Elon Musk Leaves President Trump’s Council Over Paris Climate Accord Withdrawal

Elon Musk


Both men are doing what they said they would.

As promised, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has left President Trump’s economic council over the announcement today that Trump will pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Musk Tweeted a few minutes ago that, “Climate change is real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world.”

Yesterday, he said that if Trump left the Paris deal behind, Musk would have no choice but to step away from advising the president. Trump, of course, promised during the campaign last year that he would pull the U.S. out of the agreement.

Musk’s contribution to the president’s economic council was controversial when he joined earlier this year. Yesterday, Musk said that he had, “done all I can to advise directly to POTUS, through others in WH & via councils, that we remain” in the Paris agreement. With all of Trump’s love for coal, though, a guy trying to sell him on an electric and solar future was always going to have a hard time.

What’s Trump’s withdrawal today means for global CO2 emissions levels is going to be a big topic of discussion in the coming months.

After Trump’s visit to Europe last week, German chancellor Angela Merkel said that the U.S. could no longer be relied on. It doesn’t seem like Trump gave that much thought in this decision, though, since he put domestic politics front and center. CNN reports:

Anti-Paris voices, led by chief strategist Steve Bannon and EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, appeared to win out. In conversations with his advisers, Trump has cited the affect a withdrawal would have on the states where he won by the largest margins, including in the Rust Belt and the western plains.

It should be noted that leaving the Paris agreement is not the simplest of procedures, and will take until around November 2020 to complete (which happens to also be the trigger for the next US Presidential election); although to be fair, it was the actions that were to be taken between now and then by the US (and other countries) which were of tangible value.

Following his statement of resignation from the council, Musk tweeted a follow-up factoid sure to get the President’s attention.

195 nations signed the Paris deal. 194 are left, for now.

Video (below):  Elon Musk talks the “Basics of Climate Change” to students at The Sorbonne, Paris before the COP21 Climate Change Conference in 2015

Source: Twitter, Hat tip to R LeMeur!

Category: General, Tesla

Tags: , , , ,

145 responses to "Elon Musk Leaves President Trump’s Council Over Paris Climate Accord Withdrawal"
  1. Leszek Grzyl says:

    Sometime I think – how could have US voted for Trump?But then I remind myself that UK voted for Brexit, Poland for Pis and so . We tend to be regressive when scared by imaginary threats and foes.

    1. Murrysville EV says:

      “We tend to be regressive when scared by imaginary threats and foes.”

      This is especially true of climate change believers.

      Mr Musk was foolish to leave the President’s CEO council over this issue.

      1. ChuckLA says:

        I notice greencareports has the following disclaimer on all climate change reporting:

        Green Car Reports respectfully reminds its readers that the scientific validity of climate change is not a topic for debate in our comments. We ask that any comments by climate-change denialists be flagged for moderation. Thank you in advance for helping us keep our comments on topic, civil, respectful, family-friendly, and fact-based.

        Maybe something similar should be considered for this website as the weight of the scientific evidence is indisputable. Its like disputing evolution etc.

        1. Jay Cole says:

          Just as a point of interest: We don’t really try to “nanny” the discussion, just the tone when it gets a little too personal/animated, and takes away from the enjoyment of others.

          With that in mind, and a topic like this, we have an expectation that it will get a little ‘wild’ in the discussion…so arm’s length and all that.

          …a stance you can have when you have live moderation 24/7, 365 days a week.

          1. Tom says:

            Green Car Reports’ policy for flagging is way out of bounds in my opinion. It is vitally important that ALL topics of science, religion, politics, economics, or really of any human endeavor NOT be unanimous thought as that is humanity’s only true death sentence.

            1. Spider-Dan says:

              No, not really. There comes a point where giving crackpots a microphone is to the detriment of society.

              Note that this is NOT any sort of infringement of free speech; anyone is free to set up their own message board and promote whatever insane theories they like. But there’s a difference between trying to silence stupid thought (which is bad) and declining to hand stupid thought a megaphone (which is just fine).

              1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

                Indeed. Online physics forums are infested with people who insist on their belief in perpetual motion, or that the universe doesn’t work according to General Relativity. People arguing with such invincibly ignorant crackpots never make any progress, and so reading or posting to such forums is simply a waste of time.

                Sometimes you really do need a moderator, if you don’t want your forum to be drowned in irrelevant B.S.

                Speaking of invincibly ignorant crackpots, this has to be the first time I’ve ever seen the phrase “climate change believer”. Hmmm, yes, I “believe” that climate does change* in that the same way I “believe” in gravity. 😉

                *In the short term, we call that “weather”; in somewhat longer periods, we call it “seasons”. Longer cycles have been shown to follow the precession of the Earth’s axis and other astronomical cycles. None of this requires “belief”; it’s well established scientific fact.

                What so-called “climate change deniers” actually deny isn’t the reality of climate change, but that the current rate of climate change is unnatural.

              2. needa says:

                So definitely should keep the mic out of the hands of Bill Nye. His ‘you want proof, look at this graph’ is why I no longer necessarily believe in climate change.

                1. Nick says:

                  “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.”

                  — Philip K. Dick

                  I wish climate change was like the tooth fairy and all we had to do was tell ourselves​ it didn’t exist to make it go away. Alas putting your head in the sand won’t stop the climate from changing if we keep pumping ancient CO2 back into the air. 🙁

            2. JustWilliamPDX says:

              There’s room for both, and I read and comment on both. I appreciate IEV’s quantity of articles and it’s liberal but we’ll moderated commentary. I also appreciate GCR’s “small club” vibe. Less content and strict rules for commenting result in some great conversations.

              Having options is pretty great, yes?

            3. AlphaEdge says:

              > Green Car Reports’ policy for flagging is way out of bounds in my opinion.

              People should not apply their rules on what is a privately owned site. If you want open discussion with no moderation, you have to find a public forum for that.

            4. needa says:


          2. Warren Hurd says:

            Thanks Jay. When I attempt to post on the WSJ comments that there are other pollutants that are worse than Co2 I get an error “You are attempting to post malformed logic”. I am sure many people would agree with that, but not everybody. My point is the political emphasis on Co2 leaves other more harmful pollutants ignored. An an example of this is the diesel bypass conspiracy. I would love to know the whole story. It looks like it was decided that Co2 emissions would be reduced with an increase in other pollutants. There must have been many complicit players involved, and I would have to assume that the government knew also. I wonder if the unmasking was planned or accidental.

            1. Bill Howland says:

              I cringe when I hear CO2 either called ‘Carbon’ , or a pollutant.. Carbon Dioxide – different from Carbon, is one of the few Building Blocks of Life. If there was no problem we should call water instead Hydrogen, since it is the more incorrect to call CO2 ‘carbon’. We should call it “Oxygen”, since this is what the plants release.

              Musk disingenuously provided a photo of a soot-belching smokestack when talking about ‘carbon emissions’ perpetuating the fallacy that CO2 is dangerous, but in fact is colorless, and odorless, and enlivening to the most delicate Orchid.

              I’m currently off the Trump bandwagon, but I applaud what he did yesterday – he did *NOT* forget the people who voted for him, and fulfilled a campaign promise to the voters who brought him to the dance, so to speak.

              Interestingly, other than hurling epithets at Trump – no one has challenged his factual, intelligent dissertation as to exactly why he wants the ‘Paris Accord’ renegotiated prior to ever becoming a part of it. Now it is being said it CANNOT be negotiated. That’s perfectly fine, too.

              Methinks Musk is worried Al Gore’s Carbon Credit schema may have a limited lifetime, and there with ICE buyers will not be financing his company or his personal wealth in perpetuity.

              1. ModernMarvelFan says:

                ” he wants the ‘Paris Accord’ renegotiated prior to ever becoming a part of it.”

                What is there to renegotiated? Most of the actions are volunteer actions.

                The countries can change the action or goals without consequences so why there is any need of exiting?

                1. Bill Howland says:

                  Its in the details. For instance, a country’s ‘voluntary’ acceptance of standards becomes LATER ON a mandatory requirement in such ‘agendas’ as UN 2030

                  But specifically to your ‘quoted’ excerpt – listen to, or read a transcript of Mr. Trump’s speech, in which he states exactly what he means.

                  1. ModernMarvelFan says:

                    It is 2017, 2030 is a long way away…

              2. Nick says:

                Truly, you have a dizzying intellect.

        2. georgeS says:

          “Green Car Reports ask that any comments by climate-change denialists be flagged for moderation.”


          Brave New Planet web site does that as well.

          It’s OK by me.

        3. SparkEV says:

          “scientific evidence is indisputable”

          And what might they be? Practically everyone agrees on science. Even the so called deniers (eg. Roy Spencer) agree on these basic facts: globe is warming, CO2 level is rising with much of it due to man made sources, ocean is rising and acififying, etc. About the only thing disputed is that world won’t face disaster, which is not science (for or against).

          IEV is doing it right by allowing free discussion. We should be promoting EV, because EVs are great, not because of some imaginary monster looming.

          1. Paul Smith says:

            The world will face many disasters, from loss of fish from the seas to flooded coastal cities. This is from scientists directly, not some oil backed hack web site.

            1. SparkEV says:

              Climate scientists talking about human disaster is nonsense. I believe their science, not their “sky is falling” religion.

              Sea level has been rising even before man made CO2 became significant since we are in inter-glacial period. It rose almost a foot between 1900 and 2000, and hardly anyone noticed. Even if it’s 2ft by 2100 (estimated by scientists) or even double that, that’ll hardly be a catastrophe when it occurs over time of 100 years.

              1. Dan says:

                I agree. There was a distinct change in the 2000s from discussing the data about global temperatures to quibbling over culture and politics. Many of the loudest people most fervently taking up the oxygen in the room are also the ones reaching for the homeopathic sugar pills at the Whole Foods check out counter or skipping their kids’ MMR vaccines. There are deep policy questions that are at stake. Why are the people least equipped to interpret the science the ones fighting for it?

              2. ModernMarvelFan says:

                “It rose almost a foot between 1900 and 2000, and hardly anyone noticed.”

                Isn’t that kind of “self centered” statement?

                Tell that to the people who lives by the low lands or near oceans that frequently flood their homes…

                Or are you claiming that it is their fault for living so close to the ocean?

                1. Mark.ca says:

                  He can hardly notice it from the 4th floor of his downtown building….meanwhile some pacific nations are looking to relocate. Not to worry, one more foot in the next 50 years and everyone will notice it.

                  1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

                    How many Pacific islands? Last I looked, it was only two tiny ones that had to be evacuated, or were on the verge of it.

                    Putting that down to “climate change” seems like “global warming disaster” pseudo-science dogma, not real science. Natural subsidences occur all the time; sea levels don’t have to rise for islands to sink. In the meantime, I notice nobody complains when their island rises a bit, which is just as natural a phenomenon as a subsidence.

                    That’s not “climate change”, it’s selective observation.

                    1. ModernMarvelFan says:

                      So the more frequent flooding of Miami isn’t something to notice too?

                      Sorry, PP, you got even less respect from me now, considering how little you got left from our exchanges before.

                    2. pjwood1 says:

                      Late to the argument, but it is the feedbacks from flying past the 400PPM level which we have yet to see. Most of the accumulation has been over the past 50 years, or so. Sea level rising for non-CO2 climate changes is believable, but I wouldn’t go as far as saying we ought to press on to 450, then 500PPM, and see what happens then.

                      We’re shocking a terrarium, and we know we’re doing it. Temps have risen 1.2C over the past ~150, which you don’t need tree rings to believe in. It’s past the point of staggering that people still willfully believe small changes should be tolerated, and big ones ought to be risked.

                      I don’t get it. I admit to being all-in, and am surprised (and glad for free speech at IEV). It’s nonetheless disheartening that so many around here think less about what they’re risking, than they do about what’s happened so far. It isn’t alarmist to say we’re gambling.

                2. Stephen Hodges says:

                  I suggest searching for “sunny day flooding”, a term used in states where the workers are banned from using the term climate change or global warming. Interesting pictures.

              3. Priusmaniac says:

                End of century see level rise is between 4 m and 6 m. I don’t know what conversion you use to get 2 ft instead of the 20 ft. It looks like you forgot what exponential means.

                1. David Cary says:

                  See that gets “us” into trouble. There is no scientific consensus for 4-6M by the end of the century. That “sky is falling” is just the kind of thing that deniers get caught up in.

                  Unfortunately, I think that some are so frustrated with the ignorance and inaction that they pull out hyperbole. I would suggest that is a bad idea and remember that extremism on either side usually isn’t helpful.

                  Now 2 ft is optimistic also but closer to consensus that 4-6m. And we all know it is going to vary quite considerably from area to area also

                  1. Priusmaniac says:

                    4 to 6 m is only the appetizer. Thousand years from now all the ice will be melted and that translate into a 62 m sea level rise. There is no hyperbole in summing up all the ice packed on earth and calculated what the water equivalent spread is giving. Exaggerating is one thing but keeping denying the ultimate result when the melting is completed is not good either.

                2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

                  4 to 6 meters rise by the end of this century?

                  That looks like one of those wildly exaggerated predictions which have already been shown to be based on false assumptions.

                  1. Nick says:

                    I love your super optimistic attitude! I hear the Lego everything is awesome song when I read your “it will all be fine, don’t worry about it” posts.

                    Sadly, it seems like our most pessimistic predictions have turned out to be conservative.

                    The feedback cycles are stronger than we expected. Global dimming is also delaying the full impacts of the CO2 we’ve already emitted.

              4. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

                “Sea level has been rising even before man made CO2 became significant since we are in inter-glacial period.”

                Well said. Sea level rise has been happening at a fairly steady rate since circa 1830, give or take a quarter century or so.

                It’s too bad the climate science community has allowed itself to be hijacked by activists pushing the pseudo-science dogma of CAGW (Catastrophic Anthropic Global Warming). Oh no, the sky is falling! The seas will rise and drown us all!

                Well, er, ummm… no. In the real world, the hysterical fears of sea levels rising at an accelerated rate have not materialized, and are rather unlikely to. The alarmists have been reduced to nattering about storm surges and continuing to deny reality by insisting that central Florida and large numbers of Pacific islands are going to disappear under the sea, any day… um, month… um, year… um, decade… um, century now! 🙄

                1. Nick says:

                  Strawmen destroyed.

                  You win!

        4. Nix says:

          GCR had to do that because their comments section had gotten neck deep in posters who didn’t care about green anything. It got so bad that discussion in practically every story was being diverted into debunking the exact same off-topic brainless claims over and over that had nothing to do with the original story.

          GCR did what they had to do to reclaim their board.

          Luckily we don’t see that here. It isn’t really off topic on a story like this, and it isn’t like every story devolves off-topic into a climate debate.

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            Nix said:

            “It got so bad that discussion in practically every story was being diverted into debunking the exact same off-topic brainless claims over and over that had nothing to do with the original story…

            “Luckily we don’t see that here.”

            But we do see that here, every time there is an article related to “fool cell” cars or the “hydrogen economy” hoax. The exact same few people posting exactly the same science-denier claims and Big Oil propaganda.

            I’m not saying its anywhere near as bad here as what you’re describing, but it does happen quite consistently.

        5. Someone out there says:

          I agree with Green Car Reports’ statement. Not only because climate change is real but because Green Car Reports is not the place to debate that – not that there’s much to debate but still.

        6. SJC says:

          V.P. Pence does not believe in evolution.

      2. Oslo says:

        I was about to write the same, this is just keeping up with apperence from the regressiv left as he would be further attacked by msm if he continiued in the council. CA will still regulate like its a far streched arm of the EU. I personaly would like states decide on regulations for themselves. With the free marked being free again, the marked in other states will go renewable when its a cheaper alternative. And thats not looking into the deep future, thats only a couple of decades away anyways. No politicians will change that.

        1. Alonso Perez says:

          It’s got nothing to do with the MSM, which hasn’t attacked Musk anyway.

          You may have noticed that Musk does not have a lot of spare time. Why would a busy guy like him waste precious time advising those who ignore his advice? That’s a terrible cost-benefit ratio.

      3. Alonso Perez says:

        No, he wasn’t. There is no point in being in an advisory council if your advice is totally ignored. Make no mistake that this move will result in the loss of high value added American jobs and competitiveness. In exchange we will get a handful of low value mining jobs, and not many of those since mining is now mountain demolition through explosives.

        Anybody who thinks that the economic future of the US is to be found in the mountains of West Virginia is a fool.

        It’s a boneheaded move from a business perspective, independent of CO2.

        1. Murrysville EV says:

          I was thinking Mr Musk should have stayed just to continue promoting his business interests. He’s now forfeited that opportunity.

          I’m actually all for a green future, but I don’t believe that hinges on adherence to the climate change topic. Coal isn’t going to return in force no matter what; this is more of a slogan and hope for the MAGA types than it is based upon reality.

          1. Paul Smith says:

            Elon’s business interests are world wide, and being on that committee challenged that. Trump will be gone is 3 1/2 years or sooner.

            1. Alonso Perez says:

              Exactly. Close relationship with the Trump administration is now a business liability. The US will be sidelined everywhere. Germany moving closer to China as we speak.

              1. Dan says:

                Germany (and pretty much every other EU country) has contributed ZERO to the global climate fund. They owe 100 billion a year. The Chinese and Indians on the other hand are doing their part of the agreement. At least Trump is being honest about withdrawing from the agreement. The Europeans are being the usual cheating scoundrels that they are. Even the 1 billion that has made its way into the fund so far is diverted cash from other programs.

                Who knows. After World War 3, China will slice off a piece of Europe as payment for their solar panels.

                1. Get Real says:

                  Let me guess Dan, you get your infood from Breitbart or some other right-wing talking points/propaganda?

                  Here is the fact checks on Herr Trump’s alternative facts–rated grade a BS as usual:



                  1. Dan says:

                    Keep me out of your stupid western political school fight. I don’t need to “get my news” about the green fund. I’m following what’s ACTUALLY happening in the fund. Most of the amounts that they are counting are existing projects pre-2014 or are funds that were re-directed from other programs. The actual amounts spent to date that can be called new expenditures are in the 100s of millions. This has been a huge issue that the BRICS countries have complained about with no response from Europe or the US.

          2. ModernMarvelFan says:

            “I was thinking Mr Musk should have stayed just to continue promoting his business interests. ”

            What is the point of promoting it when it falls on deaf ears?

            Tesla’s future isn’t just relying on making America great. It is relying on “making the world great”…

            1. Bean says:

              Mr. Musk does not need to stay on any committee to promote his business. He’s been around a lot longer with Tesla and SpaceX than Trump has successfully been president. Reading about the council, it does not appear a real vial thinktank for economic development. Good move for Mr. Musk bad move for Trump and the world.

              1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

                “Mr. Musk does not need to stay on any committee to promote his business. He’s been around a lot longer with Tesla and SpaceX than Trump has successfully been president.”

                Well that’s not hard, because El Trumpo is considerably further away from being “successful” as President than any previous one in history.

                But seriously, I was thinking Elon would want to stay in the council, for access to the Administration to promote his SpaceX interests. But perhaps you’re right in saying that long-term, Elon will be better off disassociating himself with this gang of science-denying kleptocrats and oil-igarchs.

                At the very least, he’ll get some relief from the feeling of constantly needing to take a shower. 😉

      4. CLEAN AIR says:

        Sweet Jesus Murrysville EV; It makes absolutely no difference whether you believe in climate change or not. I happen to believe you are an idiot if you don’t, but then that’s my freedom of speech.

        Musk did the right thing walking away from an idiot president and an administration that is destroying this country. If you and others can’t see that then you beyond any hope.

        If I had to guess, I would guess that you have insurance on your home. Why? Why would you pay to have insurance on your home, or your car for that matter? Probably in case something bad happens. If sh*t happens, you have protected you and your family.

        So what the hell is so different about climate change? Why in the hell don’t you want some insurance so that this planet we call home remains the home of future generations?? Oh yeah, most deniers don’t give a damn about the future, only what they can pocket in their lifetime.

        You think tRump gives a damn about our economy or the environment, or education? NO! He cares about how much money he can get out of this show he’s putting on in the White House.

        Deniers can do nothing, and possibly cost mankind a future on this planet or they can buy a little planet insurance and do something about reducing carbon emissions.

        Is it really all that bad to error on the side of caution? Fifty years from now I would rather apologize for doing too much to protect the planet, than to sit there and watch New York and Miami go under water and say, “Damn, I guess we should have done something 50 years ago.”

        1. SparkEV says:

          Problem is that insurance premium is going to cost far more than what “disaster” is likely to be caused by climate change. For example, if your home is worth $1M, and worst case damage covered is to be $100K in 100 years, you wouldn’t pay $50K per year in premium.

          Another problem is that Paris hits US with far more burden than similarly polluting China and India (you pay your neighbor’s insurance premium). I suspect this is the biggest reason why Dump pulled out.

          1. ModernMarvelFan says:

            “Another problem is that Paris hits US with far more burden than similarly polluting China and India (you pay your neighbor’s insurance premium). I suspect this is the biggest reason why Dump pulled out.”

            That isn’t based on facts at all.

            The fact is that agreement is volunteer and so are the contribution of funding. US’s pledge can be revoked without leaving the so called agreement. But leaving the agreement means that US has no interest to participate the agreement at all.

            This “my way or the high way” attitude isn’t going to work since last time it took 195 nations to come together to make it happen. It won’t be so easy to make it happen again.

            Also, China is pledging FAR MORE in renewable power investment than US. What Trump has pledged is to make American rolling in coal and oil again.

            The only thing you can give Trump credit is the fact that he is doing what he claimed. Some of his supporters didn’t think he would do that, but he did.

            “I told you so”.

          2. Mint says:

            How are China and India “similarly polluting”?

            China has less than half the emissions per capita of the US, and India less than a tenth.

            Or do you think one US life is worth many times as much as those outside the western world, and therefore entitled to pollute more?

          3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            SparkEV said:

            “Another problem is that Paris hits US with far more burden than similarly polluting China and India (you pay your neighbor’s insurance premium).”

            Wow, you really bought into the Trumpster fake news/”alternative facts” hook line, and sinker, didn’t you?

            Reality check: The Paris Accords are entirely voluntary. Every country sets its own goals for itself.

      5. Paul Smith says:

        Good. Waste of his time sitting in those meetings achieving nothing.

        1. CLIVE says:

          Bingo ‼️

        2. Bea says:

          Double Bingo!

      6. Edinho says:

        Climate changes it’s not ‘believers’, it’s cience. Climate changes denials is cience too, but is cience paid by the great industry to deny climate change danger.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          Edinho said:

          “Climate changes denials is cience too…”

          1. It’s spelled “science”.

          2. Climate change denial isn’t science, it’s pseudo-science. The difference is decidedly non-trivial. Real science is generally pretty good at predicting how the world works; that’s why science has value. Pseudo-science isn’t, and doesn’t.

    2. Pittsburg, posterchild for overcoming Pollution, not happy with Trump: http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/01/politics/pittsburgh-mayor-donald-trump/index.html

    3. SJC says:

      tRump lost by 3 million votes, the Winner Take All laws in 48 states are unconstitutional under the Equal Protection clause.

  2. Brave Lil Toaster says:

    What, did he expect Trump to be doing Great And Wonderful Things for the environment? Nevermind the default position that having an (R) after your name means that you’re totally not going to, the dude was saying “AMERICAN COAL ALL THE WAY BABY!!” throughout the whole election.

    1. WadeTyhon says:

      American coal wanted to stay in the climate change pact as well. They will be hurt financially by this. They were hoping the US would be an advocate for “clean” coal on the world stage.

    2. Alonso Perez says:

      I think he expected that there was a chance that Trump or Bannon would understand the scale of manufacturing jobs that clean energy industries would bring to the table.

      Obviously they did not. It was a chance worth taking. Musk success by risking failure, but that means that sometimes he fails.

  3. WadeTyhon says:

    If Trump is going to ignore the advise of the council and most of his advisors, why bother? I supported Musks attempts to have a seat at the table. But Trump has made it clear that he isnt worth wasting a breath on.

    Plus as PR and optics go, this was a very obvious exit point or ‘out’ for Musk, who received unwarranted criticism for trying to make a difference.

    1. Alonso Perez says:


      He was right to join when he did, and is right to exit on this condition. If Trump hadn’t done this, Musk would have been vindicated. But having done it, Musk can say he honestly tried regardless of the critics. IMHO he played it perfectly.

      1. Spider-Dan says:

        So helping to lend an air of legitimacy to Trump – who promised to do this from the beginning – was “the right move”?

        In that case, when is it “the wrong move” to join forces with a terrible political leader? After all, no matter what horrible policy they are promising, you can just say that you were “trying to influence them to choose otherwise.”

        This was an unforced error that had an utterly predictable outcome. If Elon Musk wants to make a political impact on climate change, he should be doing more to make sure that people like Trump lose elections, not providing cover for them after they win.

        1. Alonso Perez says:

          The whole notion that Musk was giving Trump legitimacy made no sense and Musk was right to ignore it. Trump’s legitimacy stems from having won the election, not from one or one hundred advisory boards. He will lose this legitimacy if he is found to have committed treason or other felonies, or if it is proven that his campaign colluded with Russian interference. He will not lose legitimacy by the resignation of Musk or anybody else.
          Legitimacy is not popularity or even approval rating.
          Trump did say he would leave Paris but he said many other things too. One thing he said was that he would champion American manufacturing. The only way to find the truth was to run the experiment. Musk did this and he was right to do it. Nobody can now accuse him of bias or partisanship.

          1. Spider-Dan says:

            Elon Musk does not convey electoral legitimacy, nor was that ever implied.

            The kind of legitimacy I am referring to is when people like… well, like the commenters here… take Elon’s cooperation with the Trump Administration as some sort of signal that said administration is making environmental decisions in good faith. They are not.

            I am unsure why you cite Trump’s claims to “champion American manufacturing” as if that is somehow at odds with his promises to destroy the environment. It is perfectly practical to do both at the same time.

            Furthermore, I don’t see how Trump’s promises to Make American Manufacturing Great Again should make the slightest difference to someone who a) claims not to be doing this for the money and b) claims to be doing this to save the planet.

            But hey, if Trump’s NLRB keeps the unions from getting their hooks into Tesla’s workforce, thereby increasing corporate profit margins, it’s all worth it, right?

          2. Spider-Dan says:

            One last thing: the idea that Elon should avoid showing “bias or partisanship” against a political party that has made denial of climate change a pillar of their platform is utterly incompatible with any sort of claim to be pro-environment.

            You can be neutral, or you can take a stand, but you can’t do both at the same time.

        2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          The decision regarding whether to try to effect change from the inside or the outside will always be a dilemma, and will always leave one open to criticism by those who, wrongly, think they know better than the person actually in the situation what that actual situation is. At best this is presumptuous and ill-informed; at worst it’s an example of the Dunning-Kruger Effect.

          I personally won’t fault Elon Musk for attempting change from the inside. Heaven knows there are already enough people trying to do that from the outside. Musk joining that chorus isn’t likely to have much impact.

          1. Spider-Dan says:

            If you wanted to make that argument for working with George W. Bush in 2001, fine. But Trump was an outlier (to say the least) and, IMHO of course, history will not look kindly on those who stepped forward to collaborate with him.

            1. Four Electrics says:

              Hopefully the tide had begun to shift away from appeasement of Trump.

    2. Anti-Lord Kelvin says:

      Couldn’t have said better. Now, it’s in our shoulders to do the best for our planet and our children future with our wallet (if we have the possibility and opportunity of doing that, supporting companies like Tesla or others) and/or educating people around us.

    3. Paul says:

      Absolutely. One of the most rational on-topic comments.

      However, playing devil’s advocate for a moment, I think perhaps Musk should have stayed on, just to spite him, or ‘drill it home’.Everytime he showed up he’d give Trump the worst case of the heebie-jeebies or elephant-in-the-room syndrome. I’d be like “Oh, what are you doing here?”.

      Ok, ’nuff said.

  4. Don says:

    Do our own part to keep the world clean and green …

    1. pjwood1 says:

      Really hard to do, when your electric supplier doesn’t give the option of taking your apartment to all-wind, etc, or your Prius provider wants you to think 8.8KWh is the hotness of 2017.

  5. OntarioLeaf says:

    America last…

    1. OntarioLeaf says:

      …and yes. I agree with Musk. Stay away from Mr. Trump. His coal jobs are not going to materialize anyhow. Existing ones will disappear.

  6. Roy LeMeur says:

    Earth Temperature Timeline-

  7. Tossier Trump says:

    Sorry America but your president is Arse hole.

    1. William says:

      Yeah, but that too Will (political) change, time immemorial. Let’s hope some of us are left to count time later, when the ocean is back up to its high water mark! And we’re not stranded on Mars with Elon and his crew.

      An Ocean Acidification Timeline- would be an interesting monitor as well.

      By the way, when do the dirty Fossil Fuels run out, so I can get a breath of clean air?

    2. Kdawg says:


  8. Just_Chris says:

    Pop Quiz – which other 2 countries are not part of the Paris agreement?

    Clue – one didn’t join because they thought the agreement was too weak, the other didn’t join because they were absent due to being in a massive civil war.

    America first? more like America third from last. The biggest industries of the next decade are going to be the ones that provide solutions to climate change – Tesla being a great example of such.

    1. William says:

      Good quiz, the massive civil war in Syria is also a proxy war with many outside players turning the whole region into frothy cobra snake pit. A Paris Climate Protocol is the least of their (Assad) worries.

      1. Nick says:

        Regional instabilities started by massive drought and crop failures caused by global climate change.

        Super weak.


        1. William says:

          So crop failures and drought were the catalyst that prompted this whole Syrian conflict. We should have sent them some food supplies to stabilize the impact and that would have prevented the whole climate/weather crop failure conflagration!

          Or some super weak Assad regime change might have been the quick fix?

    2. bro1999 says:

      Even North Korea signed this agreement FFS.

      1. AlphaEdge says:

        LOL! The country with next to no economy. Is going to get money transfers out of the deal?

        Who would of thought, that an evil regime wants their cut also, especially in hard currency.

  9. Mdstj says:

    Thanks to trump one day Chinese parents will tell their children to eat all the food on their plates and be glad you don’t live in America where the rich don’t pay taxes and the poor don’t have food.

    1. AlphaEdge says:

      Love the drama queens here!

  10. Mark C says:

    Wasn’t the point of contention about the Paris agreement about us funding aid via the UN to help the poorer nations? It’s really tough for some of the rich to part with money to help the poor.

    There are plenty of rich folks in this country who may not be as selfish who could pitch in to help maintain our national commitment, if they are make a habit of putting their money where their mouth is. Perhaps even start a non-profit that would allow us common folks to chip in to help as well. We might even get enough to carry the commitment despite our nations actions.

  11. Roy LeMeur says:

    Elon Musk’s Unbelievably Simple 12-minute Killer Break Down on Climate Change-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKCuDxpccYM

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Had almost forgotten about that one…seems appropriate to add into the story given the context. Thanks Roy, will add a hat tip in there too.

      1. Roy LeMeur says:

        Thanks Jay! 🙂

  12. Michael Will says:

    Good for Elon, no more time wasted in meeting with Trolls that just pretend to care, more time to get real work done. In the long run they can’t stop it anyways, coal is already too expensive and employs less people than renewable energy. We replaced both our gas cars 2015/2016 and got rooftop solar that pays for itself in less than 7 years. Soon many more people will be able to afford the same choice and get used to not having to go to gas stations, oil changes or smog check appointments anymore. Just plug in at night and full in the morning instead of taking time out of your busy week to visit a gas station and babysit the refueling process. Just because he messes up the FCC would not make us stop using iphones and go back to landlines either.

    1. Paul says:

      Yeah , I could do without the damn smog checks. Last time I had a car fail once was 25 years ago. It was Just gas cap too. It’s a tax/racket nowadays. Where is roadside monitoring ??

    2. Peter says:

      When have Trump ever pretended to care?

  13. midimal says:

    Donald Duck err…. Trump is an a…e. It will take a lot of time and energy to repair all the damage done by him and his “team”. Well done Elon!

  14. ModernMarvelFan says:

    Have to give Elon credit for “trying”.

    But no point in wasting his time if Trump doesn’t listen to his advisers.

    Maybe Tesla should focus on supporting politicians who do give a damn about the climate.

    1. Priusmaniac says:

      Yes there is not much Elon could do further anyway. But instead of passing time with other politicians more time at Tesla and Space X would likely be more fruitful.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      ModernMarvelFan said:

      “Maybe Tesla should focus on supporting politicians who do give a damn about the climate.”

      You seem to have confused Tesla with a Political Action Committee.

      Tesla should focus on making great cars, and solar roof tiles, and battery packs. That’s not to say that Elon himself should stay out of politics, but a business like Tesla should be trying for the widest possible market appeal, not indulge in polarizing politics which would have the primary effect of losing the company lots of potential customers.

      1. ModernMarvelFan says:

        “You seem to have confused Tesla with a Political Action Committee.”

        You seem to have missed the bigger points that plenty of fossil oil industries are funding politicians and if renewable wants “equal fights”, then they have to have their own politicians to do the dirty work for them.

        Sorry, that is how the system is working today. Scott Pruitt is a clear example of that. So, it is time to fight money with money.

  15. Warren Hurd says:

    Elon is entitled to stay or leave the council, he has much at stake and customers to please. I am sure that it is strategic decision. The best of luck to him.

    1. floydboy says:

      I believe “much at stake” applies to more than Elon or his customers. So not wasting his time there and pursuing other avenues makes sense.

  16. Ron M says:

    Well Elon tried to teach Trump but Trump is absent of any intellectual curiosity, for Trump time stopped in 1950. I think it’s time for everyone else on the POTUS council to resign. You can lead Trump to knowlege but you can’t make him think.

  17. james says:

    I didn’t like his decision to be on the economic council to begin with, since he was like someone enabling an alcoholic, but I understood. Glad to see Musk jumping ship now, though. Trump is a man with very few friends at this point, and fewer people pretending he is sane. I can put a deposit down on my Model 3 now.

  18. MM says:

    Thank you Elon Musk for giving it a try in the face of complete absurdity.

    1. Shawn Marshall says:

      Elon Musk has a huge self-interest in the global warming scheme. He has profited by billions in taxpayer funds.

  19. Javier Marqués says:

    Oh, what a terrible loss! The president may be scared!

    Climate change is science evidence, let biased pundits rule the issue is not.

  20. Priusmaniac says:

    What is sad is that some incorporated billions of aid to third world countries because that obviously provided water to the Trump mill against the agreement.

    Third world aid should remain a separated topic and not be mixed with the fight against global warming.

  21. Gazz says:

    There is a simple way of explaining the climate and energy issue.

    If it’s real and we take action we will be OK.

    If it’s real and we don’t take action we will NOT BE OK.

    If it’s not real and we take action we will gain cheap, clean and plentiful energy.

    If it’s not real and we don’t take action we are still stuck with expensive, finite, dirty and insecure source of energy.

  22. Steven says:

    I don’t know about you, but I’m really looking forward to owning beachfront property in Bucks County, and looking at the New Jersey archipelago.

    No, actually that was heavy sarcasm.

    And then, how many looked up what “archipelago” means?

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      At the risk of bragging, some of us had no need to look it up. 🙂

  23. Shawn Marshall says:

    There is no scientific evidence of any kind that CO2 causes significant global warming.
    More CO2 is beneficial.
    CO2 is not a pollutant.
    CO2 is a harmless, odorless, trace gas which is critical to life on earth.
    The earth has been warming for over 150 years.
    There is no scientific evidence of any kind that warming is harmful.
    The earth is massively greening under increased CO2.
    Global crop yields are at record levels in recent years.
    CO2 has been much higher in past eons – we are in an age of relative CO2 starvation.
    Spend 6 months or a year reading at WUWT and other sources and you will find that scientifically speaking the increase in CO2 is beneficial.

    1. Ob1 says:

      Too much CO2 will lead to death.

    2. Kevin C says:

      You can have all the air pollution and respitory disease you can breath, Shawn.
      I’ll take a yuge carbon tax on diesel, please! Let’s start paying out of pocket for all those negative consequences.

    3. AlphaEdge says:

      Almost everything C02 related, is directly harmful with other pollutents, and that you should care about.

      But we are already headed in the right direction with renewables being much cheaper so I don’t know what the big deal is.

    4. Bill Howland says:

      Yes, the world has been warmer in the past, and the Polar Bears have survived. What is killing them lately (with their patches of skin and fur falling off) is radioactive poisoning from the Fukushima Catastrophe – still to be rectified.

      Prof Dr Philip Stott, Dept of Biogeography, University of London, made an interesting point: “London was much warmer in the middle age warm period, confirmed by Chaucer, than now”.

      He also mentions it is interesting that the many streets in London that have either Vine or Winery in their names means its obvious that at one time in London it was warm enough to grow grapes there.

      It is also interesting to notice that whenever you talk about this Warm Period, it also is coincidentally associated with Great Wealth…. All the fabulous cathedrals were built during this period. Funded by excess income from the faithful.

      Since the world survived this ‘horrible’ warming centuries ago, it is likely to also survive the 1/5 degree centigrade rise supposedly likely from the US withdrawing from the Paris treaty. They call it a voluntary agreement, but that is not what some lawyers call it when you delve into the details.

    5. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “There is no scientific evidence of any kind that CO2 causes significant global warming.”

      David Brooks, a moderately conservative pundit, in his commentary on the PBS News Hour today, observed that the Trumpian worldview is one in which if you point out what they’re saying is wrong and quote actual facts (not “alternative facts”), it’s not merely that “inconvenient facts” don’t matter to them, it’s that in their eyes you’re part of a conspiracy against them. I think today Mr. Brooks put his finger on what is the worst of the many flaws in the Trumpian worldview.

      Mr. Marshall, it seems you share this extreme tribalist, zero-sum-game world view. I truly feel sorry for you, because you live in a narrow, hateful, bitterly contested world where cooperation and compromise are seen as weak and bad; one in which it’s impossible for someone else to win without you losing.

      “Spend 6 months or a year reading at WUWT and other sources and you will find that scientifically speaking the increase in CO2 is beneficial.”

      It’s difficult to believe you’ve spent much time reading the Watts Up With That forum. How could you possibly maintain your belief that CO2 has no part in global warming if you actually read that forum regularly?

      If that’s actually true, then your ability to ignore logic, science (real science, not pseudo-science), and actual facts is beyond remarkable; it’s truly breathtaking!

  24. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    Ah, so when wannabe dictator El Trumpo said “America first”, what he really meant was “America last”.

    The USA, joining Syria and Nicaragua as the only countries in the entire world now refusing to be part of the Paris Accords… and Nicaragua only refused because the Accords were not strong enough!

    It’s terrible to feel ashamed of your own country, but El Trumpo is making that a daily occurrence.

    1. Mark says:

      So true. Still millions of Americans think he’s great. And even on this EV website I see lots of Americans denying human induced climate change. I really wonder what the hell is wrong with the American education system.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Compare the American system of public schools to that of just about any other industrialized nation, and you’ll see the problem soon enough. In other nations, teaching is treated as an actual profession, with professional standards and pay. In other countries, teachers are expected to earn an actual college/university degree, and then go on to receive further education specifically for the teaching profession.

        In the USA, most teachers are the product of a “teaching college”, and receive only a marginal education. That’s why our schools are so poor in STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math); it’s because the teachers’ educations are inadequate in those areas.

        In other countries, students admire and respect their teachers. In the USA, students mostly view teachers with contempt as low-wage workers.

        The other main problem here is “social promotion”, promoting kids to the next grade regardless of performance, instead of holding them back a grade if they are falling behind.

        The actual problems with the American public education system are not hard to identify. But leaders and politicians in the USA are not willing to face up to the reality, nor admit that the U.S. has fallen so far behind. The next time someone says that the U.S. is headed towards being a third-world country… don’t dismiss it as the ravings of a crackpot. If we don’t do something serious about our public education system, and soon, that’s exactly where we’re headed.

        By objective measures, the U.S. has over the past generation fallen behind to a shocking extent in the arena of innovation. Not so long ago, we were clearly the world leader. These days, it’s questionable that we’re still ahead, and clearly other nations are surging forward.

        Do you think that isn’t related to the low standards in our public school system?


  25. Sublime says:

    Forget the environment for a minute. What bewilders me is the business side of this. The ultimate goal of a green energy transition is to replace oil, with renewable sources (wind, solar, etc). Right now, lots of US wealth goes overseas buying oil. The US has a lot of green tech (battery patents, electronics, solar research, etc) so it would seem a global green transition helps the US economy.

    So why wouldn’t Trump be for this?

    If I had to take a guess, it has a lot to do with the US dollar being the standard currency for oil. As long as the world is buying oil, with US dollars, it helps our economy and strengthens our dollar.

    Maybe I’m way off, but it’s the only thing that makes sense to me.

    1. Mister G says:

      President Tweet is owned by global fossil fuel industry which includes Russian and Saudi interests. Connect the dots.

  26. Mister G says:

    Musk made the right move..dont blame me I didn’t vote for president covfefe LOL

  27. Mark says:

    Musk should not have left the council. He was just being stubborn and afraid of his dealings with other countries. You win some, you lose some. Now he has NO voice at all. What a mistake. I am definitely for green energy and a clean future but the Paris agreement was putting too much of the expense on the US at 100 billion dollars a year. All the countries should pay there fair share and not put an unfair burden for the US. I think the agreement should be renegotiated.

    1. Spider-Dan says:

      Elon never had a voice. The Trump administration was never considering environmental protections in good faith. It was always smoke and mirrors from day 1.

    2. Paul says:

      On Musk, Mark & Tom have it right. No membership, no voice, even if he ‘wasn’,t being listened to’. However, roundtables can become grossly lopsided. In this situation counterpoints are futile. Perhaps it was moving that direction.

  28. Jh24ma says:

    Did they find Planet B yet…

  29. Tom W. says:

    Musk is acting like a Martyr. Agree with @ Mark completely. Musk takes the easy way out.

  30. yuri says:

    Someone please tell this mister to sell cheap electric cars in the third world, the biggest responsible for polution in this planet.

  31. AlphaEdge says:

    I think most people don’t have a clue what the Paris Agreement entails. It’s a huge transfer of wealth from rich countries to developing countries.

    It’s a flawed deal to countries like the US and Canada.

    Any deal, should put all countries on a level playing field.

    Kyoto was just as flawed, and even Canada left it at some point, because targets were not being met.

    World is full of hypocrites. The amount of gas burning SUV’s in my city is sickening.

    VW, the diesel gate company, is coming out with Atlas, a huge gas burning SUV.

    1. Mister G says:

      Nailed it…Paris agreement is a transfer of money from rich old polluters to poor developing countries that will become heavy polluters as all rich western economies have been polluting the planet. Nothing wrong with that…America polluted and became rich now it must pay up to prevent pollution from developing countries. The crazy thing is that we all share the same planet rich or poor LOL

  32. needa says:

    Hoping for some education.

    So it is a well known fact that increasing the CO2 levels in a room will increase bud production on a cannabis plant. Literally ten times the ppm of outdoor CO2 levels is needed. There are outdoor growers that have gigantic natural gas CO2 generators that supply excess CO2 to their plants.

    This is the same for any and every single plant on this earth (broad assumption). Seeing that CO2 is heavier than air… why is CO2 an issue?

    1. Mister G says:

      Oh boy, I’m not biting LOL

      1. needa says:

        Lol Mister G. I wasn’t really looking for a bite as much as writing down one small aspect of the fight that my brain has on picking a side.

        Another one is I was in Denver a couple of months that ago and I saw a sign where they were doing air quality testing. I thought that was really cool. Until I turn on the entrance ramp to I-70 and see a van with a machine sitting a foot away from the cars driving by. They might as well have stuck the thing on top of a smokestack at Dupont.

        It’s June and there are still snow capped mountains all around, but I bet they’ll tell ya that their air quality sucks… ‘just look at this graph’. Little jab at that idiot Bill Nye. <– now that's looking for a bite. 😛

    2. Bill Howland says:

      What you have just proved Needa is that plants in general are STARVED for CO2 plant food.

      If not, greenhouses wouldn’t have to artificially pump in CO2 to make plants grow better.

      If we are on the plant’s side, we shouldn’t really do anything to exacerbate their pangs of hunger.

      1. needa says:

        So not only do I have to worry about people’s fragile feelings, I have to worry about a plant’s too?

        1. Bill Howland says:

          The tongue-in-cheek here is to bring a bit of serious levity to an issue which is too sophisticated to talk about in this forum.

          I found that out when saying, it might be nice to have a shut off switch someplace, and then get attacked by an idiot with 5 pages of drivel.

    3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      To paraphrase Dean Wormer: Stoned and stupid is no way to go through life, son.

      If you can actually stop smoking weed long enough to develop an interest in learning something, then Google [coral reefs co2] and read for yourself. Don’t take our word for it!

      1. Bill Howland says:

        It is clear that the only problem with the Coral Reefs is the Myopic view of the big-experts. A longer term is required to get the whole picture as to what is really happening.

        Possibly me making the exceptionally optimistic assumption that repeatedly watching “ANIMAL HOUSE” movies in your basement has not totally rotted your brain, perhaps YOU should read of Synopsis of 24 white papers at this link:


        It is much more highbrow than National Lampoon, but of course you’ll argue problems with the website origin rather than argue the illuminated facts.

        To the hope that you might learn something yourself.