Trump on Paris Climate Accord: Is concession a ray of hope?

Just as US President Donald Trump was hinting that he might rejoin the civilised world on the Paris Climate Accord, if “America gets a better deal”, nearly 1,500 people were fleeing their homes in the French capital because the deluge-fed River Seine was rising towards record levels.

This may not be immediately linked to climate change, just like much of the flooding in Ireland, but it adds to the impetus behind myriad arguments that we must change how we manage, or so often misuse, the natural world around us. Trump’s views, no matter how wrong, cannot be ignored, because he offers succour to those who would defer, those who would kick the climate can down the road. By his scorn, he undermines the Paris deal in a dangerous way, in a way that will have consequences long after he has left the White House.

Speaking from Davos, Trump conceded that it might be an overreach to describe him as a feminist, but insisted that he was extremely popular in Britain. “I get so much fan mail... ,” he bragged, “they love my sense of security, they love what I’m saying about many different things. I’m getting tremendous support from people in the UK.”

Even if it means indulging his runaway narcissism, Trump should be encouraged, as forcefully as is possible, to rejoin global efforts to combat climate change. Ironically, if he did that it could turn out to be the best achievement of his presidency. Try to make the world safe again, as it were.

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