According to President Donald Trump, all of these companies are wrong: Apple, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Disney, Microsoft, Google, General Electric, Intel, Tesla, Johnson & Johnson, Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP, Starbucks, Gap, Nike, Adidas, Monsanto, and many others.
They are wrong for believing that it would have been better for the United States to remain a partner with the world in the Paris Agreement on climate change. Even Walmart's CEO, Doug McMillon, wanted Trump to "uphold the U.S.'s commitment to the international pact."
All of Europe, according to Trump, is also wrong. Russia, China and India are wrong. Israel is wrong. So is Australia and New Zealand. All wrong, according to Trump, on their advice for the United States to remain a partner in the Paris Agreement, to be a world leader in fighting climate change, and to take the lead in developing alternative energy technologies that the world requires.
General Electric's CEO Jeff Immelt tweeted, "Disappointed with today's decision on the Paris Agreement. Climate change is real."
Tesla's CEO, Elon Musk, tweeted, "Am departing presidential councils. Climate change is real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world."
Bob Iger, CEO of Disney, resigned from the White House Strategic and Policy Forum. He tweeted, "Protecting our planet and driving economic growth are critical to our future and they aren't mutually exclusive. I deeply disagree with the decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement."
Goldman Sachs' CEO, Lloyd Blankfein, tweeted, "Today's decision is a setback for the environment and for the U.S.'s leadership in the world."
Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, tweeted, "Decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement was wrong for our planet. Apple is committed to fight climate change and we will never waiver."
Google's CEO, Sundar Pichai, tweeted, "Disappointed with today's decision. Google will keep working hard for a cleaner, more prosperous future for all."
Trump announced that the U.S. would withdraw from our agreements to the Paris Agreement on Friday. During his statement announcing America's withdrawal, Trump repeated numerous misstatements about the agreement and its requirements, and displayed his ignorance about climate change and alternative technologies. For example, Trump stated that the Paris Agreement would hurt job development in the United States. Actually, job development in the energy sector is focused on solar and wind, not oil and coal. There are now more jobs in solar and wind than oil and coal combined, and the rate of job development in solar and wind is expanding rapidly, unlike oil and coal which is shrinking.
Without a doubt, solar and wind energy will continue to grow in America and around the world. But now American builders of alternative technologies will be at a disadvantage in selling their products to the world. Membership really does have its advantages.
China is happy to be the world's leader in the solar industry. They have already invested tens of billions of dollars in solar technology and pledge to invest over $360 billion through 2020. The result of this investment is that the three biggest solar panel makers in the world are located in China.
Trump's America First campaign ensures that America will be last. The world will move forward with or without us. As stated by Hemant Taneja, managing director of General Catalyst, a venture capital firm, "it is an inescapable fact that the world is driving ahead to replace carbon energy with clean energy anyway. That makes advanced energy technologies one of the biggest business opportunities of the next couple of decades. The companies and nations that take the lead will become the next economic superpowers."
Chris Isidore and Julia Horowitz of CNNMoney wrote, "Countries, businesses and customers will spend trillions in the coming decades on greener vehicles, equipment and sources of power. More immediately, CEOs might be worried about selling their products abroad, where Trump's decision is overwhelmingly unpopular."
Greg Valliere, chief global strategist at Horizon Investments, wrote that Trump's decision places a "stigma" on every U.S. company trying to do business around the world.
Last month, 25 major U.S. companies published a full-page letter in newspapers stating, "The agreement generates jobs and economic growth. U.S. companies are well positioned to lead in these markets. Withdrawing from the agreement will limit our access to them and could expose us to retaliatory measures."
Trump says that he wants to make America great, but he seems to be moving America in reverse. Successful CEOs see future opportunities and guide their companies in that direction. Trump is living in an alternative universe which is what happens when you believe in alternative facts.
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Tom Zirpoli writes from Westminster. He is program coordinator of the human services management graduate program at McDaniel College. His column appears Wednesdays. Email him at email@example.com.