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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 9/18/17

Naomi Klein Warns Europe May Water Down Paris Accord to Win Support from Trump

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We speak with best-selling author Naomi Klein, a senior correspondent for The Intercept. Her most recent book, "No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump's Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need," has been longlisted for a National Book Award.

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AMY GOODMAN: President Trump is in New York today attending the United Nations General Assembly for the first time. On Tuesday, he'll address the gathering of world leaders. Climate change is expected to be high on the agenda at this year's U.N. General Assembly. As the world leaders meet, another major storm, Hurricane Maria, is gaining strength in the Caribbean and following a similar path as Hurricane Irma. Hurricane warnings have already been issued for Martinique, Guadeloupe, Dominica, Saint Kitts, Nevis and Montserrat. The current forecast shows Maria could hit Puerto Rico as a Category 4 storm as early as Wednesday. The U.S. Virgin Islands, devastated by Irma, also appear to be in line to be hit by Maria.

Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reported over the weekend that the Trump administration is considering staying in the Paris climate agreement, just months after the president vowed to pull out of it. But the White House has denied the report. On Sunday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson signaled Trump may [stay in] the Paris accord, but National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster gave a different message on Fox News Sunday.

H.R. McMASTER: That's a false report. The president decided to pull out of the Paris accord because it was a bad deal for the American people and because it -- it was -- it was a bad deal for the environment. It gave the worst polluters the ability to continue polluting and emitting carbon, and without significantly reducing those levels. The president is committed to the cleanest water on Earth, the cleanest air on Earth, to an energy policy that reduces carbon emissions, but then also provides clean fossil fuels to generate growth in this country and globally. And these priorities, he felt, we could not pursue effectively within this flawed agreement.

AMY GOODMAN: So that was National Security Adviser General H.R. McMaster. But again, this is Rex Tillerson, the Secretary of State, speaking on Face the Nation with John Dickerson.

SECRETARY OF STATE REX TILLERSON: So I think the plan is for Director Cohn to consider other ways in which we can work with partners in the Paris climate accord. We want to be productive. We want to be helpful. The U.S. has -- actually has a tremendous track record on reducing our own greenhouse gas emissions.

JOHN DICKERSON: So there's a chance that if things get worked out, both on the voluntary side from the U.S., the voluntary restrictions for the U.S., that it could change, but then also, with China, there's a chance the U.S. could stay in the accord, is that right?

SECRETARY OF STATE REX TILLERSON: I think under the right conditions, the president said he's open to finding those conditions where we can remain engaged with others on what we all agree is still a challenging issue.

AMY GOODMAN: And that's Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State, former head of ExxonMobil.

Well, to talk more about President Trump, climate change, the U.N. General Assembly and so much more, we're joined for the hour by Naomi Klein, best-selling author, journalist, senior correspondent for The Intercept. Her most recent book is titled No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump's Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need. She has just become a finalist for the National Book Award. She's also author of the book This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate and The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. Naomi's latest piece for The Intercept is headlined "Irma Won't 'Wake Up' Climate Change-Denying Republicans. Their Whole Ideology is on the Line."

Naomi, welcome back to Democracy Now!

NAOMI KLEIN: Thanks, Amy. It's great to be with you.

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