America First doesn’t mean Trump gets an alternate planet sans effects of #climate change

The squabbling over who gains and loses from Trump #Paris climate deal exit is unedifying and unenlightening.

Someone very clever argues that as the world presses on, the biggest loser in President Trump’s decision to exit the #Paris climate change agreement will be America.

Another says that poor countries, which were relying on American money to help adapt to climate change and switch over to clean energy sources, will be the biggest losers.

America’s Christian evangelicals say that scientists — whom they see as akin to end-times preachers and charlatans — will be the losers, and serve them right.

Our children and grandchildren will be the biggest losers, say some others. The gainers don’t count, they say, because the losses for our planet and our human heirs will be so great.

And yet, there appears to be a strong sense of the political gains and losses that will accrue from President Trump’s decision to abandon the Paris agreement.

Some say the biggest gainer will be China, which can now take the moral high ground and strut around as a high-minded world leader.

Yet another pointy-headed person posits that the biggest gainers will be environmental laggards such as Saudi Arabia and Russia. They will be emboldened by the poor precedent set by Trump’s America.

So who really wins or loses?

In actual fact, no one, not even China (or Mr Trump’s coal-miners) wins if the US, the world’s second biggest emitter, defiantly disregards environmental standards. If the planet suffers more drought, famine, forest fires, longer hotter summers, climate change refugees and rising sea levels, America will be affected just as much as everyone else. America First doesn’t mean an alternate planet.

Originally published at on June 3, 2017.

PhD. Journalism by trade & inclination. Sign up for free email updates on email me at

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store