Former Mayor Bloomberg pledges millions to support Paris accord

But the Steel City is hardly in Trump's corner on this one. The U.S., the world's second largest emitter of carbon, would have been required to reduce fossil fuel emissions almost 30 percent by 2025.

"This decision can not and will not stop those of us who feel obligated to protect our Earth", she said. While researchers projected the U.S. will fail its climate goal, former Mayor Bloomberg said in a letter to the United Nations that he believes his coalition will help the USA achieve its reduction target.

More worrisome than the long-term guesses could be the expected tariffs on US carbon emitters slapped on by other countries.

Almost 200 countries have ratified the Paris agreement. "U.S. companies are well positioned to lead in these markets. We will support them and fight on their side".

Tillerson's argument to Trump was that leaving the agreement would diminish USA influence in encouraging other countries to reduce their emissions, aides said.

While some see the fear of retaliation as a stronger, if less quantifiable, economic case around the Paris agreement than hard estimates, numbers on GDP and jobs have gotten much of the attention. That is, Americans are open to argument about the accord's positive impact of helping the environment and reducing the upward trend in the earth's temperature on the one hand, and its costs in terms of slowing job growth and increasing federal expenditures, as well as its fairness to the US, on the other.

'This one small step with Paris is a necessary step.

"If this coalition broadens and deepens at the pace that it appears to be, I think the Trump effect could be more than mitigated", added Orr, now dean of the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland.

San Francisco billionaire Tom Steyer circulated an email petition Thursday, calling on supporters to "urge your governor to fulfill the commitment your state has already made to meet our Paris targets: Go to 100 percent renewable energy".

The US move could spell a "death blow" to the Paris agreement, it is felt. And in an America that is increasingly polarized, they tend to look for cues from political leaders who are relevant to them based on those leaders' political orientations. At Friday's press briefing, four different reporters asked Pruitt four variations on this basic question from ABC's Mary Bruce: "Yes or no, does the president believe that climate change is real and a threat to the United States?".

But we can appeal to moderate and liberal evangelicals with different or milder end-times beliefs, and nonevangelical conservatives can still be convinced to cooperate if persuaded that inaction threatens USA standing in the world.

  • Leroy Wright