The Paris pact was pretty toothless: it was a step forward, but heavily aspirational. Indeed, one of the stated complaints of conservatives was that it did nothing to enforce compliance. The Trump Administration could have just as well ignored it without formally reneging on it and forced the next administration to deal with the egg on the face for failing to meet the USA's commitments.
But instead he's seriously undermined people's ability to trust in the United States maintaining its international obligations for anything except the shortest periods of time. To be fair, what he's done already with NATO is far worse. But this underlines the reality that the United States government is so unstable that it's unable to uphold any coherency in policy or meet its stated commitments.
If you're a small country who's been trusting the USA as a solid ally against regional competitors, you're looking at this and going, "well, maybe I should be focusing more on ties with the EU/Russia/China/India."
It's honestly pretty humiliating for the USA, even aside from the fact that we've just fucked the next generation just to give the finger to elitist liberals and scientists.
It is important to know that the reason the Paris agreement is aspirational only is that it was necessary in order for the US to sign.
And the reason for that is the US political system. Any commitments would have had to be ratified by the US senate, which was deemed unlikely. Actual commitments had to be deferred to later agreements.
There is a whole string of climate agreements going all the way back to 1992, all building on another. (Therefore just pulling out of one of them isn't necessarily straightforward.)
Consternation over the Paris accord is, in my opinion, elitist liberal virtue signaling. (Here in the DC/MD/VA area, everyone will complain about this move at Starbucks sipping on lattes while driving one hour each way to work from their McMansion in the exurbs. God forbid we do anything that might require lifestyle changes, i.e. have some real hope of working.)
"This is what Dwight Clark's catch in the 1982 championship game must have felt like to Ringo Starr."
We won't know the impact this has on anything for a long time. In a decade it probably isn't going to matter. Just seems like a huge overreaction to compare something like this to Suez.
If you really want to get into why it's a bad analogy, we can talk about how Suez was the result of the Egyptians nationalizing the canal and then the new superpower (the US) rebuffing the British when they tried to take it back. Yeah, that was a sign of the end of British power. Seems like this incident is the US taking the ball and going home, with no real response from other nations other than protest. If anything it tells you how much power the US still has.
...but I just liked my Dwight Clark joke. The Catch still haunts me as a Cowboys fan.
Come on HN. Guy can say "you don't know anything about history" and not even back it up, but as long as it agrees with your biases, upvote. Make a dumb joke? Downvote.
You're better than that. You've all got access to the same wiki.
I know it, Trump knows it, and we all know it.
If you believe the USA should be involved at all on the international stage, this creation of new public knowledge is a big detriment to that end.
The belief that the U.S. needs to be involved in the international stage is based on the fallacious assumption that international cooperation can fix climate change. There is no scenario in which that happens.
Without fundamental technological leaps, we'd have to decrease the standard of living in the developed world to reduce emissions while accommodating increased standard of living in the developing world. The math doesn't add up.
It's in the financial interests of the US to be involved on the international stage. I listened to Trump's speech today and heard nothing but "Boohoo, it's so hard to be America". The reality is that the US is the gorilla in every room - we have the largest economy, largest military, and American hegemony has been a massive benefit to the country. Countries bend over backwards to gain access to US markets and millions still aspire to move here looking for better opportunities.
The whole situation reminds me of a quote from Interstellar - "We used to look up at the sky and wonder at our place in the stars. Now we just look down and worry about our place in the dirt."
We've giving up our global leadership for the sake of a few extra dollars in our pocket now - never mind the cost of inaction or every bit of scientific evidence that tells us something must be done. Even the Department of Defense believes that climate change is real and will have significant consequences for the US.
When did American exceptionalism turn into "It's too hard so I'm going to do nothing"?
That's been a painfully common refrain in the current generation of political discourse (though the generational line is difficult to pinpoint; there seem to be as many young people talking about it as 60 year old lifetime senators).
Climate change? Hard to deal with, we should do nothing.
Gun control? They will take all our guns, or take none, and the second amendment said I could have guns. There is no middle ground.
But the root cause is polarization; rather than middle grounds, shades of gray, or compromises, everything in the current political climate seems to boil down to black or white, right or wrong, with no space between.
It's... Hard to watch, some days.
After the Kyoto disaster, and now this, it is going to be hard to anyone to trust The United States. Past Republican and Democratic presidents may not have fully agreed with their predecessor's foreign policy decisions but they always aimed for consistent outward message. All this does it give China and Russia what they wanted, that the United States can't be trusted as a partner.
This couldn't be more apt. It took a nation-state level of engineering to make it work, but the science (broadly speaking) was pretty well known. I believe that a similar nation-state scale funded engineering project to address climate change.
Unfortunately - to torture the analogy even further, we don't currently have a moon base and we've not sent a human outside of LEO since then. Maybe a grand nation-state effort is doomed to fail? I hope not.
Decarbonizing our economy is vastly different in two ways: 1) a multitude of approaches and engineering solutions rather than a single path, 2) huge amounts of industry across the world (10s of millions of people) rather than a small (thousands) focused team. A nation-state effort like a moon shot is doomed to fail at something like this. We need lots of experimentation, lots of failures, and a few successes.
This is better solved through market approaches. This is what we've been implementing over the past years. We subsidize carbon neutral tech through tax credits (negative tax) rather than placing a positive tax on carbon emission. This is less than ideal, but at least it equalizes things.
None of the technology required for this is magical. It's all developed and proven and deployed. It's on the market right now. It just needs to be scaled and we need to get over the adoption hurdle. Once that happens it gets exponentially cheaper. Compare the price of a flat panel display today to one 20 years ago and now look at the price history curves for solar panels and batteries.
Once we get over the adoption curve this stuff will be cheaper than fossil fuels. That's how industrial scaling works.
You might have been able to make your argument 20 years ago. The situation with fossil fuels vs. alternatives today is a lot closer to the situation with CFCs at the time of the Montreal accord. Back then conservatives cried about how we were no longer going to have refrigeration or air conditioning and today they're crying about how doing something about climate change means going back to pre-industrial times. It's total nonsense. EVs are better than internal combustion cars.
Were. At least if Trump gets his way:
I disagree in large part, though I do think the world would be stabler if the USA took much less military action and was a bit more respectful of zones of influence of other countries.
But even if I strongly agreed, I'd think the USA should make an orderly retreat from its existing obligations. Instead it's creating vacuums of power and chaos based on fits of pique by a literal maniac.
> The fallacy here is assuming that international cooperation is going to solve climate change.
It's worked on other issues. And political environments drive technological change.
But, yes, I agree it's a particularly thorny issue, and I wouldn't say I'm too optimistic of its probability of success compared to other international collaborations. But that's something to bemoan, not something to celebrate.
Technological fixes will not be adopted unless climate-related externalities are internalized into transactions, because of the tragedy of the commons. A political fix is a necessary prerequisite to the adoption of any technological fix.
If we're going to see reductions in emissions for economic reasons, we need emissions to cost something.
Political "fixes" are by nature temporary in the scheme of things. Regimes come and go, governments rise and fall, etc. They can possibly serve as useful incentives in the short term to drive certain changes, assuming there is sufficient faith in the longer term stability of the political "fix". Such faith has been shaken due to various reasons.
Technology, on the other hand, does not regress so easily IMHO. A technological advance that is sufficiently compelling - say fusion power for the sake of a dramatic illustration, can make previous "dirtier" technologies obsolete, and price them out even in the presence of improperly calculated externalities.
Another way to put this: the asteroid does not care if your financial markets have factored it in the models or not. It just hits you.
Politcal can reserve funding, can align businesses and academics, can make that technological windfall we haven't yet invented a little mote likely.
What if there is no technological solution, or we fail to find it? Having political agreement and unity to fallback on is a good thing. Even if we do something terrible to the planet, we can mitigate that together, instead of ignoring it or making it worse.
The focus on finding consensus and political will on climate change is putting the cart before the horse. There's no consensus or deal making to be had with this degree of division and anger.
Then we're going to see a dramatic transformation of the planet due to significantly rising global temperatures. That is the grim reality.
Yeah, it really does. The US might be a big economy, but not-US is an even bigger economy.
ITER for example is an international project which if it were successful would change the energy landscape and by extension the climate change issue dramatically.
This and projects like this requires international cooperation.
Also look at when the world united to outlaw HCFC refrigerant. That made a huge difference to the planet's outlook.
We can't afford to do nothing, it is simply too expensive.
Sounds like we'd better get working, then? Emissions controls to stimulate private innovation, plus public research grants to help longer-term innovation. We need to set up incentives wherein fundamental technological leaps are the goal.
China is rising, and China is In. That means China will be leading where the US is off on its own.
Unless these elitist liberals choose to sit in the dark and not consume power, walk to work (likely impossible, so maybe just not work since working also probably produces a lot of CO2) then there is no reason to attack the problem at a global or national level?
What happens to the power companies if 50% of people go on a power strike? Shut down coal plants and immediately start investing in renewable before they go bankrupt? What happens to the economy while all these liberals are putting their money where their mouth is?
Why the hell would you not push to transition from one source of energy to another without completely upending the entire system and economy? Individuals are not going to make drastic changes in their own power usage when the biggest consumers (business, industry, etc) are not going to follow and many of their fellow citizens will not follow. It would be a spiteful empty gesture (which it seems that you understand) that would just make our lives harder and damage the economy.
My guess is that your position, like most peoples position comes down to psychology. My guess is that you are a frustrated, spiteful person (at least inwardly) whose opinion on climate change is entirely emotional - people you don't respect are on one side so you are on the other. If they aren't as intelligent as you then how could they be on the right side of this issue? This is the attitude I see from most climate change deniers - initially it will be about economics, or the data (ie citing long-debunked statistics) or this and that, but eventually you get through all that and it comes down to spite.
I get frustrated by people too but I realized long ago there was no point in letting human nature (on a macro-scale) frustrate me - I might as well get mad at a pet for doing something I don't want them to do. I try to take that same mindset with climate change deniers but its hard to be so dispassionate when people are willingly making decisions like this that hurt EVERYBODY, and hurt the weakest the most just because you feel isolated.
That are lots of things we can do to attack climate change. None of those things are on the table.
Hard to believe.
> Folks here in DC/MD/VA in contrast profess to believe that this terrible thing is going to happen, but they're not willing to actually do anything that will solve it. Who exactly are the crazy ones?
Classic conservative argument. "I know you all are fake, despite not really knowing you all. This proposal isn't going to work, and I won't show you my alternative plan, but I know what to do. Listen to me! Don't try anything aspirational regarding the environment or civil rights. You'll fail and that will hurt me!"
> Who exactly are the crazy ones?
The people denying climate change, or at least saying we should do nothing about it.
It isolates the US and allows opportunities for Russia and China to gain clout at our expense.
It took years just to get the Paris language settled. But yeah, let's start over. With Trump at the wheel. The great but actually spectacularly bad negotiator.
Also, a significant chunk of liberals who are concerned about this are people who have made often difficult carbon-reducing lifestyle changes consistent with their beliefs on this issues, even at the cost of traditional comforts (large houses, big cars, etc).
Lattes really have nothing to do with this issue, except as some kind of cheap-shot stereotype unrelated to the issue, and last I heard, McMansion-filled exurbia leans pretty strongly conservative:
Agreed in 2006 of 2% target, then had to reiterate the target in 2014 since many members did not meet 2% target. "Members that fell short at the time promised to meet their obligations by 2024" .. it is an obligation not some "aspirational goal" as some have mentioned below.
But of course you know all that already.
All disagree with you, but of course you must know better sources and just did not add them. I'm sure.
"At a summit in 2014, NATO reiterated its commitment to the 2% target. Members that fell short at the time promised to meet their obligations by 2024."
It is not 2024.
Here is the actual NATO statement from the 2014 summit: http://www.nato.int/cps/ic/natohq/official_texts_112964.htm
Here is the actual text of the relevant portion of the statement:
"Allies currently meeting the NATO guideline to spend a minimum of 2% of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on defence will aim to continue to do so. Likewise, Allies spending more than 20% of their defence budgets on major equipment, including related Research & Development, will continue to do so.
Allies whose current proportion of GDP spent on defence is below this level will:
halt any decline in defence expenditure;
aim to increase defence expenditure in real terms as GDP grows;
aim to move towards the 2% guideline within a decade with a view to meeting their NATO Capability Targets and filling NATO's capability shortfalls."
But, again, even in the worst light possible, a country not spending enough on military spending to meet some stated target doesn't compare to tossing out treaties based on a whim.
The tradition of significant international agreements made deliberately short of "treaties" goes back to FDR/Churchill and the Atlantic Charter, if not further.
NATO is a military alliance, not a seperate army.
"Allies whose current proportion of GDP spent on defence is below [two percent] will... aim to move towards the 2% guideline within a decade...." [emphasis mine]
That was 2014, so the goal is 2024.
The US has released a huge percentage of the total CO2 released into the atmosphere in the past 150 years. Donald Trump is not a believer in climate change, and that is why he wanted out, which is frankly insane from the president of the most powerful country in the world.
All the money the USA spends on its military and after 17 years they've failed to suppress and army comprised of hastily-trained insurgents armed with 70 year old rifles and rudimentary explosives. And this is hardly the first quagmire of this sort the USA has been involved in.
What if that is in fact the goal? Many people in Trump's administration are openly anti-globalists and many of his voters and supporters have the explicit goal of "exiting" globalism.
Basically, the rest of the world will have to learn that getting the US to agree to something that is opposed by a significant group of Americans is a losing proposition. The fact that the Paris climate pact was not even submitted for ratification by the Senate, should tell you that there was significant opposition.
And part of Trump's message was that the U.S. shouldn't be the guarantor of the security of the rest of the world. That was a hugely popular proposition with his supporters.
So, not 70% of his supporters, especially considering not all Republicans voted for him, and some Democrats did.
And the math is funny anyway. I haven't seen recent registration numbers, but last I looked, it was roughly 1/3 Democrat, 1/3 Republican, and 1/3 unaffiliated. It might be 40%, 30%, and 30%, not sure; the point is that I seriously doubt 70% of the people who voted for Trump support the Paris treaty, and certainly this article does not say that, though it tries very hard to imply it.
The not-being-responsible-for-other-countries bit is also a popular policy of his (arguably, its his most widely-appealing position altogether), but I'm confused that you think that that applies to the Paris accord. The accord didn't mandate us giving anyone else anything, and climate change is going to mess the U.S. up as much as anywhere else.
Which puts us in solid agreement, but you're foolish if you think this doesn't seriously advantage countries that are capable of maintaining agreements over the USA.
That isn't a hypothesis you want to stress-test, though. "My reputation survived the last great gaffe, therefore it will survive the next one" is a very poor long term gamble.
It lost the war, but that's not the same thing as just walking away frivolously, on whim.
I basically agree with scarmig, but it seems there's not much space for contrary opinions around here right now, which bothers me.
Although it's worth noting that his international arrangement was never ratified by the legislative branch, as was done in most other countries. This was ratified by Executive Order.
If the morale of the story is for other countries to beware of treaties not ratified by the Senate, honestly, that's not so bad.
This allows them to deny reality for any matter of science whether it's global climate, abortion, education, gun control, economics and any other issue which requires science to produce evidence in order to select the proper course of action.
It all these cases and more the scientific facts are diametrically opposite to the direction of Republican and conservative legislation.
By making science the stuff of the devil it leaves a gigantic opening for them to stuff their nonsense into the heads of the gullible right wing base.
But as far as Trump himself goes, he's not really a Republican. He is solely concerned with receiving praise and feeling tough. There is no master plan; that is really all there is to it.
Yes, he is. He may not have a particular devotion to an ideology you'd like to pretend defines the Republican Party, but the US electoral system structurally produces duopoly between parties too broad to have coherent ideology.
To put another way, if you averaged out the beliefs of all who consider themselves Republicans, Trump himself doesn't believe most of it, certainly not dogmatically.
I think dragonwriter's point is that this is also true of most (many?) other Republicans.
As a country we need to be able to have responsible, sober debates and actually vote through policies instead of just working through whoever happens to be in the Oval Office. It's an unstable way to do things.
That said I would argue it's mostly unstable because the Republican party has been hijacked by its extreme right wing. It's astonishing to see that even with control of both houses they can't internally agree on policy enough to get things done. Much less find some sort of bipartisan compromise/consensus. Dems have their problems too, but I think the bulk of the responsibility lies on the very hard right impulses of the likes of the Freedom Caucus and the Ted Cruzes of this world.
No, pretty much zero Democrats see increasing the scope of government as principle. You might plausibly argue that most Democrats agree with the statement that there is at least one area where government needs to expand it's size, role, or influence (though they often wouldn't agree on where or why.)
Then again, most Republicans, even much of the Freedom Caucus, agree with that too, which is why despite small government rhetoric they often vote for expansions in defense, law enforcement, and security spending, staffing, and/or powers.
The USA cannot be trusted as an ally. That is the takeaway here. Saying that "but Obama's worse than Trump!!!" isn't changing that and is entirely besides the point.
ETA: And, for what its worth, the Senate ratified NATO, and that hasn't stopped Trump and Republicans from doing their utmost to sabotage it. It's laughable for folks to pretend like this is some deep matter of principle.
Kind of a moot point IMO, given the current state of the GOP. Had Obama gone to Congress they probably would've reflexively voted it down anyway. The current GOP is willing to damage America's trustworthiness on the world stage and this is more proof to the point.
I don't know if most mainstream Republicans would've done something as drastic as this after the accord had been agreed to but Trump is basically the head of the party now so here we are.
The difference in the climate today is that one party was essentially saying no to anything Obama might do. Even if they privately agreed or could find some ways to agree with him, they knew that if they so much as smiled in his direction they'd get primaried and kicked out. That climate poisons the relationship between the branches, and gets you to non-standard processes which we can all agree are sub-optimal.
For a balance of powers system to work you need to actually have a working relationship between the branches. It's not going to work if one says, "NO!" then expects the other branch to take their toys and go home. In the real world, we all have to accept compromise toward our objectives, and if we don't we'll get disaster for all our objectives down the line.
Congressional Republicans don't like it, but given the set of options they have they choose to allow Trump to take the hatchet to NATO. Standing in the way of that would prevent them from focusing on priorities they place higher than the Transatlantic Alliance.
Which is a key reason why international cooperation is so dangerous. It's insensitive to domestic politics and law.
The problem is the gross disconnect between Local, State, and Federal interests. Polls have support for the Paris agreement well into the majority, beyond the margin for error; were it to head to something like a referendum, the US would have signed onto the Paris agreement.
And even that being the case, President Obama was well aware of the fact that it never would have been ratified by the Senate.
The international credibility problem also reaches critical levels when you consider that the United States has 4 year terms but signs onto 20 year agreements, when the political sphere is so radically split. Every four years, the International community is forced to hold its breath as one of the top world superpowers seemingly flips a coin as to whether or not it will uphold its bargains. It is worth noting that this wasn't always the case; it was standing tradition that you followed through on a previous administration's agreements, simply to maintain credibility.
Whether it is a function of Trump himself, his die-hard base, or a large group of confluent factors (my vote is for this one), this tradition of maintaining credibility despite political cost holds very little water with the current administration. Worse, this is exactly what his base seems to want and clamor for. They are painting a political climate where the country takes a 180 degree turn (rather than, say, a 120 degree curve) every 4 to 8 years.
How long can a country in a global economy at the scale of the United States maintain that strain without snapping? It'll be interesting to watch, if nothing else.
Other countries such as Brazil had the treaty ratified by their senate.
Arguing that we now have a treaty that allows us to make other treaties without following the Constitutional process ... well.
That said, one aspect that sort of touches on that is now the USA has no say in the agreement as it evolves. If China and the EU keep on building on their strengths in green tech, they could very easily ratchet up the agreement to be much more favorable to their economies, plausibly including heavy fees on all exports from noncompliant countries. (That's one major reason fossil fuel interests mostly wanted us to stay in it.)
By very conspicuously refusing to endorse Article V in his speech, however, he called the US commitment to NATO self-defense into question (question!) for the first time in the 68 year history of the pact.
If you happened to be a east european power thinking about invading a small NATO member (in the baltics, say), this is a huge gift.
International development and accepting refugees, for example. These both help maintain peace.
I mean... what exactly are you arguing here?
But this is international diplomacy here. You don't publicly berate and embarrass your allies especially when those countries were already on track to meeting the target.
Trump doesn't care what Belgium spends on defense. Trump is crapping on NATO because Trump (or one of his patrons, ahem) wants a weak NATO.
You want to say it's going to backfire? Fine; you're quite likely right. You want to say it's risky? Shortsighted? Yes, and yes. But I don't buy that it's because Trump is in Putin's pocket.
The US never gets paid here, so I'll saying it again: Trump is not trying to strengthen NATO here. He's trying to weaken it. You can decide for yourself why.
the UK, Estonia and Greece meet their obligations here, please don't lump us in with the freeloaders
Basically, Trump is kicking over the house of cards as we watch.
What Trump did whilst overseas was though drive a stake of fear into the hearts of Eastern European countries who are genuinely fearful of Russia.
Remember, Article V has been invoked just once: Afghanistan after 9/11. We can debate if that was a good or bad action, but strictly speaking, it's only ever been invoked in defense of the USA.
You do read Der Speigel? - ran an article weeks ago saying there would not even be a decision on spending until 2020.
From February: "The United States and our international allies, which for so long has been the centerpiece of what is rightly called "The Free World," are facing the greatest threat to global stability since the end of World War II. Security arrangements, like the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which for more than seven decades have kept us safe from yet another global conflict, are quickly coming unraveled."
Granted it has not been stated as clearly as the UK's exit of Europe but the writing is on the wall.
Just because they say they need to be more self-reliant doesn't mean they're pulling out of the alliance. Even Trump, with whom I disagree on pretty much everything, isn't leaving the alliance despite his overheated and irresponsible rhetoric. And "quickly becoming unraveled" is not "we want to leave" it's more "there's a maniac in the white house destabilizing everything that has worked for the past half century".
I would not overstate Trump's impact - you will only give him an even bigger head. In reality he is insignificant to policy as he will be gone soon enough. I would say Putin and Snowden were more of an impact.
In reality by 2024 the Bundeswehr will no longer be committing troops to NATO missions outside Germany (see above). If it makes you feel better to pretend that they are 'still part of NATO' then fine.
Yes they are now but the shift is towards a European army without NATO. Is Der Speigel not also German? And what has that got to do with it?
Yes, there are discussions about a more integrated European defense. Which is not only logical considering the European Union but also a good way to save a lot of money by reducing overhead and duplication and as a result giving better capabilities for the same budgets. There is also the justified question, how far the Nato is defended by having troups in Afghanistan. But no where, the Nato itself is questioned (except perhaps by the US president), but certainly not by Germany.
Europa muss sein Schicksal selbst in die Hand nehmen.
or exactly what she said was in English :
"The times in which we can fully count on others are somewhat over as I have experienced in the past few days and that is why I can only say: We Europeans must take our fate in our own hands..."
FWIW and as you must already know being German https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Der_Spiegel is called 'The Mirror' not 'Mirror'! as that makes no sense in German nor English.
I do not claim to have a monopoly of understanding. I tried to establish why I consider myself well informed about what is happening in political discussions in Germany. You claimed as a fact that "Germany is exiting NATO". No where did you provide any reference to where your statement is based on. And my answer to that was: there is no indication that the German politics has any intentions of doing so. Being German is relevant here as:
- I am carefully following day to day political discussions. If there were such considerations, it is extremely likely I would have heard about them.
- Living in Germany, I have full access to all media here. I don't know how much of the media coverage is available outside of Germany.
- Being a native German and a resident (living in Munich at the moment) means, I have a very good understanding of the German language. I do not have to rely on translations and can understand original statements with at least no language barrier in place. It would be helpful for this discussion, if you could state your location and whether you are a German speaker.
> Your own lack of interpretation of what she said is highly disingenuous especially when taken in context with the plans to concentrate on an EU armed forces, the plan to withdraw Bundeswehr from all foreign NATO missions by 2024.
Not sure what I should "interpret" but, please provide any reference for these claims of yours. Yes, there are some considerations for creating an EU armed forces, but they are not even at planning state. There are no plans or withdrawing from the NATO foreign missions. If you think there are, please provide a reference.
> Europa muss sein Schicksal selbst in die Hand nehmen.
Yes. Merkel said that. The video of the speech can be found here: http://www.zeit.de/video/2017-05/5451383425001/angela-merkel...
She is saying:
Wir Europäer müssen unser Schicksal wirklich in die eigene Hand nehmen. Natürlich in Freundschaft mit den Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika, in Freundschaft mit Großbritannien, in guter Nachbarschaft, wo immer das geht, auch mit Russland, auch mit anderen Ländern, aber wir müssen wissen, wir müssen selbst für unsere Zukunft kämpfen, als Europäer, für unser Schicksal und das will ich gerne mit ihnen gemeinsam tun.
So this is just a call for a stronger Europe, which does not just depend on the US for guidance and defense. Which is incidentally the thing the US has asked from Europe for years, including raising the defense budgets. There is no hint at leaving the NATO. Looking at the defense situation of Germany that would be just bizarre. The state of the German military is not compatible with these thoughts. Since the reunification, the size of the German military has been greatly reduced, partly because of the requirements of the 2+4 contract, partly of the changed situation in the world. What is left of the armed forces, is mostly on NATO duties. So there is no doubt of our commitment to the NATO. But for sure, there are discussions about increasing our defense efforts (as asked by the NATO), but equally, but equally, whether all of our military should be tied up in NATO missions.
> FWIW and as you must already know being German https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Der_Spiegel is called 'The Mirror' not 'Mirror'! as that makes no sense in German nor English.
Yes, I am aware. I was just referring to your spelling of the word "Spiegel". By the way, the magazine itself uses its name with and without the article: http://www.spiegel.de
China is adeptly stepping up to fill the void left by the United States. Last week Trump did his best to alienate America's long-standing European allies, who now feel that they are on their own against Russia's expanding European power plays. So Europe is turning to China as well.
Chinese and European leaders have scheduled a meeting tomorrow to state how they intend to expand efforts to fight climate change. Meanwhile, USA is isolating itself with Syria and Nicaragua as the only three countries to stay out of the Paris accord.
I wouldn't be sad if the USA returns to a position of only interfering within its sphere of influence in North and South America.
Being a global leader isn't merely about the power to do so, but about caring about other countries to the point that you see them as directly intertwined with your own. The USA, for better or worse, has always viewed other nations as 'other'.
The US is a nation of immigrants. It doesn't see other nations as "other" any more than any other nation, and probably less so because we're very culturally diverse.
But yeah, if you want to go back to the days where benevolent places like the British Empire, Imperial Germany, and the USSR ruled the world, have at it. Because they were benevolent, right?
The US isn't doing a great job, but if American power gets rolled back, are you ready for Russia to come rolling into Eastern Europe? You ready for the Chinese to invade Taiwan? The US is the only thing preventing that.
It's not ideal but it's not all bad, either.
A great world leader should have no problem using their wealth and power to perform reasonable acts of charity and kindness to fellow nations without an expectation of reciprocity.
All these countries understand that there is no such thing as free lunch, and what America will get by helping is not going to be worth the aid they receive.
You can hear the same sentiment from Israelis to Indians to Egyptians.
It is not to say that the USA is a terrible country, or that it is 'evil' or anything so silly. It is simply that the USA does not want a global leadership role, appears uncomfortable with it thrust upon it, and approaches global treaties as something it should either accede to or reject rather than change.
The Paris accords, ought to have heavily influenced by the 'global leader' so the preeminent power would view the treaty as one that benefitted its world view. As it is, the US world view is absent from the Paris treaty---why is that? I'd say it's because the US abdicated its leadership position to the point where European interests and American interests no longer seem to align.
> The US isn't doing a great job, but if American power gets rolled back, are you ready for Russia to come rolling into Eastern Europe?
I think it is a mistake to completely discount the military and economic power of Germany, France, and the United Kingdom. One should remember that historically the German military alone was enough to overrun Russia to the point that the Eastern Front was the site of the most horrific battles and loss of life of the entire war.
> You ready for the Chinese to invade Taiwan? The US is the only thing preventing that.
This is a bit of a tangent. Taiwan is a small island off the coast of the mainland whose government considers itself "Real China" and the far more populous mainland to be the 'rebel forces'. The continued existence of Taiwan is because China finds it useful, not because of any US intervention. If war sparked out, the USA and Europe would likely do the safe and sensible thing by treating it as a civil war within a nuclear power.
All these tangents boil down to "What if World War 3 breaks out?".
I hope for all that is good that WW3 does not break out between nuclear powers, and if it does that the USA will finally stay out of a continental conflict that is nowhere near its borders.
>The US isn't doing a great job, but if American power gets rolled back, are you ready for Russia to come rolling into Eastern Europe?
Jesus fucking Christ I am not ready, and neither is Eastern Europe. I think everyone remembers what happened last time Russia was in charge over there...
US is ~26% including illegal immigrants now, but was ~35% in 1900 and ~18% in 1970. (First generation immigrants to the US are currently 14%.)
This loss of influence isn't going to be readily apparent, it's precipitation will be subtle and over the long term. It may start as a preference for German or Chinese military equipment, then slowly it preference will begin to shift in areas of finance, agricultural products, energy, etc.
If the USA is no longer able to negotiate favorable trade deals, because of their mercurial nature, then we'll probably see corporations move to foreign countries of influence.
The US has made it very clear that its populace is willing to elect an uneducated populist buffoon, who is happy to break any and all international commitments if it appeals to his base.
Any politician outside the US, from this point onwards, will assume that the US is not a country that can be trusted with any long term plans. (Or, as far as our allies are concerned, with intelligence materials either). It will likely take decades to repair that reputation hit, if it isn't irreparable.
We're not feeling the consequences of it yet, but we will. That's inevitable. You don't suddenly walk into a ballroom, shit on a table, and hope everybody forgets it next week.
That's considering $18 trillion of its debt?
I'm no Trump fan, but the slide in American global leadership has been underway since well before Trump. Probably the first big blow was our unilateral invasion of Iraq under Bush. But even under Obama we didn't exactly right the ship.
And while Clinton would have tried to restore our image, in the long run I don't think she would make a big difference.
Countries used to look to America as the leader of liberal globalism because there basically was no alternative. Now there's a few alternatives.
Trust takes years to build, seconds/weeks to break, and forever to repair.
Anyhow, the rest of world needs to prepare itself with an uncooperative/isolationist US. I think U.S. is not necessarily a bad leader, but it is a clear fact that it doesn't have the willingness and ability to lead anymore, and the world has to move on.
When Trump is gone in 3 years, it's not gonna be so dire. Stupid short-sighted decision, but it's just a road bump. The Germans and Japanese recovered from WW2, pretty sure the US can recover from Trump.
I can imagine what would have happened if Trump was around after WW2 - "What - spend all that money on those countries. Forget it. Let take all that capital and reduce corporate taxes".
Deep red states that try to slow the transition will just get left behind. Trump is hurting his own base, while not slowing anyone else down. The economics are simply too good to turn back now.
Happy to answer questions. And many companies in cleantech are hiring!
Whether it hurts them or not this is what many of them voted for. This is what many want.
And that's not even considering the direct subsidies they receive.
I'd say the big danger for his stuff is SpaceX and NASA, and I don't think there's much risk there.
I wish our president could sacrifice something for what he believes is right much like Musk is, if what you say is true.
The pictures were awesome.
I am not sure, if I want to support US companies in this "America first" situation. A country that so much indulges in egoism is really difficult to like.
The US produces Anti-Americanism itself.
I myself have US-citizen relatives and I know, that some great people live there.
But it is very difficult to be fond of people who elected such people and who (in big parts of the voters) greatly admire his "America first" propaganda.
I am sure, that this "America first" will harm not only the world, but many Americans and I am very sad about it. And I am sad, that those, that did most of the harm and made a profit from it, will get a free ride again, as it was 2008.
People just don't learn.
(BTW: I wanted to post this reply yesterday, but was hindered by this stupid regulatory system here)
He could also push for spending the billions that would have went in that deal domestically - more efficient infrastructure, renewables, etc.
India (population 1.3 Billion) creates lesser CO2 emissions than the US
China's per-capita emissions is just around half of that of the US
[Edit: replying to comment about pollution and emissions
The Paris agreement is about climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
When Trump talks about polluters and withdrawing from the Paris agreement, it seems illogical to suggest that he wasn't referring to CO2 emissions]
To an overwhelming extent.
I don't see how anyone who calls themselves an engineer can stomach when this feel good ignorance is put forward as a solution- this is rearranging deck chairs to the highest degree.
Lead is bad for your health.
CFCs are bad for Ozone.
CO2 is bad for global warming.
All pretty much universally accepted.
European cars, with cheating and all, are miles ahead of US cars. And they have been heavily fined for cheating, as they should.
And China has not yet contributed a meager percent of the cumulated US CO2. Not to talk per capita.
The planet is not yours.
Let's accept that the Chinese are worse polluters than the US.
Congratulations, you are the second worst polluter.
What, did I hear India? Ok, you are just being difficult. Let's say you are the third worst polluter.
What? Did I hear ...? Stop it!
You are one of the worst polluters. Period.
Why do you withdraw?
And yes, you are the worst per-capita and accumulated polluter. In case you were wondering.
And this is pollution:
Which makes CO2 seem particularly cherry picked.
The big downside of the US quitting the Paris climate pact is the political signal it is sending. The pact was significant, because it was the first time the world managed to agree on something (except Syria and Nicaragua). Leaving the pact sends the signal, that the US does not want to internationally collaborate on preventing climate change. Most of our todays problems and challenges can only be solved by international collaboration, be they environmental or economical. It would have the better signal, and probably also served the US interests better, if the US would not quit the climate pact.
I've actually never thought i would say this, but my "admiration" for the US has drasticly declined the last few months. I think this also affects "Silicon Valley".
PS. Am i right that your President only had a one hit wonder with Trump Tower, with daddy's money. Then licensed everything ( the few things he did with casino's failed). And ... He is now the president, because he was in a TV-show? Or am i missing something?
These people systematically created a tribal political environment where facts don't matter, ridicule is the best argument, and Democrats are the enemy. They've been pounding this into the heads of any American who would listen since the late 1980s or so. Along comes Trump, who is the embodiment of all of these traits, and this extensive groundwork pays off. He's constantly wrong, but his voters have been trained to embrace that. He behaves terribly, but his voters have been trained that this is a good thing as long as the target is the left.
And of course denial of climate change, its negative consequences, and the merits of fighting it are one of the core pillars of this propaganda.
Add in the electoral college, which gives a substantial advantage to candidates who can win rural voters, and here we are.
Don't forget our ridiculous Congressional system that greatly over-weights the opinions of rural voters. California has 80 times the number of people as Wyoming, yet they both get two seats in the Senate and 1/53rd the number of representatives in the House.
No, it overweights the opinions of voters in low-population states.
Sure, California voters are underrepresented compared to Wyoming voters, but California has about ten times as many people living in rural areas as Wyoming has people in total; Rhode Island is nearly as overrepresented as Wyoming, but nearly as urban as California.
I think the problem with rural areas is not their overly great political influence but rather the fact that they have been abandoned by mainstream politicians.
Lets them participate in the game? They could still participate if they had an equal voice. Their weight on the national stage wouldn't be huge, since they're only 15% of the population, but getting 15% of the voice for 15% of the population seems fair to me. The rural population is similar in size to the black population. Should we give black people a disproportionate vote so they can better participate on the national stage?
I assume you meant 53 representatives?
Scott Adams definitely is more right leaning than myself, but he writes top notch political analysis. He saw the Trump victory coming a mile away.
Trump is the epitome of "speak to be heard, not listened to", and this resonates incredibly well with the large bulk of the republican party whose party platform is "the blacks", "the muslims", or "jesus (when convenient)". He also resonates well with the republicans who are not stupid, however wealthy and self-interested, because much of republican rhetoric centers on "the rich are going to starve/move to mars if we start charging them taxes!".
Republicans with a libertarian or intellectual bent think he's 100% retarded. Reactionary democrats think he's going to make the world explode. The rest of us left-leaning folks think he's retarded but realize that this is the single best thing that could have happened to ward off any notion younger people might have that the republican party isn't one great big 3 ring circus. Hillary Clinton getting elected would have just been more ammunition for the clowns that think she's corrupt and a literal communist despite being corrupt and center-right by all measures.
It is very unlikely that something like this will happen again in the near future, seeing as all of the old people voting for trump will be dead, and younger people are either blindly liberal, or spooked out of any notion that the republican party isn't a joke.
He was incredibly qualified as a candidate. Huge name recognition, a particular sort of charisma, shameless.
It's the office that he isn't qualified for.
Huh? From your comment history here, you seem like much more of a laissez-faire capitalist than any kind of environmentalist.
They're not fans of other environmentalists discussing happier ideas, like setting up incentives for economic and technological growth beyond fossil fuels.
Rather, he seems to believe that the market will provide for all, even when externalities make that irrational for individual actors in the market without some regulatort regime internalizing those externalities.
Hence, my description of him as a laissez-faire capitalist rather than any kind of environmentalist.
The ironic thing is that regulation is bad for the environment. The EPA spends as much time litigating against environmental groups if not more than it does fighting the industry.
You misconstrue my point about there not being a "political fix" to climate change. Obviously we could just ban CO2 emissions. My point is that the set of fixes the political system can generate and the set of fixes that will work are disjoint.
I'm trying to understand where you're coming from, usually when people say, "I don't like X because it's ineffectual", they follow it up with a recommendation that they do think will be effective.