Up until recently the world has been unwilling to unite to oppose climate change. Now, however, it seems much more willing to unite in opposition to U.S. President Donald Trump.
It has been demonstrated again and again that the best way to motivate people is to provide them with a villain. And now, fortunately or unfortunately, we have one.
In an opinion piece written after President Trump’s recent announcement that the United States was withdrawing from the Paris climate accord, Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz wrote, “… the rest of the world cannot let a rogue U.S. destroy the planet.”
Stiglitz said the rest of the world should impose a carbon adjustment tax on U.S. exports that do not meet global standards. In other words, the rest of the world should go ahead and implement the Paris accord. If the U.S. chooses to remain outside the accord, then there should be duties charged on American exports based on the amount of fossil fuels used in their manufacture.
Many European leaders were shocked by Trump’s behavior during the recent G7 summit, his lack of support for NATO, and then his announcement about the Paris accord.
German Chancellor Angele Merkel met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shortly after Trump returned to the U.S., and then with Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang. A three-way Eurasian alliance to take on global problems such as climate change is not beyond the realm of possibility.
Where Russia would fit into this is not clear. There is mounting evidence that President Vladimir Putin did his best to interfere in the American election to make sure that Hilary Clinton did not become president. He may now regret those actions.
The world faces major challenges on a number of fronts, not just climate change, but also issues such as growing socio-economic inequality. With a rogue superpower being led by a person who advocates many of the wrong solutions, perhaps there is a chance the rest of the world can unite to implement the correct ones.