It’s something virtually the entire world can agree on: Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement to combat climate change is short-sided at best, and apocalyptic at worst.
The goal of the agreement is to hold “the increase in global average temperature to well below 2 degrees C above pre-industrial levels,” but as John Oliver explained on Sunday’s Last Week Tonight (which aired the same night as a show with the tagline: “The End Is Near”), we’re expected to reach the so-called Carbon Budget in 20 years. “That is not a long time,” Oliver said. “20 years ago, South Park was on TV, Foo Fighters were touring, and Paul Rudd looked like this. What I’m saying is, 20 years ago was basically now.”
Oliver — who brought up the movie 2012, so you know things are serious — took special umbrage against the president’s “flamboyantly deceptive” description of the agreement. “It would have been equally accurate for him to say, ‘Compliance with the Paris Agreement would likely require all ducks to wear jean shorts and it would potentially cost each and every American citizen five fish and a dump truck full of hamsters.’ That would be as true as what he just said.” There’s no denying Trump misunderstood the research, but there’s also no denying global warming is real. And yet, here we are.
As for Trump’s claim that the agreement put the U.S. at an “economic advantage,” I believe Oliver put it best when he practically yelled in disbelief, “What are you talking about? They were happy because they secured a landmark victory for the future of the planet, you f*cking egomaniac.”
Watch the clip above.