And now there are two

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Yesterday the United States joined the only other countries that have not signed the Paris climate accord: Syria and Nicaragua.

Three cheers for Nicaragua. They opted out because the agreement wasn’t tough enough on big polluters.

“We don’t want to be an accomplice to taking the world to 3 to 4 degrees and the death and destruction it represents,” said its lead envoy Paul Quist, whose country produces a whopping 0.03% of global emissions.

Improbably, some of that spirit seems to have rubbed off on many Americans in the wake of yesterday’s announcement.

For not only environmentalists are condemning what Bill McKibben called “Trump’s stupid and reckless decision.”

So are large corporations and cities, including yesterday’s Rose Garden poster child:

“I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris,” said Trump, which was undoubtedly good news to the French.

Not so much for Pittsburgh: “he’s not representing us at all, or not very well,” said Mayor Bill Peduto. “Pittsburgh stands with the world & will follow Paris Agreement.”

So will General Electric. “Climate change is real,” said CEO Jeffrey Immelt. “Industry must now lead and not depend on government,” a statement I hardly expected to be applauding a few months ago.

As big polluters salivate over their victory, let’s not forget that, at least as of this morning, America and Syria are still standing alone, two governments whose visions of the future we must forcefully reject.

James G. Blaine

About James G. Blaine

Most of us undervalue what seem our tiny contributions to our communities and the world. As a result, we feel powerless, even victimized. But, like the butterfly effect in science, the lives we lead with our families, in our communities, and at work – all the so-called little things we do – collectively change the world. As I grow older, my ambition grows more modest but not less important: to participate fully and to contribute what I can. That’s my goal with this blog.