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Ramesh Ponnuru

A Nationalist Strategy for Climate Change

Trump's approach is bumptious. It doesn't have to be.
Deal with it.

Deal with it.

Photographer: Torsten Blackwood - Pool/Getty Images

President Donald Trump has been defending his plan to withdraw from the Paris climate-change accord on nationalist grounds. Announcing the decision last week, he said he was “elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.” Vice President Mike Pence, in Iowa, said that Trump had shown he is “more concerned with Des Moines than Denmark.” (Someone on his team should have told him there’s a Denmark, Iowa.)

Administration officials sometimes go even further. Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, has suggested that the accord was intentionally designed to handicap our economy. There is very little evidence for that view. If Trump believes it, why has he said that he wants to renegotiate the deal with the countries behind the plot?