Whoever Republicans nominate for president, he’ll have promised that the U.S. is better off not acting on climate change, and would likely pledge to pull the country from a global deal reached in Paris. It isn’t a longshot to think the GOP could nominate a candidate who doesn’t even think climate change is real. At a press conference in Paris on Tuesday, President Barack Obama explained—in slow, clear words—to his theoretical successor why pulling out of a climate deal would be foolish.
“Your credibility and America’s ability to influence events depends on taking seriously what other countries care about,” he said. “Now, the fact of the matter is there’s a reason why you have the largest gathering of world leaders probably in human history here in Paris. Everybody else is taking climate change really seriously. They think it’s a really big problem.”
If a Republican successor faces that global consensus of scientists and world leaders, Obama explained, “I think the president of the United States is going to need to think this is really important.”
But Obama’s not too worried that the world will have to deal with America becoming an outcast on climate change. “I’m anticipating a Democrat succeeding me,” he said.