Did Trump Just Kill the Paris Climate Deal?
The United States of America might just survive President Donald Trump.
The climate - on the other hand - probably won't.
Right now, world leaders from hundreds of countries are meeting in Marrakech, Morocco to mark the implementation of the Paris climate deal.
That deal isn't perfect - but it still commits the world to keeping global warming below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels - the standard cutoff point after which scientists say global warming will lock-in with devastating consequences for every living thing on the planet.
It's the best chance we have of stopping runaway climate change - which is why this week's meeting was supposed to be a celebration.
Now it's turned into something of a funeral.
If Donald Trump follows through with what he said he'd do on the campaign trail and cancels all climate change commitments made by President Obama, the Paris Climate Deal is dead.
The U.S. is still the world's largest emitter of toxic greenhouse gasses - and if we back out of the deal - the Paris deal is about as effective as a blunt knife.
At this point, there is little to no reason for optimism.
But John Kerry apparently still has hope.
He told the Marrakech conference yesterday that actually serving in the White House might cause Donald Trump to rethink some things about the climate.
Obviously, an election took place in my country. And I know it has left some here and elsewhere feeling uncertain about the future. I obviously understand that uncertainty. And while I can't stand here and speculate about what policies our president-elect will pursue, I will tell you this: In the time that I have spent in public life, one of the things I have learned is that some issues look a little bit different when you're actually in office compared to when you're on the campaign trail.
Expecting the guy who thinks it's all a Chinese hoax to suddenly see the light about the global warming might be a little ambitious - but who knows.
Anything can happen, especially in 2016.
John Kerry is 100 percent correct about one thing, though: once Donald Trump takes office he will face some strong opposition WITHIN the government to his dangerously ignorant opinions about climate change.
The Pentagon, for example, considers global warming one of - if not the biggest - threats to American national security.
So what is Trump going to do?
Will he ignore the generals to satisfy his ego or his donors?
Or will he prove he's the pragmatist President Obama says he is and, after the Pentagon explains to him that his billionaire funders have been lying to him and the American people - take action to stop climate change?