After widespread media reports that President Trump planned to withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement, an international commitment between 147 nations to reduce carbon emissions, a Vatican official said that Trump’s insistence on propping up coal while removing environmental regulations is akin to being a flat earth truther.
Reuters quotes Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, head of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, prior to this morning’s announcement:
Sanchez Sorondo said he believed the US oil lobby was behind the decision and that the industry had “manoeuvred” Trump. A withdrawal “would not only be a disaster but completely unscientific,” he said. “Saying that we need to rely on coal and oil is like saying that the earth is not round. It is an absurdity dictated by the need to make money.”
The Bishop’s comments are in line with a broad consensus that the Earth is indeed round, and that the coal industry’s downward spiral can’t be reversed. During Trump’s visit to the Vatican just last week, Pope Francis urged him to stick within the Paris Agreement, even giving the president a copy of his 192-page encyclical on climate change, which Trump almost certainly hasn’t read.
Rather than simply announcing whether or not the world’s second largest carbon emitter will help the world fight climate change, Trump dramatised his decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, with a formal announcement 5AM this morning in the Rose Garden.
Trump’s rapid push for environmental deregulation means the US will probably fail to meet its targeted goal.