Sometimes these days, you have to take a deep breath.
That’s the tack John Oliver appeared to be taking on last night’s Last Week Tonight, as he broke down not only the potentially disastrous worldwide consequences of Donald Trump’s unilateral decision to pull the United States out of the Paris climate agreement, but also the astounding (even for Trump) mountain of bullshit he used to justify that decision. Of course, with Trump, it’s always a game of spin the “deliberately lying/doesn’t know what the fuck he’s talking about” wheel, but Oliver, prefacing each of his story beats with a cleansing, prefatory “Okay…,” did his usual, acidly assiduous job of sifting through the appalling ludicrousness a Donald Trump presidency pays out every week.
Apart from the inescapable science behind man-made climate change (Hey, have you heard about the so-called “carbon budget?” It’s terrifying.), the loss of U.S. global standing, the looming crisis for American workers should countries like China and India take the lead in renewable energy jobs, and the fact that even the Vatican is dunking on us, Oliver focused especially carefully on Trump’s White House announcement on Thursday, that we would abandon the idealistic global push to save life on Earth. Pointing to one Trump statement about the Green Climate Fund, Oliver, after taking that deep breath, broke down how Trump managed to pack a heaping handful of outright falsehoods and errors into one short sentence, including misstating the actual name of the fund itself.
As to what’s to be done about America being in the tiny hands of a fact-averse megalomaniac constitutionally immune to the shame-based incentives of the entirely voluntary Paris agreement, Oliver pointed out that local is the way to go at this point. Citing the fact that a growing number of U.S. governors and mayors have banded together to not only denounce Trump’s decision, but to also take up the slack by redoubling efforts to meet the Paris climate goals, Oliver urged viewers to vote out those legislators clinging to Trump-esque climate change denial, if not outright ignorant lunacy. You know, like Pennsylvania Republican Scott Wagner, who apparently flunked sixth grade science, or North Carolina Republican Larry Pittman (the same guy who compared Abraham Lincoln to Adolph Hitler) who assures us that, if the Earth’s warming, it’s because “the Lord made it that way.”
Deep breath. Okay…