"Even Israel and Palestine agree!"

Trevor Noah nailed it. Launching a monologue on his late night show, the US comedian efficiently picked off a few low hanging jokes to efficiently illustrate the absurdity of Trump's decision.

Jimmy Kimmel was just as biting, noting that even ExxonMobil and Shell publicly agree the Paris Climate Accord is a good idea.

It would seem the fossil fuel industry has realised the total destruction of human life has the potential to be bad for business.


In June, when the US pulled out of Paris on Donald Trump's command, just three countries remained outside of the UN agreement.

Not only had Israel and Palestine signed up, but so too had almost every country on Earth. Russia signed up. India and China, too.

The world's poorest countries, including Burundi, Niger, and the Central African Republic, all agreed to the Paris guidelines. Haiti ratified in July. Even North Korea, global pariah, opted to get with the programme.

At the point Trump pulled out, just Syria and Nicaragua had refused to sign. As it happened, Syria was already dealing with the end of the world. Nicaragua refused to join Paris because the agreement didn't go far enough.

But three months on, neatly coinciding with the anniversary of Trump's election, Nicaragua has agreed and Syria finally signed up to Paris.

Then there was one.

Trump's first year in office will also go down as the year in which temperatures in Asia exceeded 50C, devastating droughts gripped Africa, and consecutive record-breaking Hurricanes annihilated parts of the Caribbean and US.

According to the World Meteorological Society, 2017 will also list among the warmest years in recorded history, rounding out the top three with 2015 and 2016.


On Wednesday, Trumpiversary coincided with a sobering prediction from Stephen Hawking, who expects the Earth to be a "flaming ball of fire" within 600 years.

Paris is hardly a cure-all. It's the symbolism that's significant: a global response to a global problem.

To his supporters, Trump's withdrawal from the deal might count as the biggest tangible achievement of his time in office. They might be right.

But in the eyes of the world, the withdrawal still achieves little more than irrelevancy. I feel embarrassed on America's behalf.

•Jack Tame is on NewstalkZB Saturdays, 9-noon