Trump, The Paris Agreement, And It’s A Wonderful Life

Last week we talked about how Trump’s crazy Paris Agreement antics surprised absolutely no one, and the world just kept on spinning.  This week, I’d like to give a slightly different viewpoint.  Don’t get me wrong, we all saw this coming from a mile away, his reasons are faulty (as per usual), and most of what he said about backing out of the Agreement was patently false.  My slightly different viewpoint here has to do with the reaction.  Many companies have said that they are going to still work towards the agreement, as have tons of States- some of which have said they will go around the government to work with other nations on achieving the lofty targets set out in the Paris Agreement.  And while all of this seems great, I kind of don’t think it is.  Sure we’re still working towards lowering greenhouse gas emissions across the United States, but Trump is no longer being held accountable.  He kind of just got off scott free.

Here’s my thinking, using the best movie ever made- It’s A Wonderful Life- as an example.  At the end of the movie (spoiler warning… but at this point if you haven’t seen this movie, that’s on you) Bedford Falls comes together as a community to help out George Bailey, in a beautiful moment that makes me cry every year at Christmas.  He can’t properly pay to keep the Building & Loan running, and it looks like he’s stolen $8,000 (the equivalent of over $100,000 today), and will subsequently have to go to jail.  Fortunately, he’s affected so many people in a positive way throughout his life, that the town comes together, and raises more money than necessary to keep him out of prison.  This is kind of like what’s happening with Trump, everybody is coming to his aid in order to help the US.  In Trump’s case however, instead of helping out George Bailey, a man everyone loves, it’s more like they are moving important objects out of the way, as Mr. Potter recklessly drives through the city in a bulldozer, turning Bedford Falls into Pottersville.  This is what I have an issue with.

At this point, we’re all dismissing Trump’s stupid decision to quit the Paris Agreement, because everyone else has stepped up to fill the void.  The problem with this, is now the precedent has been set for Trump to continue with his “crazy antics”, and the rest of the sane members of the United States to pick up the slack.  He’s been given carte blanche to ruin the country, because the country will still try and come together despite his best efforts.  It’s good that the individual States are picking up the slack, but this also needs to be accompanied by discussion in the house and senate.  The president’s actions, if they will hurt the country or go against all logical thought and understanding, need to be fought by the elected members of government- and this really doesn’t seem to be happening.

So yes, while it’s amazing that the individual States will still work towards fulfilling the Paris Agreement, efforts still need to be made to make Trump understand the error of his ways.  We can’t just let him do what he wants, and clean up the mess behind him.