May 24, 2017 0921 GMT
Myles Hoenig, a former Green Party candidate for Congress, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Saturday while commenting on a report which says Trump administration officials have told lobbyists and European diplomats that the United States will withdraw from the nearly 200-nation climate pact unless it secures concessions for the fossil fuel industry.
Trump has labeled climate change a hoax, defying widening international support for the 2015 Paris Agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions. He has argued that the concept of global warming has been “created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive.”
Trump advisers have said Washington is urging international players to come up with a strategy to commercialize and deploy technologies that will reduce emissions from fossil fuels, Politico reported on Friday citing three people familiar with the discussions.
This is while Democrats and environmental groups have long argued against spending billions of dollars to reduce emissions from coal-fired power plants when the same funds could help expedite the transition to wind and solar power.
“Trump’s proposal to alter the Paris agreement in order to promote the coal industry is a smart political move, even though it would like have deadly consequences, as anything that promotes more greenhouse gases would,” Hoenig said.
“His move falls very much in line with what the character in ‘Wall Street’ movie said: ‘Greed is good.’ Sure. Wind and solar would probably be financially better for the energy industry, but he’s trying to shore up his base for whom on many occasions, he has already fed to the wolves,” he explained.
“He campaigned on protecting the coal industry. That he cares very little for coal miners and their families has been proven time and again. We see how his attempt to repeal ‘Obamacare’ would hurt these same people and so many others that voted for him. This new proposal puts a lot of people and interests on guard and shows how Trump is a master manipulator,” the analyst pointed out.
‘Trump has limited interest in international agreements’
Hoenig said Trump’s “interest in international agreements is very limited. Although not necessarily an isolationist, after all, he wants America First, he has a disdain for international cooperation that limits US actions or places the US in a subservient position. This is appealing to his base. If he can muck up a hard fought agreement that all sides have accepted in order to place the US in a more dominant position, then that fits his overall agenda.”
“Whether members of his administration believe climate change is real or not is of little importance. Their goal is to maximize profits as quickly as possible. Future well being is of little concern when there’s money to be made. Many in his administration actually want to stay in the Paris Agreement but the energy industry has a lock on the president’s thinking. Even though a proponent of the Paris Agreement, Secretary of State Tillerson was CEO of Exxon,” he noted.
“This newest battle can really test the powers of opposition to this president. It would be no surprise if the media were to play this up as a compromise without any attempt to sway their viewers into demanding alternate energy sources,” the commentator said.
“And we know how easily the media can whip up the population on such specious charges of Russian involvement in everything that goes wrong in America or how countries like Iran protecting their shore line or interests is a direct challenge and threat to the US. The media are experts at propaganda, but must be directed by their owners and advertisers, including the energy industry, in how to sell it,” he concluded.
Paris accord has enough backing to survive US withdrawal
The Paris Agreement entered into force on November 4, 2016 and has been signed by 197 countries, of which 135 have now formally ratified it, which represent more than 75 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
Many nations have expressed hopes the US will stay, but they also believe the accord has enough backing to survive a withdrawal.
The Paris agreement seeks to halt average global warming at no more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial temperatures by 2050. It also sets out a goal of reaching a limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius, if possible.
The adopted text acknowledges that the risks of climate change are much more serious than previously thought. The deal is to take effect in 2020.