.”

Trump’s defiance against reason here is a perfect example of what happens when one’s nationalistic “bubble-vision” obscures progress and accountability. What ever happened to being a world leader for prosperity, safety and longevity? What ever happened to leading by example? Whatever happened to being the greatest country on Earth?

Although the agreement’s terms clearly define that the U.S. cannot actual submit its request for withdrawal of the accords until November 2019 (and who knows if he will still be in office by then) and the nation’s subsequent removal from the deal would take at least a year longer, the blow against global recognition and a unified front against the climate threat is as deafening as it is absolutely f–king absurd.

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At MosaicPlanet.org, Joe takes on the role of primary strategic vision, content development and all brand-building efforts. He spends A LOT of time on the internet and far too much money in bookstores. Joe began his interest in progressive politics way-back-when as a college senior during the 2000 U.S. presidential election, and he has been arguing at the dinner table ever since.