The Climate Crisis in Terms Trump Can Understand

The president is abandoning America’s future by quitting the Paris climate accord.

Comments: 178

  1. Why would staying in a meaningless agreement that doesn't cause China or India, the world top polluters, to do anything about THEIR emissions do anything when the US Is already reducing OUR emissions with more efficient technology?

  2. @Balance the budget It's not just the accord, but that trump is willfully rolling back those emission controls you mention. He's not just not doing anything, he's actively trying to make it worse.

  3. @ds What action of Obama resulted in China reducing emissions that Trump has now rolled back? When Obama "negotiated" with the Chinese, the negotiation that got rolled into the Paris agreement, the deal was truly bizarre. In exchange for the United States increasing its energy cost, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and hobbling its economy, the Chinese government agreed to increase their rate of production of CO2 by starting up new coal fired generators every week or two. Not included in the negotiations was the coal fired plants they were going to build in Vietnam, Kenya or the rest of the third world countries. Since Obama clearly and intentionally negotiated a deal that was not in the interests of the US, the democracies of the world, or humanity, walking away from it is an act of humanity. Oligarchs of the world are frustrated.

  4. @ds And it works! It WILL get worse.

  5. The US used to be considered a citizen of the world, now we make bad decisions based on a whim and the belief that science is wrong. This is not the legacy we want to leave our children. This act is nothing but smite in the rest of the world’s eyes. Trump has once again proven that ignorance can be an asset to the ignorant. Hopefully our next leader will rejoin the climate agreement.

  6. The US should stay in the Paris agreement though it is a very weak and ineffective way of combating climate change. Reductions in population growth need to be accompanied by lowering of wasteful consumption that will also require greater economic equality for preventing strife. Mr. Moon is over-promoting the significance of his Commission’s report that is mainly a public relations exercise.

  7. And how would you suggest a reduction of population? Make it illegal to have more than one child? Forced abortion? Or perhaps euthanasia for everyone over the age of 75? What do you deem to be the monetary/environmental value of human life? And how would you measure it?

  8. @A Van Dorbeck Yeah, but it was a start. It felt like somebody was trying to do something.

  9. Thank you to both authors for this very rational column, but seriously, you can't really think any rational thought is coming from our current White House, right? No one in the WH cares about any climate related anything. NO ONE. The only hope is to work through the countries, states, cities, and most importantly, the people on the ground that care. In truth, the only way to make change that will matter is if enough people start making their opinion on climate change known through spending habits -- "voting with our dollars." At this point, that is the only chance the future generations have -- money is god to those that have to power to make the necessary changes -- if millions of people were to stop buying cars that get less than 30 mpg, there wouldn't be cars like that. And on and on... Yes, there will be inconvience, maybe even hardship, but compared to the alternative, it's not much. The only question is: Do enough people alive today care enough to takes steps to protect, or at least mitigate, the hazards and hardship of those who come after us? So far, the answer has been an apathetic no from most, and adamant, disdainful, NO from those in the White House.

  10. But you don't understand. Only Trump knows how to fix this. And lots of folks who vote in America believe him with unshakable faith. Rational arguments supported by massive evidence make no difference to either. Where were you when the page was blank? The climate problem did not emerge with rising temperatures. It may have begun with lowering our estimation of science and learning, with deifying the economic theology of maximizing return on investment, and from neglecting the well being of those who would most suffer from disinvestment in social programs in America. Sadly, it will take much more than an op-ed appeal to Trump to turn America around to once again assume a leadership role in partnership with the rest of the world. Hopefully this will happen soon, but cannot not soon enough.

  11. @pardon me Trump was not my first choice for the Republican nominee, but he is better than anyone the Democrats have or will offer, and I'm glad I voted for him. His supporters do not think he is the only one who can address the major problems facing the world. What we do know is that the Democrat "solutions" will not.

  12. Why is President Trump SO powerful that he has the right to reject the Paris agreement AND roll back emissions standards AND drill in the Arctic AND offer leasing our public lands to miners and corporate interests? GOD made this earth; it’s OUR right for it to be habitable!

  13. @Bonnie Schweinler President Trump is enforcing the laws of the United States, as written. This seems odd to you because it was not the practice followed by Obama: he believed he did not require any input from the legislative branch, was authorized to sign treaties without getting a 2/3 vote from the Senate, could spend money never appropriated by Congress and could create regulations in violation of the actual written laws. Had Obama been familiar with the Constitution or the rule of law, he might have acted differently. In 2009, when Pelosi's House had passed a carbon cap and trade bill, he might have insisted that the Senate, with their 60 Democrat supermajority, vote to make it law. Or, he could have gotten the Congress to pass immigration reform. In all fairness, Democrats expected the masses to be so delighted with Obamacare that they would never again elect Republicans, so who knows what laws they intended to pass in 2011 and beyond. Too bad they couldn't even get 60 votes in the Senate, the law was so poorly written, that they were forced to pass it using a parliamentary trick. They should have grasped that the law was undesirable. As their majority continued to decline, Obama resorted to autocratic actions that further cost Democrat's elective office. During his eight year rule of terror, Democrats lost 1000 elective offices nationwide.

  14. @ebmem Obama acted autocratically because Republicans would not legislate. He believed he should get input from the legislative branch, but Republicans refused to work with him. He did things without Republican input because they refused to give him any. This refusal stretched the Constitution far more than anything he did. Southerners have always excelled at ignoring the elephant in the room (historically, segregation, and with Obama, Republican intransigence. They produce high-minded discourse about the rule of law that talks all around the elephant. What is actually going on is a slow-motion right wing coup, and the fate of politics in this coup is not to be eliminated but to rather be turned into the sort of boasting and strutting and vilification of the opponent that we see in professional wrestling.

  15. @Bonnie Schweinler Because another president was SO powerful that he signed the agreement without the consent of congress (that pesky little constitution again). Maybe if we addressed these problems the 'old fashioned way' - laws - and not edicts from the dear leader - they would have some lasting impact.

  16. Each day, Trump and his Republicans act to make our planet less & less inhabitable for our children and grandchildren. The window of opportunity to effectively mitigate Climate Change is rapidly disappearing. The remaining 2020 Democratic Candidates will try to cut & paste portions of Governor Jay Inslee’s comprehensive & actionable Climate Change Mitigation Plan. We must go with the Real Deal. The winning Democratic Party 2020 Ticket: President Warren (build a green economy) + Vice President Inslee (save a blue planet)! W+IN 2020! +++++++++++++++ NYT Please Advise: Given the perilous trajectories of our country and planet, at what point does the NYT take the lead and call for Trump’s resignation (without the benefit of a Pence pardon)? Thank you.

  17. I am afraid we are heading to climate disaster. Few in the U.S. -- even those who adamantly oppose the current President -- are willing to enjoy the comforts and conveniences they enjoy as the result of a carbon-based lifestyle. Is it possible to take actions that would have a meaningful impact to slow climate change, in a democracy? The current political situation in the U.S., and around the world, suggests that it is not.

  18. A doctor can read the pulse of a patient from a graph and assign the cause as one human heartbeat per pulse - The same should happen with a basic temperature pulse showing the rise and fall in temperatures across a 24 hour period in response to one rotation of the Earth - Unfortunately academics, following a silly conclusion from the late 17th century, refuse to accept that wonderful planetary pulse as a result of one rotation of the Earth and insist on one more rotations than there are those temperature pulses - " It is a fact not generally known that,owing to the difference between solar and sidereal time,the Earth rotates upon its axis once more often than there are days in the year" NASA Any reasonable person can read the human pulse for what it is and what the temperature fluctuations each 24 hours represent. Unfortunately reasonable people don't exist when it comes to cause and effect.

  19. the writers are spitting into the wind, Trump doesn't care about rational arguments, he only cares about pleasing his ignorant, anti-base and the fossil fuel barons. To get his attention, the world needs to sanction any country that doesn't abide by the Paris agreement. If the world slapped tariffs on US goods so they don't get an economic advantage by avoiding climate controls they would find they don't need the US products and that Trump would have to back off or the powers that be here would get rid of him.

  20. The US used to be a world leader with technology, medicines, processes and so on. But when it comes to combating global climate change we choose, at the moment, to not even follow but leave the room. If, and this is a big if, the Democrats take the White House and Senate in 2020, then I am confident we will return to the Paris accord and work to give it muscle. There is too much to be gained, and tons of effort to be expended, to turn around the world’s pollution problems to just sit on the sidelines. Much like WWII and WWI the world will needs the US leadership to win the battles and war against the existential threats of global climate change.

  21. Please do not use logic, reason, and evidence when discussing trump or when trying to influence him. Same planet; different worlds.

  22. We should BAN any Federal aid to areas hit by floods and hurricanes and tornadoes. That would create a larger incentive for the Southern States in the Gulf and the Atlantic Seaboard and Midwest to take Climate Change more seriously. Especially Texas where most of the carbon the US has put out, has originated. Let them bear the costs of their actions, without being bailed out by taxpayers from areas that did not do this stuff. I would feel differently if these areas were not continuing to deny the role of fossil fuel. But they do. So they should be left on their own.

  23. Hmm. Texas, Alaska and California may have pumped out the overwhelming majority of the fossil fuels in the country, but California [built on fossil fuels] has consumed more than the oil patch states. You are correct that federal funds should not be spent on flooding disasters. Sure, we should help with immediate humanitarian aid, but no federal funds for rebuilding. Any federal funds should be expended on population relocation to higher ground. Not to guaranteeing real estate values for people with waterfront property.

  24. Baloney. The Paris Accord was just a flawed financial structure that allowed trading of carbon credits. All the rest is window dressing; it was all about money. And Trump is absolutley correct, it was a rotten deal for the United States, that traded away self-government for a globalists manna from heaven - the ability of the Euro zone to meddle in internal US affairs. Further, the feckless leftist Obama circumvented the Constitutional requirement for advice and consent of the Senate for treaties when he signed onto it. It is garbage.

  25. @Objectivist In fairness, "Objectivist - Mass." sounds to me more like "Objectivist - Moscow".

  26. @Objectivist The Constitution requires more than advice and consent from the Senate on treaties. It require ratification by a 2/3 vote. the executive branch is obligated to negotiate treaties that will be acceptable to the American people via a vote from their elected representatives in the Senate. That differs from the majority of the 200 countries than Ban Ki-moon applauds.

  27. @Objectivist Talking to Deniers bout this subject has driven me crazy for the last 50 years. I think we have to just pray for the Singularity.

  28. This article assumes too much. It assumes that supporting the Paris climate agreement as it stands, will alleviate current climate change. How will that be possible when the greatest amount of greenhouse gases come from developing countries that manufacture all of the first world’s cheap products and which would be exempted from the requirements of the Paris plan? Better to publish the details of the plan than to grab on to the cheap virtue of blaming Trump and assuming the plan to be the greatest collective effort in human history. To paraphrase Bill Clinton: “It’s the (global) economy, stupid.”

  29. @Cold Eye Or just watch it go up in flames because you don't really care.

  30. The authors say, "In other words, we can either plan now and prosper — or do nothing and pay for the consequences later." This would seem to be common sense, however, for a president who ran first his businesses and now the country with a bankruptcy mentality, 'plunder now and worry later,' it is certainly an appeal that falls on deaf ears.

  31. @JHM What did Obama do, other than sign a treaty for which he lacked legal authority? When Nancy's House voted for a carbon cap and trade bill in 2009, why didn't Obama insist Harry Reid and his 60 Senator super majority vote on it? why didn't Bill Clinton even request that the Senate consider the Kyoto Protocol?

  32. "Try as we might, we cannot see how America’s interests are served by this decision." It's Russia's interests that are being served. Exxon and Putin's oil company had just inked a $500 billion deal to exploit Siberian oil, when Obama imposed sanctions on Russia after their invasion of Ukraine. Putin assisted Trump in his election. In gratitude, Trump did the easy parts: he left the Paris Accord, and made Exxon's CEO, Rex Tillerson, his Secretary of State (despite zero hours of statecraft experience). The hard part was lifting the sanctions. From his public statements, it's clear Trump would have done this if Congress hadn't stood in the way. But there seems to be a continual misconception of who Trump is working for. It pretty obviously is not America. To take just one issue, if he were working for America, he would not put future illegal immigration on steroids. Drought figures heavily in Central America's current diaspora, and according to climate science, will only get more extreme, thanks to people like Trump. Hence, the immigration issue is just politically convenient to him, until its not convenient, and then he ignores it.

  33. The Trump administration's quitting the Paris Climate Accord puts the USA on an equal footing with Brazilian mining and agricultural interest setting the Amazon rain forest alight for short term financial gain.

  34. @teoc2 The Kyoto agreement called for biofuel to replace fossil fuels. Oligarchs have made a fortune setting the Indonesian and Malaysian rain forests alight to clear the land for palm tree plantations. That has released more greenhouse gases than burning the equivalent amount of fossil fuels would have. Indigenous people have been impoverished and their lands decimated. Joining the Paris Agreement is the moral equivalent of enriching oligarchs and the politically well connected at the expense of the most vulnerable. Show a single UN or Democrat proposal to reduce global warming that does not result in the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, with the middle class covering much of the cost. Find a single one. The elite talk the talk, but profit from their propaganda.

  35. Now if the authors would address their plea to Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch and their Fox and Friends maybe someone in the Republican Party would listen. But as for now Trump gets all his news from Fox which sells doubt and denial about climate change.

  36. I don't even know what the Global Center on Adaption is or why I should listen to them. It probably pays Verkooijen well. There's big money in restructuring the world to the green economy. Bloomberg is advertising how his company can help Vietnam and India adapt to the new green economy. There must be big money in it that form of influence. Is it possible billionaires are using their power not to save the world but make huge profits and these many centers are there to pave way. Carbon taxes are a great idea for financial speculators. Trillions could be made when they start trading on it. They could also wreck the worlds economy like they did during the tech and mortgage bubbles. Do you want to add a carbon tax debacle to the list.

  37. @JoeG You forgot to mention the damage done to the economy by energy speculators, Joe from Houston. Did that one slip your mind?

  38. @JoeG Of course, you are overlooking the great successes of carbon taxes already. Plus, and this may be news to you, they originated in conservative think tanks. Isn't that amazing??? Also, just because YOU have never heard of the Global Center on Adaptation (please note spelling) does not mean they are not significant.

  39. Looking at the state of this climate crisis with clear eyes, I'm relieved I never choose to have children. We are dooming ourselves and future generations to misery by not staying in the Paris Agreement. The fires in California. All those hurricanes. The flooding in the Midwest. Every day a new species goes extinct. When will we collectively awake from our unconsciousness? I fear it will be too late.

  40. The insistent and irresistible demands of fast development and the desire for open sea lanes in the Arctic and presumed riches at the South Pole and in Greenland combine to thwart action against climate change. Those factors are beyond the control of agreements and we need to look to geo-engineering and a government willing to try it despite the expense.

  41. Oh, if Mar O Lago were to be directly hit by a tornado, or hurricane or some super weather catastrophe created by a mad scientist invention envisioned in a James Bond movie - you might see trump become smart. Otherwise, don't hold your breath. If it doesn't directly affect him, it's not real news. I don't think trump understands ideas and concepts.

  42. “But Mr. Trump is turning his back on this opportunity.“ But Mr. Trump turns his back to opportunities on a serial basis. The exceptions of course, are when his purse benefits. Now here’s an idea: The United Nations could mount a fundraising campaign to pay off all Trump’s loans from Russian oligarchs and the others. Of course, the disbursement of funds would be contingent upon the US re entering into the Paris agreement. The side effects of Trump’s puppet strings being cut would reverberate around the world as he suddenly changed his positions on just about everything. The expense would, as they say in New York, be cheap at twice the price.

  43. "Try as we might, we cannot see how America’s interests are served by this decision." Of course pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement doesn't serve American interests. What it serves is Trump's political interest. That seems clear because the Paris Climate Agreement was a creation of Barack Obama. He along with the help of John Kerry got China and India to go along and then other countries followed. Stated in a slightly different way the agreement was the creation of a black man, and I think that is the major reason Trump pulled out. He could not let this achievement of black man remain. He had to try to destroy it just like he had been rolling back virtually all of Obama's achievements including the Clean Power Plan which was central to getting Paris Climate Agreement. In the world of white supremacy Trump must be seen as something of a hero for pulling out of this agreement that was created by a black man. And Trump hopes this helps him when it comes to winning critical swing states in the 2020 election.

  44. Trump is right. The USA has been paying huge money into this plan, lowering our fossil fuel footprint, but the worst contributors (China & India) are doing NOTHING!! Go point a finger at them

  45. @NYC Dweller So that means we should quit? Doesn't make sense--by taking our ball and going home doesn't mean that the game isn't still going on...

  46. What it means is that we need a different that includes Asia cleaning up their act. The white-savior complex built into the Paris Agreement was embarrassing.

  47. America abandoned its future by electing Trump. MAGA is a hollow slogan that feeds foreign interests.

  48. I’m just glad I chose not to have children who will have to suffer through the terrible future Trumps generation created.

  49. By now, most of the world understands that Donald Trump is profoundly ignorant on almost all topics of substance. That includes a complete lack of competence on the topics of earth science, including climatology, including oceanography and biogeochemistry. So he doesn't know or care what he is doing in quitting the Paris Climate Accord. Wait until next year. Donald Trump is a very corrupt individual, who will either be impeached of voted out of office by 2020. After this aberrant, narcissistic, bombastic fool is gone, we can get back to saving the earth for our children and future generations.

  50. Too late! America is lost - Fox News has destroyed the population’s capacity for truth and this downward spiral will not be contained.

  51. "The United States is a great innovator and the Paris Agreement will undoubtedly be the poorer without its participation." Why would anyone ever not consider that innovation and (gasp) regulation can create jobs? We sent a humble man to the moon and he had the audacity (with the unparalleled help of thousands) to return safely. What do you mean the kids in Flint suffer from lead-tainted water? Why DID the Cuayahoga River catch fire? Hey, all the great forests are in California and the Pacific northwest, right? Burn 'em down? Times Beach and Love Canal? How about the never-ending coal fire in Centralia, Pennsylvania? Brilliant you guys, just brilliant. But those migrants ....

  52. Dear Ban Ki-moon and Patrick Verkooijen, Trump listens to no one. But thanks for trying. DP

  53. It is not a question weather Mr. Trump understands the global warming or not. He acts like a vengeant child and had to withdraw from the Paris accord because President Obama had signed it. This is how America is governed today. He also is angry with California and wants this state to lower its environmental standards.

  54. Do you think Trump cares one iota about the country's future? I sure don't. I think he cares about himself and everything he does is for himself.

  55. Trump has promised that the US will be in as soon as the developing world stops developing.

  56. Correction: The world’s future. The world needs our leadership, ingenuity and can do spirit, which means Trump and his minions, if not the GOP, must go in 2020, if there is going to be any chance of sustaining the planet. It is crashing.

  57. You can't appeal to a man who accepts conclusions without evidence using logic. And, you can't appeal to man who has gone bankrupt how many times it (?) by making arguments that most business people would accept. Nor, can you make arguments about how America will be left behind after Donald has declared America First and believes that he is Making America Great Again. What you can do is appeal to his vanity. Offer to renegotiate the deal. Nibble around the edges but essentially offer much the same deal. But, let him think it was all his idea and that he has won some massive victory over the rest of the world. Oh, and rename the agreement to the Mar A Lago Climate Agreement. Genuflect and bow your heads as he alone declares to the twitterverse that he alone has saved the world. That's how you get Trump to stay in the climate agreement--not by well-intentioned editorials.

  58. @John Someone should remind Donald that he owns rather a lot of beachfront property, which is very much at risk due to climate change. Even the threat of it is likely diminishing the value of his properties.

  59. @Andy Sea levels in Florida are measured. They rise at about 9in/century, same speed as a century ago. So Trump's properties should be safe for the next few centuries. Maybe a millennium.

  60. @Andy He must believe in climate change, as he was trying to build a seawall to protect his golf course in Ireland from rising sea levels and erosion due to climate change.

  61. "The Paris Agreement is a collaborative project, perhaps the greatest collective undertaking ever attempted by mankind." Uh, no it is not collective. Its is specifically designed as the opposite! Europe and Barack Obama but NOT (it should not need to be added, but due to the lies of the Democrats, must be) the United States of America (as it was never ratified by the Senate), promised to reduce carbon emissions. China promised to INCREASE them! Note the associations of the writers. Mr. Ban is the head of the biggest joke among all the "international organizations".

  62. We should stay in the climate accord, but it is foolish to believe that government commitments would be effective. Consider just one example: California's carbon footprint has increased every year for the past six years, one of only six states in which this occurred. Two presidents presided in those six years. California has passed a number of green laws and regulations. What failed? Increased fish harvesting in colder waters, city expansion into previously forested areas, NIMBY, increasing global travel - hundreds of reasons why greed and ignorance have overcome well-intentioned green efforts.

  63. Trump is abandoning America’s future in many other ways as well. And the reason is that he only cares about himself. After he has left this world he really couldn’t care less what happens to the rest of the population. Meeting his maker is likely going to be a very interesting encounter.

  64. @RD -to that I would say EVERY major religious leader in the world should admonish Trump for abandoning mankind in the pursuit of money and personal comfort no matter what the cost. I don't believe in an afterlife myself, but a huge number of his fellow human beings from all over the world, having learned the lessons of history should send him a strong message that he may be heading for a "big fall off his southern wall".

  65. I read the first paragraph of this - in which the authors profess confusion at Trump's actions - as they don't see how those actions "benefit America." Well, they are clearly asking the wrong question. Would staying in the Paris Accord benefit Trump? If not, he's not interested - and he doesn't like it because it's an Obama accomplishment. Really very simple.

  66. @RMS Good point! I hadn't thought of it that way.

  67. @RMS Yes, as someone said, Trump has probably tracked down all the Turkeys that Obama pardoned for Thanksgiving and had them eaten...he wouldn't do it himself, since he only wants fast food.

  68. This article insightfully elaborates the benefit of the Paris accord as an insurance policy. As we all suspect, Trump seemingly has no regard for insurance or business prudence. He embarks on innumerable, extraordinary and egregious political and financial risks without regard for the consequences on himself or anyone else. He brags about serial bankruptcies, gloats about himself being the king of debt etc. America is losing and this is cruelly ironic, because in his narrow view, it is only HE that has to be seen as winning, rather than our great country and the beacon of global leadership it enshrines.

  69. The authors are of course correct in pointing out that being proactive on global warming is in the US's long-term interest. The problem is, however, that for Trump there is no long term, only his immediate self-interest and that of his wealthy donors from fossil fuel businesses. Has there ever been a president, or adult human, with less of a sense of future and past than Trump? Children develop a sense of the passage of time by 8-10 years, and one wonders whether Trump's cognitive development stopped before then. Since the pay-offs for immediate action on climate change's effects won't be evident for some years to come, Trump sees it as all cost and no benefit. The US won't be able to take the necessary actions until Trump is gone.

  70. Not to disagree with the thrust of this op-ed, but I've read that unless China fixes its pollution problems, it doesn't matter what the rest of us do. India is, I think, second on that list of outrageous polluters. (But I still like the idea of a cleaner planet, so I'm happy that millions are making the effort.)

  71. @Jim Muncy The US is still ahead of India, and are still far ahead of china in carbon pollution per capita and total cumulative carbon pollution since the industrial revolution. Not that you aren't correct to a degree, but this is often used as an excuse to avoid taking responsibility which ignores that developing a green infrastructure takes carbon energy. We are in a much more advanced position than china technologically and infrastructurally to get there faster, and this is the key reason why our goals for the Paris Climate accord are more ambitious. Not to mention that the trade war is sabotaging the collaborations between American and Chinese scientists on projects about scaling green energy. You could bicker about sharing economically valuable technologies with a geopolitical competitor, but the truth is that we all have a lot to lose and we need to collaborate and compromise to some degree.

  72. @Rob Thanks for shedding more light on this subject. I worry about our kids and grandkids; and this is something we need to get right. Failure is not an option.

  73. @Jim Muncy To add a little more, we also have to recognize that China's emissions have gone up so far precisely because the US (and many other wealthy nations with apparently low emissions) have effectively shifted their own manufacturing there. If you counted the carbon cost of manufacturing goods in the nation where those goods are used rather than where they are made, we would undoubtedly be far out in front of everyone. Each individual American still has more responsibility to cut our consumption than any citizen of any other nation on Earth.

  74. I agree that climate action makes sense, but what I learned from Ban Ki Moon's letter is that the reason why the UN has been so ineffective for such a long time is that its leaders have such a poor grasp on the art of persuasion. This is not a sales letter. This is a lecture. I'd expect anyone who received it to act oppositely out of disdain.

  75. Of course, the authors of this frightening article are correct; we face an existential crisis. But your admonition that your warning is something "Trump can understand" is not true. Trump has very limited understanding about anything that does not impact him directly and might cost some extra money. If it doesn't cost him cash or votes he just covers the problem with his ever-present label of "Hoax." A valiant attempt to warn our President of the dangers facing his beloved Mar-a-Lago , which you point out "will not be spared", will have no effect on our MAGA leader who thinks himself a "stable genius" who does not have to listen to the counsel of scientists or professionals. He knows better than everyone else. Only his removal from office will allow us to combat this existential threat facing us.

  76. Thank you both for trying to get through to Donald Trump with such a respectful and clear letter. It's probably unlikely that he will hear you, though we never know who in power is listening and might be influenced. And we have to try everything that stakes are way too high! Thank you for all of your service to our planet.

  77. Climate change real but is not existential. We need to act but the PCA is a feel good do nothing agreement. Everyone is listening to the wrong Swede. We should be listening to Bjorn Lomborg.

  78. I am 76 years old and have been listing to the climate crisis for thirty years. Seems to me it is a feel good issue with urbanits who have not lived long to have any knowledge of history and do not have time to research the issue. There is no existential threat to the earth or human existence on it.

  79. @wes evans I am not sure anyone feels good about this issue. I am only 61, but I have a pretty good grasp of history, and of the changes that I have seen in my own brief time. If you do not think climate change is real, you are not paying attention.

  80. @wes evans I'm only 69 (OK boomer) but I too began to think climate change was happening when I was a kid. But it's been the same old thing the whole time. Some years we have terrible tornadoes. Other years we don't. Ditto for tsunamis. Ditto for hurricanes. But we have been encroaching on forests and previously sparsely inhabited areas to the detriment of some wildlife. We have been polluting and over-fishing the oceans. Changes in ecology may be worse than so-called climate change.

  81. Glad you’re doing ok. Just don’t gets irritated when the climate refugees who have to abandon their cities permanently under water move to your town. Please remember that.

  82. The overwhelming majority of 200 countries that signed the Paris Agreements are dictatorships where the chief executive has the authority to approve treaties. President Obama pretended to also be a dictator and ignored the fact that in the US democracy, the President and executive branch negotiate treaties, but they are not binding on the US unless a 2/3 majority in the Senate affirm the treaty. As a consequence, when American Presidents negotiate treaties, they agree to provisions that will be acceptable to the American people and their elected representatives. Some of the things in the Paris "Treaty" that are not acceptable to Americans is the $100 billion per year the industrialized democracies have agreed to donate to the autocratic leaders of the third world. The scientific evidence doesn't even suggest the money, 40% of which the dictator Obama decided the US would pay, reduces global warming. Another big offensive element is that is starting up a new coal fired generator every two weeks and will add more CO2 to the atmosphere than mankind has added since the inception of the industrial revolution. That's in addition to the coal fired plants China is building in Kenya, Vietnam and the rest of the third world.

  83. @ebmem Wow, just wow! If Obama was a dictator, then how would you describe Mr. Trump? By the way, you do not need to worry about the disastrous effects of climate change as that horse has already left the barn and by the time mankind stops dithering about what to do about it, it will be way too late.

  84. @ebmem It was never a treaty. It is an agreement. It was never binding. All actions agreed to were voluntary. In other words, Trump didn't even need to pull out of it. He could have simply ignored it. Treaty, agreement, or otherwise, it is good for everyone to reduce greenhouse emissions, and the treaty is intended to help with that. Ok, not everyone. It's bad for people like oil and coal company owners who make money when we burn fossil fuel.

  85. @Dan Zerkle If it's not a treaty and not binding, why does it matter whether we are in or out? Are you arguing that, like most Obama actions, it was an ineffective symbolic action not intended to be effective? If it is good for everyone to reduce greenhouse emissions, why is it that the Democrat Senate did not vote to affirm the carbon cap and trade bill Pelosi passed in the House when Obama had 60 Democrat votes in the Senate?

  86. Trump is opposed to the Paris Climate Agreement and environmental efforts generally only in part because it butters the bread of polluting industries. But there's more to it that that. Everything with Trump comes down to performance and audience, to branding in marketing context, to entertainment in cultural context, to demagoguery in political context. Thumbing his nose at environmentalists, Trump provides his beloved "under-educateds" the rare life thrill of sticking it to those who know better. He's practicing resentment politics up and down the scale from white racial resentment, to economic resentment, to male resentment, to education resentment, without needing to do a thing to address a single real concern. It's all show. And it makes his people insanely happy for a moment in their lives. Just look at any photo of crowds at a Trump rally. It's enough to give happiness a bad name. Compare, if you will, photos of crowds at Obama rallies. Those were faces of joy. Joy, unlike happiness, is bittersweet. There's space for reality in joy, as there is not in unadulterated happiness.

  87. I am afraid that this will not help Mr. Trump understand the problem. There are far too many words for him to read and many are far too big for him to understand.

  88. You get China to pull as hard as we were “signed” up to do and maybe I’m interested. Until then not so much. In fact we have accidentally already moved more than most countries that talk a lot but do little. So send this to others.

  89. @Mike You need to diversify your sources of information. China has shut down a huge number of coal-burning power plants, and has built enormous solar and wind industries. China is building global dominance in electric vehicle manufacturing and other electric transportation industries. China is investing in the future. Trump is placing America’s bets on the past.

  90. @Mike Which part of "American Exceptionalism" is waiting for others to take the lead?

  91. Unfortunately Trump is America and americans (even the ones that believe climate change is real) are not willing to change their way of living. We are consuming more of everything and the rest of the world is trying to catch up.

  92. Why bother with a purely political agreement when we can still be a model to the rest of the world by what we do here? We are one of the leaders in climate control, treaty or no treaty. Many Americans will continue to use programmable thermostats and LED light bulbs long before other countries can afford to. Is this about the US giving billions of dollars to other countries to help in their climate control efforts? It seems that quite often when we give money to countries controlled by dictators or autocrats, it never achieves results due to greed and corruption. Just spend the money at home. Stop grousing about an unenforceable treaty while India and China continue to take American jobs from us and build their own factories that use cheaper labor and pollute more, and all with no regard to human rights.

  93. @John Bowman Lowering thermostats and using LED light bulbs is not going to solve the climate crisis. Only collective action by all countries can mitigate the coming crisis. The United States is still the largest per capita emitter of greenhouse gases. This is not about American jobs or Chinese jobs, it is about the survival of the planet and life as we know it. You should read up on what all the scientists are saying.

  94. one thing is for certain. The Democrat whether Biden, Warren of someone else will need the full support of everyone who is committed to our environment and the welfare of our nation including Health care for all. our differences matter, but far more important is this commitment. A President can not do it alone and leaders sometimes need to be pushed forward by their followers. In a sense we are all leaders in this campaign to save our planet and our nation.

  95. About the only three thing anyone - including these two authors - can possibly really know about what Mr. Trump does or does not understand are : (1) That he does understand very well what the folks in his base want or do not want him to understand and address and (2) That giving the folks in his base what they want is almost always the path to his short-term political interests and (3) To coin a phrase, in the long run we are all dead.

  96. With all respect, Ban Ki-moon and Patrick Verkooijen are mistaken in their paragraph which concludes "... there will be no winners on this planet. Only losers." Naomi Klein has pointed out the opportunity for corporate profit following upon disasters in part 5 of her "The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism". Mr. Trump and his associates, far from not "believing" in the changes in climate and the consequent adverse impacts, are well aware of them and likely positioning themselves and their heirs optimally to take advantage of the techniques of Disaster Capitalism in the 21st Century. First a disaster must be created or augmented and subsequently exploited.

  97. @Rob Naomi Klein can point out, Ban Ki-moon and Patrick Verkooijen can add their 2 cents, Trump can say whatever pleases him, and "Climate agreements" are just a dumb intent to create a public image as if: Anyone really would care. They are sitting in front of their computers (Exactly As I do!) and type eloquent comments on the catastrophe. On short terms (10 years), those with the scarcest resources will pay the highest price. In the long run, it will hit the "finacially rich, but spiritually poor" in the rear. Gruesome. Greta Thunberg is one of those who really got emotionally involved and upset. But - meanwhile we can sit in front of our computers and write cosy comments - no panic, ehh?

  98. @Luis Deutsch Your reply is much appreciated. Personally speaking, some days I experience a loss of hope. I have two wonderful daughters and I have deep concerns about the arc of their lives ahead. Our emotional side of being fully human motivates us and I am sure it strongly motivates you as it does my daughters. My younger daughter asked if I would go her bail if she was arrested during a protest and I felt very very proud of her. My own opinion is that the underlying fundamental risk is that the 1% of humans who are psychopaths and already own the overwhelming fraction of Mother Earth will only respond in a way to profit from the climate disaster they created and amplify. They are devoid of empathy for the Earth or other humans. It seems likely to me that they will largely escape into a future we can hardly imagine and live in what they view as their rightful god given places as late 21st Century feudal lords in secure castles and enclaves cut off from what they have inflicted on others and our Planet. In short I think it is not helpful to think the 1% and especially the 0.1% will experience harm.

  99. @Rob You cannot eat money.

  100. As far as Trump is concerned the world fell for hoax at Paris and besides it is not good for coal or oil, beloved donors to political campaigns. Trump will and does reconsider any promises about gun control but the Paris or Iran accords? There is money to be made there.

  101. He bases this on very rigid, hardly intellectual ( he is not capable of them anyway) calculations: 1. Obama was for it 2. It lines his and his family's pockets nicely from all those anti-climate change industries 3. He won't be around anyway to see all the disasters his policies would culminate in!

  102. I think it is safe to assume that whether or not the US is part of the Paris Climate Agreement the chances of staying below 2C are at best slim. Even staying below 3C looks challenging. But whatever the odds are without the US participating the odds are much longer to achieve any goal of limiting global warming. It is mind boggling that the country most responsible for the agreement is the only country to withdraw from the agreement. It is also discouraging that after many years of scientists and many others trying to educate people on this issue millions of Americans still don't get it even though global temperature continues to increase and the atmospheric levels of the three main greenhouse gases continue to increase. Somehow many people find it easier to believe wild conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton than the conclusions about climate change drawn from solid scientific data.

  103. Why do otherwise intelligent people such as Ban Ki-Moon continue to blindly refuse to see the climate crisis in terms Trump DOES understand? His base are climate deniers, so he's going to give his base what it wants. If Trump's base believed in climate change, and worried about it, Trump would honor the Paris accord. It's really as simple as that. As long as Trump's base are climate deniers neither Trump nor the Republican party lift a finger to combat climate change. Seek understanding where you may actually find it.

  104. @Robert Henry Eller Sad but true. Unfortunately understanding why Trump supports anything does nothing to address the issue. As an aside it is probably relevant to understand that Trump cares nothing about the future. As far as people like him are concerned any future without them has no chance anyways. A purely narcissist thing.

  105. The damage done to many of our institutions may, if we get very lucky, be reversed. The damage he is doing to the environment will not. He is an octopus; with one tentacle he takes away clean air regulations, with another he removes protocols to protect water. But the harm done by quitting the Paris Climate agreement is of a different order. We have been too late, too lax, and too indifferent to the perils of the climate *crisis* (not "change" but "crisis;"please change the lingo as most other journals have) for too long. Sometimes symbolism matters. The Paris Climate Agreement, anemic as it is (and it is very anemic) is a collective expression of the need for global solutions, for cooperation and collective problem solving. In many ways, pitiful as it is, it's all we have. That we cannot even muster the energy and will for this, a life-saving, species-saving, planet-saving effort is, perhaps, the most dire sign yet of how far gone we are. With each passing day my fears that we may never recover from this presidency loom larger. Enough already.

  106. So many people criticize the Paris Accord as not having accomplished anything. The US as one of the primary creators of this accord, is an absolutely required element in success. It is a voluntary commitment for immediate changes in policy that will affect the existence of humans on earth. But there is no jail time for those who don't meet their agreements, i.e., "voluntary". Success absolutely requires a strong cheerleader with a box of carrots and lots of encouragement. That cheerleader had to have been the United States. With Trump in charge of the most powerful nation on earth, the whole Paris Accords are AWOL. Don't criticize the agreement, which was made with the expectation that the US would be the leader. Blame the man with "great unmatched wisdom" who has cancelled the leader position of the Agreement partly because he hates Barack Obama and partly because he has sold his soul to big moneyed oil interests and short term gains.

  107. Sadly, it doesn't matter what language you use. Trump is not listening. He and much of the GOP has bought into the weird notion that thousands of scientists are either wrong or joined in some odd international cabal to claim that their is a problem where none actually exists. Beyond fossil fuel producers, whose motives are pretty clear, it is hard to tell why so many on the right are so against climate action, but they are. Oh, and BTW, Trump never listens to advice and never admits he was wrong.

  108. @Anne-Marie Hislop So many on the right, even those who are not directly invested in fossil fuels, are opposed to action on climate change because it has become an us vs. them issue for them. In actuality, we will all suffer together but for now, if liberals are for action, they are opposed.

  109. Sadly the supporters of the GOP will be the ones to suffer the most. While the people the elected laugh their way to the bank and live on their mansion on a hill.

  110. @Anne-Marie Hislop “It is hard to tell why so many on the right are so against climate action” I also have wondered why for a long time. I mean, this could alternately be framed as the largest business opportunity to come along in generations. Lots of need, lots to do, lots of jobs, lots of opportunity to export solutions.

  111. I will be out in the streets on the day after the American Thanksgiving protesting the lack of Climate Action. The students at Fridays for Future have asked adults to join them marching on that day. Please join us. I also send a small monthly donation to the Sunrise Movement to support the youth in their efforts to pass a Green New Deal. We all must do what we can. Write and email your elected officials. Of course vote. And reduce consumption - of meat, of plastic, of oil, of everything really. "Our greatest responsibility is to be good ancestors." - Jonas Salk

  112. @Pseudonym I fully agree with the notion that we have a responsibility to future generations. Fools like Trump care only about the present and how much profit it has to offer. They will view the reality once it finally becomes unavoidable as just another avenue of profit. As far as they are concerned caring about the future in a responsible manner is for fools who will never live at the top of the money chain.

  113. Leaving the Paris Agreement did not happen because Mr. Trump weighed all relevant factors and reached his considered opinion. He mindlessly accepted the marching orders of a long-established aim of the Republican Party, and the urgings of big donors from the fossil fuel industries. Here is Mr. Trump's long-term goal: stay in power as long as possible by pleasing big donors and his followers, who liked his stylish manner of flipping off the rest of the world. Now world leaders know they are dealing with one tough hombre, but they may be using slightly different words to describe him.

  114. @William We did not join the Paris agreement because Obama weighed all relevant factors and reached his considered opinion. Had he, he would have negotiated an agreement that would have appealed to the American people and there would have been no problem getting 67 Senators to ratify the treaty and bind the United States to its terms. The few Americans who agreed with the dictatorial actions of Obama are the same ones who want the American taxpayer to spend billions on a train to nowhere and on tunnels between NY and NJ that will be impossible to keep dry in 12 years. Democrats are driven by big donors even more than Republicans.

  115. @ebmem Obama was not going to get 67 Senators until there were fewer than 33 Republicans. Every Republican Senator is going to vote the ALEC party line, written for the Koch brothers. There is no possible way to address climate change caused by burning fossil fuel without drastically reducing burning fossil fuel. The available strategies are: burn only non-fossil fuels and solar (photovoltaic and wind caused by differential heating by the sun). Northern Europe is coming close to meeting this goal (sometimes including burning uranium). You can't negotiate with crazy. Meeting in the middle fails utterly when one side starts with non-negotiables.

  116. American companies would be foolish to believe that the president after Trump would not immediately enact standards that at least met the prior goals for green house emissions. In fact, auto companies have already stated as much.

  117. @David M not if the future president was a republican

  118. “The United States is a great innovator and the Paris Agreement will undoubtedly be the poorer without its participation“ Our companies should participate in Paris by sharing relevant technologies with the rest of the world. That would extend some good-will whilst the world waits for a return to normal in the United States. After all The Paris Agreement has a basis in hope. The hope that the world will act in its interests when that’s only way that will work.

  119. Maybe the United States WAS a great innovator but it has become the sick old man of the west. Cranky, reactionary and nostalgic for a time that never was.

  120. Sadly, the writers have overestimated Donald Trump's commitment to the interests of the United States of America. They also credit him with much greater business savvy than he deserves. At a foundational level, Trump is known to be obsessed with his reputation, popularity, and self-interest, but how those are served by his decision to move the nation in the opposite direction as the rest of the world is a mystery. In the future, "Trump" will surely become eponymous for the mistakes that led to the climate change disaster that looks increasingly unavoidable with every passing day, and future generations will curse his name.

  121. The fault in the authors’ attempt to reduce climate change to simple terms is that Trump already understands all this. But Trump, and his billionaire backers don’ t interpret the extinction of species and a good many humans as an issue. They believe, and their lives so far vindicate this belief, they believe that being very wealthy will insulate them from all concern, and will in fact make their lives better because the desperation of the less fortunate will encourage their becoming more willing vassals, simply because their continued existence depends even more than before upon the largesse of the 1/4 percent.

  122. The Paris Accord, like the Kyoto Accord before, is morally repugnant. Viewed in terms of lifeboat ethics, these accords are now, in effect, throwing over a 100,000 humans overboard every year. Lifeboat ethics situations have been depicted in books and movies such as Hitchcock's "Lifeboat." In "Abandon Ship", after a cruise ship hits a mine, with no distress call, an overloaded lifeboat with people in the ocean holding on, insufficient food, water and medicine, facing an impending storm, Exec. Officer Holmes throws people overboard at the point of a gun, saying, "We're in the last extremity." However we might evaluate Holmes' decisions, the resources of the planet are sufficient for everyone. The Paris and Kyoto accords arise from the unethical notion that the ends justify the means. This notion violently conflicts with the correct standard ethics. When we consider all the innocent people government has killed, innocent people it jailed, and all its harms to society -- its behavior shows its unethical notion that the ends justify the means. Not surprisingly, the Kyoto and Paris Accords are governmental policies.

  123. The title of this article demonstrates hope when there is none. There are no terms regarding the Climate Crisis that Trump can understand. Why? He cannot make money from it and it cannot praise him. There is nothing else that he understands. I weary of taking Trump seriously. There is no point in trying to educate Trump. There is no point in trying to educate or "reach" his supporters. All we can do is mark time until the impeachment trial demonstrates that the GOP cannot be reached by facts or reason. Until November of 2020, we duck and cover and hope that something is left when Trump leaves the WH.

  124. Can one of you please be our President? We seem to have made a big mistake...

  125. Gentlemen, don't give up on us yet. All across this nation, states, cities, towns, and responsible corporations are working to end the burning of fossil fuels to generate electricity, heat our homes, and power our vehicles. In Longmont, a city of under 100,000, we resolved to generate electricity without coal or natural gas by 2030. The other three cities in our municipally owned generation authority followed suit, and already they have entered into renewable purchase agreements that will put us halfway there by 2022. We will not let them falter. Our city council has just passed the Climate Emergency resolution and we are turning our attention to revising our building codes to wean away from natural gas and build out our EV charging infrastructure. Please take heart and don't stop pushing.

  126. Heck - if water levels raise that much, Mar-a-Largo will be underwater. Now those are terms Trump may understand....Although long before that became a possibility, he'd foist it off on some other clueless wealthy person, or claim on his insurance, or both...

  127. Mr. Ban and Mr. Verkooijen are in denial, still imagining that logic and reality might sway the resentful, belligerent climate barbarian in the White House.

  128. Doesn't Trump have grandchildren?

  129. Logic and facts have no impact on tRump. He is petty and vindictive and simply wants to cancel anything Obama did or agreed to. In fact anything that did not originate with him is not worth persuing. He is a narcissist who cannot see beyond himself. At 73 he understands he will be long gone before the full impact of climate change is upon us and even though he has grandchildren he apparently does not care if he bequeaths them an uninhabital planet. The man truely has no redeeming value.

  130. What, what is planetary destruction and monumental human suffering compared to re-election?

  131. Putin's trump understands nothing except money and grabbing women. So this column is wasted. Maybe instead we can tell him that climate change will put his mar a lago under water. Or maybe the coal country can rebel against him next year. But if that happens we don't need him to understand anything.

  132. Trump is a nihilist. He's happy to sell the past to his supporters. That's an easy sell. But Trump exists in the present. And for Trump, the future is only about what happens to him, and lasts only as long as Trump does. Trump couldn't care less what happens after he's dead and gone.

  133. Although it's not enough, there is the We Are Still In movement to counterbalance Trump's insane choice (which, of course, is first and last, at least for him, about undoing Barack Obama's achievements—we really are hostages to this small man's outsized pique). This will sustain some connection between America and the rest of the Paris Agreement agenda and framework until we can throw this fool out of office and elect a president whose administration corrects this colossal foolishness.

  134. Sadly, or hilariously, the authors do not understand our fake president at all. "Let us put it in language Mr. Trump might understand. If average global temperatures rise by the end of the century by another one degree Celsius, or 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit, there will be no winners on this planet. Only losers. "the Paris Agreement is more like a collective insurance policy" Requires: 1) reading; 2) comprehending numbers, with a decimal place no less; 3) collaborating with foreigners, particularly those French losers.

  135. Of course, the majority of people recognize Climate Change as an existential crisis...except Trump, who chose to remain ignorance (hence, malevolous) in spite of the overwhelming evidence. Unfortunately, without the president working in unison with Environmentalists, things slow down dangerously. Given that Trump is a lost case, a mix of arrogant ignorance and cruelty, we must oust him ASAP, before he destroys this republic's standing, and the world's...and a standstill to take urgent action to protect mother Earth.

  136. It's all about short-term political career interests. They'll all be dead and gone and deaf to the infamy of their memory. We have to fight, not to save them from their well-deserved fate but to save ourselves and our children. America, please, throw them out--through election, through impeachment, through any means afforded by the Constitution.

  137. The headline is a bit misleading. What Trump and his ilk do understand is that climate change does upend our world's economical base, creating all kinds of war for dwindling resources. And that the rich and the ruthless will profit, and that the poor will suffer. If you focus the view on just making profit, it is not true that there are no winners. There are few, but for Trump just one would be enough. It is pure evil.

  138. He. Doesn't. Care. Period. Got it? Nothing we can say, no body of evidence will turn him or his fossil fuel impregnated GOP enablers around other than impeachment or voting him (and them) out of office.

  139. The only thing that will get Trump's attention on climate change is a high tide washing debris through a window at Mar-a-Lago.

  140. Mr Trump change his mind? I wish Mr Putin would change his mind. Tyrants don't change their minds, and if they do, it is for their perceived personal gain. It is too late to prevent enormous chaos in societies around the world, as people start dying and suffering in larger and larger numbers. It is too late to think that our children and grandchildren won't spend their lives desperately trying to survive, and salvage what is left of the ecosystem , which is what makes this planet livable for all species, including homo sapiens. There are now 7 billion plus homo sapiens. We are a cancer on the living planet. The truth is not easy to read, to know, to face. The Paris Agreement is weak, better than nothing, but still to hold it up as the path to the illusion that "everything will be ok" is misleading, and dangerous. Trump's narcissism, ignorance and arrogance, now that he has 40% or more of the American public in a mass quasi-hypnotic state of brainlessness, such that he has become their mind, makes his stupidity, regardless of whether it is induced by greed, or just a malignant sense of entitlement, about the climate crisis his greatest threat to our survival (assuming someone has changed the codes on the nuclear trigger, so he can't blow us all up at once when he has his predicatable narcissistic crisis when he is removed from office, whether by Congress, or the other 60% of the American people.

  141. It doesn’t serve the interests of the United States. Similarly, die Anschluß, the Munich Conference, and most tragically, the invasion of Poland did not serve the interests of Germany. The interests being served in both cases are those of a small group of plutocrats and the fanatically racist dead-enders to which they linked their future.

  142. The author does not understand Trump. Let me put Trump in terms that everyone can understand. First, he does NOT work for America's interests. Anyone paying attention to the Ukraine testimony, or dozens of other matters, knows that. Second, as the column states, a global rise of 1.9 degrees Fahrenheit WILL produce a world full of losers. But not only does that not bother Trump, he enjoys looking down on losers.

  143. Speaking to or referring to Trump in any way resembling normalcy is ludicrous, quite frankly. Trump is not a good man, in that he lacks any notion of what most of us might consider empathy. Using the language of his sycophant Evangelicals, he appears to lack a soul. He is, after all, a master transactionalist. He lives to prosper through the consumption of everything. His base has also fully bought in to transactionalist philosophy. All is to be consumed. The planet is to be turned to ash. And in this crazy scenario, I suppose, Jesus will come down from heaven to save the faithful. Or not.

  144. Don't waste your time and energy hoping that Trump changes his mind about the Paris climate accord. The odds of that happening are about the same, and possibly worse, than the odds that he will stop using that ridiculous comb over and/or doing whatever it is he does to his face. For in his world of fabrications, he is convinced that the US economy will collapse if the country moves toward a low-carbon future. The stable genius of his mind has told him that being in the accord is a 'bad deal', and if anyone knows about 'bad deals', it is Trump. Just ask the people of Atlantic City.

  145. The Paris accord is toothless. Nobody is adhering to it. It allows India and China, the world’s biggest polluters, a free pass to keep polluting for another decade before they “voluntarily comply”. The Paris accord is almost as big a joke as the Iran nuclear deal. Obama had no idea when it came to foreign policy or supposed climate change.

  146. The United States and the President are now more dangerous to the future of the civilization than the nuclear programs of North Korea and Iran.

  147. The attitude toward Trump in this editorial is relatively benign. But the premise is that his policies are wrong. I've been keeping count. This is the 9,937,637th editorial i that takes issue with Trump. And that's not all I've been keeping count of. Of those who comment on these editorials. 99.99998% already know that Trump is the enemy. This is the archetypal fact pattern commonly referred to as preaching to the choir. I've been keeping track of something else. 99.987% of folks who comment here favor gun control. And yet this newspaper is giving them ammunition against Trump that, if it were manufactured by Sturm, Ruger, would be Public Enemy #1. So I ask you. Has this newspaper reached the point of diminishing returns? A simple yes or no will do.

  148. Trumps primary reason for dumping the Paris Climate Accord is that it was negotiated by President Barack Obama.

  149. There you go using facts and logic. Trump long ago showed neither matter to him - or his base. Trump is pulling out of the Paris Accord because: A: Obama did it - so he's going to undo it. B: He wants to claim it was a bad deal so he can brag he was smart enough to get out of it. C: His base only cares about "owning the libs". D: He thinks it will cost him money. E: Putin told him it was the smart thing to do. Don't count on appealing to a man's better nature - he may not have one. Especially if his name is Trump.

  150. A golden opportunity to King Coal Trump is a chance to make lots of money one way or another, not progress that benefits humanaity. He is not a deep thinker and probably border line shallow thinker. Does not deserve to be president and in fact was not elected. Climate change is one more reason, in addition to all of the corruption, incompetence and metal illness, that Trump must be thrown out of office or defeated in the 2020 election by such a large margin even he can't whimper and complain about it like the mutt he is.

  151. I admire those who still hope severe consequences of more heat in our atmosphere, land and water can be avoided. Maybe that are right, but I doubt it. I assume primary feedback loops will over take human mitigation responses, and the lag time between reducing carbon and gaining some relief puts us in a position of growing civil strife We sapiens are still the same specimens we have always been. Thus I assume civil order and rule of law will dissolve as more of the 8, soon to be be 9 billion of us respond to the stressors changing climates will and are producing. When we are afraid we become more stupid, less likely to behave.

  152. Someday I hope somebody will challenge Trump to explain the mechanics of his claim the PRC has perpetrated a world-wide conspiracy for decades with-out detection of 97% of the worlds climate scientists and their research teams and\or intercepted and manipulated the data during transfer and\or corrupted the data at the sensor level. Nobody holds him accountable for his nonsense. He made the claim, defend it or shut-up.

  153. Th Paris Treaty is using your money to compensate countries affected by the climate change you caused. Like the Maldives, a few feet above sea level. Where they used some of your money to build a great ultramodern international airport. A few feet above the sea level. (Unlike you or Bam Ki Moon, Maldivians checked the sea levels. Since the crust rises. sea levels in the Maldives don't change.) A lot of cities were supposed to be swallowed by rising seas, already. Instead, what is under water are amazing underwater discos, built in the Maldives with your money. QUOTE: People also ask How much is the underwater hotel room in the Maldives? A cool $50,000 per night. Those who book get use of a personal chef and private boat, as well as automatic Hilton Diamond status. The Muraka isn't the first underwater venture at the hotel. The property is home to Ithaa, an underwater five-star restaurant. Please send your hard earned climate mitigation money to #ClimateGuiltForUnderwaterDiscosAndHotels (Just kidding. You need to do it through the UN, to keep it in business) If they get to build enough underwater, that will be the much needed proof that our cities mare under water now.

  154. The part that nobody gets is that Trump is totally paranoid and the most common symptom is the sense that everyone is out to get you. THAT is the root cause of AGW denial. Being rational does not work with paranoid people because their brains automatically deflect any information that crosses paths with in inherent fear. Yes, they are predisposed to think the way they do. It is a remnant from evolution in order to survive that is no longer needed in today's world.

  155. After reading this opinion piece, I am left with only one question: What makes you think that Trump can understand it?

  156. No argument will get through to a man that doesn't read, has little comprehension, refutes science, lives in a bubble and loves dictators. No rational presentation will reach his tiny brain as the info he gets comes from FOX and his minions. Thinking globally is absolutely outside his realm of comprehension. Small short words for a consciousness the size of a pea and an ego the size of Jupiter. If, however, cleaning up the environment was a way for him to make more money, build more hotels and feel all powerful, the climate would move to the top of his agenda. If the arguments were irrational and crazy, he wouldn't care, as long as they let him look good somewhere. Ignorance is a great evil. Those who are ignorant often think they are the ones who are smart. They do not read, they do not comprehend, they do not travel, they do not go outside their own comfort zone. Isolated from a broader scope of life on this fragile planet, Mr. Trump believes we control fires, floods and hurricanes by using rakes, building dams and holding sharpies. Please vote and get your friends to vote for anyone who isn't Trump.

  157. You really think these are terms Trump can understand? I don't think you've been paying attention!

  158. I fear the authors, while sincere, fail utterly to understand Trump. Collective endeavors, pledges to share--those concepts are anathema to Trump, while letting the country pay later is his MO. Indeed, we will all be paying and paying and paying for his ignorance and selfishness for decades to come. If you want to explain climate change in terms Trump can understand, you must make the argument to someone who doesn't care one whit for the damage he wreaks. After all, he'll be gone by 2050, let alone the turn of the next century. How will fighting climate change benefit him today? That's all he cares about.

  159. Trump will not understand the climate crisis until the floor of the grand ballroom at Mar-A-Lago is under three feet of water, and the golf courses at The Doral are one large water hazard.

  160. If you want to put it in "terms that Trump can understand", perhaps a comic-book format would be more suitable.

  161. "Let us put it in language Mr. Trump might understand." I assume you meant this rhetorically, as Mr. Trump neither understands much, nor cares to. He's spent a lifetime letting his minions take care of the details, large and small.

  162. Trump's behavior is puzzling only if you believe he cares about anything other than himself and his stuff. He does not. By pulling out of the Paris accord, he is able to destroy another one of Obama's accomplishments. That's why he did it. If the world burns as a result, he simply doesn't care.

  163. Trump has chosen to do SOMETHING about climate change - he has chosen to make things worse and accelerate the damage to our climate forcing us to pay even more sooner than later. He is a true environmental criminal. "How is [he] smart?" Trump is counting on climate change. That's why he wanted to buy Greenland, to install trump golf greens and resorts with exploitable labor. Indeed, the wealthy will be the climate change beneficiaries while the rest of humanity suffers the consequences everywhere else. Like wealth inequality we'll have climate-change inequality. The stratospheric wealth inequality of those at the top will still have their third mansion on the beach - even if the beach is north of the Arctic circle. Trump couldn't care less about his wall - it's a political stunt to ensure a happy base of sicko-phants. His world does not extend beyond the walls of the White House, Mar-de-Locos, Trump Tower and the rest of his properties enclosed by walls. Trump style capitalism knows there is huge amounts of money and profits to be made from desperate people - just look at the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry. Climate change desperation is the next profitable business of the future.

  164. trump is in his mid 70's. he doesn't care if it's real or not.

  165. Ban Ki-Moon and Patrick Verkooijen make a very unscientific statement about the fires in California. They say the fires are going to become worse because of climate change. How much worse? Anyway, it's hard to believe because when the fires become worse, meaning bigger, hotter. destroying more acreage and in richer people's neighborhoods, they would already have cleared the land of trees and chaparral. Only grass would be left which doesn't burn as worse. Could the problem be solved itself? Rakes and shovels might be involved. These editorials are written by politicians however a more useful way of getting us to understand climate change and how we might have to adapt to it would be expert opinion in this case on forest fires in this type of terrain. They might understand what needs to be done. Putting politicians in charge of something they don't know much about can have dire consequences. Regarding the scientific experts; please don't hire the ones NPR uses, they usually are amateurs.

  166. I don't see how anyone can expect Trump to do the right thing. He will only do the Trump thing, which is to bloviate and pander to his base of know-nothings.

  167. The writers ask Trump to “reconsider” his decision to leave the Paris Accord. He never “considered” the logic behind the Accord, our national security interests in being part of a stronger multi-lateral group, or the science and data of climate change. He never considers anything. He acts only out of brutish ignorance and narcissistic whim.

  168. Dear Mr Ban and Mr. Verkooijen, America's interests are not served by trump's withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement. The withdrawal only serves the fossil fuel industry interests that support trump and his band of corrupt Republicans. We promise that when trump is either impeached and removed from office or defeated at the ballot box, the United States will rejoin post haste the Paris Climate Agreement. Signed, Never Trump America

  169. Why would Trump care about the climate? He cares only about things that will make him money or help him get re-elected. We need to get rid of him (and as many Republicans as possible) in 2020 to stand a chance.

  170. Mr. Ban and Mr. Verkooijen: Thank you for your article. While your points are well developed and quite logical, it is profoundly unfortunate that the person you are attempting to reach is not rational. His case of severe malignant narcissism prevents him from anything but a combative response. There can be no progress in U.S. policy toward the climate emergency while he and his enablers are in power. Sadly, this coincides with the vital period when much could have been accomplished to mitigate this grave problem, which is becoming more and more irreversible, increasingly degrading the quality of life for people across the world.

  171. There are a lot of people in the US who care about keeping their jobs, rather than losing them in a recession. Exiting the Paris treaty has let the US achieve its energy independence. Texas extracts now 30% more oil now than 3 years ago. Usually, when the US was in an economic boom, OPEC would rise the oil prices and induce inflation and a recession. Millions would lose their jobs. This time, they tried and failed. The economic boom continued without any inflation. Defying ALL the predictions of the economists. The unemployment is at a historic lows, and due to that, the median salary rose by $5,000 in the last 3 years. This can be traced in a considerable measure to our energy independence and to exiting the Paris Treaty. Many political candidates promise to stop fracking on their first day in office, and thus half of the US energy production. That will put again the US economy at the whims of OPEC and Russia.

  172. "Try as we might, we cannot see how America’s interests are served by this decision." You are right, 99% of all Americans are not served by this policy, but specific American interests are served and they are the extractive industries including oil, gas and coal. Trump claims Climate Change is a hoax, he refuses to mitigate it, and his decreasing number of supporters follow him blindly. Therefore, impeachment of Trump & Pence is essential if humans are to continue living on Planet Earth.

  173. Wasn't joining the Agreement done by an executive order under President Obama? If so, no one should be remotely surprised that Trump is backing out. This just fits the pattern of him undoing everything Obama.

  174. "The climate crisis in terms that Trump can understand" is dead on arrival. It's an impossible mission. There's no there there to understand anything much less act with alacrity and conviction. It is futility at its most futile. Much more critical is making sure everyone understands that the single most powerful thing they can do about Climate Change is to join the tsunami next year that sweeps Trump from office along with his corrupt fellow travelers at all levels of government and politics. This isn't an election about the next four years. It's not just about America. 2020 is about the future and the fate of the earth. But before we can rejoin the global fight to moderate Climate Change, we need to ensure political climate change here at home. For now that's all it takes. A single-minded focus on arguably the most critical vote in human history. Avoid getting lost in or contributing to a thick political fog that can only help Trump torch a future he won't be part of.

  175. The piece states that 'we can either plan now and prosper — or do nothing and pay for the consequences later.' The latter, for Mr. Trump, makes total sense. He lives in the moment, and he knows that his actions - to leave the agreement, invest in coal and ridicule any climate-sensitive policy - excites his base and gets him closer to another term. The long-term consequences of his decisions are of no importance to Mr. Trump. Assuming he will not go to jail at some point, he knows that he will live completely isolated from any of the world's problems, be it at Mar-a-Lago or elsewhere. What comes after him obviously doens't cross his mind - not even with regards to his own family, with children and grandchildren. Trump is a sociopath who cares solely about himself and so it makes total sense for him to leave the Paris Treaty and accept that we might 'pay for the consequences later.'

  176. The authors suggest “Let us put it in language Mr. Trump might understand” and then warn a man who has employed illegal immigrants about a surge of Central Americans crossing the border because of climate change? Surely “Mar a Lago will be under water due to rising sea levels” or “your hotels will have fewer visitors” is the blinkered type of thing he might understand.

  177. Sadly, there is nothing the author writes that Trump can, or wants to, understand. The only thing that will make Trump understand climate change is if Mar-a-Lago is washed over by a rising Atlantic Ocean. And even then, he would probably blame Obama and the Democrats for it.