Jun 5, 2017
On June the first, President Donald Trump announced that the United States was withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord. In an instant, the world press was full of debate and discussion about this latest “Trumpism.” It even “trumped” the most recent non-stop reporting on the federal investigation into alleged collusion between himself and his staff with Russia.
Perhaps that was one of the reasons Trump found it useful to take such a controversial position. Perhaps it was done to “deliver” on a campaign promise. Since it cannot go into effect for at least four years, it was something Trump could do that would require no effort, agreement from virtually no one, and bring little other than political blowback.
Clearly, Trump was not concerned about the reactions of virtually every part of the population outside of his voting base. Clearly, the speech was intended for and directed to the working class, middle class and conservative Republican Party base that secured his election to office.
And really, the speech was not so much about the environment or global warming as it was about the economic advantage he pretends to see in putting forward an isolationist policy. In his view, and in his own words, “America First.”
Even if it’s true, putting “America First” has nothing to do with improving conditions for the working class.
Since becoming President, Trump has signed multiple Executive Orders to remove regulations and restrictions regarding the environment from U.S. corporations. In this way, and by pulling out of the Paris Climate Accords, he claims to be bringing jobs back to the American worker.
Unfortunately, it is not what is happening, nor will it happen. His favorite example, that of restoring jobs to coal miners, is not bringing mining jobs back to the Appalachians. The new coal mining operation he bragged about in his speech may bring 70 jobs.
Removing what controls exist for air and water protection will just make workers sicker, not more employed. And while he rails about jobs lost to U.S. workers and blames this problem on the rest of the world, the real problem is here at home.
Isn’t it obvious that something is wrong with his rationale when the major energy corporations have weighed in in favor of the Paris Climate Accord? Why would Big Energy, Exxon and dozens of other industry giants, be in favor of agreements that supposedly give their advantages to other capitalists in other countries? Big Energy corporations are investing and profiting from forms of energy like natural gas obtained from fracking. They are hiring and investing to monopolize gas, wind, nuclear, solar, any and all forms of energy into the future. They are blowing off the tops of mountains, and mining with few workers and many robots.
Chinese and Indian workers are not stealing the American coal industry jobs, and auto jobs are not being stolen by workers in Mexico. The bosses and banks send their capital to other countries to manufacture goods under stinking, killing, oppressive conditions while they pay for only certain types of labor in the U.S.
At the same time, removing protections against pollutants, and continuing the destruction of the environment through global warming and greenhouse gases, is not sustainable. To reject the already sadly inadequate steps that capitalist countries are making toward controlling emissions does nothing but call down more environmental disasters and more health problems that the politicians are not willing to address through national health care reform.
How much do Trump and his administration “love” American workers when they introduce bills into Congress to deprive millions of workers of health care? Or let hurricanes resulting from global warming destroy entire communities?
The most dangerous lie being told by Trump is not a new one. It is the same lie that has been told repeatedly by the major unions in this country: the lie that foreign workers are “stealing” U.S. jobs and that U.S. workers should join with the bosses to “Put America First.” It is a dead end strategy, out-lived, out-played for decades, centuries.
We have every reason to join with the rest of the world in demanding real, not fake, answers to the problems of climate change and global warming. And our only opportunity to provide jobs for all in a healthy, sustainable world is to join with the workers of the world in getting rid of capitalism and getting rid of false friends like Trump.