Up until recently the world has been unwilling to unite to oppose climate change. Now, however, it seems much more willing to unite to oppose Donald Trump.
We human beings seem to need a boogie man and now, fortunately or unfortunately, we have one.
In an opinion piece written after President Trump’s recent announcement that the United States was withdrawing from the Paris climate accord, Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz wrote, “… the rest of the world cannot let a rogue U.S. destroy the planet.”
Stiglitz said the rest of the world should impose a carbon adjustment tax on U.S. exports that do not meet global standards.
In other words, the rest of the world should go ahead and implement the Paris accord. If the U.S. chooses to remain outside the accord, then there should be duties charged on American exports based on the amount of fossil fuels used in their manufacture.
This implies at least a couple of things. The first is that the Paris accord will not fall apart. Fortunately, so far no other nations have indicated they plan to defect.
The second is that there be some kind of accord beyond the accord – that there be some decision-making system that would give the Paris accord enforcement teeth.
That seems likely. Many European leaders were shocked by Trump’s behavior during the recent G7 summit, his lack of support for NATO, and then his announcement about the Paris accord.
A three-way Eurasian alliance to take on global problems such as climate change is not beyond the realm of possibility.
This would tie in with China’s trillion dollar initiative to revitalize the Silk Road – the ancient trading network across central Asia.
As far as climate change is concerned, the correct solution is going to have to include carbon fee-and-dividend – charging a fee on fossil fuels similar to a carbon tax, and then distributing all the money raised as equal dividends to everyone.
Such a system would require a stronger and more democratic United Nations to administer it.
The world faces major challenges on a number of fronts, not just climate change, but also issues such as growing socio-economic inequality. With a rogue superpower being led by a person who advocates many of the wrong solutions, perhaps there is a chance the rest of the world can unite to implement the correct ones.