California Is Emerging As A Global Leader Against Climate Change and Trump

 

 

Now that the imbecile Donald Trump embarrassed Americans while in Europe and gave every indication he would single-handedly make America’s word worth less than dirt, a story that was sparsely reported last week is increasingly important; for the entire world’s population. Anyone who hasn’t been comatose over the past year-and-a-half likely knows that Trump and his administration are climate deniers; Trump says global climate change is a Chinese hoax. But while Trump refused to join leaders of the G7 nations in pledging to go forward with the Paris Climate Accord, California is “becoming a global force” to battle climate change, and Trump.

Last month in San Francisco environmental ministers of Canada and Mexico signed a global pact drafted largely by California to reduce greenhouse pollution responsible for climate change. Next month, California’s governor, Jerry Brown, will be heading to China to meet with climate leaders as part of a “global” campaign to curb global warming.

Besides becoming America’s “de facto” negotiator with the rest of the world on the environment, the Golden State is preparing to wage war against Trump and his attempt to abolish California’s environmental standards and pollution rules because Republicans detest “states’ rights;” particularly if they conflict with the oil industry. That being the case, California has “a battery of state lawyers” preparing to do battle and thwart “any attempt by Trump and Republicans to weaken California’s automobile pollution emission standards.” In fact, as the New York Times reported,

The state is pushing back on everything from White House efforts to roll back pollution rules on tailpipes and smokestacks, to plans to withdraw or weaken the United States’ commitments under the Paris climate change accord.”

Governor Jerry Brown said regarding California’s new role as surrogate for an America with an environmental conscience:

I want to do everything we can to keep America on track, keep the world on track, and lead in all the ways California has. We’re looking to do everything we can to advance our program, regardless of whatever happens in Washington.”

California’s efforts are not going unnoticed around the globe, either. One Nobel Laureate in science who advises several nations on climate change policy, Mario Molina, said:

With Trump indicating that he will withdraw from climate change leadership, the rest of the global community is looking to California, as one of the world’s largest economies, to take the lead. California demonstrates to the world that you can have a strong climate policy without hurting your economy.”

It is noteworthy that California is the 6th largest economy in the world and has led the nation, and often the world, in protecting the environment and its citizens’ health while its economy continues to flourish; the New York Times rightly labeled California an “economic powerhouse.” And it is worth repeating, the state has provided a model for other states, and the nation, that very robust environmental protections and regulations have had the opposite economic effects than the doom and gloom, job-killing devastation claimed by Trump and Republicans. California’s annual economic output is approximately $2.4 trillion indeed making one American state a global economic powerhouse and one progressive state the world’s leaders want to work with; especially to save the planet’s environment.

Although California is under Democratic control, its environmental efforts cross party lines and that includes Herculean climate efforts by former governor, Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger. Although Mr. Schwarzenegger’s economic expertise is often criticized, during his eight-year tenure he did lead the state in developing the most aggressive pollution-control programs in the nation; he has also taken a leading role as one of Trump’s biggest Republican critics on his lack of a climate policy.

Mr. Schwarzenegger wasn’t the first Republican governor to champion a cleaner environment and strong pollution regulations. For well over three decades the Golden State “has been at the vanguard of environmental policy, passing ambitious, first-in-the-nation measures on pollution control and conservation that have often served as models for national and even international environmental law.” That model is what Trump and his climate-denying cohort want to put an immediate end to.

Trump has already made moves to reduce federal auto emission standards that were influenced by California’s tougher standards because when automakers met with Trump, they complained bitterly that federal standards forced them to build expensive electric vehicles that consumers do not want. This battle is also going to center around concerns that Trump will direct the E.P.A will revoke a waiver issued by Republican President Richard Nixon allowing California to “set fuel economy standards exceeding federal requirements.” Doubtless the auto makers and oil industry contend that drivers also do not want automobiles that get better mileage; they also desperately want to “stop the spread of electric cars.”

California is not intimidated by Trump and is preparing for a legal challenge according to the state’s attorney general Xavier Becerra. “You have to be concerned when anybody talks about going backward. In this case we think we have a strong case to be made based on the facts and the history.”

The state’s Senate leader, Kevin de Leon, is also not intimidated by the Trump and earlier this month introduced legislation that accelerates, rather than retrench, the state’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions. The legislation requires that by 2045 100 percent of “retail electricity in the state comes from renewable sources.” Mr. de Leon said “it is important that we send a signal to the rest of the world” at a time of what he explained “was blowback from Washington” with an idiot anti-environment administration reverting to policies that helped create global climate change.

As Arnold Schwarzenegger said, everything about Trump is taking the nation backwards and his non-existent climate polices are “a threat to the planet.” Arnold continued,

Saying you’ll bring coal plants back is the past. It’s like saying you’ll bring Blockbuster back, which is the past. Horses and buggies, which is the past. Pagers back, which is the past.”

As the data show, Arnold reminded the Trump and his fellow Republicans that California is the shining example of a state that can adopt and implement “aggressive environmental policies without hurting the economy. We’re outdoing the rest of the country on G.D.P.”

Of course Trump and his anti-environment cohort will never cite California’s success and instead have attempted to frame the issue as California attempting to control the rest of the nation and the world. Trump’s bible-thumping E.P.A. chief, Scott Pruitt, a champion of state’s rights when it comes to gun proliferation and imposing religious laws,  said Governor Brown is “is being the aggressor” with strong state environmental regulations. And he said that Trump’s anti-environmental regulations effort is solely meant “to lift the oppressive yoke of federal regulations and return authority to the states;” but only if the oil and automobile industry approve.

At a time when the rest of the world is shaking their collective heads at the anti-science climate denying moron in the White House, and reaffirming their commitment to move forward in the collective fight to slow the advance of anthropogenic climate change, they can no longer look to America for leadership; a role California is already fulfilling.

Ugly American Trump Insults and Alienates America’s Allies

 

 

Despite its predilection to imperialism and waging wars for the sake of enriching the American military-industrial complex, America used to be a nation most of the world had a semblance of respect for. But with an abrasive bully in the White House, whatever respect other countries had for the United States, if not lost, appears to be waning rapidly; and who could blame them? Trump has managed to disrespect, insult and alienate nearly every country on the planet save his masters in Moscow and barbaric nations ruled by tyrannical despots. However, one expected European nations’ leaders to put aside their disgust with Trump because they are devoutly aligned with the U.S through economic goals as well as their devotion to democracy, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the Group of Seven (G7), and a monumentally important Paris Climate Accord. But alas, even America’s European allies have lost respect for America.

After Trump insulted and attempted to bully NATO allies and nation members’ leaders in the organization representing the seven major advanced economies in the world, it is looking increasingly like America is alienating its steadfast allies and isolating itself from the world’s democracies. For his part, Trump certainly accomplished his mission and annoyed America’s NATO partners and the so-called “Group of Seven” (G7) members by doing what he does best; be a loud-mouthed bully like the proverbial ugly American he exemplifies better than any fiction writer could ever hope to create.

Despite Trump’s claim his overseas trip was a raging success, the only thing he accomplished was humiliating Americans and sending a clear message to the rest of the world that not only is the current occupant of the White House a worthless no-account malcontent, he or the United States is not to be trusted. The real leader of the free world, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said as much in a statement on Saturday; including saying that after “a bruising meeting of the G7 wealthy nations, Europeans can no longer rely on their allies.” It was a damning indictment of Trump for Ms. Merkel to say,

The days when Europe could completely count on others are over. I have experienced this in the last few days. And that is why I can only say that we Europeans must really take our fate into our own hands – of course in friendship with the United States, in friendship with Great Britain and as good neighbors where that is possible also with other countries, even with Russia. But we have to know that we must fight for our future on our own, for our destiny as Europeans.”

Merkel, as the new undisputed leader of the free world, was verbalizing her and other leaders’ frustration with what has been called tense G7 and NATO meetings that were reported as being focused around “Trump against the leaders of Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Canada and Japan on several issues.” Haaretz reported that besides being lectured and bullied by Trump, the diplomats were “frustrated at having to revisit questions” they had every reason to believe were settled long ago.

One of those issues was NATO member nations’ commitment two years ago to be more like America and spend more of their GDP on their nation’s defense budgets. Trump criticized and lectured the members who are all ahead of schedule to meet the 10-year goal set up two years ago. And as he has in the past, he acted as if the NATO members owe American taxpayers money. Trump said to absolute shock and then universal disgust:

This is not fair to the people and taxpayers of the United States. If NATO countries made their full and complete contributions, then NATO would be even stronger than it is today, especially from the threat of terrorism.”

To reiterate, all of the member nations are on track to meet their 2024 commitment and goal NATO members agreed on two years ago, and they are increasing funding in their own defense budgets. The people and taxpayers of the United States are not being treated unfairly and the NATO members know it and it is likely true that by now Trump knows it as well. Still, the lying bully just had to lecture the other NATO leaders to confirm to himself that he is boss of the world. It is why he literally “shoved” one European leader aside so he, Donald Trump, could be the center of attention in a group photograph commemorating the inglorious occasion for the NATO leaders.

Trump also caused no small amount of despair and disgust at the G7 meeting over climate change and the all-important Paris Climate Accord that 195 nations, including America, signed on to. While the other G7 leaders were reaffirming their commitment to “swiftly implement the Paris Agreement,” Trump, who claims climate change is a Chinese hoax, said he would make a decision to either end America’s commitment to help save the planet or agree to remain if there are changes amenable to the oil industry. However, according to several sources Trump has told his closest confidantes he will rescind American involvement in the Paris Climate Agreement with 195 nations. Nothing is sacred to Trump and tragically, America’s word is no longer dependable.

Trump was so disgusting to the G7 leaders, that they “broke with tradition” and released “an unusual statement” where six nations’ leaders announced they were reaffirming the Paris climate agreement – without America’s involvement. The “G6” communique read:

“The United States of America is in the process of reviewing its policies on climate change and on the Paris Agreement and thus is not in a position to join the consensus on these topics. Understanding this process, the Heads of State and of Government of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom and the Presidents of the European Council and of the European Commission reaffirm their strong commitment to swiftly implement the Paris Agreement.”

It is noteworthy that it is not just this author’s opinion, or that of Chancellor Angela Merkel, that Trump is rushing headlong into an isolationist stance and alienating our allies along the way. According to a former American envoy to NATO and current director of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs Ivo H. Daalder:

This seems to be the end of an era, one in which the United States led and Europe followed, Today, the United States is heading into a direction on key issues that seems diametrically opposite of where Europe is heading. Merkel’s comments are an acknowledgment of that new reality.

This is ‘America first’ — a policy focused on narrow self-interest — and abandons the idea that the best way to enhance our security and prosperity is by having strong allies and leading globally in pursuit of common values and interests.” (author bold)

Only the stalwart Trump zealots and nativistic isolationists would consider Trump’s acts and speech to leaders of NATO countries and the G7 group either appropriate or constructive; they were neither. Instead, “ugly American” Trump earned the scorn of both NATO and G7 leaders and did what he’s done since his sparsely-attended inauguration; insulted America’s allies, alienated America and embarrassed Americans. Only a pig-headed American like Trump would consider those accomplishments a success.