Trump’s Climate Speech More Fiction Than Fact

Yesterday, “President Donald Trump announced his intention for the United States to leave the Paris climate agreement…in a lengthy and rambling speech that veered into inaccurate territory several times.According to Vox, “virtually every passage [of the speech] contains something false or misleading.”


Trump used “questionable data” from a “flawed study” to press his case for dropping from the climate agreement, easily fact checked by “anybody with Google on their phone,” according to an Obama official who helped negotiate the original agreement.


Here are a few key fact checks of Trump’s many lies:


Business Insider:


Trump said: “Even if the Paris Agreement were implemented in full, with total compliance from all nations, it is estimated it would only produce a two-tenths of one degree — think of that, this much — Celsius reduction in global temperature by the year 2100…Tiny, tiny amount.”


The fact is: “Nine-tenths of a degree on a global scale is huge. Since the industrial revolution, global temperatures on average have risen 0.99 degrees Celsius, according to NASA. That's not so far from .90, and we're already seeing plenty of dramatic changes around the planet. Even a reduction of two-tenths of a degree would not be “tiny” — it would be 20% of the increase we've already seen.”




The White House said:The Paris climate accord ‘would effectively decapitate our coal industry.’”


The fact is: “The U.S. coal industry was in decline long before the Paris accord was signed in 2015. The primary cause has been competition from cleaner-burning natural gas.”


USA Today:


Trump said: The “U.S. would be exposed to ‘massive legal liability if we stay in’ the Paris Agreement.”


The fact is: “There is no liability mechanism in the Paris Agreement. International environmental law experts tell us that pulling out of the agreement won’t reduce U.S. exposure to liability claims and, in fact, may increase it.


Trump said: “The [Paris] agreement would cost ‘close to $3 trillion in lost GDP.’”


The fact is: “That’s one estimate from a report for a business-funded group that found a much smaller impact under a different scenario. Yet another analysis said the impact of meeting the emissions targets would be ‘modest.’”


Washington Post:


Trump claimed that: “The agreement left the United States at a competitive disadvantage, harming U.S. industries.”


The fact is: “He often ignored the benefits that could come from tackling climate change, including potential green jobs.”




Trump said: China will be allowed to build hundreds of additional coal plants. So, we can't build the plants, but they can, according to this agreement.”


The fact is: “Under the Paris agreement, each country publicly declares how much it will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and what it will do to get there. So in that sense, the agreement doesn’t allow or disallow specific actions, like building plants. Regardless, China has actually taken steps to stop building coal plants.”




Trump said: “The economy is starting to come back and very, very rapidly.”


The fact is: “The economy grew at an annual rate of 1.2 percent in the first quarter of 2017. That’s hardly ‘rapid.’ In fact, it’s a decline from the fourth quarter of 2016, when GDP grew at a 2.1 percent annual rate.”




Trump said: “The U.S. will begin to withdraw from the Paris agreement ‘but begin negotiations to reenter either the Paris accord or a really entirely new transaction.’”


The fact is: The Paris treaty isn’t something that one country or many countries can renegotiate on their own. It’s all or none.


New York Times:


Trump said: “The climate pact would result in ‘as much as 2.7 million lost jobs by 2025,’ of which 440,000 would be in manufacturing.”


The fact is: A raft of studies — from environmental organizations, Citibank, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development — argue that a failure to mitigate the effects of climate change could cost the economy trillions of dollars.”