A liberal law professor wrote a lengthy op-ed claiming President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate accord is a “crime against humanity” that is an “impeachable offense.”
“Trump’s withdrawal from the climate agreement constitutes an impeachable offense,” Marjorie Cohn, a professor emerita at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, wrote in an oped for Truthout published Thursday.
Trump announced he would make good on his campaign pledge to withdraw from the Paris accord last week, a decision which Cohn argues violates the public trust and constitutes a high crime.
Democrats and environmentalists argued Trump’s decision to withdraw from Paris ceded U.S. leadership on global warming to China and other countries. Cohn went further, saying Trump violated the public trust by condemning them to apocalyptic warming.
“The voters trust the president to act in their best interests and protect them from harm,” she wrote. “By withdrawing from the climate agreement, Trump is violating the trust that ‘We the People’ have placed in him.
“If the climate continues to change at a rapid rate, society itself will be injured. As the glaciers melt and the oceans swell, the land will recede. Crops will die,” she wrote.
“Mosquitos will increasingly carry diseases. The Earth will be hit with massive floods, devastating heat waves and drought. Polar bears will become extinct. People will lose their lands, their homes and their lives. Indeed, life as we know it will come to an end,” Cohn wrote.
That’s not all, Cohn also argues Trump’s Paris decision constituted a “high crime,” which the U.S. constitution lays out as a standard for impeachment. Cohn also says the 22 Republican Senators who signed a letter to Trump urging a Paris withdrawal had “aided and abetted” his “crime against humanity.”
“By withdrawing from the climate agreement and refusing to shoulder the United States’ share of responsibility for slowing climate change, Trump has intentionally committed an inhumane act that will ultimately cause great suffering to the people of the world,” Cohn wrote.
Cohn said Trump’s Paris agreement withdrawal could be tried before the International Criminal Court for “destruction of the environment.” She cites a report from the non-profit group Center for Climate Crime Analysis that “[c]limate crimes are often intertwined with other serious international crimes.”
“As a result of this link, as well through their impact on climate change, climate crimes may represent a threat to international peace and security and potentially affect all of humankind and the very foundations of civilization,” Cohn quoted from the group’s report.
Republicans largely supported Trumps’ withdrawal from the Paris accord, which the Obama administration joined in 2016. So, it’s unlikely they would impeach Trump for exiting an international agreement they didn’t support.
Trump had stayed in the Paris accord and implemented all the policies necessary to meet the Obama administration’s goal, it would have made no measurable difference to future global warming.
The Obama administration’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025 was only estimated to avert 0.03 degrees Celsius of projected global warming by 2100.
And that’s assuming the climate models are right. Most climate models have warmed twice as fast as actual observed temperatures.