Most of the defenses for the Paris Climate Accords I’m reading fundamentally misunderstand the situation. They tend to present a laundry list of factual reasons why the decision to pull out is bad. Set aside the fact of rampant climate skepticism in the Republican Party. This decision was not made after a careful consideration of options. This decision was made because of the way it made the President feel.
Tyler Cowen often says that many things in politics are based on who should be raised and lowered in status, and Trump is the embodiment of this principle. Decisions are not based on policy outcomes, they are based on mood outcomes. In his speech announcing his decision, Trump said “The rest of the world is laughing at us.” That’s what this is about. It doesn’t matter if it’s not true. Perception is reality.