The torpedo that Trump has launched into the Paris climate accord is a reckless act of sabotage. And it disrespects the planet itself, which by all scientific evidence is well on its way toward dramatic and risky changes if we keep on our current course.
State governors and city mayors were quick to claim the mantle of US leadership in fighting climate change after President Donald Trump said on Thursday the country will pull out of the Paris climate agreement.
His promise to negotiate a better deal if possible means little.
Paris city hall meanwhile said it would illuminate its building in green on Thursday "in a sign of disapproval" of Trump's announcement and to recall the determination of cities around the world to fight climate change.
Obama, who has remained under the radar for the first four months of Trump's presidency, issued a full-throated endorsement of the Paris agreement Thursday, from its economic merits to its symbol of American leadership on the global stage. It was "America First" - and damn the rest.
Here's what other world leaders and climate organizations have to say about this decision.
Most obviously, it will undermine the accord itself, giving other key nations an excuse to back off from their climate targets. Renewable energy supports between 4 million and 4.5 million jobs in the United States, and renewable-energy capacity has more than tripled since 2008.
Climate change is real, and human activity contributes to it: Among climate scientists, there is consensus on this subject.
Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who represents south Florida, urged the USA to establish a "long term-strategy against climate change". He has clearly sidelined the more reasonable voices in his entourage on this issue.
It will make it more hard for the United States to become a leader in the burgeoning field of clean energy. China and other countries are shooting ahead in this area, and the unambiguous signals coming out of the White House will give US competitors an even greater edge.
It is another blow to US leadership throughout the world. It has effectively written the rules in trade, worldwide finance, security and even climate policy in order to protect its interests. While Trump's explanation for exiting the accord was, in part, that it would hurt domestic manufacturing and cost U.S.jobs, CEOs' appeals to the president have been largely business-focused, saying rather that an exit threatens American competitiveness, raises the risk of negative trade implications and could hurt their ability to create jobs.
The pact was "very unfair" to the United States and beneficial to other major polluters like China and India, the president claimed.
The reaction in Washington was nonetheless split on familiar partisan lines, with Republican lawmakers near unanimously throwing their support behind Trump while Democrats vowed revenge at the ballot box.
"Future generations will look back on President Trump's decision as one of the worst policy moves made in the 21st century because of the huge damage to our economy, our environment and our geopolitical standing", Schumer said.
Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic leader, said Trump's position ran counter to that of Pope Francis, who during the president's recent visit to the Vatican presented Trump with a copy of his encyclical on climate change.
Jean-Claude Juncker, head of the European Union's executive Commission, lashed Trump's decision as "seriously wrong".
The Paris Agreement commits signatories to efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming, which is blamed for melting ice caps and glaciers, rising sea levels and more violent weather events.