“America’s long nightmare as the world leaders is coming to an end,” announced Bill Maher. “The clown who runs our country, the laughingstock on the world stage that is Donald Trump, pulled out of the Paris climate accord this week.”
That’s how the political satirist opened the latest edition of his HBO program Real Time, with a monologue tackling President Trump’s decision to have America pull out of the Paris climate accord—an agreement between 195 countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for the sake of the planet starting in the year 2020. By pulling out, the U.S. joined Syria and Nicaragua as the only countries not involved in the pact.
Trump, of course, has made his thoughts on climate change clear via Twitter over the years, repeatedly referring to it as a “hoax” and even claiming it was “created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”
Maher was, predictably, beside himself. “It is hard to exaggerate how alone America is on this issue. 190 countries in the world signed on to the Paris accord. That’s pretty much all of them. North Korea signed! The country who is always threatening to blow up the planet wants to save the planet.” He noted how even “greedy fuckin’ corporations” like ExxonMobil, Goldman Sachs, Google and General Electric supported the climate agreement. But instead of listening to the leaders of American corporations, our western allies, and his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, he favored the opinions of a failed documentary filmmaker turned alt-right propagandist in Steve Bannon and his head of the EPA Scott Pruitt, who’s received hundreds of thousands of dollars in political contributions over the years from the fossil fuel industry.
“But Trump says no, no. He said he listened to his advisers—you know, he has great people around him—they said they gathered all the data and they all came to the same delusion: that we have to focus on bigger threats, like Kathy Griffin’s photo shoot. The things that really matter,” cracked Maher.
Trump, of course, has acknowledged the devastating effects of climate change in the past—when it suits him financially. Last year, the billionaire mogul requested permission to erect a sea wall in order to prevent erosion at his coastal golf resort Trump International Golf Links & Hotel Ireland, in County Clare, Ireland. The permit application for the wall was obtained by Politico and, they reported, “explicitly cites global warming and its consequences—increased erosion due to rising sea levels and extreme weather this century—as a chief justification for building the structure.”
During his speech announcing the Paris climate accord decision in the Rose Garden, President Trump repeatedly spoke of the financial pressure that the pact put on U.S. working-class citizens, saying, “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.” For the record, Hillary Clinton received 80 percent of the vote in Pittsburgh, whose mayor, Bill Peduto, further tweeted that “Pittsburgh stands with the world & will follow Paris agreement.” Also, the Paris climate accord allows countries to determine its own targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, so the idea that it puts great financial strain on American citizens is a considerable stretch given that each country controls its own parameters.
If that weren’t enough, as The Washington Post reported, the final straw for President Trump when it came to the Paris climate accord was when French leader Emmanuel Macron spoke out about how he was sending him a message during their recent handshake. “Hearing smack-talk from the Frenchman 31 years his junior irritated and bewildered Trump, aides said,” reported the Post.
“You know why he did this, probably? So yesterday he made this big speech in the Rose Garden—soon to be the Cactus Garden—and he says, ‘We don’t want other leaders of other countries laughing at us anymore! And they won’t be!’ OK, they weren’t laughing at us you waddling outhouse, they were laughing at you!” said Maher.
“Here’s what happened: He just got back from his big, overseas trip, and the European leaders screwed up,” he continued. “They didn’t kiss his ass like the Saudis did. They didn’t put his face on buildings and let him stroke their orb. And the Pope made a fat joke about him! And the French guy said he won the handshaking contest! ‘You guys were mean to me, now you get coal!’ Get coal? What is this, the Santa Claus Doctrine?”
“Is it any wonder that 43 percent of registered voters in the last poll want him impeached? And until he’s impeached, they say they’d like some of whatever Tiger Woods is on.”