The president's statement announcing plans to withdraw the United States from the worldwide Paris Climate Accord was a bad move for this country on many fronts, including PR.
It's ironic that, in making his statement, he said the world has been laughing at us for this "bad deal, but they won't be laughing at us anymore."
Actually, it’s just the opposite, as leaders and citizens here and abroad are scratching their heads in despair and laughing at the utter stupidity and arrogance of the man whom less than the majority of us elected last November. (Click here for a Washington Post fact-check of his speech Thursday.)
His arrogant dealings with EU and G7 leaders last week and his grand proclamation Thursday regarding the Paris Accord have quickly moved us from a position of world leadership and world respect to the back of the pack. In the process, the former “leader of the free world” is making himself irrelevant on the global stage.
Despite his misguided rationale, based on flat-out wrong thinking on both climate change and economics, those who do understand the importance of global attempts to slow mankind’s destruction of our planet are taking action on their own and in concert with each other – ignoring the U.S. government’s official position.
It is encouraging to see so many coming together to say that despite the official edict of the Administration, they will continue their efforts to adhere to green initiatives set out in the Paris Accord. As of this morning, less than 24 hours after the president’s grand reveal of his decision, which seemed more like the crowing of a new Apprentice or The Bachelorette winner, more than 90 major city mayors, governors of three of our largest states, and countless captains of industry have rejected the president’s position and made it clear they intend to work together toward lessening our carbon footprint. Proof that the president has made himself irrelevant on this important issue.
At the same time, the chorus of disappointment and rejection by so many world leaders, including our closest allies, points out that our Administration stands alone on this crucial issue.
The president said his decision was based on the need to put America first. Unfortunately, this move threatens to hurt American business, not to mention the health of future generations of Americans. Government support of alternative energy efforts could have created tens of thousands of new and lasting jobs here, instead of a few hundred low-paying and dangerous jobs at a coal mine the president said his efforts will soon open.
China just announced major plans to expand its alternative energy initiatives, which it estimates will add hundreds of thousands of new manufacturing jobs and bring in something like $300 billion for the Chinese economy. Even if those numbers are exaggerated, it’s still a lot of jobs and money that could have been helping our economy right here at home.
This is bad policy that is creating very bad PR for the United States. I hope the bad PR will be temporary, just as the bad policy will be minimized by the grass-roots efforts of state and local governments and companies who intend to ignore the president’s edict. Good PR will return eventually, with a new Administration that will set this bad policy and other negatives straight so that U.S. can again be “great again” in the eyes of the world.