Trump Isolates America from the World

In 2016, American voters faced a painful dilemma, electing a proven war hawk or a climate-change denier – and somehow the climate denier won – as Donald Trump just reminded the world, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

By Paul R. Pillar

Donald Trump’s inexcusable withdrawal from the Paris climate change agreement was widely expected and amply telegraphed by Trump himself, of course. And yet, there were reasonable grounds for hope that this might have been one place where Trump would move from being a demagogic campaigner to being a real president, one who deals not just with applause lines but with real U.S. interests and with America’s place in the world.

Donald Trump speaking with supporters at a campaign rally at Fountain Park in Fountain Hills, Arizona. March 19, 2016. (Flickr Gage Skidmore)

The substantive importance of the issue is unsurpassed, involving the fate of the planet. The main reasons to stay with the agreement are compelling, involving not only the habitability of Earth but also economic dynamism, U.S. leadership, and U.S. credibility. The non-binding nature of the agreement meant that there was not some unbearable onus that could be removed only through withdrawal.

And even though Trump has made much of fulfilling campaign promises, he already has allowed himself to be deflected from some such promises when they have collided with reality. He has not torn up the nuclear agreement with Iran, in the face of Iran’s compliance with that accord. And on the very day Trump announced the pull-out from the Paris agreement, he signed a paper that keeps the U.S. embassy to Israel in Tel Aviv, in the face of what would be certain uproar, deleterious to any prospects for peace, if he had moved the embassy as promised to Jerusalem.

The withdrawal from the Paris agreement is indefensible, and thus Trump’s statement announcing the move has much hot air, foreshadowing the increased hot air that everyone will be feeling without increased efforts to arrest global warming. There is, for example, the usual Trumpian assertion about being able to get a better deal, as if this were possible with an agreement that has 195 signatories and with respect to which, given Trump’s withdrawal, the United States is now virtually alone.

He harangues about how the Green Climate Fund that the agreement established is “costing the United States a vast fortune.” Barack Obama committed $1 billion to the fund and promised a total of $3 billion through 2020; for comparison, the proposed increase in military spending in Trump’s budget for fiscal 2018 is $53 billion.

Trump repeatedly complains about what China will be allowed to do while ignoring completely the leadership role that China is assuming in moving to clean energy. He predicts economically crippling blackouts and brownouts under the agreement while ignoring completely the rapid progress in implementing generation of renewable energy. He avows that he “cares deeply about the environment,” which is a laughable claim in light of what Trump has been doing not only to climate change but also to the Environmental Protection Agency and to stewardship of public lands.

Ideology Over Realism

Opposition to the Paris agreement reflects, as Heather Hurlburt observes, some larger patterns within American political ideology that go beyond the President himself and that Trump has exploited. Those patterns, as Hurlburt notes, are related to the unusual American experience of being a superpower, an experience that also underlies several other unconstructive American habits of perceiving and dealing with the outside world.

A poster that comic artist Walt Kelly prepared for the first Earth Day in 1970.

But the President’s withdrawal is also very much a statement about Trump himself. Given the reasons that one might have expected a better decision on this issue, the decision demonstrates that Trump’s worst and most destructive qualities are deeply entrenched. It demonstrates that things are unlikely to get much better, with many other issues, under Trump.

The episode shows that Trump will continue to play to a narrow base that squeaked him through to victory last November rather than being president of all the people, let alone a leader of the free world. It shows that campaign themes and the urge not to do whatever Obama did will continue to be more important to him than will enlightened interest, even enlightened self-interest.

It shows that he will continue to shove aside even the most glaring and indisputable facts if they conflict with the themes. It shows that his capability to focus is very short in terms of both time and space. And it shows a deficient moral sense, including in the respects in which morality is involved in what a generation bequeaths to future generations.

As citizens brace and prepare for three years and seven plus months more of this, the problem of climate change itself should be at the top of issues that require not just bracing and preparation but also creative thinking about how to deal with the issue as long as this kind of destructive force is in control of the U.S. government. A reminder is in order that Americans are citizens not only of the United States but also of states, localities, and civil society and also — uniquely important to this issue — citizens of the world, the same world that climate change endangers.

Regarding the smaller units, what states, cities and the private sector are doing to transition to clean energy deserves all the support it can get. Regarding citizenship of the world, Americans will have to consider carefully how to respond to the rest of the world’s response to the irresponsibility on this issue in Washington.

The responsible posture may entail not just respect and understanding but also support for some of those responses. Martin Wolf of the Financial Times has even written about sanctions as a response to U.S. withdrawal from the Paris agreement. More plausible, more worthy of support from individual Americans, defensible under the rules of the World Trade Organization, and already talked about among foreign government officials, would be a carbon tariff applied to U.S. exports.

Our children and grandchildren, feeling increasingly the effects of climate change, will read about what Trump did and wonder how our generation could have placed such a small-minded man in such a position of power with such lasting and damaging consequences.

Paul R. Pillar, in his 28 years at the Central Intelligence Agency, rose to be one of the agency’s top analysts. He is author most recently of Why America Misunderstands the World. (This article first appeared as a blog post at The National Interest’s Web site. Reprinted with author’s permission.)

62 comments for “Trump Isolates America from the World

  1. June 8, 2017 at 05:38

    Typical Pillar title and article. Make it sound like President Trump making enemies everywhere.
    Ya don’t lead from behind, Mr Pillar……………or in your case, maybe YOU DO.

  2. Tony
    June 8, 2017 at 04:59

    You worry about what global warming will do to the future, what about the debt that is being left for the future. That should be a big priority in all this too, but a lot of people shove that under the rug

  3. Sleepless In Mars
    June 6, 2017 at 06:17

    Surrealism is the ‘invisible ray’ which will one day enable us to win out over our opponents. ‘You are no longer trembling, carcass’. This summer the roses are blue; the wood is of glass. The earth, draped in its verdant cloak, makes as little impression upon me as a ghost. It is living and ceasing to live which are imaginary solutions. Existence is elsewhere.

    The last sentences of the Manifesto , 1924

    Use special branch ray and support the Ray Ban. Life’s a Witch! We have the cloak of light. The journalists have the daggers.
    The ghost op is expanding. OCB is building a file. It’s rusty.

  4. Anonymous
    June 4, 2017 at 15:31

    We have seen Further Evidence that America is continuing to commit War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity, and Genocide in Syria.

    We Know that America is Greatly Responsible for War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity, and Genocide in Syria, because America created ISIS, and America is a Secret Ally of ISIS.

    Furthermore, America does Not have the permission of the Legitimate Democratically Elected Syrian Government to be in Syria.

    America is promoting Divisions among the different Ethnic Groups in Syria, which only prolongs the War in Syria.

    Perhaps America thinks it has a some type of ‘Right’ to claim regions of Countries or even to claim entire Countries.

    There is an Indisputable Justification that Syria Should File Charges of War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity, and Genocide against America.

    We Know that President Donald Trump is Not responsible for beginning of the Syrian War, because he inherited this situation of America being one of the Greatest Terrorist Nations in the History of the Human Race, and it began earlier than the Third Reich did, and has lasted longer than the Third Reich, and it began with the Genocide of Millions Native American Indians, and America is a Secret Ally of America’s Proxy Army of ISIS, and even though President Donald Trump is Not Responsible for creating ISIS, he is Responsible for decisions he makes as Commander in Chief with the Results of that being Inflicted upon the People of Syria.

    We heard Candidate Donald Trump say that he knew more than the Generals with regards to ISIS.

    It seems that Candidate Donald Trump was suggesting that he knows better than the Generals on how to wage War on ISIS.

    It could be that Candidate Donald Trump said that, because he may also have heard from someone that the Clinton and Obama appointed Generals would try to undermine his Presidency if they could, perhaps by giving him wrong advice on how to combat ISIS at .

    This may lead to his Impeachment or Electoral consequences for the Republicans, because it could be that some Generals want an Establishment Democrat or Establishment Republican to be the President.

    It appears that Many or All Departments and Agencies have become Politicized during the Clinton and Obama Administration.

    There has been American Military Aggression against Syria, with American dropping Leaflets in Tanf to Warn Syrian Military Not to Advance against Enemies of the State, and even ordering the Syrian Army to Retreat from Terrorists at , along with an American Coalition Attack on Syrian Military Forces Near Al Tanf at , and these things are Further Proof that America is Guilty of War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity, and Genocide in Syria.

    People can see the Result of the American led War Crimes, Crime Against Humanity, and Genocide in Syria, by doing a Google Image Search for Syrian War.

    There are other Countries who are also Responsible for this, and one of them is Saudi Arabia, and Israel is Illegally Occupying the Golan Heights, which Belongs to the United Nations Recognized Country of Syria.

    People can follow events of how the Syrian People who Voted for, and who Support their Democratically Elected Legitimate Government are Defending themselves from American led Terrorists, and they can follow this at the South Front Website at , and there is a Video Titled: US LED COALITION BOMBING MOSUL WITH Illegal WHITE PHOSPHORUS (VIDEO, PHOTOS) at , and People can do a Google Image Search for Victims of White Phosphorus, which Israel has also used on Palestinians.

    There are Many People who suspect or who Actually Know that the so called Paris Climate Agreement, which would have cost America 3 Trillion Dollars was Mainly a Slush Fund for Retired American Democrats and Others like Bribed and Corrupt Environmentalists and the Bribed and Corrupt Journalists who would Secretly Receive their Percentage over the years, and there are Many Non Americans who want America to have a Strong Economy, so that America can Pay More Compensation for their War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity, and Genocides of the recent decades, because they Know that America is Only one Country on one Planet.

    I have done my own Research on Climate change, and I have found because of my Extensive Research on this matter that carbon dioxide is Not a problem.

    I Believe that there will be a Mini Ice Age in the next few years, and where the Earth will Need 5 times as much carbon dioxide as there is today, for plants and crops, and the reason that carbon dioxide was Slandered by those with Vested Interests in alternative energy is because it is the Only thing that distinguishes alternative energy from Fossil Fuel, while Greater Green Houses like Water Vapor are Ignored, because we Need Water Vapor for Rain, and there is Only 400 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the Atmosphere and that is one twenty fifth of 1 % in the Atmosphere, and they have 10,000 parts per million in Submarines, with No problems, and that is 1 % of that atmosphere of Submarines.

    There are several things that cause the Climate to change and for which Humans have No control over, and they are Solar Cycles, Solar System Cycles when Saturn and Jupiter are near each other and their combined Gravity pulls the Earth 6 % further from the Sun with 11 % less Sunlight reaching the Earth and causing Global Cooling, and at times of lower Solar Activity there is a weaker Solar Magnetic Field, and this allows More cosmic rays in the Atmosphere which creates More clouds which affects the climate, and Humans are Responsible for Deforestation which affects the climate, and an Example of that was when the Roman Empire Deforested the once Tropical Rain Forest of Northern Africa over a period of 200 years, as their Historians wrote, which changed the climate and created the Sahara Desert and changed that Region’s climate, and it had Nothing to do with carbon dioxide levels in the Atmosphere.

    America’s Meddling in Syria has caused Many Refugees from Syria to seek Temporary Asylum in Europe, and there could be Terrorists claiming to be Refugees, and the Syrian Government has asked European Countries for some assistance to Resettle Syrian Refugees back to Syria so that they can Rebuild their Country.

  5. mild-ly - facetious
    June 4, 2017 at 01:07
  6. June 3, 2017 at 19:31

    Attn: Robert parry, please inspect CRU leaks

  7. Ian Perkins
    June 3, 2017 at 13:03

    Look on the bright side. The rest of the world is going ahead with the Paris agreement, effectively ignoring and sidelining the US, which comes to be not only seen as a dangerous rogue state, but treated as such. About time too if you ask me.

  8. June 3, 2017 at 04:21

    Title should read: “Trump separates America from the One World Government”!

  9. ADL
    June 3, 2017 at 01:33

    Paul hits it out of park – as usual

    “which is a laughable claim in light of what Trump has been doing not only to climate change but also to the Environmental Protection Agency and to stewardship of public lands.”

    I would not use the word laughable. Things just keep getting worse. It will not get better. Brace yourself for an enormous tax cut for the rich, paid by the 90% not rich. And wait til the Repubs and Trump ram through a “Health Care Act from Hell”, again benefiting the rich while hammering women – who happen to be 50% of our population. But since women are 2nd class citizens, and us men should not have to pay for women’s healthcare – no harm.

  10. Lolita
    June 3, 2017 at 00:56

    “Ideology Over Realism”???

    Not at all: Realism over Ideology… and Big Green’s business. The most hypocrite of all, Clinton/Obama/Neocons are creating a veritable NATO armada with conveniently carbon footprint no object in order to steal Eurasian oil, gas and mineral resources while playing climate angels…

  11. June 2, 2017 at 23:12

    Than you for your excellent and informative website.

    Excellent post by Paul R. Pillar. He is right on the mark.

    Your readers may be interested on my take on this issue – I am an award-winning independent author and journalist with nearly 50 years’ experience.

    William Thomas

    The Perfect President
    Letter to My Sister In America

  12. Sterven M Zerbey
    June 2, 2017 at 22:00

    “He has not torn up the nuclear agreement with Iran,… pull[ed]-out from the Paris agreement, [and] he signed a paper that keeps the U.S. embassy to Israel in Tel Aviv.”

    Sounds like leader that is putting “America first”, that’s something we haven’t seen in Washington for quite some time.

    • Bill Bodden
      June 2, 2017 at 22:52

      CIA’s ‘Dark Prince’ tapped to lead charge against Iran: Sources tell Al Jazeera longtime Middle East-based CIA operative will be Trump’s point man on ‘aggressive’ Iran moves. by Ali Younes –

      • Sterven M Zerbey
        June 2, 2017 at 23:51

        What’s your point?

        Do think Tehran is worried about some idiot getting a promotion within the CIA? Tehran had a front row seat to America’s wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq. They witnessed up close for themselves the limitations of American military power. And, Tehran has allies, where Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi did not, namely Moscow and Beijing. And let’s not forget, the Americans have not won any wars since they held a nuclear monopoly in 1945… so do you think they could win one against Iran? Do you think Trump wants to start a third world war? How is getting bogged down in another Middle East war going to “Make America Great Again”? The plan, I think, for Iran is containment. Sell the Gulf Arabs a bunch of expensive weapons and give the Israelis a bunch of expensive weapon and hope neither is stupid enough to start a war with Iran.

        • Bill Bodden
          June 3, 2017 at 00:54

          The point of the article is to show that the CIA has malign inclinations towards Iran. Nothing more. No suggestion of a war against Iran; although, that is a conclusion many could come to.

          They witnessed up close for themselves the limitations of American military power.

          I have made similar points on this website in the past except I gave our military credit for “victories” in Grenada, Panama, and the turkey shoot along the Kuwait-Iraq border. I trust you will draw from “victories” in quotation marks the conclusion that those “victories” were nothing to be proud off. It appears a good case could be made that the turkey-shoot was a war crime.

          Do you think Trump wants to start a third world war?

          No. But I suspect a lot of the flack Trump is getting is prompted by his statements suggesting getting along with Russia instead of ramping up another cold war..

          • June 4, 2017 at 15:57

            We also kicked the shoot out of Haiti a couple of times.

  13. June 2, 2017 at 20:47

    Good post, LJ. The climate accords are a nice gesture but cannot arrest the unknown of climate cycles, some of which is driven by the sun. Nuclear power should be the greatest part of the discussion because of its danger, and I fail to be convinced by Steve that nuclear reactors can be safe. I was intrigued by his statement that “EVs are virtually here”, not knowing what those are. I’d like to think that “ETs are virtually here”. Maybe we can’t see them but they’re observing our foolishness. The most alarming thing that geologists are planning to do, is drilling into earth’s mantle just to get a look. Have they thought of the possibility of provoking the mother of all earthquakes? Maybe earth will really get hotter!

    • Bill Bodden
      June 2, 2017 at 22:49

      I fail to be convinced by Steve that nuclear reactors can be safe

      Then there is also the problem of what to do with the nuclear waste.

    • LJ
      June 4, 2017 at 17:35

      Jessica,, back when the Manhattan Project exploded the first Nuke they weren’t absolutely certain, just very certain, that it would n’;t consume the entire atmosphere of the planet. 70 some years later when “they” ( Those anonymous son-a-bitches commonly referred to as scientists) fired up the Haldron Collider ( A couple tines before they shut it down { rats ate some wires, sure}but now may do something bigger) they weren’t certain that it wouldn’t create a small black hole that could consume our entire planet. Do you invest in the stock market? Risk is where the greatest potential for profit lies. He may be talking about the casket like containment sarcophagi that have been developed for nuclear waste or perhaps the newer smaller and cleaner reactors that appear to be much safer. Storage is the problem. As you infer the shifting tectonic plates of Mother Earth make permanent storage anywhere problematic.. There is also a potential for what was referred to a critical mass. I have been out of the game for a while but the more things change the more they stay the same, Tooey tooey on nukes, if the Earth gets hotter turn down the thermostat. Nixon said 58 degrees at night. Sounds about right. Sleep two or more to the bed. Especially if you are very liberal. Ha Ha.

  14. Dr. Ibrahim Soudy
    June 2, 2017 at 19:51

    I find the title “Trump Isolates America from the World” either naive or dis-informing………People almost everywhere in the world have been treating America, since WWII and especially since the collapse of the Soviet Union, as a bully!! Try best to avoid being harmed by it and benefit from it as much as possible. The only thing that popularized American “Jeans” and “MacDonald’s” around the world is “HOLLYWOOD”………. YES, America made good contributions to science and technology but much of the credit for that goes to the German and Eastern European Scientists who left after WWI and WWII and went to America. Immigrants made and still make America and the “Brain Drain” continues thanks for the imperialist US Foreign Policy which is making life like hell for many around the world.

    For decades now, Americans wear “I’m Canadian” t-shirts when they travel abroad because it makes them feel safer!! They do that because they know the crimes that have been committed and being committed by they know who. Don’t tell me that Trump is isolating America, as if that isolation is NEW!! In fact, there is a big possibility that the rest of the world will one day decide to boycott America if it continues on the course it has been on since the Soviet Union collapsed…………..

    • Bill Bodden
      June 2, 2017 at 22:47

      In fact, there is a big possibility that the rest of the world will one day decide to boycott America if it continues on the course it has been on since the Soviet Union collapsed…………..

      If the rest of the world had higher moral standards they would have boycotted America and its spoiled brat, Israel, decades ago. Don’t hold your breath for your “one day” to materialize in the foreseeable future.

  15. elmerfudzie
    June 2, 2017 at 18:39

    In a financial world without price discovery and quadrillions of USD’s lost to unknown numbers of failed derivatives, I think it’s A-Okay for Trump to change how he bets at the gambling tables of America. He’s a natural dice roller and I can’t help but believe he’s in the Oval Office for a Thrill, the kind of Thrill that sets his presidency apart from the last half dozen or so Commander’s in Chiefs…Trump has made all the money, had all the ladies, travels and more, that one person could pack into a single life time, So? what’s left? well, sky divers and bungee jumper’s know and Trump is “one of them”…unlike his predecessors, he’s placing Black Jack side bets in a whole new way- just as I thought he might. As for the climate change baloney, again, well, there are about five thousand small volcanoes that dot the floors of our major oceans, no one could ever possibly calculate just how much carbon dioxide actually belches from them, and or have co-contributed with the dozen or so heavily monitored ones above the surface, towards non-anthropogenic global warming. If we look back over the last sixty years, science routinely hits the ball into left field; example; on commercial nuclear energy-electricity will be too cheap to meter!, dental association experts; brush up and down…thirty years later…brush your teeth side-to-side; or, Vioxx has been thoroughly researched and is-safe! and so on, the list is endless with every scientific discipline possessing at least one, shall we say, faux pas? in their laboratory materials and methods? So go right ahead Donald, roll’em baby!!!, what the hell have we all got to loose!

    • mike k
      June 3, 2017 at 06:53

      Typical don’t trust science BS.

      • cmack
        June 4, 2017 at 13:46

        typical science can not be wrong about anything bs.

  16. cmack
    June 2, 2017 at 18:20

    more lamenting of campaign promises kept.

    if you want to believe climate alarmism. go ahead.

    some of us don’t. i find most republican arguments against such are hollow. trumps could very well be just as hollow. but i look to actual dissident scientists and make up my own mind.

    science is not consensus. never has been. never will

    if you wan’t to see what closely resembles the present day climate alarm movement please take the time to research eugenics. you will find not only scary parallels but some of the very same organizations involved in promoting both.

    • mike k
      June 2, 2017 at 19:04

      “science is not consensus” ? I guess science is just everybody believes whatever they want? There is no such thing as scientific consensus? You have a lot to learn about how science works.

      • cmack
        June 4, 2017 at 13:45

        show me where consensus equals science.

        science works on the basis of proving a theory using reapetable data

        there is also a HUGE difference between hard science….such as the temperature of boiling water and say…the possible number of galaxies in the universe.

        the climate alarmists are basing their conclusions of weather on computers. not on hard science.

        the only way they can PROVE the theory beyond a shadow of a doubt is to have two earths. one with humans, one without.
        that is hard science.

        and by the way. maybe it’s time to look into the crisis in “science” right now. peer reviewed studies are not being peer reviewed at all.

        look up institutional bias.

        look up how much “research” money is being spent to study that “global warming/cooling/climate change, tm.) is not happening….

        no, sir, again. science is not consensus.

        sci•ence (s???ns)?

        The observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena.
        Such activities restricted to a class of natural phenomena.
        Such activities applied to an object of inquiry or study.

        you will notice that consensus is not in the definition of science.

  17. Sleepless In Mars
    June 2, 2017 at 18:09

    “The world breaks everyone
    And afterwards
    Many are strong at the broken places.” ~ Ernest Hemingway

    It’s déjà vu all over again in Washington. They won’t break the world, it’ll break them. Pride before the fall. Ark before the flood. Use Thor Gonzo journalism and bang on them and cripple them because they are wrong. When all you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail. With a bat everything looks like a ball. Have a ball.

  18. backwardsevolution
    June 2, 2017 at 18:08

    “He has not torn up the nuclear agreement with Iran, in the face of Iran’s compliance with that accord.”

    While Israel is secretly loaded with nukes, Iran is held to strict compliance with no nuclear capability. Yeah, that’s fair. Of course, I’d be happy if no one had this capacity, but odd that it’s okay for Israel, but not Iran.

    “And on the very day Trump announced the pull-out from the Paris agreement, he signed a paper that keeps the U.S. embassy to Israel in Tel Aviv, in the face of what would be certain uproar, deleterious to any prospects for peace, if he had moved the embassy as promised to Jerusalem.”

    And Netanyahu was disappointed, but he’s all gleeful that in time he’ll get his U.S. embassy in Jerusalem. It should never be moved. Israel should be under strict boycott and sanctions. Russia, Iran, Syria, anyone who doesn’t pay up or play dirty politics is sanctioned, but not Israel. Go figure.

    • mike k
      June 2, 2017 at 18:14

      Zionists are exceptional, like Americans. The rules that apply to others, do not for us.

  19. SteveK9
    June 2, 2017 at 17:29

    As Vladimir Putin just remarked at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, ‘Don’t worry, be happy’. There is plenty of time for a new ‘deal’ before the treaty was to come into force. Besides there is only one way to deal with climate change (I’m a Scientist, so I’m afraid I believe in Science), and that is nuclear power. Unfortunately we have two sets of anti-Science, religious idealogues: on one side the climate-change deniers and on the other the anti-nukes (although at least some important environmentalists have recognized that nuclear power is essential … like Stewart Brand, and James Hansen).

    So, no real progress was going to be made in the US (or the West in general). The key countries are China, India, and Russia (which is aiding developing countries build nukes).

    The EV’s are virtually here. With about 10,000 1-GW reactors we can essentially forget about fossil fuels (may have to make some synfuels for jets).

    • SteveK9
      June 2, 2017 at 17:31

      That’s 10,000 for the whole World.

      • mike k
        June 2, 2017 at 17:38

        You seem to know something thousands of top climate scientists and energy specialists don’t know. Interesting. And comforting. No problemo, eh?

        • SteveK9
          June 2, 2017 at 17:54

          I think we do have time (there are some runaway scenarios that are a bit disturbing, e.g. methane clathrates), but not infinite time. There are billions of people that want and deserve to have a standard of living approaching the developed World. It is sickening that there are plenty of very comfortable ‘environmentalists’ who would be happy if they would just stay in their grass huts, eating fish heads.

          If they get there by burning coal … we are in trouble. I don’t think it will happen. China clearly recognizes the damage that coal burning is doing to their air, never mind the long-term climate effects. I think the nuke programs have to get a little beyond where they are now, and then they will accelerate … it gets easier and easier when you are building a lot of something over and over.

          The Japanese have probably done more damage to the global climate than any other country the last 10 years, with their idiotic lack of protection for a few diesel generators against a very predictable flood. Not to get into that whole thing, but the reactor closest to the Tsunami was not damaged in any way, … because one of the chief Engineers insisted they build it on a low hill.

          • backwardsevolution
            June 2, 2017 at 18:19

            SteveK9 – and how many other countries aren’t going to build on low hills? How many will build on fault lines? Who is going to care for these things for thousands of years? Chernobyl and Fukushima happened, and you want to build hundreds more?

            “There are billions of people that want and deserve to have a standard of living approaching the developed World. It is sickening that there are plenty of very comfortable ‘environmentalists’ who would be happy if they would just stay in their grass huts, eating fish heads.”

            And there are plenty of very rich capitalists (and poorer wannabees) who pretend to care about the people in the grass huts, eating fish heads, when really all they care about is creating more consumers. They hide their true motive of making more money and milking these future consumers behind the facade of trying to help the poor people of the Third World.

        • SteveK9
          June 2, 2017 at 18:10

          There are plenty of vested interests among ‘energy specialists’. Any objective, competent Scientist will reach the same conclusion if they look into it. This is not a technical problem, but a problem of political will. There are plenty of great ideas for much cheaper, more efficient nukes, but they are not essential. No new Science or Engineering is required.

    • LJ
      June 3, 2017 at 18:07

      Hey what’s happening with that mess up in the Hanford Nuclear Reservation?. Did they bury it yet.? By the way, since Harry Reid left the Senate I guess they’ll finally open that Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Suppository. And isn’t it fantastic that they finally finished and slid that giant building over the Chernobyl meltdown site . Engineering marvel it was, largest building ever built isn’t it? Too bad they can’t even get robots near TEPCO’s two melted down reactor cores at Fukushima. My mother lived in Nevada out in a small agricultural valley in Nevada in the early 1940’s. Really windy out there. She died about 20 years back from Pulmonary sarcoma, a rather rare form of cancer prevalent in survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atom bomb attacks., She never visited Japan. Yeah, nuclear power is great., radiation is wondeful. Who doesn’t love x-rays.?…. science is soooooo cool. Maye they’ll finish that clean-up at Fukushima this century. That would be nice

  20. Johnathan Birks
    June 2, 2017 at 17:00

    Do yourself and everybody else a favor and educate yourself about the ongoing perversion of climate science before you throw around ad hominems like “denier”. There is no demonstrated real-world evidence that CO2 is a major driver of warming. Computer models are worthless.

    • mike k
      June 2, 2017 at 17:34

      No evidence? Thousands of scientists are wrong? How deep is that sand your head is stuck in?

      • cmack
        June 2, 2017 at 18:37



        can’t you think of the children?

        or the polar bears?

        the thousands of polar bears?

        the highest numbers of polar bears recorded in modern times?

        yeah, those polar bears.

      • cmack
        June 2, 2017 at 18:39

        thousands of scientists?

        who’s specialty is not climate science?

        you are barking up the wrong tree here.

        please look up what science is exactly.

        science is NOT consensus. never has been. never will

        if it was, surgeons would still not wash their hands before an operation.

    • Johnny
      June 3, 2017 at 10:12

      Exactly. First the evidence to prove the theory must be on the table. They have been working on trying to prove it since 1988. But instead of proof we get propaganda and population is divided in believers and non-believers. The climate change industry is growing at taxpayers expens fighting a non proven threat. We have all heard about the fake science about “Hide the decline” and “Hockey Stick” diagram from the leaked emails some years ago, but the propaganda continues. The politicians, media and the oligarchs that own’s them wants the masses to be afraid for this non proven threat to surrender money and new global laws. It stinks!

    • LJ
      June 3, 2017 at 17:55

      JB. You like proven research?. Basic Chemistry?. CO2 is a the highest levels that can be measured from glacial core samples that date back 100,000s of thousands of years. There is a direct collation between increased CO2 in the atmosphere and Ocean Acidificationwhichis an extremely serious problem that doesn’t get the press of rising temperature but is already affecting our Ocean and this planet’s food chain . If you are as smart as you seem to think you are you must be aware of this. In the last week a huge crack has developed on the Antarctic Peninsula which will soon , probably within the year, lead to the separation of the largest floating Ice sheet, or Ice berg that man knows about. This will affect the Southern Pacific Ocean and change Australian mini climates as it melts. Something is shrinking the Ice sheet in the Antarctic and Arctic and Greenland’s Ice Sheet is in full scale retreat. That the world is getting hotter is irrefutable. I guess you attribute it to cow farts like the ultimate denier Ronny Raygun Reagan. Only now fracking has created a more serious methane source that is changing the calculus of carbon in the atmosphere. Also if it gets 1 degree hotter and it will almost certainly will, then in all likelihood, the permafrost/ tundra of Siberia will thaw and release hundreds of millions of tons of trapped CO2 into the atmosphere. You must know all this, Correct? Good Luck. Hope your Grandchildren make it to your age.

  21. LJ
    June 2, 2017 at 16:16

    This was done by SOS Kerry with China . A two state non binding “solutuion” to the problem of Global warming. A self aggrandizing PR gesture (akin to a Presidential Order without Congressional Approval) by the Obama Administration on it’s way out of office with no binding limits only targets for the world’s two greatest polluters. If Global Warming is real, and I have believed in this narrative and the scientific ‘evidence’ too since it was called the Greenhouse Effect in the late 70’s, ; then the Paris Accords were and are completely inadequate. That we as a species can survive in the 7 and 8 billions on this planet if it warms 2.7 plus degrees is extremely doubtful. IPSO FACTO: The Paris Accords need to be renegotiated. INDEED, the New York Times and Washington Post, Le Monde, Der Spiegel, Guardian etc. need to quit blaming Trump for this problem . What they need to do is make clear how serious the problem really is. Like California Governor Jerry Brown was saying yesterday, the question really is whether humanity will survive 100 years, this whole question about ratification is moot, Much Ado About Nothing. . Trump in his inimitable style ( citing protecting Hard Energy jobs in America) may actually be doing the right thing here by forcing this issue to the front page of World News everywhere. The Paris Accords are a joke. If you don’t know this you should. Lifeboat Earth, we are already on it. PS Small is Beautiful. Globalization is Death.

    • mike k
      June 2, 2017 at 16:33

      Yes. There is only one way out of a complexity trap: Simplify. Thoreau was right, as were the Quakers, the Taoists, Plato in the Republic. In our case less is more. Less complexity, more simplicity = Survival. There is one problem: addiction. We are power and complexity addicts, and it looks like we are going down with it.

      Two inscriptions above the entrance to the Oracle at Delphi: KNOW YOURSELF and NOTHING TOO MUCH. We have blown it on both counts.

    • backwardsevolution
      June 2, 2017 at 17:57

      LJ – finally some sanity to the discussion. Thank you. See my posts on the last thread by J.P. Sottile entitled “Trump Tosses Red Meat to Red States”. If we want to get serious about climate change, then EVERYBODY – the whole world – must play along, not just parts of the world. The East AND the West must both participate.

      Letting China, India and the rest of Asia away with an exemption is insanity.

      All that happened here is that you offshored your jobs to Asia, and offshored your pollution at the same time. It just got moved. The U.S. multinationals took the jobs to Asia because of the cheap labor and no environmental controls. Sitting pretty, they now say that if you want us to cut back on pollution, you’re going to have to pay for it through the Green Climate Fund, to the tune of $100 billion per year, a figure that will undoubtedly be increased every single year.

      So not only are you left with no jobs, but YOU are now being asked to put up large sums of money in order that they can make their factories all environmentally-friendly. What a slap in the face! You still don’t have your jobs.

      • Dave P.
        June 3, 2017 at 04:18

        LJ, I agree with you that Paris Accords were and are inadequate to slow down the global warming. And the the observations made by Backwardevolution on offshoring of jobs, and pollution to Asia are pretty correct. But the real problems are much more complex. Many articles, and books have appeared over the last three decades period that this expansionary Capitalist (Neoliberal !) Economic system is to blame – it is unsustainable. John Kenneth Galbraith in his book “The Affluent Society” which came out around 1964 discussed the issue of over consumption in U.S.

        The other major cause is overpopulation – in developing countries. Even at the current population level, the Planet is overcrowded, and it will be difficult to slow down the global warming.

        Add to that the Western World’s policy over the last three decades – all this political turmoil, Wars, and destruction going on in the world. Real issues at World Conferences on Environment are seldom discussed. The real issues are political as well. We need sane leaders to do it. All the financial resources which are going towards making armaments, and weapons of mass destruction, and wars can go towards curtailing the World Population, and coming up with sustainable economic models. U.S. and Western European Countries should take the lead in this.

        Now, the Western World’s Elite will be blaming Trump for the climate change. Donald Trump did not cause global warming. It seemed like that at least, he had some good ideas of getting along with Russia. But the Ruling Elite Establishment of the Western World did not let him do it.

        Unless the Powerful Nations on Earth learn to solve the World Problems peacefully , I do not think there is any hope for slowing down the global warming and save the life, as we know it, on Planet.

      • Brad Owen
        June 3, 2017 at 08:49

        The “EVERYBODY” will come via the Belt and Road Initiative,when America joins it (after she elbows the Imperial Synarchists outta the way). There are solutions, and it will become just one more Grand Magnificent Project to under-take via theB&RI organization.

      • Jeremy
        June 5, 2017 at 11:38

        We are driving towards a cliff…The Paris Accords may or may not even slow us down, so without further action we are still going over the cliff. Trump says let’s step on the accelerator…so he is right?! No doubt this is inadequate, but it is all we have on the table right now. Better than nothing.

    • Chris Reed
      June 3, 2017 at 09:24

      I have been following Pepe Escobar’s writing Eurasian integration for
      a number of years. It could be a good thing for Germany to get on
      board with Russia, China, and Iran. “Russian aggression” is an oversold commodity.
      The flap over Trump’s shoving aside our “NATO ally” from Montenegro and
      betraying what everyone I read was a flawed Paris Agreement could be
      a blessing in disguise.

      • LJ
        June 3, 2017 at 14:18

        OBOR is where the real Economic Growth will occur over the next 50 years . China and Russia have been driven closer than ever by US sanctions from Obama. Restarting the Cold War with Russia was an extremely stupid move . Now China has unlimited access to Russian Oil and Natural Gas. They don’t need to develop the formation in the South China Sea ( But they will anyway) ,. China and Russia have tremendous advantage over the US and Europe in regards to the potential for economic growth and it doesn’t hurt them at all that the Northern Passage over Russia to Europe in now Ice Free almost 5 months a year. Our leaders may feel that we must have War with China and Russia to stop the economic integration of Eastern Europe by OBOR with Eastern Europe. See China and Germany playing big time footsie right now. Either way, more pollution and more population seems likely unless there is a cataclysmic war. Where is the Silver Lining, maybe Eurasia. Maybe there is none.

      • LJ
        June 3, 2017 at 14:32

        Chris Reed, Yeah Pepe is a good writer when he’s not overdoing it or being an Intelligence asset for Russia. He took some time off to write a book. It is suppose to be pretty good. Called 2030 or something…What happened with Montenegro was straight up electoral theft and judicial corruption coupled with several waves of bribery mostly from the USA but also Germany and the EU. You know that the majority of Montenegrins did not want to join NATO. Trump definitely did the right thing pushing that corrupt bought and paid for clown out of the way. He should have given him a kick in the ass also. Montenegro has absolutely no business being in NATO. None. NATO is like the Eurovision song contest (In Ukraine this year) it’s now a joke…. Comically corrupt. There is no reason for NATO to exist . The USA does not need NATO or the EU we have Russia and China surrounded by missiles, subs and listening posts. NATO is a cash cow for corrupt Eastern Europeans. Victoria Nuland back when she was Dick Cheney’s protégé and nobody knew her was appointed Ambassador to NATO. That is all anybody needs to know. Trump does the right thing by accident sometimes. That was an obvious example.

  22. Bill Bodden
    June 2, 2017 at 16:04

    Given the reasons that one might have expected a better decision on this issue, the decision demonstrates that Trump’s worst and most destructive qualities are deeply entrenched. It demonstrates that things are unlikely to get much better, with many other issues, under Trump.

    There are good reasons to believe they could become worse under a president Pence.

    • mike k
      June 2, 2017 at 16:21

      We are trapped in a fatal tailspin whirling us between evil and eviler, and we have no idea how to use the controls, which seem to be broken beyond repair anyway……

  23. Bill Bodden
    June 2, 2017 at 16:02

    Trump Isolates America from the World

    That headline is debatable. In his very important book “The Authoritarians” Bob Altemeyer noted two groups of people in the authoritarian world: Authoritarians and authoritarian followers. America is the wealthiest nation in the world, and authoritarian followers will continue to hang on to any American coattails they can grasp – Britain, NATO, Australia, etc.. Then there is another group. Con artists who consider the U.S. to be a mark ripe for fleecing.

    • Dr. Ibrahim Soudy
      June 2, 2017 at 18:02

      Are you sure that America is the wealthiest nation in the world?! By what measure?! America is living by “recycling” the petrodollars it made and is making off of the Gulf Countries and by “printing” money for what the Fed call “Quantitative Easing”……The thing America has plenty of is “military technology” but even its military personnel are always weak and cannot endure real long term wars…..If you want a proof, just look at the Vets who went through Vietnam and then the Afghan and Iraq wars……….America is very good at dropping bombs from 40,000 feet high or launching missiles from 40 miles away. If you really want to know how wealthy America is, please read a book called “All The President’s Bankers” by Naomi Prins…………..Also look at the size of the national debt America accumulated…………..

      • Bill Bodden
        June 2, 2017 at 18:58

        Are you sure that America is the wealthiest nation in the world?! By what measure?!

        I’ll have to concede on that point I was taking various talking heads at face value as I’m not an economist. After working with numbers during my career, I find little enthusiasm for continuing the practice in my retirement. As for your other points I am in complete agreement and could add more of a similar nature to your list.

    • Brad Owen
      June 3, 2017 at 08:39

      I was thinking something similar about the title. Over on EIR and LaRouchePAC, their news articles talk about how the whole world (minus the trans-Atlantic Community, code for the Synarchist Empire), is joining around the Belt and Road Initiative,and Trump is a welcomed and respected part of that, although being forced to keep somewhat distant, so as to fend off constant attacks on him. It’s the Trans-Atlantic Community Oligarchs trying to isolate America from the world, actually trying to keep America from having a close working relationship with Russia and China, the supreme FDR nightmare for these imperial oligarchs. But it won’t work. France Italy and Greece are eager to work with the B&RI, German industries are getting interested in participating in B&RI, and America, Trump and his business friends, will be with them too, which will signal the official death of the Synarchist Empire, may it rest in the deepest hell available. It won’t be a cake-walk though.

  24. Sleepless In Mars
    June 2, 2017 at 16:00


    “I knew the record would stand until it was broken.”
    The Yogi book: I really didn’t say everything I said!

    Trump will stand until he is broken and most of Washington is good at nothing other than breaking things and killing people, which is why we have a military. The newspaper is more dangerous than the military. They can break and kill you over and over. Military can only kill you one time. The spy agencies are all peasants. That may be why they are hated by the rich blowhards. Archie Cox was a peasant. We had a drink once upon a time in the east.

  25. mike k
    June 2, 2017 at 15:52

    Most rich people have big egos, which they would call self-confidence. Unfortunately this leads them to be blind to areas of their incompetence, and unable to admit mistakes. This is disastrous for one in a critical executive position such as where Trump finds himself. His fear of being exposed to be the nitwit he actually is will cause him to double down on bad decisions, making them even worse. Trump is pretty much the opposite in every respect from Putin and Xi Jinping. These guys are like grown men trying to deal with the clueless child that Donald is showing himself to be.

  26. mike k
    June 2, 2017 at 15:40

    It looks like Mr.Pillar has finally given up hope for a significant Trump turnaround on any of the critical issues facing him. A “small minded man” indeed. Most rich people are almost totally ignorant of anything beyond making money. They don’t read books, they get their ideas of the world from casual conversations and TV. They are essentially intellectual and cultural boobs. How is someone like that going to perform in the complex job of the presidency of the United States? We are finding out…..

  27. jo6pac
    June 2, 2017 at 15:12

    Sadly this effects everyone but I do find some humor in his sick mind. The raising oceans will effect most of his properties even trumpster tower. It a good thing he has a yacht so he can get to the third or so floor of trumpster tower.

    Amerikas leadership has been going the wrong way for awhile and trumpster has sped up the bus to hell for us citizens of the world.

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