On Thursday afternoon, as was heavily hinted in the White House’s ghoulish Mark Burnett-style buildup, a man currently being investigated for potentially cheating his way into the presidency pulled the world’s second-biggest polluter out of the Paris Climate Agreement, a document that he almost surely has not read and an action whose massive diplomatic and environmental implications he does not understand. But then, he said he would... try to renegotiate and put us back in? Or create an entirely new deal “that protects our country and its taxpayers?” Or something, whatever, it will be amazing, what’s that over there?
“If we can, that’s great, if we can’t, that’s fine,” the president said.
After an entirely white jazz band dazzled the Koch associates in attendance who probably never thought they’d get so lucky, our demented bachelor announced that his administration was doing an amazing job in every way, “perhaps even” working towards achieving peace between Israel and Palestine. In a rambling, confusing speech that referenced Pittsburgh multiple times and demonstrated a concerning lack of understanding of the difference between degrees Celsius and Farenheit, Trump declared that the US would be leaving the Paris Agreement to “protect America”—though within the withdrawal process laid out in the agreement, the New York Times reports, which could take up to four years to complete.
“I am fighting every day for the great people of this country,” he said. “Therefore, in order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord, but begin negotiations to reenter either the Paris Accord or an entirely new transaction on terms that are fair to the United States, its businesses, its workers, its people, its taxpayers.”
Can’t wait to see how those negotiations go.
Trump declared that he was a great supporter of the environment, and because of that, “I cannot in good conscience support a deal that punishes the United States.” He also mentioned the “legal liability” “we” would have if the US stayed in the deal, apparently referring to the idea that it would solidify legal arguments against Scott Pruitt’s attempt to poison the air and water. (Pruitt, a man who copied a letter from an energy company onto his Attorney General letterhead and sent it to Obama’s EPA, ambled onstage afterwards to deride the “the special interests who have had their way for far too long.”)
“The Paris agreement is just a starting point, as bad as it is,” Trump said.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan both praised Trump’s act of diplomatic seppuku, while President Obama, whose administration ratified the deal in a ceremony that feels like it took place 20 years ago, released a tense statement:
“The nations that remain in the Paris Agreement will be the nations that reap the benefits in jobs and industries created,” he said. “I believe the United States of America should be at the front of the pack. But even in the absence of American leadership; even as this Administration joins a small handful of nations that reject the future; I’m confident that our states, cities, and businesses will step up and do even more to lead the way, and help protect for future generations the one planet we’ve got.”