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On Thursday, melting ice sheet Donald Trump announced that he would be pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement, saying that it, “undermine[s] our economy, hamstring[s] our workers, weaken[s] our sovereignty… and put[s] us at a permanent disadvantage to the other countries of the world.” It’s the first time that Trump pulling out hasn’t been an enormous relief.

In this week’s episode of Big Time Dicks, guest host Ellie Shechet and I talk about how Trump’s ego has literally contributed to murdering Earth and whether states can pick up some of the slack that the federal government is leaving behind. Joining us is Annie Petsonk, international counsel at the Environmental Defense Fund, who laments that—in addition to ushering in the quickened demise of the planet—by pulling out of the agreement, the Trump administration won’t even have to sit across the table from the US’s negotiating partners and hear the concerns from the rest of the world.

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Petsonk is optimistic, at least, that other countries in the agreement know that they need to stay in it. “The Europeans and the Chinese are getting together and saying, ‘We’ll lead this thing in the absence of US leadership,’ and US states are coming to the table now, US cities, people across the United States are saying, ‘Well, if the administration won’t lead, get out of the way. We will.’”

“It’s important to look at who in the United States is pushing the president to get out of the agreement. When you read the news stories about what the debate has been inside the White House, you see that some of the people who have been opposing the Paris Agreement and pressing the President to get out are people who actually have opposed any initiative to deal with climate change for two decades,” Petsonk says.

“Their game is an ideological game; they want to isolate America from the rest of the world and they want other countries to weaken their commitments because the United States has weakened their commitments.”

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In the episode, we also talk about Rep. Darrell Issa: Auto Thief, and finally reveal what Jared Kushner’s voice sounds like.


Big Time Dicks can be found on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, Google Play, iHeart Radio, and on the NPR One app.

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