I found this week a stark reminder of how different the political situations are in two separate countries occupying the same continent. From the American POV, we have President Trump, pulling us Yanks out of the Paris Accord and the commitment to clean energy and environmental safeguarding. The lasting images from the announcement (and the past seven days) are obscure at best: Edgy tweets, this image of former NFL star Peyton Manning finishing a round of golf with the President and a stiff news conference on the White House Lawn announcing America’s exit from the 2015 agreement.
To the north, a much more involved image has come to pass. Justin Trudeau, the smooth and stylish Prime Minister, kayaking to a press conference actually looking as though he knows how to paddle, where he re-committed his country to a path of environmental consciousness and an understanding that the world is much larger than the one he rules.
No doubt that Trudeau’s impromptu press conference at a family’s home on the Niagara River was a shot across the water at President Trump, as Trudeau had voiced his displeasure with the U.S. pullout from the Paris Accord on Twitter earlier. And the paddle just happened to fall on World Environment Day. Many have criticized Trump’s decision as shortsighted, tying the U.S. economy to dying industries in favor of longterm environmental health and jobs in the renewable energy field. Unfortunately, it seemed the red, white and blue looked decidedly more black and blue this week.