Zakaria on Leaving Paris Deal: ‘This Is the Day’ the U.S. ‘Resigned as the Leader of the Free World’

Moments before President Trump announced on Thursday that he’d withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate deal, CNN host and serial plagiarist Fareed Zakaria lost his mind, fretting that “this is the day that the United States resigned as the leader of the free world” and a sign of “breathtaking” “irresponsibility” by the President.

The Lead host Jake Tapper introduced Zakaria to bring in “an international perspective” and so Zakaria proceeded to unload on Trump, painting a doomsday scenario.

“[T]his is the day that the United States resigned as the leader of the free world. It's nothing short of that. The — the — the irresponsibility of this act is breathtaking because the Paris climate accords are actually extraordinarily flexible. They do not dilute American sovereignty,” Zakaria fretted. 

Despite the fact that countries can make up their own plans that may (or may not) do their parts in reducing carbon emissions, Zakaria spun it as a positive:

They allow every country to make it own plans. That's why countries that have jealously guarded their sovereignty like China, like India, like Russia, have all signed on. There are 194 other countries that have signed on to this, including the countries that Donald Trump keep saying always beat us in these agreements. They are all in. 

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Being the fair and true journalist that he is, Tapper pressed Zakaria with the opposing viewpoint, noting that others argued “that China is getting away with murder and don’t listen to what the Chinese and the Indians are saying” as they’re instead “building more polluting plants.”

Zakaria hilariously acknowledged that “there is going to be some cheating” and suggested the other members of the deal would police each other to the point of levying fines. Yeah, good luck actually believing that. 

If countries can cheat, why have the agreement at all? Further, why hype it as so momentous to the future of humanity?

“So it's bad geo-politically. It’s bad economically and does not dilute American sovereignty. This is a lose, lose, lose for the United States and, as I say, for a young presidency, it is already the single most irresponsible act that the President has taken,” Zakaria concluded.

Here’s the relevant portion of the transcript from June 1's CNN Newsroom:

CNN Newsroom
June 1, 2017
3:14 p.m. Eastern

JAKE TAPPER: Let's go to Fareed Zakaria right now because I know there's an international perspective on this that's important. 

FAREED ZAKARIA: Jake, I think that it really will — if it proves to be what we think it is, this is the day that the United States resigned as the leader of the free world. It's nothing short of that. The — the — the irresponsibility of this act is breathtaking because the Paris climate accords are actually extraordinarily flexible. They do not dilute American sovereignty. They allow every country to make it own plans. That's why countries that have jealously guarded their sovereignty like China, like India, like Russia, have all signed on. There are 194 other countries that have signed on to this, including the countries that Donald Trump keep saying always beat us in these agreements. They are all in. 

TAPPER: Let me interrupt for one second, Fareed, just because I want to ask, what other point made by Senator Paul and Stephen Moore on the panel here that China is getting away with murder and don’t listen to what the Chinese and the Indians are saying. Look at what they’re doing. They’re building more polluting plants. 

ZAKARIA: Well, look, under any agreement, there is going to be some cheating. People accused United States of undermining the World Trade Organization rules all the time and there's a process that you put in place to adjudicate that and when found, they can be fines. The argument that, you know, generically, that's a reason to never engage in any kind of cooperation — look, if the Chinese were not signed on to Paris accords, they would be polluting many times more. There is — there are good studies, one by the Granthum Institute, that points out that China is actually overshooting many of the targets it has arrived at. I also want to point out, on this issue of the job of the future, who I thought Van did an excellent job. The only thing I would point out is it's 194 countries that are potential markets, not just 125, but the problem with the kind of statistics that Rand Paul and Steve Moore were providing is we all have Google. So from the — this January's Department of Energy report, United States' solar industry employs more workers than coal, oil and natural gas combined. It grew 25 percent last year. The point Van was making is exactly right. These are the industries that the United States can dominate, as long as you engage in digging up oil, natural gas, that's opened up lots of different countries in the world. It's not just the Middle East, it's Venezuela, it’s Russia, the country that benefits the most perhaps from all of this. We would — we would own the future if we could continue to dominate this. So it's bad geo-politically. It’s bad economically and does not dilute American sovereignty. This is a lose, lose, lose for the United States and, as I say, for a young presidency, it is already the single most irresponsible act that the President has taken. 

NB Daily Environment Global Warming Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats CNN CNN Newsroom Video Government & Press Fareed Zakaria Jake Tapper Donald Trump
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