It is evident that President Trump has embarrassed the United States at every turn, but his latest trip abroad reinforces the fact that he is not working in America's best social, economic, and environmental interests.
Perhaps the most evident example is his unwillingness to cooperate with the Paris Climate Agreement. Trump claims that the Paris Climate Agreement is not compatible with our nation's interests. On the contrary, more than half of Americans know that climate change is due to human activity, and an additional significant number accept that it is happening, but may not believe it is due to human activity. His seemingly simple position effectively forfeits our country's position as a leading nation for several reasons.
For starters, even Exxon Mobile knows that pulling out of the Paris Agreement is a bad idea. We already know that Trump's plans will not save coal. For those who are still not convinced, take it from a major coal company executive and his skepticism. Even one of Trump's top economic advisors, Gary Cohn, does not believe coal is viable. Instead, he believes that pushing renewables could make the United States an "economic powerhouse". He is correct. American products that do not meet certain standards may be met with an import tariff. In any case, this is a reckless decision for America's economic interests. This is not putting "America first".
The global market is changing toward climate action. The United States can either participate and fall in line with international standards, or fall behind. Otherwise, other economic powers such as China and India will replace the United States as they have already been on a path to do so. European nations will rise and replace the United States as not only leaders in renewable energy and the global marketplace but as leaders of the free world. German Chancellor Angela Merkel issued what should be considered a shocking indictment of Trump's agenda. "Germany and Europeans can no longer rely on the United States".
This administration is alienating some of our greatest allies in Europe and the world over yet still will not denounce far-right authoritarian leaders like Vladimir Putin of Russia. The United States has already witnessed a significant tourism decline in the last five months which has cost this country $7.4 billion in revenue. To make matters worse, the proposed laptop ban which could affect all international flights to and from this country would have further disastrous effects on the tourism industry.
The science is clear and so is the future. Combating climate change and switching to renewable energy is the smart, viable solution to compete on a global scale. The humiliation that this administration has thrown onto our country goes far beyond the devastating decision to pull out of the Paris Agreement. We are losing key allies. It is true that after the Obama administration, relations with Germany were at a heavy low. However, it does not appear that President Trump will save our relationship with Germany and other European allies. He will not take advantage of this prosperous opportunity to lead the world in combating one of the most pressing worldwide challenges of our time.
Climate change is one of the most broadly agreed upon foreign policy interests that can exist at present time. Angela Merkel is not only correct while stating that Germany and Europeans cannot rely on Trump's administration. She additionally brings up the fact that the majority of Americans, who do believe in climate change, also cannot rely on the United States federal government to act. Instead, the responsibility is indeed on us. We are the consumers who vote with our wallets. It is more important than ever to abide by the cliché of being the change we wish to see.
We will set our own example for the rest of the world regardless of whether or not the Trump administration believes it is in line with our interests.