back to article Tech industry thumps Trump's rump over decision to leave Paris climate agreement

United States President Donald Trump's decision to walk away from the Paris climate change agreement has been met by a chorus of disgruntlement from the technology industry. Elon Musk has followed through on his threat to consciously uncouple from the Presidential councils on which he serves and Apple CEO Tim Cook has declared …

  1. Your alien overlord - fear me

    Perhaps now the tech industry will realise they were not really friends with Trump. His election was for the manual workers (miners etc.) - yep, the very industries which are closing down because they're killing the planet. Hopefully he'll be deposed before the planet is dead.

    1. Just Enough

      His election was for his own ego, courtesy of any dimwit he could con along the way. He doesn't give a shit about anyone else, far less manual workers. You only have to look at his track record as a business owner to see that. The idea that Trump is the manual workers' champion is a sick joke.

  2. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Fingers in ears?

    He would not listen,

    He's not listening still.

    Perhaps he never will.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fingers in ears?

      Why should he listen to those that want to rob the country of billions just to line their pockets, Musk with very expensive batteries that might give power for a couple of hours if the mains goes down because there is no reliable generators running, for instance.

      1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

        Re: Fingers in ears?

        Forget Musk, Climate change isnt good or bad depending which side of the fence Musk and Zuck get on.

        Thats like politicians routinely bashing each others policies no matter how sensible they are - have you noticed you'll never see a politician say (of the other party) "Yeah thats a good idea , we would do that as well"

        Trump just looks at CC as an inconvenient business expense and has now busnessed his way out of the problem. "I dont believe in it because i dont like it" mentalility

        similar to the "if i cant see you , you cant see me" process of the Bugblatter beast.

        The crazy thing is he actually believes it . He's not thinking "screw the planet, I like my V8 car" I think his psychotic , rich kid , silver spooned , spoiled brat brain process really does discount the theory because its bad for business. made up by some bad dudes.

        I however think that regardless of the implications of raising the planets temperature or not, trying to reduce burning fossil fuels is a great idea because of A) pollution and B) there's not much left and we need to save it for C) the slow and painful transition to using renewable energy , of which there will be much less than currently available.

        1. hnwombat
          Stop

          Re: Fingers in ears?

          At this point, the transition is not slow, painful, or even expensive. It's a classic case of the situation where once you have invested enough, the technology pays for itself. It won't even be less than currently available. It truly is a win-win, just with a high activation threshold. We've crossed that threshold, and are beginning to slide down the good side. Murika will be left in the dust, and good riddance to bad apples.

  3. Potemkine Silver badge

    Trumpy the clown

    You thought GW Bush was the worst possible president ever? Never underestimate the stupidity of right wingers, leaving in an alternative world where facts don't matter and reality is what Faux News, Breibart and al. say it is.

    Trumpy marks a new low in US politics. Such a level of irresponsibility will be hard to beat.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Trumpy the clown

      No, actually I thought B H Obama was the worst president ever. I never underestimate the stupidity of left wingers, living in an alternative world where facts don't matter and reality is what fake news from MSNBC, CNN, Al Grauniad et al say it is..

      Yes, someone who lives up to a campaign promise is obviously a new low in politics - left wing politicians would never stoop so low.

      What would be irresponisble would be to cripple your own economy to the advantage of China et al. for a scheme that does nothing for 'Climate Change' - you know, that thing that has been going on since the beginning of climate on this planet.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: cripple your own economy

        The rest of the world is going renewable. Trump has just handed the technological lead to the rest of the world. The USA will be playing catch up for decades, maybe forever....

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: cripple your own economy

          "The rest of the world is going renewable."

          Good for them. And while the productive parts of their economies are crippled to pay the subsidies needed to keep these renewables afloat, the US can take advantage when some areas of manufacturing come back onshore. As China has proved, nobody cares about 'Climate Change' when buying their latest shiny thing, only how much it costs.

          1. James 51 Silver badge
            Trollface

            Re: cripple your own economy

            Don't feed the troll folks.

          2. Adam 1 Silver badge

            Re: cripple your own economy

            Cancelling the subsidies. I'd go for that. Can we cancel the diesel fuel rebates for the mining sector while we are doing this "let's not cross subsidise industries"?

            There is a tipping point where solar becomes cheaper than coal. That happens this year for many places, even if you make others subsidise the cost of your carbon through higher healthcare costs and general insurance risks.

            1. John Sager

              Re: cripple your own economy

              There is a tipping point where solar becomes cheaper than coal

              So where, and at what cost, is the backup generation/storage for when the sun don't shine? You have to compare like with like. Or should we shed the load at sunset and have a North Korea-style nighttime scenario?

              Like it or not, a *lot* of the world's generation capacity will run on coal for decades to come Trump or no Trump, especially in China and India. And if they get their act together in terms of development, Africa too.

              1. Adam 1 Silver badge

                Re: cripple your own economy

                > So where, and at what cost, is the backup generation/storage for when the sun don't shine?

                An absolutely legitimate question. I am not a fan of picking winners. Let the market offer solutions. Most likely some mix of household battery, grid battery, pumped storage, demand shifting, home energy efficiency improvements and gas peaking plants.

                Let me ask you a simple question. Do you think that in the next decade, electric cars with the range of one of today's car will be available at similar prices to today's cars? I don't think that's a big stretch. I also don't think it is a stretch to imagine a 100KW/hr battery sitting the cars in every other garage. That battery would run my house for 3 days.

                As for the developing world, they are largely not going to be rolling out the distribution networks required by coal. In the same way their telecommunications networks are much more mobile centric than the West, their power producers are also going to be distributed small micro generators rather than GW scale plants. It is just a more economical way to do it.

              2. Matt Bryant Silver badge

                Re: cripple your own economy

                ".....Like it or not, a *lot* of the world's generation capacity will run on coal for decades to come Trump or no Trump....." Too true, and in fact made worse by Merkel, not Trump. When Merkel needed to shaft the Greens in a previous election, she used the hysteria around the tsunami hit on a Japanese nuke station as an excuse to close Germany's nuke stations. The blatent piece of non-scientific vote-buying worked, but then the Germans were left with a shortfall in electricity production. To fill the gap, Merkel quietly authorized an increase in the highly environmentally unfriendly open-cast mining of brown coal, the most polluting kind, for use in coal-fired electricity stations.

          3. Down not across Silver badge

            Re: cripple your own economy

            the US can take advantage when some areas of manufacturing come back onshore

            Oh yeah, how is that going?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Oh yeah, how is that going?

              The number of unemployed has fallen by 854,000 this year.

              https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm

              So pretty well, thanks.

              1. HausWolf

                Re: Oh yeah, how is that going?

                It does seem like the last guys policies left the country in a decent condition.

            2. erikj

              Re: cripple your own economy

              > Oh yeah, how's that going...

              Actually, manufacturing is going rather well in the USA, where productivity has exceeded pre-recession levels for some time. It's improving in the UK, too. Much of that growth obviously comes from automation, but it's also because technology makes it possible to put a clean(er) factory in neighborhoods that once abhorred industry.

              IMO, it was stupid for the USA to leave the Paris Accords. There's no direct benefit in withdrawing, given the flexibilities of the agreement. And it will negatively impact how quickly the USA is able to adopt the very technologies and practices that are actually driving manufacturing growth. It makes so sense.

              I think (most) people realize that the "classic" manufacturing jobs are never coming back. Even coal mines are highly automated. And so the manufacturing recovery will mainly benefit corporates, tax regimes and trade balances rather than directly benefitting people. That in turn will put more pressure to "do something" politically. And that's exactly what the withdrawal is -- a political point to score.

            3. Matt Bryant Silver badge
              FAIL

              Re: Down not accross Re: cripple your own economy

              "....how is that going?" Those of us that can read the news have already seen it starting to happen, as shown by Ford's decision to scrap a new plant in Mexico and instead expand production in Michigan:

              http://www.bbc.com/news/business-38497898

          4. HausWolf

            Re: cripple your own economy

            Some think that if manufacturing comes back to the US, that there will be jobs with it. Actually we manufacture more than we ever did, but automation is driving that growth. Next the orange savior will declare robots to be bad dudes and try to deport them.

          5. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

            Re: cripple your own economy

            "... the US can take advantage when some areas of manufacturing come back onshore."

            Easier said than done.

            You'll need much more than just the odd manufacturing plant. You'll need quite a lot of infrastructure to get that plant up and running, and then some to keep it running.

            In most offshored industries you'd have to buy the manufacturing tools offshore, and possibly the IP that go with the tools you need and the IP that go with whatever you want to manufacture as well. Because when an industry is offshored, it is usually sold lock, stock and barrel, and the rest gets scrapped. And even then you'd have a new plant with new machines but no trained personnel to run it, no distribution channels, no client base.

            For all practical purposes you will have to start from scratch and re-invent and/or re-build an entire industry from the ground up. Which will take time and money. And you'll have to do this while competing with industries abroad that already have all that up and running.

            Who is going to pay for all that? Not the companies or investors whose MBA-mindset made them think that offshoring was a good idea in the first place. Which leaves massive subsidies by the state. And where's that money coming from?

            TL;DR: can be done, but will take decades, a lot of money and a commitment to long-term planning that just isn't part of the current MBA-mindset (which makes it easily the biggest obstacle).

      2. H in The Hague

        Re: Trumpy the clown

        "I never underestimate the stupidity of left wingers"

        Excuse me, but being concerned with climate change and the environment in general, and the future of our children, is equally relevant wherever you are on the political spectrum. (FWIW, those issues are v important to me and I'm right of centre and have some investments in fossil energy.)

        Or are you smarter than the excellent engineers and scientists at companies such as Shell, who accept climate change? http://www.shell.com/sustainability/environment/climate-change.html

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Trumpy the clown

          I think you will find that those excellent managers at Shell know that they have to operate in the EU and which side their bread is buttered if they want to keep operating there, given the EU's political stance on 'Climate Change'.

          As for the environment, every one wants clean air and water for the next generation. However, carbon dioxide isn't a polutant, it's a natural part of all organic activity on this planet. I also want jobs for my kids in the future. You can't eat self-righteous posturing.

          1. frank ly Silver badge

            Re: Trumpy the clown

            "However, carbon dioxide isn't a polutant, ..."

            Quite right, it's not a pollutant. Water isn't poisonous so worldwide coastal flooding will be fine as well.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Trumpy the clown

              worldwide coastal flooding will be fine as well.

              What worldwide coastal flooding? With the seas rising at something like less than 1mm a year it's going to be a ling time before the coasts get flooded. Remember that if floating ice melts the water level doesn't rise and both the arctic and Antarctic are increasing ice extent at the moment.

              1. John R. Macdonald

                Re: Trumpy the clown

                @Ivan 4

                NASA certainly disagrees with you concerning Arctic ice:

                Since 1978, satellites have monitored sea ice growth and retreat, and they have detected an overall decline in Arctic sea ice. The rate of decline has steepened in the 21st century. In September 2002, the summer minimum ice extent was the lowest it had been since 1979. Although the September 2002 low was only slightly below previous lows, it was the beginning of a series of record or near-record lows in the Arctic.

                You can read the whole thing here:

                https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/WorldOfChange/sea_ice.php

                1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                  Stop

                  Re: John R. Macdonald Re: Trumpy the clown

                  ".....Since 1978, satellites have monitored sea ice growth and retreat, and they have detected an overall decline in Arctic sea ice....." Yes, but that is stating a scientific fact to try and substantiate an unproven conclusion - there is zero proof that the warming causing the ice to melt is not simply the natural cycle of warming the planet has been undergoing for thousands of years, nor any concrete proof that man's activities have done anything to cause or even accellerate said global warming. Hint - go read up on causality. On the evidence presented to date, the "AGW-caused-by-us" schpiel is like saying a car moves therefore I must have telekinetic powers, because I really want to believe I have telekinetic powers, when in reality it is the car's engine and transmission doing the work and telekinesis is just a crackpot fantasy.

              2. Robert 22

                Re: Trumpy the clown

                The current rate rate is more like 3 mm/year (http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/sealevel.html).

                Note that there is a significant time lag introduced by the thermal mass of the oceans - when things get bad enough by your standards to justify a response, it will be far too late.

            2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
              FAIL

              Re: frank ly Re: Trumpy the clown

              ".....so worldwide coastal flooding will be fine as well." Do you mean the flooding that would take 6000 years at even the most dire predicted rate of sea level rise?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Trumpy the clown

          Or are you smarter than the excellent engineers and scientists at companies such as Shell, who accept climate change?

          Like all big conglomerates Shell and its employees are only in it for the money. Just stop and think, if people reduce their using of the Shell fossil fuel products where does the companies bottom line go, therefore they hedge their bets and hop on the climate change band wagon scam.

        3. Phukov Andigh Bronze badge

          Re: Trumpy the clown

          F**K "concern"

          the "left wing" everyone laughs at thinks "awareness", and "concern" are "enough" regardless of results.

          DO SOMETHING. Don't expect someone ELSE to do it for you.

          Have your tubes tied or physically limited your child creation at ONE? Not gone thru a brand new car every two years on the pretense of saving 1 or 2 mpg with each new vehicle? Stashed your cans and turned them in to recycle, kept your iDevice or handset/tablet/PC for minimum of 4 years?

          Some "left wingers" do that. But most, do not. they think a government program that forces action is better than actual action. they think sending money solves every problem. and often, denials and claims to the contrary, their everyday lives are more wasteful than those they actively *hate*.

          as a gun totin, meat eatin' "right winger" I'm accused of because I simply do not buy everything the DNC sells. I drove a motorcycle as a daily driver for almost a decade, rain or shine, getting 40mpg but wasn't buying a 30 mpg hybrid or believing an 80K electric vehicle (as a secondary car no less) for upper crusties needed my money.

          then I advocate that Trump is nothing but a Product being Sold and continue to advocate for more *individual* power and less *State* power and somehow STILL I'm a right wing "terrorist".

          no-wing is now Right Wing apparently.

        4. Jtom

          Re: Trumpy the clown

          That's all fine and dandy, but the Paris Accord required spending hundreds of billions of dollars to achieve a global average temperature reduction of 0.2 degrees C in eighty years, according to an MIT study.

          This isn't about solving climate change - this is about getting their hands on billions of dollars. If you really believe in catastrophic manmade climate change, you should be outraged at this fraud.

          1. strum Silver badge

            Re: Trumpy the clown

            >according to an MIT study.

            Nope. According to an illiterate President's reading of an MIT press release.

      3. wayward4now

        Re: Trumpy the clown

        Sorry to see all of the downvotes. I voted you up.

    2. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: Trumpy the clown

      Trumpy marks a new low in US politics. Such a level of irresponsibility will be hard to beat.

      But that won't stop someone from trying.

    3. kmac499

      Re: Trumpy the clown

      Donalds idea of a fair and level playing field is laughable, a bit like his attitude to running his businesses. He ignores the rules, does what he wants, and then when people say take it down he cries foul and runs to the courts.

      It hasn't hit home that trying to bully his peers of fellow heads of government won't work and he will become increasingly isolated.

      No doubt when the ocean is lapping on Mar-a-Lagos front step he will run crying to Palm Beach to have someone else pay for the protection of his building.

      All Hail El Douché

    4. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      "Such a level of irresponsibility will be hard to beat."

      Unfortunately in the US that's viewed as a challenge to beat.

      Downward.

      His VP Spence already has a PAC started to raise cash for his shot at the the Leaders chair.

    5. Phukov Andigh Bronze badge

      Re: Trumpy the clown

      wait until the next one.

      Just because American Media ignores problems of one side over the other, doesn't mean the corruption is less.

      We knew about GOP failings because the press wanted to find them. we needed "hackers" to reveal the DNCs corruption.

      We lost privacy proven openly under the last Administration's overt actions and passive response to intelligence agencies out of control. But the screaming comes now from all corners from a president who's actually done jack sh*t other than play on Twitter. We needed that screaming THEN when Snowden was getting hammered, yet Snowden got no pardon.

      We need it ALL the time. Not just when one comes up. And then we realize that "the worst president ever" is the one we get that we don't or are not allowed to criticize.

    6. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: Trumpy the clown

      "Trumpy marks a new low in US politics. Such a level of irresponsibility will be hard to beat."

      But it can be done!

  4. Jc (the real one)

    In the interest of balance

    So... lots of announcements from people who disagree. Have there been any announcements from businesses who support this?

    Jc

    1. yoganmahew

      Re: In the interest of balance

      In the interests of balance, who gives a poo? This balance thing is way overrated.

      "And he's the boss of Darth Vader, Iron Man and Mickey Mouse."

      Three philosophers that Trump has read widely. Along with Bert Baccarat of course.

    2. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: In the interest of balance

      Can't see any positive business reaction on google. Is that just them filtering to my political bias?

    3. DaddyHoggy

      Re: In the interest of balance

      The "Western Energy Alliance" support Trump's decision - but they do represent the Oil, Gas and Coal Industries of the United States, so there's a chance they're not completely neutral in this...

    4. SundogUK

      Re: In the interest of balance

      They're grinning massively and keeping quiet so the SJW wankers stay away.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: SJW

        hmm... "SJW"? Sarah Jessica ... Who? :-)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: In the interest of balance

        They're grinning massively and keeping quiet so the SJW wankers stay away.

        Exactly. Silicon Valley turning out in droves on social media seems more like virtue signaling than anything else.

        I'm genuinely curious: Why do the positions of Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, and Salesforce on Climate Change matter?

    5. rainylights63

      Re: In the interest of balance

      Business wants more business. We, US taxpayers don't want to pay for other countries' bad air.

      1. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: We, US taxpayers don't want to pay for other countries' bad air.

        Happy to supply it though, obv.

  5. Warm Braw Silver badge

    I don't know why they're worried...

    Sure, in theory the rest of the world could respond to an existential crisis by crippling the US economy, banning US exports and the likes of Google and Facebook - the kind of things that might perhaps be warranted if billions of lives are ultimately threatened.

    But while St. Theresa said she struggled "to comprehend the warped and twisted mind" responsible for the deaths of 22 people in Manchester, she merely expressed her "disappointment" at Trump's infinitely more outrageous decision.

    There will be some hot air, but the consequences for the US economy, if any, will be long-term and neglible. The tech titans needn't worry about their bottom lines.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I don't know why they're worried...

      They are worried because the tech Titans were hoping for lots of red tape and regulation - the kind that they can easily absorb but are a lead weight to start ups and the nimble, small companies that they fear.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I don't know why they're worried...

      "There will be some hot air, "

      yes, and getting warmer.

    3. EastFinchleyite

      Re: I don't know why they're worried...

      Just saying that the US will withdraw from the Paris agreements is just words. It will be when the US starts to loosen regulation on the power, transport, and manufacturing industries that the trouble starts. These are the big carbon energy users and loosening regulation will reduce their costs. "Banning US exports" is very unlikely to happen but placing those exports outside of free trade agreements because Trump has awarded them an unfair competitive advantage is much more likely. And its not just the money from import/export tariffs that will hurt. The added bureaucracy that comes with identify what part and how much of a product or service is subject to a new tariff will add cost and delay.

      When the EU treats the USA as its does China will be when the effects of Trump's ideas and actions will be fully understood

  6. Francis Boyle Silver badge

    We live in truly strange times

    when I agree with Apple, Microsoft and enen Facebook.

  7. Sweeping Brush
    Paris Hilton

    Not the first.

    Trump - Not the first to pull out of Paris early and certainly not the last.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not the first.

      I look forward to the money shot.

      1. handle

        Re: Not the first.

        I don't.

  8. DougS Silver badge

    Not as bad as it appears

    It looks like Trump pulled out in a half-hearted way to placate his base, but the timeline for pulling out that extends until the day after the next election seems to indicate his daughter was more successful in talking him out of it than Rush and his other cronies would have liked. If he was really pulling out of Paris, it would have been effective immediately, not 3 1/2 years from now.

    Since compliance is voluntary he could have stayed in it, but not taken any measures to actually go along with it, so leaving it is more symbolic than meaningful. He was going to loosen restrictions on use of coal etc. regardless of Paris, because it doesn't impose any binding terms to prevent that. So if he stayed in it, people might have been happy, but it wouldn't have changed anything.

    If he wasn't under increasing pressure from the investigations about his Russian ties, I think he might have decided differently. Keeping his base happy is more important than ever - they are the only thing keeping a lot of congressmen fearful about speaking out against him. If the base turned against him, that fear would go away.

    It is ironic that he thinks doing this is showing America's independence, but really to the rest of the world it looks like America is relinquishing its leadership role and decreasing America's prestige and importance.

    1. Fading Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Not as bad as it appears

      The staying in required transfer of rather sizable lumps of cash to the "green fund" named more to do with the dollars accumulated than for any real environmental benefit. Have a read of the Paris accords - it does nothing for the climate but a lot for wealth distribution.

      1. James 51 Silver badge

        Re: Not as bad as it appears

        That is paying other countries to not polute the way the US is and buyer geener techology which they are going to buy from the EU and China. The US is make weaker and poorer by this withdrawal.

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Not as bad as it appears

      I'm inclined to agree with you that this was mainly a carefully orchestrated media circus to please the base and deflect attention from the investigations about collusion with Russia for a couple of days. The decision is easily reversible at some point in the the future. The Trump chumps will cheer for a bit until they realise that they're jobs aren't coming back: shale gas has done more to destroy the coal industry than renewables ever could, and in the sunbelt solar is pretty much unbeatable. And US companies will continue to develop for the Californian market (because it's so big) and compete in the global one.

      But there is collateral damage: Trump's rudeness to the EU did not go down well at all and means that the US will have less influence on trade going forward. Inevitably this will also lead to less business investment in cleaner energy in the US than would have otherwise been the case and the export market may well become choosier: if the US thinks that polluting as much as China is a good thing then we might as well buy Chinese if it's cheaper.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not as bad as it appears

        Trump's rudeness to the EU did not go down well at all

        So, something positive in all this then? More people should be rude to the EU politicos, it might help limit their God complex.

        1. HausWolf

          Re: Not as bad as it appears

          The orange guy with his own god complex has nukes though, try not to encourage the clown to do more stupid things.

    3. Tom 38 Silver badge

      Re: Not as bad as it appears

      It looks like Trump pulled out in a half-hearted way to placate his base, but the timeline for pulling out that extends until the day after the next election seems to indicate his daughter was more successful in talking him out of it than Rush and his other cronies would have liked. If he was really pulling out of Paris, it would have been effective immediately, not 3 1/2 years from now.

      Nice thing about agreements, people have to go along with what was agreed with, or people won't bother going along with the other things they've agreed on.

      The Paris agreement, amongst other things, put in place a policy for people who want to leave the agreement. They cannot do it at all within the first three years of the agreement, and it takes a year from giving notice to leave before you have actually left. He has actually left at the earliest possible moment.

      1. SundogUK

        Re: Not as bad as it appears

        "The Paris agreement, amongst other things, put in place a policy for people who want to leave the agreement. They cannot do it at all within the first three years of the agreement, and it takes a year from giving notice to leave before you have actually left. He has actually left at the earliest possible moment."

        Irrelevant. The US never ratified the treaty. Trump is simply saying he never will.

        1. Tom 38 Silver badge

          Re: Not as bad as it appears

          Irrelevant. The US never ratified the treaty. Trump is simply saying he never will.

          So why did he pick, to the day, the first day that he could cancel it under the agreement?

          1. DougS Silver badge

            Re: Not as bad as it appears

            The day after the US elections in 2020 is the first day it was possible for the US to cancel under the terms of the agreement? If so, kudos to the Obama team for sticking a little poison pill in there to prevent a republican administration (though I'm sure they never imaged it would be Trump when the terms were negotiated) from pulling out without giving a chance for the democrats to take back the white house in 2020 first.

      2. Robert 22

        Re: Not as bad as it appears

        Perhaps, but I don't think someone like Trump worries much about legal niceties.

  9. Naselus

    Tiny bit self-serving

    I'm no fan of Trump, I'm well aware that climate change is a real thing, and this particular move is a disaster for the planet in generl and the US in particular. But let's not ignore just how patently self-serving the tech giants are being here.

    They weren't bothered about dropping net neutrality. They didn't care about the Muslim ban. They merrily ignored the unending conflicts of interest, and had no protest about the Russia Thing. They raised no concerns over a budget which hacks away at every area of state spending aside from the military, and supported an education secretary who appears to know nothing about education and an energy secretary who's only qualification for the job is a BA in animal husbandry. They have no problems with a health care act which strips away insurance from 23 million Americans, and they're not even protesting over the idiotic Great Wall. In all these things, there was nothing but silence from Elon Musk.

    Yet suddenly, when the US drops out of a deal that would require the Federal Government to move heavily into renewable energy collection and storage systems, the guy who coincidentally happens to make renewable energy collection and storage systems cannot in good conscience continue to work with Trump. Huh. Weird how the straw that broke the camel's back also just happened to be the one which the camel has major investments in, rather than the various lurches into authoritarianism and incompetence.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Tiny bit self-serving

      Yes, Musk's timing was pretty transparent here.

    2. strum Silver badge

      Re: Tiny bit self-serving

      >They weren't bothered about

      I think you'll find that the tech companies expressed disagreement with most of the policies listed in that paragraph.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Virtue Signalling - give it a rest

    Perhaps Cook would like to explain how much pollution the factories that spew out his shiny products have generated? Perhaps Musk would like to explain where the power comes from for his electric cars, and how much pollution that causes? And Space X - that just spews out water vapour?

    I'm getting very fed up about the virtue signalling and posturing of left wing billionaire CEOs with their endless travel (pollution), smothering the planet with crap we don't need (phones are now deemed disposable items - pollution). The Paris climate agreement was about as useful and cost about as much to run as Paris Hilton. Just another excuse for hypocritical rich old men to fly first class, spend our taxes and tell the rest of us how to live. Imagine what we could do if they all paid their taxes?

    Trump did the right thing. Musk, Cook, et al. should STFU and be thankful we still buy their pointless and environment-destroying products. If I was Trump, I'd tax these arrogant old fools until they shut up.

    Oh yes - and to the next person who does the obligatory XKCD link comment. You're not clever, you're not funny. Why the f**k should I listen to a grown man who makes a living drawing stick men? Infantilisation at its best. Grow up.

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: Virtue Signalling - give it a rest

      left wing billionaire CEOs

      Is there such a beast?

      1. hnwombat

        Re: Virtue Signalling - give it a rest

        > Is there such a beast?

        George Soros. And, compared to the repuglicants now running things, even Warren Buffet is left-wing.

        1. SouthernLogic

          Re: Virtue Signalling - give it a rest

          Add to the left wing billionaires

          Bill Gates

          Mark Zukerberg

          Teresa Hienz Kerry

          Rockefellers

          Jeff Bezos

    2. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

      Re: Virtue Signalling - give it a rest

      "Virtue Signalling" new speak for someone calling you out on being an asshole?

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Re: Virtue Signalling - give it a rest

        "Virtue Signalling" new speak for someone calling you out on being an asshole?

        No - it's the NewSpeak for "I can't argue against the stand that you are taking because it would show what a psycopath I am, so I'm going to denigrate it by suggesting that you are only taking that position to demonstrate how cool/liberal/socialist/caring[1] you are"

        [1] Delete as appropriate.

    3. handle

      XKCD

      @AC: "Why the f**k should I listen to a grown man who makes a living drawing stick men?"

      If that's the only rebuttal you can muster, you truly have lost the argument.

    4. strum Silver badge

      Re: Virtue Signalling - give it a rest

      >Perhaps Cook would like to explain

      Whataboutism - the last refuge of a lost argument.

  11. Van

    Suddenly more people care about the environment because they hate Trump. Result.

    Now let's have the London mayor grow balls as big as the Paris mayor's (she's female) and sort out the pollution in London (both air and noise)

  12. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

    So, is IBM going to branch out into running coal mines? Rometty appears to like deep dark holes,.... she's crawled up Trump's already.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I would trust Trump over Zuckerberg all day long

    This ^.

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: I would trust Trump over Zuckerberg all day long

      Maybe the key is not trusting either..

  14. Jim 59

    Trump is wrong to pull out of the Paris agreement, it is a misjudgement. But hit attitude is right. He sticks up for the "common man". The American media (WaPo, CNN, NYT) certainly won't. And meanwhile the billionaires weep, while flying round in private jets and piutting down a personal carbon footprint the size of Neptne (as does Trump, probably).

    But yeah he should have stayed in.

    1. HausWolf

      If you think 45 sticks up for the common man, you haven't been paying attention.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      He didn't go far enough. He should have pulled the US out of the UNFCCC, that would have killed the Paris Agreement leaving requirements dead. It would also have killed the scam of calling an essential plant food a pollutant and forcing normal people to pay for it ('green' taxes to stop the very thing that makes the world green).

    3. mistwire

      He sticks up for the "common man"?

      http://fortune.com/2016/09/30/donald-trump-stiff-contractors/

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft

    Funny this guy's of Microsoft,

    to lecture other ... better start with themselves as one of the biggest energy consumers with they datacenters for Azure ..

    If you see how much more energy you need to let there software run in a user friendly way "qua speed " due the engineering paths they have chosen or inefficiently implemented ...

    If you see what energy consumption difference there is between a small NAS as Synolgy with Linux OS vs a same equivalent in Windows ... How many services need to run in the background for nothing ..

    Or just the way they artificially pump up the hardware spec to run there new windows version and so pushing the user to buy more NEW stuff instead of reusing there old PC ...

    How big is the waste footprint they did created due NOT supporting any longer the old windows mobile ?

    How much energy does the teledata they mandatory upload from windows 10, xbox etc to there home servers consume over the internet ...

    Just saying it's a lot marketing from these big corporations and there ceo's who are travelling around the world in big privet super dubber luxury jets ... It's so bon-ton to be a Green Bishop and lecturing how we the people have to live

    but uuuuu don't look how they life because this is sacrilegious...

    All the same as in the middle ages on this regard

    1. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

      Re: Microsoft

      "one of the biggest energy consumers with they datacenters for Azure "

      Except there's a massive economy of scale using cloud providers. Virtualisation means processors are used more efficiently, resources are allocated on demand, rather than having hundreds of physical servers on prem running all the time at low utilisation.

      1. puckwudgie

        Re: Microsoft

        Have an upvote. This is similar to why mass transit is more green than every one driving their own car to work.

  16. PhilipN Silver badge

    Topsoil

    I am more worried about the above than climate change, partly because I do not know whether it has been studied enough.

    In theory it ought to take a lot less time to scrub up the atmosphere than it does to accumulate topsoil, which counts as a finite resource because it takes decades or even centuries. And there is a lot less to go around in the first place.

    Who knows - maybe global warming will free up lots and lots of lovely topsoil from the tundra and the taiga?

    1. Paul Kinsler

      Re: Topsoil

      If it's any use to you, I just did a search on for Web of Science:

      Results: 892

      You searched for: TOPIC: (topsoil) AND TOPIC: (climate)

      Not a colossal number of hits, but at least it's not completely neglected. And perhaps other keywords would be more research-appropriate, and get more hits.

      1. PhilipN Silver badge

        Re: Topsoil

        Ta!

    2. Robert 22

      Re: Topsoil

      I have some familiarity with the Canadian Shield which makes up a significant part of the area you are referring to. The description given below and quoted from Wikipedia is a reasonably accurate summary:

      "The current surface expression of the Shield is one of very thin soil lying on top of the bedrock, with many bare outcrops. This arrangement was caused by severe glaciation during the ice age, which covered the Shield and scraped the rock clean.

      The lowlands of the Canadian Shield have a very dense soil that is not suitable for forestation; it also contains many marshes and bogs (muskegs). The rest of the region has coarse soil that does not retain moisture well and is frozen with permafrost throughout the year. Forests are not as dense in the north."

      This area isn't going to become an agricultural powerhouse anytime soon given any reasonable assumptions.

    3. strum Silver badge

      Re: Topsoil

      One of the proposed carbon capture methods is the creation of 'biochar' - a charcoal-like product of heating organic matter. One of its benefits is that it bulks up and enriches topsoil.

  17. smartypants

    You are being unkind to Trump

    Trump isn't a details man. If you can't present something in the space of a 10 second Fox News fake-fact-blurp, then it isn't going to get into his brain. He's a busy man! It isn't that his brain is small, but 95% of its capability is taken up with trying to add further gold plate to his immediate surroundings, family, and sense of self, so everything else just has to squeeze into what is left of the day.

    It isn't that Trump doesn't believe in climate change. He just isn't capable of sitting and listening long enough to get to the end of the sentence which explains why it is real and why he should care. Half way though, he'll just start fiddling with his phone and issuing another covfefe. Take that swipe at Germany on his hilarious trip to Nato. Trump thought those horrible German cars cluttering up proud US cities are BAD!

    Along comes a long-suffering advisor: "But Mr. President, BMWs in the US are made by Amer...." [CLICK! your connection with POTUS has ended at this time. Please try again later].

    So really, it is just the case that he promised the rednecks to do this, and it would be bad if he didn't now. Those other reasons for reconsidering... Well he tried bigly to listen but, look he doesn't have time, right?

    1. Fatman Silver badge

      Re: You are being unkind to Trump

      You are on the right track, but for the wrong reason.

      Trump has the mental capacity of a five year old who throws a hissy fit when he can not get his way, nothing else.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Worrying about climate change is similar to the crew rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic after it struck the iceberg. The planet is populated by 7+ billion people. IMNSHO this is the real problem. There is a correlation between loss of habitat and specie extinction after we went over 2.6 billion people. Notice I say correlation and not cause and effect. The Paris agreement was a facade so the establishment could feel good about itself without actually doing anything.

  19. This post has been deleted by its author

  20. mistwire

    I'm so sorry

    I voted against him.

    I canvassed against him.

    District gerrymandering, lack of term limits & "party uber alles" got us to this point; where a greedy, entitled, narcissistic, racist, sexist, small-minded, shallow, populist moron can win and then get propped up by his party at the expense of, literally, the world.

    1. Phukov Andigh Bronze badge

      Re: I'm so sorry

      if only your own party hadn't f**ked us ALL by deliberately killing off the guaranteed winner because of Party Uber Alles on the Democrats side.

      Us Independents got stuck between a liar and a liar. A dirtball and a dirtball. A reality television star and one who practically is one.

      was able to sleep better voting for an honest guaranteed loser like Jill Stein than a Party Elite choice or a demagogue.

      As one who, given the choice of Trump and Sanders, would have went for an honest difference in opinion over how best to head to the future rather than what we got. Wasserman's DNC screwed me out of my choice as well.

  21. steve 124

    Oh wow, what a bunch of really smart guys.... let's listen to them!

    You guys realize that aside from being incredibly rich, these guys don't have any more clue than the rest of us about what's going on with the weather, right? When I was growing up in the 70s the popular consensus was that we were entering a global cooling period ("mini ice-age") and acid rain and killer bees were going to kill us all. Acid rain caused a few hard water spots on my car and I keep killing bees but have yet been "swarmed to death" like all the scary movies from the time said. Oh yea, and the ice... didn't happen.

    Back around 2000 the scientists were saying by 2015 Washington DC would be "under water" and it's a shame that never came true, but it didn't.

    Musk is pissed at Trump because he's talking about taking away the electric car subsidies he gets (I believe it's up to $7,000 per car now) which allows him to keep making those chitty Tesla cars that cost more than my house.

    Tim Cook has simply ridden the coat tails of Steve Jobs for the last 8 years and hasn't actually innovated anything that I can tell since taking over Apple (adding a number to an existing product name isn't really mind blowing to me).

    Zuckerberg... Jesus do I need to even say anything. How about this little quote?...

    Zuck: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard

    Zuck: Just ask

    Zuck: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS

    [Redacted Friend's Name]: What? How'd you manage that one?

    Zuck: People just submitted it.

    Zuck: I don't know why.

    Zuck: They "trust me"

    Zuck: Dumb f@cks

    So, yeah, trust THAT guy.

    Nadella... hmm, how many of you guys have joined me in chiming in on the incredibly invasive and stupid things he's doing to Microsoft OS's? Not that I think Bill Gates gave 2 craps about customer's privacy or security, but at least he valued our business. And honestly, that guy comes from India... where there are 1.31 BILLION people who appear to just be doing everything they can to polute everything... perhaps his concern should be for his home country's lack of action.

    Marc Benioff... I have to admit I had to look this guy up. He's worth over 4 billion dollars and gave us such wonderful things as "software as a service" (which has helped us all so much more than when we used to "buy" our software and then "owned" it). I'm not poor, but I can tell you that you don't get to be worth that kind of money without screwing alot of people over (which is one of the reasons these guys suddenly become "philanthropists" later in life).

    Look, I don't personally like or respect any of the people quoted in this article. It's pretty easy to sit there and say "yeah, let's tax carbon" when you're sitting on billions of dollars in the bank (what do they care if the cost of energy goes through the roof?)

    Personally, I can't afford the kind of gas prices they pay in Europe and other parts of the world, and the Paris Accords would have led us to MUCH higher prices than that (not to mention just household energy costs since the coal industry and other "dirty" producers were being forced out of business).

    Everyone wants to keep the planet healthy (except maybe the Chinese) but what good does it do if you have to revert to the practices of the Omish to do it? These guys making these comments are NEVER going to be touched by any regulations personally (yea, their businesses might be affected, but let's be honest, if Apple went bankrupt, Cook will still be buying Lambos and eating caviar until the year 2150).

    In 15 years, the scientists will be scratching their heads at the lack of 200F summer days and flooded Denver streets and claiming some new global catastrophe is on the horizon. We were born in the greatest period of human existence. The technology and conveniences we enjoy today are amazing and we should be grateful to be alive. This planet was here long before us and I assure you it will long after we're gone. The problem with our planet isn't due to our energy usage, it's due to out of control population growth (mainly in 3rd world countries) and if anything is going to cause a global catastrophe, it's going to be 10, 20 or 30 Billion mouths screaming about food and gas.

    You want to save the planet? Stop having so many dam babies. If you can't afford to feed and take care of your children, stop having them (especially in parts of the world that weren't meant to support human life.)

    If technology has done anything harmful to this planet, it's the fact that it's allowed people in deserts and other inhospitable area to thrive and grow their population FAR beyond what was possible before (yeah, I'm looking at YOU Dubai).

    So, my message to you, my fellow techies.... stop feeling guilty for being in the right part of the world at the right time. Stop feeling guilty for having more than people in other parts of the world, when they don't do anything but breed and hold their hand out.

    Have some dam backbone and join me in enjoying the fruits of our labors and the sweat of our fathers, and stop worrying about what Mother Earth is going to do to us... because I can guarantee you one thing... there's not a dam thing anyone, no matter how rich they are, can do about this subject, even if it were happening.

    Oh yeah, and Mars colonization.... yeah, good luck with that one.

    1. Citizen99

      Re: Oh wow, what a bunch of really smart guys.... let's listen to them!

      "... In 15 years, the scientists will be scratching their heads at the lack of 200F summer days and flooded Denver streets and claiming some new global catastrophe is on the horizon. ... "

      "the scientists" here being *not all* of those who understand climate, but those who have built tenures, departments, budgets and political power in academe on having panicked the politicians with alarmist-level forecasts which, a couple decades on, have already been shown to be based on insufficient modelling, stacking up of worst-cases, and ignoral of the long-term historic data. Now there are additionally $mega-million pork-barrel and world-wide political vested interests behind the boondoggle, and the lay population has been subjected to years of propaganda about it being virtuously 'green'.

  22. DagD

    Hypocrisy

    It's easy to jump on the bandwagon and tongue slash others for "not doing their part", especially when the parties who are positioned to gain from the hysteria are pushing the agenda so hard.

    Want to save the world? Start at home. Don't recycle? Don't conserve resources? Run out and buy the latest gadget every six months? Use disposables (to include that $5 dollar cup of coffee every morning...)?

    You are just as big a part of the problem.

    (and off the soap box I hop).

  23. Phukov Andigh Bronze badge

    people who donate or bundle millions for Democrats

    can be universally expected to condemn Republicans. the opposite is also true.

    Those who make money on products the market does not support except thru government subsidy, will continue to support that which justifies more subsidy.

    All about Power, Partisanship and Plutocracy.

    Better to DO things about climate rather than think signing a non binding, non enforced Accord is "doing something". Billions for "raising awareness" and "inspiration" over the decades is ENOUGH.

    ACT or STFU. Anything that does NOT work towards that goal is "greenwashing" and worse for everyone except those skimming that system. Solar tiles for roofs instead of panels, at even higher initial cost and lesser MTBF of individual tiles, requiring state and federal kickbacks to get anyone to buy them, is not helping the climate. Building a 180K AWD SUV with fancy doors instead of a 60K "model 3" during almost a decade after promising to build such to earn $billionsUSD in federally funded low interest R&D money, doesn't look very honest either. Getting it twice because "it's my brother's company" on paper then eventually giving that pretense up, and then moving into all the government funded and failed assets of a THIRD "green" company (Solar City now occupies the former Solyndra facility) kind of shows that "success" based on others footing the bill isn't really success.

    Always wondered why California state and county offices that went with solar parking lots, didn't buy Solyndra panels. Instead from some of the initial Chinese suppliers as Solar City used to distribute.

  24. DainB Bronze badge

    solar parking lots ?

    You surely not talking about solar panels that are covered by cars during daytime and therefore 100% useless ?

    1. Phukov Andigh Bronze badge

      nope

      basically elevated semi roofs that carry large lightly angled arrays that cars park *under*. Almost every property that the County and State own (or got permission from the lessor) has these.

      Keeps shade in the summer, generates juice all day long. Populated by the best panels China had (and has) to offer. The excuse was "no American company can supply the demand (as if the project absolutely had to be completed with a year or two instead of waiting for that to change) and to this day still gets Chinese panels as maintenance replacements due to cost.

      Seems if government is gonna subsidize, government should get better deal on that product. If we're gonna spend the taxpayer's dosh anyway, why not use THAT as the subsidy instead? Remove the actual "subsidy" and then allow the purchasing agency to pay the premium directly. at least then the budgetary issues remain with the county that does the purchase, not all counties that may not deploy any of these setups.

  25. Brian Allan 1

    I guess the big idiot in the white house he didn't see the benefits of the Paris accord on Fox News!? Seems this is his prime source of information...

    1. rainylights63

      Totally wrong and misinformed.

      Seems to me that your source is CNN, who although show the whole speech, took later out of context what the President said: I won't sign a bad deal. I am willing to sign a better deal.

  26. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    Every time I see Trump for some reason I am put in mind of

    this fellow.

    Not really sure why.

  27. SouthernLogic

    Stick to business

    These idiots should stick to their business. It is obvious that they are taking the intellectually easy route and buying into the consensus. That is just not how science is done. Have you ever heard of the consensus of gravity, or the consensus of relativity? No there are proofs that must stand up to peer review and be repeatable. Man caused global warming has non of this. An intellectually honest person needs to look at all of this, do their homework, and not be swayed by public opinion.

    1. strum Silver badge

      Re: Stick to business

      > That is just not how science is done.

      Bollocks. Everyday science is all about consensus. No-one building a plane/rocket/artillery shell sets out to re-test Newton or Einstein. Instead, he/she relies on consensus amongst those who have studied these theories.

      DOnald Trump is not Galileo.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: strum Re: Stick to business

        ".....No-one building a plane/rocket/artillery shell sets out to re-test Newton or Einstein. Instead, he/she relies on consensus amongst those who have studied those theories....." Sorry, but that is a complete load of cobblers. There are many examples in recent history where the scientific consensus has said a development is "impossible", only for empirical testing to show the development is actually not just possible but overturns scientific convention. There are also plenty of cases where designs built to conventional rules have failed at the test stage because developments have out-stripped the old science. One example is the relative failure of early supersonic aircraft, such as the Convair F-102 interceptor, which would not fly at the Mach speeds predicted by their designers using conventional scientific rules. It took the (re)discovery of the "area rule" of aerodynamics - by Richard Whitcomb at NACA, through wind-tunnel experimentation - to provide the redesign guidance that finally allowed the F-102 to be successful. It is still true today that those developing new planes, rockets and shells do a LOT of testing as that is THE ONLY real way to show actual performance and reliability.

        1. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge

          Re: strum Stick to business

          "he/she relies on consensus amongst those who have studied those theories....." Sorry, but that is a complete load of cobblers. "

          Once in a blue moon I have cause to agree with Matt Bryant. Today is one of those days. The Scientific Method has no room for "consensus" as scientific evidence. It demands experimentation and analysis of results. Good scientists will accept findings from experimentation that refute their theories and still think of it as science, they won't bend the data or adjust mathematical models until the data fits the theory.

          Explanation by consensus alone is the domain of religion.

      2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: strum Re: Stick to business

        ".....Everyday science is about consensus...." Yeah, but it doesn't always mean that consensus is correct. For example, it doesn't help the Global Warming alarmists that one of their most hyperventilating "experts", NASA's James Hansen, spent the early '70s insisting the World was "doomed" by an imminent new ice age. ROFL!

  28. rainylights63

    Hypocrates

    1- These all tech leaders bashing President Trump for not signing a bad deal. As a taxpayer, I don't want to see my money going to countries such as India, Russia or China that pay nothing.

    2- He said he will sign a better deal that won't compromise American jobs in America or our children's economic future. These tech leaders have people working overseas where they pay fewer taxes.

    3- The air we breath in America is cleaner than the air anyone can breathe in India and China. So these leaders should aim at the leaders of those countries and not their own country. That's unpatriotic and hypocritical.

    4- These tech leaders make so much money, and more now than ever with their stocks going so high here in America because of Trump's economic plan, so my thought is: Why don't they give their money away to Paris (100 Billion) if they are so concern about the environment. Believe they can since they are all sitting on a pile of money.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dear Donald

    Finally someone with enough basic horse sense to see that the case for 'climate action' is based on extremely dubious cost benefit analysis piled on top of even more dubious technologies whose raison d'être is completely dubious 'climate models'.

    You have taken a leaf out of the climate alarmists book. The precautionary principle states when you dont know what you are doing, do nothing.

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