After widespread media reports that President Trump plans to withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement, an international commitment between 147 nations to reduce carbon emissions, a Vatican official has said that Trump’s insistence on propping up coal while removing environmental regulations is akin to being a flat earth truther.
Reuters quotes Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, head of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences:
Sanchez Sorondo said he believed the U.S. oil lobby was behind the decision and that the industry had “maneuvered” Trump. A withdrawal “would not only be a disaster but completely unscientific,” he said. “Saying that we need to rely on coal and oil is like saying that the earth is not round. It is an absurdity dictated by the need to make money.”
The Bishop’s comments are in line with a broad consensus that the Earth is indeed round, and that the coal industry’s downward spiral can’t be reversed. During Trump’s visit to the Vatican just last week, Pope Francis urged him to stick within the Paris Agreement, even giving the president a copy of his 192-page encyclical on climate change, which Trump almost certainly hasn’t read.
Rather than simply announcing whether or not the world’s second largest carbon emitter will help the world fight climate change, Trump has dramatized his decision, promising a formal announcement Thursday at 3PM in the Rose Garden.
First reported by Axios yesterday, multiple new outlets are reporting that Trump is set on withdrawing from Paris. But, if nothing else, Trump loves proving the media wrong and making the political left look like reactionaries, and a surprise announcement that he plans to stay with the agreement would accomplish both. We’ll just have to tune in and see. Regardless, Trump’s rapid push for environmental deregulation means we’ll probably fail to meet our targeted goal.