climate

Americans Are Stressed About the Future. Here’s Why That’s Promising

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 14/11/2017 - 4:10am in

This post originally appeared at Yes! Magazine.

Americans are really stressed out, according to a new poll by the American Psychological Association. That’s not news, but what’s surprising is that we are slightly more stressed out by the future of our country (63 percent) than by the usual stressors — money (62 percent) and work (61 percent). In fact, well over half of all Americans, 59 percent, believe this is “the lowest point in our nation’s history.”

I share this worry, although I also see possibility in that number — possibility that we are finally ready to turn things around. The era of empire, white supremacy, dirty energy and global capitalism has shown itself to be terribly destructive, and the number of people who benefit continues to shrink. The legitimacy of this system is eroding, just as apartheid did in South Africa and the empire of the USSR did. In both cases, enormously powerful systems collapsed quickly, but only after years of work.

Change at this scale is disorienting and even frightening, especially when it is hard to conceive of the outcome.

 
Reimagining our world

Albert Einstein said, “No problem can be solved from the same consciousness that created it.”

I believe it is also true that we can’t make the transition to a new society within the framework of the old. Or, as Audre Lorde said, “The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.” Obsessing over Donald Trump’s latest tweet or the misdeeds of the powerful keeps us within that old mindset, distracting us from work that might actually save us, the work of reimagining the world we want, and creating it.

I’ve come to believe that this work of reimagining is humble, small, often taps feminine energy, is fundamentally indigenous — and local. One way to learn what that means is to ask people who are rebuilding after a major collapse, like those now living in Puerto Rico. So I called up my colleague at PeoplesHub, Melissa Rosario, who lives in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Melissa had been building Colectiva Feminista en Construcción, an urban center of cooperative economics, ecologically light living and “embodied pedagogy” (healing, starting with the body). In the aftermath of the hurricanes, her work has taken on a new immediacy, she told me. Along with friends in the Puerto Rican diaspora — in Detroit, New York and elsewhere on the US mainland — she has been assembling healing supplies: herbal tinctures and syrups for respiratory and immune system health, salves for treating wounds, graphics showing acupressure points, instructions in breathing exercises and other techniques for working through trauma, emotional overwhelm, depression and insomnia.

“We want to restore to people the sense that their body can tell them what’s wrong, that they know best what they need,” she told me.

We can build a better country and a better world.

One of the first places where she brought the medicine kits was to a group of moms, grandmothers and children from a nearby neighborhood, who, along with a feminist collective, were using an abandoned building as a gathering place. A party was in full swing when Melissa arrived: Children were making masks for Halloween, while others were dancing to music playing from battery-powered speakers.

Melissa told me that her work, and the work of other progressives, is now more immediate, more grounded in people’s needs instead of in abstractions.

Also, because internet connections and electricity are scarce, people are spending less time on their devices.

“It’s wiping away the distractions, the veils,” she said. “I feel much more clear and aligned and just present. If you’re aware, there are more possibilities. It’s thrilling, hopeful and also exhausting!”

The joy Melissa described in the abandoned building reminds me of the joy I witnessed on my road trip when people gathered to grow and share food or create a cooperative enterprise.

Building together locally is a no-regrets strategy. It releases joy at a time when so many are stressed — just the company of others, engaged in a common purpose, satisfies a deep soul yearning. And if there’s a natural disaster, we’ll need each other to rebuild. Same thing if civilization cracks under the stresses of the climate catastrophe (or from one of the other possible disasters — global or local). If we muddle through with the old power structures intact, local power will prevent the worst abuses, relieve isolation and increase prospects for a society that works for all.

Through this long, hard — but also joyful — work, we may indeed find more and more of our communities becoming more just and ecologically sustainable and maybe even more filled with compassion. And from this foundation, we can build a better country and a better world, rooted in authentic relationships where we live.

The post Americans Are Stressed About the Future. Here’s Why That’s Promising appeared first on BillMoyers.com.

‘Chasing Coral’ Shows the Deadly Effect of Climate Change on Our Oceans

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 25/10/2017 - 5:30am in

Chasing Coral is an alarming new documentary by Director Jeff Orlowski on a mass extinction that is happening worldwide in our oceans.

Over the past 30 years, about half of all coral reefs have become extinct. In 2016 alone, 29 percent of coral on the Great Barrier Reef — the world’s largest collection of coral reefs — died as a result of “coral bleaching.”

The phenomenon is the result of stress on coral from rising ocean temperatures caused by climate change, according to scientists. Scientists believe that if coral colonies such as the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia disappear, then the disruption to the Earth’s ecological system will have dire consequences not only for marine life, but for humans as well.

Chasing Coral follows former advertising man turned ocean conversationist Richard Vevers, founder of The Ocean Agency, on his quest to bring worldwide attention to this unfolding disaster.

To highlight the devestation, Vevers aimed to do something that’s never been done before — to capture the coral as they die slowly over time. To that end, he and Orlowski assembled an extensive team of photographers, filmmakers and scientists, armed them with the newest cameras, lenses and computers, and had them shoot over 500 hours underwater over three years.

What they captured on film is truly remarkable. Like Orlowski’s previous film, the Oscar-nominated Chasing Ice, in which he captured time-lapse photos of glaciers collapsing into the ocean as the clearest evidence of rising global temperatures, the haunting footage of coral dying en mass is a clear indication of the devastating effects of climate change.

Vevers answered questions via email about Chasing Coral, which is streaming now on Netflix.

 

 

Titi Yu: What made you fall in love with coral? 

Richard Vevers: I’ve always been drawn to the ocean. I was born in London, but my parents were from a coastal town in the North of England and that was always my favorite place to visit as a boy. To me, the ocean was magical. I learned to scuba dive when I was 16 and it has always been my passion. Being underwater feels completely natural to me.

TY: What is the single most important thing to know about coral?

RV: They’re amazing! These tiny animals have created far bigger structures than man has ever built.

It’s predicted up to 90 percent of the world’s coral will die by 2050.

— Richard Vevers

TY: Why is coral so important to the ecosystem?

RV: Coral reefs provide food and livelihoods to over half a billion people around the world and support 25 percent of all marine life. Coral reefs also provide protection by acting as a buffer zone to coastal communities. They also support other ecosystems, like mangroves and seagrasses, and potentially hold the key to many new medical discoveries and advancements.

TY: What is the biggest threat to corals?

RV: Coral reefs are on the frontline of climate change. Nearly 93 percent of climate change heat is absorbed by the ocean, resulting in higher water temperatures and a phenomenon known as “coral bleaching,” which led to the 3rd Global Coral Bleaching Event — the longest and most severe bleaching event ever witnessed. That event led to the making of Chasing Coral

We’ve already lost about 50 percent of coral reefs in the last 30 years, and without urgent action, it’s predicted up to 90 percent of the world’s coral will die by 2050. This is an ecosystem we simply cannot afford to lose.

TY: What can each of us do to help save corals?

RV: Less than 1 percent of people will ever put on a mask and snorkel and see the ocean firsthand. As a result, the ocean is very much out of sight and out of mind. We really need everyone to help spread the word — whether it is sharing our virtual dives in Google Earth and Google Street View or hosting screenings of the film — it all makes a big difference.

We want to catalyze support for the protection of coral reefs through our 50 Reefs initiative, an initiative funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Tiffany & Co. Foundation and Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. 50 Reefs will rapidly bolster efforts to protect those reefs that are least vulnerable to climate change, which are the most important in terms of reseeding other reefs. This also means protecting reefs on a local basis from all the usual issues like fishing and pollution. We need to buy them time while we act to rapidly stabilize the climate system.

The post ‘Chasing Coral’ Shows the Deadly Effect of Climate Change on Our Oceans appeared first on BillMoyers.com.

Climate change fuels wildfires, threatens human health down-wind

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 17/10/2017 - 9:03pm in

Residents of Portland, Oregon, knew they were in trouble when the sky got so hazy from smoke that the sun turned red. For weeks, people like Michelle Nicola, a Portland middle school teacher, lived enshrouded in smoke from a nearby wildfire. “It’s like living in the middle of a bonfire,” Nicola said. “You can’t escape it. […]

The post Climate change fuels wildfires, threatens human health down-wind appeared first on Red, Green, and Blue.


Anthropocene Reading Group 2017/18

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 26/09/2017 - 12:32am in

CUSP logo - without taglineCoordinated by Will Davies, Richard Douglas and Nick Taylor, the Anthropocene Reading Group is meeting regularly to discuss some of the latest literature in the field. The reading relates to the work within CUSP that they are currently engaged in, but is relevant to those interested in political economy generally, environmental politics and philosophy, and more. It is open to all – academics, non-academics, students – and no registration is required.

Meetings will take place on Wednesdays at 4pm in the basement seminar room at PERC, 41 Lewisham Way, opposite the main Goldsmiths building (how to find Goldsmiths).

Reading Schedule and Reviews 2017/18

Wed 15th Nov – Amitav Ghosh (2016) The Great Derangement 

Wed 17th Jan – Oliver Morton (2015) The Planet Remade 

Wed 14th Feb – Déborah Kanowski & Eduardo Viveiros de Castro (2016) The Ends of the World

Wed 14th Mar –  Andreas Malm (2018) The Progress of This Storm

Wed 11th Apr – Bruno Latour (2017) Facing Gaia: Eight Lectures on the New Climactic Regime

Wed 16th May – Naomi Klein (2014) This Changes Everything

Wed 13th June – Geoff Mann & Joel Wainwright (2018) Climate Leviathan

See 2016/17 readings and reviews here

The post Anthropocene Reading Group 2017/18 appeared first on Political Economy Research Centre.

Hurricane Harvey intensified by 85 degree ocean. Climate change is hitting us NOW.

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 29/08/2017 - 11:13am in

The Texas Gulf Coast is still getting whacked right now by Hurricane Harvey, the most powerful storm to hit the United States in 12 years, and global warming is partly responsible. Here’s how the climate dynamics work: Warm air holds more water vapor than cool air. Warm ocean temperatures are the engine that drives hurricanes […]

The post Hurricane Harvey intensified by 85 degree ocean. Climate change is hitting us NOW. appeared first on Red, Green, and Blue.


Rover Pipeline: Climate Disaster Equal To 42 Coal Plants

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 08/06/2017 - 8:01pm in

Tags 

climate, coal

Above Photo: From priceofoil.org In the wake of damaging spills and Trump’s Paris pullout, study shows the fracked gas project will cause as much climate pollution as 42 coal plants As controversy swirls around a string of spills and air and water violations caused by Energy Transfer Partners’ construction of the Rover gas pipeline, a study released today underlines another reason federal regulators should halt the project: It will fuel a massive increase in climate pollution. A new analysis by Oil Change International finds that, if the Rover Pipeline is built, it will cause as much greenhouse gas pollution as 42 coal-fired power plants – some 145 million metric tons per year. The study slams the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for using chronically outdated assumptions to sweep this significant climate impact under the rug in its environmental review of the project. “As the biggest new pipeline being built to carry fracked gas out of the Appalachian Basin, the Rover Pipeline is the biggest climate disaster of them all,” said Lorne Stockman, senior research analyst at Oil Change International and the lead author of the study. “After Trump’s malicious pullout from the Paris climate accord, challenging each new pipeline is all the more important. While FERC remains in a state of denial, it’s increasingly clear that gas pipelines are a bridge to climate destruction. They increase access to gas that we can’t afford to burn and stall the transition to clean energy and efficiency solutions we need.” The climate findings bolster mounting calls for federal regulators to shut down all construction of the Rover Pipeline and revisit its permit decision by conducting a supplemental environmental review. The project would carry 3.25 billion cubic feet of gas per day from Pennsylvania and West Virginia through Ohio and Michigan, and link up to hubs that service export markets. In early May, FERC ordered a partial stop of horizontal directional drilling activities in Ohio after Energy Transfer Partners – the same company behind the Dakota Access Pipeline – spilled millions of gallons of drilling waste into fragile wetlands. Ohio regulators have already fined the company for violations, which now exceed two dozen. Last week, FERC confirmed it is investigating the presence of toxic diesel fuel in the spilled waste. Michigan and Ohio groups have filed a formal motion urging FERC to reopen the permit case, and over 100 organizations sent a letter urging the agency to do the same. “The Rover pipeline is another disaster brought to you by Energy Transfer Partners,” said Cheryl Johncox, Fossil Fuels Organizer with the Sierra Club. “ETP has shown that they will use the most loathsome tactics to bully agencies and citizens to get what they want, destroying drinking water in the process. It is past time for regulatory agencies to shut the project down.” Today’s study calls on FERC to conduct a supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Rover Pipeline that includes a credible analysis of the project’s lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions and climate change impact, along with a thorough examination of the safety hazards of horizontal drilling techniques being used to construct the pipeline. “Energy Transfer Partners threatens the very air we breathe and the waters we drink,” said Elaine Tanner, organizer with the Ohio River Citizens’ Alliance. “Day after day, the company gets away with dumping their slop and their slurry onto our wetlands, flowing into our rivers and streams. These construction techniques are obviously not working, yet the pipeline continues to grow across four states. We are fighting for survival here and the gas has not yet begun to flow.” “It is important that we understand the actions we take now will impact our children for years to come,” said Laura Burns, Ohio organizer with Moms Clean Air Force. “What kind of a legacy do we leave for them when we ignore the march of climate-destroying infrastructure across our state?” The Rover study is the fourth in a series of briefings by Oil Change International calculating the full climate impact of gas pipelines proposed in the Appalachian Basin. In total, the briefings show FERC has dismissed the pollution equivalent of over 100 coal-fired power plants in reviewing the Atlantic Coast, Mountain Valley, PennEast, and Rover projects alone. The analyses show that FERC habitually ignores the impact of methane leakage, which makes reliance on gas for electricity as dirty as coal, and ignores the economic reality that gas increasingly displaces clean energy, not coal. In contrast to FERC, Oil Change International’s methodology reflects the evolving analysis of methane leakage and fully adds up the lifecycle greenhouse gas pollution from gas fracking and processing, pipeline operation, gas combustion at power plants, and methane leaked across the gas supply chain. The Rover Pipeline Greenhouse Gas Emissions briefing is available at:  http://priceofoil.org/2017/06/07/rover-pipeline-greenhouse-gas-emissions... Oil Change International’s Gas Pipeline Climate Methodology is available at: http://priceofoil.org/2017/02/08/gas-pipeline-climate-methodology/ For more details on why the gas pipeline buildout is incompatible with a stable climate, see: http://priceofoil.org/2016/07/22/a-bridge-too-far-report/

How the States Can Still Fight Climate Change — Without the Federal Government

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 07/06/2017 - 4:00am in

This post originally appeared at The Nation.

Confronting the climate crisis shouldn’t be rocket science — to push society to decarbonize, just treat greenhouse gases the way governments treat liquor and cigarettes: Raise the price. With the climate-change movement at an impasse as the Paris climate treaty clashes with Trump’s anti-science agenda, the bottleneck around carbon policy today is more political than technological. And despite Trump’s rejection of the Paris Treaty, the global backlash shows that even the economics are coming around.


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President Donald Trump shakes hands with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt after announcing his decision for the United States to pull out of the Paris climate agreement in the Rose Garden at the White House, June 1, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Trump Has Made the 2020 Election a Referendum on Climate Change

BY John Light | June 2, 2017

A new state-by-state analysis by the Carbon Tax Center (CTC) shows that carbon taxation, while often dismissed as a political nonstarter, could actually be a common-sense policy measure for local communities. A carbon tax could build on global momentum toward decarbonization while at the same time boosting public coffers, reducing inequality and providing a democratic mechanism for a public reckoning with the true cost of pollution.

The idea of a carbon tax is financially elegant: Make each ton of carbon cost more to burn. The idea of a pollution levy is simultaneously progressive — it targets polluting industries and redistributes their wealth downward — but it can also work within the structures of a “free market” economy, by regulating social costs to encourage energy transition across the supply chain, starting with electricity plants and down to the gas pump.

Coupled with support for the growing renewable-energy sectors, a comprehensive carbon tax would ideally provide complementary sticks and carrots to mainstream renewable energy and phase out coal. But so far no state has implemented a carbon tax, and emissions-reductions targets on the state level have led to plans for more business-friendly “cap and trade” market schemes rather than straight taxes.

Congress has seen some proposals for carbon taxation in recent years, but given the chaos in Washington, the CTC turns to the states to spur localized efforts both to limit fossil-fuel use and expand green-energy production instead.

Coupled with support for the growing renewable-energy sectors, a comprehensive carbon tax would ideally provide complementary sticks and carrots to mainstream renewable energy and phase out coal.

Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont and Washington have recently considered carbon-tax legislation, and residents in other states have campaigned for carbon-pricing ballot measures. The CTC report estimates that Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Washington and the District of Columbia are the most promising localities for instituting carbon taxes. The political prospects are driven by technological advancement as well as market forces and consumer pressure, along with the regional emissions-target framework set by California and a coalition of Northeastern states.

According to a Brookings Institution analysis, a carbon tax of $20 per ton of emissions could bring in billions in revenue, and, depending on the state’s population, might even support a significant portion of state budgets. For example, California alone could yield more than $7 billion, though this would only be about 0.3 percent of the state’s annual budget.

Ironically, some big fossil fuel–producing states could see some of the biggest yields. Wyoming would generate only about $1.4 billion in carbon-tax revenue, but in proportion to the state’s smaller economy, the emissions price translates into over 3 percent of the budget.

According to analysts, “Alaska, Wyoming and West Virginia, are experiencing sharp downturns in revenues associated with oil, gas and coal production as the prices and/or production volumes decline,” but the loss could be recovered through the pollution tax. The promise of that steady funding stream might bring states with large fossil-fuel industries toward a green-economic tipping point, as residents can then capitalize on the market’s global shift from dirty to clean power sources.

On a national scale, the CTC calculates that a $20-per-ton carbon-tax rate (in line with other comparable legislation, and set to ratchet up over time) yields a potential emissions reduction of 105 billion tons — a considerable dent in the Obama administration’s target under the Paris Accord.


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BY John Light | May 3, 2017

Under the most comprehensive major recent national-level proposal, the Managed Carbon Price Act of 2015, the tax rate, scaled to increase incrementally over time, would within a decade lead to “CO2 emissions falling 31 to 32 percent below today’s baseline projections for 2026, and 41 percent below actual CO2 emissions in 2005,” CTC estimates. The tax would help reshape ongoing evolution in consumption patterns, driving nationwide petroleum consumption to nearly 20 percent lower than the business-as-usual scenario.

The social benefits have been demonstrated more concretely in other rich countries that have already started taxing carbon. Australia, long one of the world’s biggest carbon polluters, implemented a pioneering carbon tax in 2012, and before it was repealed in 2014 under political pressure, power-generation emissions fell nearly 8 percent and solar use spiked by 28 percent.

British Columbia has made major progress toward the Paris Climate Treaty goals with a carbon pricing system introduced in 2008. In the first half decade, average per capita emissions fell about 13 percent in local per capita emissions — amounting to a decline of three-and-a-half times the rate throughout the rest of Canada during the pre-tax period.

With many states facing steep budget cuts for public services, and funds for environmental regulation on the state and federal levels in short supply, an advantage of the carbon tax is that it harnesses profits from a market shift driven by popular demand and global regulatory policy. Renewables are getting cheaper and more widely available, and people are willing to pay a few pennies more to trade the smog-belching factory next door for a rooftop solar garden.

Nonetheless, though carbon taxes may bring fresh revenue, the internal politics over how the revenue will be spent are complex; such conflicts bedeviled Washington state’s failed carbon-tax proposal last year. Going forward, passing the tax may actually be the easy part, since communities must ultimately negotiate over whether to use the funds for “revenue neutral” offsets in the general budget or rebates for poorer consumers, or to invest more in “just transition,” such as clean-energy jobs programs or public-transit expansion.

Charles Komanoff, co-author of the CTC report, says selling a carbon tax in a high fossil-fuel consumption state hinges on a shift in the cultural climate, not just fiscal and partisan calculations: “states that have high CO2 per capita are going to be states where fossil fuels…are just embedded in people’s lives in their psyches, in how they live, in what they live for, in their dreams…their way of life is built on this stuff.” The public will recognize the true value of carbon pricing, he says, only if they “begin to have a visceral…concrete sense of the alternative [system] that a carbon tax is trying to pull us toward.”

A carbon tax isn’t a radical economic policy, it would just align our politics with the radical changes already happening to people and the planet.

The post How the States Can Still Fight Climate Change — Without the Federal Government appeared first on BillMoyers.com.

Trump’s Wake-Up Call on Climate

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 03/06/2017 - 4:18am in

Ironically, Trump’s symbolic withdrawal from the largely symbolic Paris Agreement seems to be alerting the American mainstream to a very real emergency—one that long predates yesterday’s announcement.

Continue Reading…

French President Emmanuel Macron Offers Refuge to American Climate Scientists

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 02/06/2017 - 10:21am in

Updated: June 2, 7:23 a.m. EDT

Just one hour after Donald Trump announced that he was withdrawing the United States from the global climate accord negotiated in Paris — saying that he was “elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris” — the new French president, Emmanuel Macron, offered refuge in France to American climate scientists.

In a three-minute address to the American people streamed live from the Élysée Palace, Macron offered hope for the future, and a message of solidarity that seemed to echo those once delivered by American presidents to captive nations suffering under the yoke of dictatorship — or aimed at resistance fighters in an occupied country.

“Tonight, I wish to tell the United States, France believes in you — the world believes in you,” Macron said. “I know that you are a great nation. I know your history — our common history.”

“To all scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, responsible citizens who were disappointed by the decision of the president of the United States, I want to say that they will find in France a second homeland,” he continued. “I call on them: come and work here with us. To work together on concrete solutions for our climate, our environment. I can assure you, France will not give up the fight.”

At the end of his remarks, the French president made it crystal clear that his message was intended as a rebuke of not just his American counterpart’s decision, but his entire worldview.

“I call on you to remain confident,” Macron said, standing in front the of the flags of both France and the European Union. “We will succeed, because we are fully committed, because wherever we live, whoever we are, we all share the same responsibility: Make Our Planet Great Again.”

Macron’s social media team made sure that closing rejoinder to Trump and Trumpism was not missed by those lacking the strength or the stamina to make it to the third minute of his speech.

Trump later responded in a typically sophisticated, mature fashion.

Reuters reports that before his speech, Macron told Trump in a brief phone call on Thursday that the climate deal signed in Paris in 2015 could not be renegotiated. He added that while France would continue to work with the United States on other matters, it would no longer discuss climate issues.

The German Chancellor’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert, shared a joint statement from Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron and Paolo Gentiloni, the Italian prime minister, which confirmed that “the Paris Agreement cannot be renegotiated, since it is a vital instrument for our planet, societies and economies.”

Trump, whose beef with climate scientists might actually stem from his deep dismay at no longer being allowed to use aerosol hairspray, finished his own remarks by claiming a second time that he was acting to put the interests of Pittsburgh ahead of those of Paris. With this refrain, he was apparently hoping to con ill-informed voters into believing that the international agreement negotiated in the French capital, in which 195 nations agreed to limit fossil-fuel emissions for the global good, was somehow to the unique benefit of the French people.

The same minute Trump finished speaking, however, the mayor of Pittsburgh, Bill Peduto, reminded him that the city had in fact voted overwhelmingly against him.

Peduto also confirmed that the city’s government would continue to honor its obligations under the Paris framework.

The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo — who was forced to respond recently to Trump’s bizarre claim that “Paris is no longer Paris,” because of the threat of terrorism — quickly seconded the Pittsburgh mayor’s affirmation of the role of local governments.

In his own response to Trump’s decision, Canada’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau, held out hope for working with local governments in American cities and states, while expressing regret at what he called a decision by “the United States federal government.”

“We are all custodians of this world,” Trudeau added, “and that is why Canada will continue to work with the U.S. at the state level, and with other U.S. stakeholders, to address climate change and promote clean growth.”

Subsequent reporting from The Washington Post on what led to Trump’s decision, and his strange focus on France, revealed that the American president has little understanding of how the climate deal works, and was also said to be “irritated and bewildered” that Macron upstaged him with a very firm handshake during their photo-op last week at the U.S. Embassy in Brussels.

Having seen Trump try to assert physical dominance over other world leaders, by pulling them forcefully towards him while shaking hands for the cameras, Macron told a French newspaper that he had come prepared. “My handshake with him, it wasn’t innocent,” Macron said. “We must show that we will not make small concessions, even symbolic ones.”

“Donald Trump, the Turkish president or the Russian president see relationships in terms of a balance of power, Macron added, likening Trump to Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin. “That doesn’t bother me. I don’t believe in diplomacy by public abuse, but in my bilateral dialogues I won’t let anything pass.”

The post French President Emmanuel Macron Offers Refuge to American Climate Scientists appeared first on The Intercept.