Pence’s Convenient, Deliberate Misunderstanding

Pence’s Convenient, Deliberate Misunderstanding June 4, 2017

Now that Trump says he will formally withdraw the United States from the Paris climate change accords, Vice President Mike Pence says he just doesn’t understand why global warming is considered a serious issue by “the left.”

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Mr Pence echoed the President’s comments on the administration’s “America First” doctrine, saying he was steadfast in his belief that withdrawing from the climate deal would be good for the US economy and job creation.

It is “so refreshing to have a President who stands without apology … For America first”, Mr Pence said on Fox News’ Fox & Friends programme, saying he didn’t understand why climate change had become such a big issue for the Democrats and the left.

Mr Pence called the Paris deal “a transfer of wealth from the most powerful economy in the world to other countries around the planet”.

Right, it’s only a big deal for “the left.” But “the left” then must include Defense Secretary James Mattis, National Security Advisor HR McMaster, both of whom have led efforts at the Pentagon to prepare for the effects that global warming will have on the military. It even includes Rex Tillerson, the former CEO of Exxon/Mobil, which now admits that global warming is real and that we must take steps to minimize the damage it will cause. It must include Trump’s own daughter and son-in-law, who have tried to convince him to stay in the Paris accords.

He has it exactly backwards. Around the world, people of all political ideologies are in agreement that global warming is serious and largely caused by human beings, and that we must take action against it now. Even the conservative political parties in the rest of the developed world recognize that. Opposition to taking such action, on the other hand, seems to be limited almost exclusively to two groups — American right wingers and companies that profit from carbon-based energy production (though as with Exxon, even those companies are increasingly coming around).

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