The reality of Trump exiting “his” United States from the Paris Accord has sunk in. The key question: What’s the rest of the world to do about it?
Unfair United States
The answer: Trade sanctions, of course.
President Trump was very explicit about the main — and, in fact, only — reason for exiting the Paris agreement: the unbearable burden it would put on the U.S. economy.
But exiting from the climate deal now gives an undue advantage to U.S. businesses.
Since we all want fair trade, let us borrow from the wisdom of the Climate Leadership Council, a group of dangerous environmental activists. It is led by, among others, George Shultz, James Baker and Henry Paulson, all former Republican Secretaries of the Treasury.
They propose setting up a carbon tax regime in the United States and instituting a border adjustment against free riders.
Their manifesto states: “We the people deserve to be compensated when others impose climate risks and emit heat trapping gases into our shared atmosphere.”
Positive discrimination: Red states get taxed extra
Let these words become the motto of the planet. Let the rest of the world put in place a carbon tax on Made in USA products.
And let us at the same time have some positive discrimination and recognize that numerous states and cities mobilize today to meet U.S. commitments under the Paris accord, federal government or not.
Thus, let us tax the goods “made in Texas or Kentucky” — and exempt the ones “made in California or New York”!
Let us put an embargo on U.S. coal. And let us again apply some positive discrimination: There is enough coal produced by countries that are members of the Paris agreement to fulfill the needs of importing countries.
This will cause no harm to coal miners in the United States: President Trump can easily issue an executive order asking every household in America to switch to a coal-fired oven in the kitchen. Make America Gasp Again!
From Russia, with love
Finally, let us use a favorite tool of American diplomacy — individual sanctions. Such as those that, for good reason, target hundreds of Russian crooks (aka “officials” or “elected representatives”).
This standard must be applied equally. So, let the rest of the world sanction Mr. Scott Pruitt, head of the Environmental Pollution Agency, as well as the 22 U.S. senators who urged the President to leave the agreement, including the Republican leader, Senator Mitch McConnell.
The list would also include Mr. Thomas J. Donohue, the head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, one of the top lobbyists against continued U.S. participation in the agreement.
These are but a few names in the long list of most-wanted American “planet molesters.”
Note that by so doing, the rest of the world would give all of these people a chance to walk the walk after talking the talk: rather than spending vacation time in Paris, France, they could relax in any of those marvelous mining towns of Pennsylvania, which the President loves so much.
Curious only that he built precious few hotels there, although helping the non-existent tourism industry would certainly be an effective way to develop their economy.
The end justifies the means
In a long-term context, the sanctions to be imposed on these individuals are justified by their deliberate decision to help destroy our planet. This is infinitely worse than the invasion of Crimea, however condemnable that was under international law.