And Now, Even Exxon Is Better Than U.S. on Climate
Gone are the fevered dreams that Ivanka’s moderating influence or Elon’s persuasive position as an economic advisor will amount to anything beyond optics for Trump on the Paris agreement. Replacing it is the knowledge that our commander-in-chief will gladly shoot us in the collective foot if it means appeasing Presidents Bannon and Putin.
So we can stop pretending that maybe Trump would be responsive to facts and figures on the economic reality of the energy transition, like the 1.2 million clean energy jobs in states that voted for him (the only ones anyone ever thought he would even remotely value). We can stop imagining a world where Trump’s one constant—lies—will work in our favor (he broke so many other campaign promises, why not this one?). We can stop living in denial and entertaining the possibility of a presidential pivot on climate.
Now, the climate community can start the full-throated backlash. First up is a twitter storm today at Noon (ET), where folks will rally digitally to demand we #ActOnClimate. An emergency rally on the north side of the White House is set for 5 p.m. After that, we can expect further statements from New York City and California that despite federal inaction, local governments remain committed to emission reductions.
And, of course, lawsuits. Lots of lawsuits. (An approach already showing some progress on energy efficiency regulations).
Internationally, countries can stop treating Trump like the president of an allied country, and instead consider him one of the petrostate autocrats with whom he got along so well. China and the EU have already started, with a joint summit and statement coming Friday that “will take revenge on Trump,” according to a headline from Euractiv.
That attack is well-warranted: If Trump pulls out of Paris, the U.S. will be even worse on climate action than ExxonMobil. Wednesday, while we were all banging our heads against our desks, Exxon shareholders voted to force the company to be more transparent about the risk it faces from climate change and how its business model aligns with the world’s efforts to meet the Paris goals.
THIS IS HUGE! Shareholder Uprising: Measure Approved Instructing #Exxon to Report #Climate Impacts https://t.co/39kkdb3O19 @350 @Agent350
— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch) May 31, 2017
But what about coal? Surely this will be a boon the coal industry, the one group that pushed Trump to leave … Nope. Coal stocks fell on news of the possible pull-out.
Paris is a global potluck, where every nation decided what it could bring to the party. But instead of bringing the burgers Obama promised, Trump’s decided to show up empty-(small) handed.
Though maybe that’s better than if he brought Trump steaks and covfefe…