LASER TALKS: Trump’s Climate Disconnect

LASER TALK –Joseph Stiglitz calls for Border Carbon Adjustments on USA 
Since 2010, Citizens’ Climate Lobby Canada volunteers have been lobbying for carbon fee and dividend. Within that policy are border tax adjustments, also known as border carbon adjustments.  Under the World Trade Organization, countries with national carbon taxes can level the playing field by enacting border carbon adjustments which could actually push the USA to enact a carbon price too. On June 2, 2017, Nobel Laureate in economics, Joseph Stiglitz said in his opinion piece How to Punish Trump said, “If Trump wants to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement, the rest of the world should impose a carbon-adjustment tax on U.S. exports that do not comply with global standards.”

LASER TALK – President Trump’s Misinformation on GHG Reductions the Paris Accord
On June 1, 2017, President Donald Trump pulled out of the Paris Accord on climate change. Trump misinformed the people regarding the impacts of the Paris Accord. “Even if the Paris agreement were implemented in full,” Trump said, “with total compliance from all nations, it is estimated it would only produce a 2/10’s of one degree Celsius reduction in global temperature by the year 2100.”

John Reilly, the co-director of the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change did not know Trump had quoted his study in his speech. The study, “How much of a difference will the Paris Agreement make?” looked at the incremental changes in the accord that would happen if countries kept their promises. It found that over a 5- to 10-year period global warming would slow between 0.6 degree and 1.1 degrees Celsius by the end of the century. It is shameful that President Trump is playing fast and loose with numbers and consequently generating fake news.

LASER TALK – President Trump’s Grossly Misleading Numbers on Jobs
On June 1, 2017, President Donald Trump pulled out of the Paris Accord on climate change and quoted misleading numbers on jobs. “Compliance with the terms of the Paris accord and the onerous energy restrictions it has placed on the United States could cost America as much as 2.7 million lost jobs by 2025, according to the National Economic Research Associates,” Trump said.  Firstly, there are zero energy restrictions in the Paris Accord. The “2.7 million lost jobs” comes from a US Chamber of Commerce study which only factors in jobs lost in heavy industry such as coal and it does not figure in jobs added in clean tech. It also does not factor in unchecked climate change’s negative impact on jobs.

LASER TALK –Trump’s Climate Disconnect: Climate Change and Security
It is abundantly clear to military around the world that climate change is the mother of all risks to national and global security. Climate change acts as a threat multiplier, exacerbating threats in already unstable regions of the world. In 2016, the USA’s military budget was over $600 billion and 3.2% of their GDP. Trump addressed NATO two weeks ago and demanded that they spend 2% of their GDP on the military. This is where a big disconnect comes in: The United States of America is the biggest carbon polluter  in the history of the world  yet Trump is dismissing global cooperation needed to address the crisis by pulling out of the Paris Accord.

LASER TALK –Trump’s Climate Disconnect: Poverty and Christianity
The Republican Party openly courts Christians. Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen Pence are devoted Evangelical Christians. The biggest distinguishing factor of Christians is Christ’s covenant of being our brothers and sisters’ keepers. Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment and human ecology, Laudato Si’ (2015), which the Pope gave to President Trump in May when he visited the Vatican, made the connection between poverty and climate change. In June 2015, the World Evangelical Alliance welcomed Pope Francis’ encyclical.

This is where a big disconnect comes in. The United States of America is the biggest carbon polluter in the history of the world. The Global South, who did little to create the problem are now facing catastrophic consequences because of our changing climate. On June 1, 2017 Trump made it very clear he was ending contributions to the Green Climate Fund, “which is costing the United States a vast fortune.” The United States has pledged by far the most — $3 billion total or $9.41 per capita. Many countries have offered more on a per capita basis. The Swedes, for example, will contribute nearly $60 each.

Actions speak louder than words.


Go back to Laser Talks Page.