Thursday, June 8, 2017

Paris Withdrawal Called “Magnificently Stupid”
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Among the many comments from people stunned by Pres. Trump’s announced decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord was this from the public diplomacy expert who spoke in Livermore in late April: it was “magnificently stupid.”

The comment was made by Robert Gallucci, who in late April discussed nuclear diplomacy and international tensions as part of the Rae Dorough Speaker Series.

Gallucci is an internationally respected authority and professor of public diplomacy at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.[JB note: Georgetown labels Ambassador Gallucci as "Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy."] 

In an email to the Independent, he noted that “the weight of scientific thinking” indicates that that “small changes in average temperatures over decades” will lead to a “profound and negative impact on the quality of life for the human race.”

The damage is expected to be the “irretrievable loss of species, rise in sea levels…amount and location of arable land and…other fundamental conditions on the planet.”

Focusing on international political consequences, he said Trump’s decision can be understood at two levels, both damaging to the welfare of the U.S.

First, he has “destroyed (the) compromise” by which the U.S., China, India and nearly 200 other countries, rich and poor, agreed to cooperate to reduce the rate at which carbon dioxide accumulation is changing the heat content of the atmosphere.

Among other things, the agreement had to do with “fairness” when nations very different standards of living that generate very different amounts of carbon dioxide must work together for the common good.

Trump “destroyed that compromise…putting America first as if we did not share the atmosphere with the rest of the world…It is fair to say that his calculation was magnificently stupid.”

At a second level, the decision indicates Trump's belief that compromises are “bad deals.” They “make us losers because they make others winners.”

He said Trump diminishes or abandons alliances and trade agreements like NATO, NAFTA and the Iran nuclear weapons accord, promising to “make better deals than his predecessors could negotiate over the last 60 years.”

He believes “the chances that the president can do this are nil,” and “will inevitably endanger the security and economic health of our nation.”

In his view, “the president’s approach to these issues reflects profound ignorance and arrogance that is clinical in its character. ["]

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