Home | About | Donate

Dropping Out of Paris Even Worse Than You Think – Way Worse


Dropping Out of Paris Even Worse Than You Think – Way Worse

John Atcheson

No matter how bad you think Trump’s decision to drop out of the Paris Agreement was, the reality is worse. It is, in fact, by far the worst thing from the very broad list of bad things he’s doing.

This article outlines why we have less time to act to avoid catastrophic climate change than we’ve been led to believe, and it outlines a way forward.

We Can Make Trump Irrelevant


Have you given up your internal combustion engines yet?
How much are we amerikans REALLY willing to do?
I’m not saying that dropping out of the agreement wasn’t bad but it (Paris agreement) was deliberately weakened , so we could keep our cars on the road, commercial flights.and…the amerikan way of life keeps on going.
Just saying


I think that had we had a different president than Trump, we would be well on our way to creating a future that is less polluting than is our present fossil fuel one. We could easily have begun installing millions of solar rooftop arrays across the nation and built highly efficient non polluting solar and wind plants to replace fossil fuel plants as they end their useful life. We could begin creating the electric vehicle future that is possible now but wasn’t yet only a few years ago.

All this would have produced millions of jobs and increased revenue but instead we are being pushed into maintaining an obsolescent and hazardous technology because a relatively few people make an obscene amount of money if we do so.

Sure they could invest in these new saner energy technologies but out of greed and perhaps an arrogant spite, they choose not to. They are almost asking >>> “Why do we have to work to make the change over when we can keep making money now simply by leaving things as they are?” So they engage in denialism so they don’t have to face the moral implications of what they are doing nor admit to the damage that they are doing to the planet!

We could live pretty much like we do (not ever needing to give up our cars and trucks) if we made them all electric. We could create an energy surplus civilization which would be amazing to experience. Imagine never needing to worry about energy for anything!

Btw… I am an American and proud to be a progressive one fighting with an independent mind for a sustainable future. I am not an amerikan nor a murikan et al. I am an American who opposes the corrupt and unpatriotic elites that this country’s people fought to be free of (twice) and who fought and defeated the fascists in the last century and now willingly joins with all other progressives around the world to save our planet. I am a patriotic American opposed to war and social injustice… it’s the other guys who are those people you call amerikans.


Very true. The oil and coal companies are only complying with popular demand. Sure, that demand was largely artificially created in the 1950s, but new we know better.

I’m of to run some errands on an electric motor scooter - sole transportation (plus the bus) 9 months out of the year. It can easily a week of groceries with room left for a growler of beer. It uses only a quarter of the energy of an electric car. But sorry, all the domestic manufacturers and importers of these scooters have all went out of business (save one shady one I don’t trust) - nobody in the USA was interested in them - although they are doing well in Europe - and smaller moped-type versions are very popular in Canadian cities.

That’s just one of the right things USAns refuse to do.


The idea that the personal car is a convienience is largely artificially created. You should try living in a city where you don’t need a car for day-to-day life. It is a real epiphany for most USAns.

Unfortunately, some nice neighborhoods my city are being ruined with car congestion by rich newcomers who are taking they suburban car-and-aversion-to-public-transit with them. where once only every other townhouse had a car, now every house has two cars. It doesn’t work - and making the cars electric will not fix that. How do you charge an electric car that has to be parked at a curb anyway? I guess you can have ugly parking-meter-like devices and cabled snaking across the sidewalks to trip over. But more likely, electric cars will mean the gutting of compact, livable, walkable neighborhoods in order to build parking garages. Forget it.

The average Swede has a carbon footprint only a quarter of a USan. Guess how? It isn’t electric cars.


I too, have recently given up my motor vehicle, and find the bus system (mass transportation) lacking…


Imagine a time when residential housing and commercial businesses utilize rooftop Solar and Wind generators drastically reducing the use of oil, natural gas, and electicity to heat and cool and power appliances.

Imagine a government that mandates the usage of renewable energy sources in the construction of any new building.

Imagine the day we begin to shut down coal powered plants and Nuclear plants reducing harmful wastes.

Just imagine!


The chances of staying under 2C are probably close to zero realistically. I think the real goal is stay under 4C which should still be achievable. But the best way to stay under 4C is to aim to stay under 2C. Keeping 2C as the target requires very strong action. To achieve it would now require a WWII effort and that is not realistic. So we will no doubt go beyond 2C. I doubt if any climate scientist really thinks we can stay under 2C. But politicians should still push for it. Once 2C is passed, perhaps in a couple of decades if strong action still isn’t taken a new goal will have to be set. No politician will say the goal is to stay under 4C even though the pledges made by just about every country are compatible with that goal, not 2C. Unless something drastic happens to really spur a much a great effort what is really going on is an attempt to avoid the unthinkable, going beyond 4C.


When I first moved to Pittsburgh from a smaller southern city in 1998 I found the public transit pretty good As a federal employee I even got a free monthly transit pass. I would encounter middle-class people in my neighborhood who never had a car fairly often. But then, under funding cuts by our reactionary right wing state government, there were massive service cuts in 2006 and again in 2010, and the areas served by public transit, and the level of service shrunk considerably. The inner neighborhoods still have fairly good service although still no 24 hour service anywhere - but the gentrifyers of those neighborhoods are not taking advantage of that service and are filling the streets (and even sidewalks!) with their cars instead.


It would’ve been more likely if President Carter had his way. 40 years wasted because of the likes of Exxon, Shell, Chevron,etc.


Your argument seems to comport with the IPCC by also ignoring the self-reinforcing (positive) feedback systems already occurring apace that make it most certain that 2C will be exceeded before 20 years has passed.

Given the incredible pace of change in the jet streams that had a very sudden onset only about 4 years ago, the planet’s first lurch of imbalance is proceeding incredibly fast, and instantly in geological timescale.

Chaos ahead. The snowstorms will be more and more epic, and so will the January heatwaves. This has already been occurring, and we aint seen nothing yet.

This article sums it up nicely, i.e., we are fucked.


I ‘liked’ your comment, not because I liked what you are saying, but because it is true.


I assume you are not a climate scientist. I am not. All I can say about feedbacks is that I recently read something from a scientist who is studying thawing permafrost in the Arctic and although it is becoming quite widespread he predicted it would start affecting warming in about two to three decades. Michael Mann has predicted in a Scientific American article that we will reach 2C in 2036. In any case, it appears that the political leaders in the world are willing accept a tremendous amount of disruption from climate change. This is probably because the worst effects will occur after they are no longer in office. They are much more concerned about what is happening right now when we are at 1C. That is how politics generally works and one reason why climate change is such a difficult problem to address.


Drop the ridiculous rhetorical opening remark.

“All I can say about feedbacks is that I recently read something from a scientist who is studying thawing permafrost in the Arctic and although it is becoming quite widespread he predicted it would start affecting warming in about two to three decades.”

Not much said. As to what you recently read, care to share the reference, or the name of the scientist?


So what is realistic? Sending our kids and their kids on a death march! What is realistic is firing every damn politician who fails to take 2°C seriously.


That is exactly why we need a complete change of government. If government is not going to seriously address the most serious dilemma to confront most all life on Earth in human history then why are we paying the jerks in it.


You could begin your education by watching all the episodes of Cosmos narrated by Neil Grasse, astrophysicist.


You could start getting a clucking clue before making such a stupid and misdirected rhetorical comment.


People have been trying to change what is realistic for quite awhile with little luck. Probably Al Gore’s film Inconvenient Truth had the biggest impact on changing what is realistic because it informed the masses what was happening for the first time. There was much more action following that film. I think anyone living in the US should realize that calling for a WWII effort at this time is not politically realistic. We still have millions of people who don’t even acknowledge the problem. In fact, we have a major political party that for the most part doesn’t either. We can’t even get anything far less than WWII effort going. We are making progress but not enough to stay below 2C or even 3C. And we recently elected a climate denier as president. So I don’t see a WWII effort as being politically realistic at this time.


I would have to search for the reference and maybe I will give it a try. But I think the bottom line on the feedback stuff is there is a lack of consensus on when these feedbacks will kick in. I think that is the reason the IPCC does not include it in its predictions. The IPCC provides consensus scientific information. That is certainly lacking on feedbacks. You can find scientists with varying points of view. There is a consensus on emissions from human sources and that is what the IPCC therefore focuses on .You seem to favor the most extreme statements on feedbacks. Those may turn out to be correct but they do not represent a scientific consensus view.