Árni Finsson, the head of the Iceland Nature Conservation Association has called Donald Trump a “sociopath”, in response to the President pulling the US out of the Paris Agreement.
“Well, maybe other words are better at describing him,” Árni said in response to his comment to Mbl.is. “He is an irresponsible narcissist, doesn’t believe in science, listens to ultra nationalists like Steve Bannon and behaves like a child.”
Árni claims that it is almost like Trump has travelled to the present straight from the sixties. That the science around climate change is undeniable, and that his decision on the Paris Agreement represents a clear and present danger to Iceland—especially the fisheries around the country.
“The souring of the oceans around the country has been faster and more dramatic than we previously expected. As we have seen with the Arctic, we were completely taken off guard in regards to how fast the Greenland glacier has melted. We don’t know how serious things will get, but this is a dangerous situation for us,” Árni said.
The isolated states of America
Despite Trump’s decision, Árni claims that the response from the rest of the world has been reassuring. The EU, China and India have all stepped forth and vowed to keep to and fulfil the Paris Agreement and reduce emissions.
“This is a very different situation than when George Bush pulled the US out of the Kyoto Protocol in 2001. There is a lot more solidarity among the nations of the world, and the consensus on the issue is overwhelming.”
Árni is not just critical of Trump but also of the Icelandic government, which he feels has failed to lived up to its duties.
“Reports have shown that emissions have in fact not gone down, but downright increased,” he said. “Unless we act now and fast, we will fail to meet the goals set by the Paris Agreement and very probably the government will need to buy emissions quotas from other countries in the future.”
Around 40% of emissions in Iceland come from heavy industry—such as aluminium smelters—with the fisheries industry, agriculture and transportation making up the rest. According to Árni, should the country hope to meet its international obligations, it will need to enact a dramatic change to its habits—especially in regards to transportation.
“It is vital that we invest in public transportation, but more importantly we need to stop using gas and diesel cars, and switch to greener options such as electricity and methane vehicles.”
Don’t give up on the US
Trump might be a man-child sociopath, but Árni does not believe that Iceland should pull away from the US; rather it should be critical and form ties to the smaller actors within the country. Several states have pledged to fight climate change and large corporations are increasingly changing their habits to reduce emissions.
“Iceland is not a big country, but we can set an example and we can be critical. We know that Trump lost the popular vote, so we can care for the American people, even though we don’t care for Trump.”
So please dear Americans (or should I say Republicans), maybe you don’t care if Trump destroys your healthcare system, denies innocent people entry into your country, and floods the swamp with similarly out-of-touch filthy rich cronies, but how you treat the environment isn’t just your problem, it’s also ours. Your emission levels are the second highest in the world—and by far the highest per capita—so as it is with so much else, when the US takes a shit, the rest of the world has to eat it.
Please don’t make us eat shit.