Rethinking America

Bye Bye, Paris! Hello Centralia, Pennsylvania!

Reflections on Donald Trump’s exit from global responsibility.

Credit: Gage Skidmore


  • The rest of the world owes President Trump a big thank you for a good laugh.
  • Trashing everything Obama did is the only guiding principle of the current US administration.
  • For Trump, Merkel is a new Hillary – an ideal target for the disdain he and his followers have for smart women.

The Thursday afternoon show in the White House Rose Garden (video) was obviously about keeping candidate Trump’s campaign promise to “cancel” (whatever that means) the Paris agreement.

Trump getting even globally

But more than a signal to his political base, the Rose Garden show was really meant to give a middle finger to a few people, who, sadly, had not been invited:

  1. Top of the list, of course, is former President Barack Obama. Donald Trump must be endlessly thankful to him. After all, trashing everything Obama did is the only guiding principle of the current administration.
  2. The proverbial middle finger was also directed at the leaders of the G7, whom President Trump met recently in Taormina (“Take that on the chin, Angela!”).
    Come to think of it, for Trump, Merkel is the new Hillary – an ideal target for the utter disdain that Trump and his followers in the Congress and the population at large have for smart women. They evidently like theirs blonde and bimbo-like.

  4. Let’s also not forget Pope Francis, who had been overoptimistic enough to give Trump a copy of his encyclical on climate change. It seems that the Pope was not aware of the fact that President Trump does not read books (“Too long. Boring!”).

Opposite day: No laughing matter

Contrary to what Trump proclaimed in the Rose Garden, it is not the United States, but the President himself who made himself a “laughing stock,” and in a pathetic way.

The speech he read out loud – thank God, there were few improvisations – was remarkable for its incoherences and contradictions.

Incoherences and contradictions

Trump bemoaned a “draconian” agreement, even though it does not make enough reductions in global warming, a meager 0.2 degrees Celsius.

Even so, he reneged on the one agreement that’s out there and agreed to, while steadfastly proclaiming his environmental credo.

He did that even though all his staff performed a dead-head dance not answering whether their boss believes that climate change exists or not.

Also, what’s the point of “renegotiating” anything, if climate change is a “Chinese hoax,” as the candidate was fond of repeating?

The facts

Laughable also Trump’s recitation of dubious statistics on the impact of the agreement on the U.S. economy, while forgetting about a few facts and figures that are central to the debate:

  • the United States is the second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases (GHG) behind China.
  • in 2013, the United States emitted 16.1 metric tons of carbon per capita, far more than China (7.6) or India (1.6), according to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
  • the cumulative CO2 emissions of the U.S. during the 1900-2002 period are 300 billion tons — almost four times those of China and thirteen times more than India (Source: World Resources Institute).
  • the President honestly intends for his country to become the most environmentally friendly country on Earth, but there is a long way to go. The Yale University Environmental Performance Index ranks the United States 26th overall, 43rd in air quality, and 22nd in water and sanitation.

No reason to worry on that front, though. Rumor has it that the Trump family, owing to its vast branding powers, intends to soon market and export bottles of Ivanka Water, from Flint, Michigan.


The rest of the world owes President Trump a big thank you for a good laugh. Given all its Orwellian speak, it is an undeniable fact that the Trump-devoted wing of the United States is turning itself into a modern-day Soviet Union.

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About Jean-Francois Boittin

Jean-Francois Boittin is a former French diplomat and Treasury official.

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