Laura Bliss is CityLab’s West Coast bureau chief. She also writes MapLab, a biweekly newsletter about maps (subscribe here). Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Sierra, GOOD, Los Angeles, and elsewhere, including in the book The Future of Transportation.
Mayors, governors, scientists, and businesses are slapping on game faces after Trump’s Paris swerve.
You knew it was coming. Yet President Trump’s decision Thursday to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord was a gut-punch for many. With the world’s second-biggest emitter untethered from the global pact to keep atmospheric warming to 2 degrees Celsius, signed by 195 nations, the outlook for Earth looks significantly darker.
The reaction was fierce. Dozens of mayors and governors pledged to double down on efforts to reduce emissions as they denigrated the president’s decision. Global leaders re-avowed their climate commitments, as did business executives, scientists, and citizens. The New York Daily News busted out a withering retake of an iconic front page; some female coal miners shook their heads; and anyone who’s ever heard of Pittsburgh (the city Trump cited as a beneficiary of his decision, stating, “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris”) said, oh, hell no. Protests erupted all over the country.
Meanwhile, the foreboding backdrop for Trump’s climate swerve: a cleaving ice shelf, two key federal disaster agencies running rudderless, and oil prices running amuck. Here’s our round-up of Twitter’s most telling Paris reactions.
Wait, what just happened?
For some perspective,
Even North Korea has signed the Paris Climate Agreement. pic.twitter.com/dpGsQmHJIS— ATTN: (@attn) June 1, 2017
Global leaders, such as the EU’s commissioner for climate, responded swiftly and strongly:
Today's announcement has galvanised us rather than weakened us, and this vacuum will be filled by new broad committed leadership.— Miguel Arias Cañete (@MAC_europa) June 1, 2017
Mayors chest-bumped and threw on game faces:
As the Mayor of Pittsburgh, I can assure you that we will follow the guidelines of the Paris Agreement for our people, our economy & future. https://t.co/3znXGTcd8C— bill peduto (@billpeduto) June 1, 2017
Speaking of "Pittsburgh and Paris," that was a poor rhetorical choice by Trump:
This is what Pittsburgh looked like back in the heyday of coal. pic.twitter.com/T7LpeWDn3K— Binyamin Appelbaum (@BCAppelbaum) June 1, 2017
Trump lost Pittsburgh. And he won in Paris, Maine; Paris, Tenn; Paris, Ark.; Paris, Idaho; Paris, Missouri; Paris, Penn.; Paris, Texas.— Matt Viser (@mviser) June 1, 2017
State governors allied to formally uphold Paris commitments (so did a host of cities, universities, and companies):
Governors of New York, California, and Washington announce the formation of the "United States Climate Alliance". pic.twitter.com/KvAAGbP2F6— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 1, 2017
There are legitimate critiques of the urban “resistance,” though:
Today in virtue signaling: Lighting the new Kosciuszko bridge to highlight Cuomo's commitment to investing in roads, but not transit. https://t.co/QHxfFYkcR7— Josh Barro (@jbarro) June 1, 2017
Says the man who was the deciding vote against Bus Rapid Transit and who's voted against roughly 1500 units of housing. https://t.co/Qoj0NVFrM0— Eric Panzer (@ericpanzer) June 1, 2017
Who is tracking all the California and SF politicians who criticize Trump's withdrawal from Paris but fight for local drivers everyday?— Accumulation of Data (@eparillon) May 31, 2017
Also, this fellow is correct: cities aren’t known for having deep reserves of climate-fighting cash on hand:
California Governor Jerry Brown will be America’s de facto climate leader, as he has been since January:
CA Gov. Jerry Brown on Trump climate deal pullout: “California will resist this misguided and insane course of action.” pic.twitter.com/S7iokVoJds— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) June 1, 2017
Meanwhile, the Eastern Seaboard is in store for a tumultuous hurricane season:
Antarctica’s ice shelves turned a frightening corner:
And crude oil prices are falling:
Whose idea was this? Well, it was pushed by these senators with deep ties to the fossil fuel industry:
IMPORTANT THREAD: Before Trump risked our planet's (and children's) future by withdrawing from the Paris accord, 22 Senators told him to.— Indivisible Guide (@IndivisibleTeam) June 2, 2017
Probably didn’t help that Trump lacks science advisors:
If I and my advisors had never learned what Science is or how & why it works, then I’d consider pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord too.— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) June 1, 2017
Or maybe it’s as simple as this:
Donald Trump: "I am pulling out of the Paris Climate agreement. I would rather humans go extinct than let a black man save them."— Top Conservative Cat (@TeaPartyCat) June 1, 2017
Actions spark reactions. A new era in climate action may be in store:
Tesla's Musk & Disney's Iger have quit Trump's business council to protest Paris Climate withdrawal. Pressure the rest to do the same! pic.twitter.com/N0TINZH2Gg— igorvolsky (@igorvolsky) June 2, 2017
The head of ExxonMobil personally wrote to Donald Trump to ask him to keep the US in the Paris climate accord https://t.co/tQteUh5qWP— Financial Times (@FT) May 31, 2017
Trump trashing Paris will enrage and inspire a new, radically ambitious American climate movement. https://t.co/uS199AM7wN— Renee Lertzman, PhD (@reneelertzman) June 2, 2017