I still think it was a mistake to pull out, as “bad optics” are one form of “bad.” Most of all, Trump’s action contributes to the common and growing perception that America simply isn’t reliable.
At the respectable environmentalist level, ecological systems are where it's at. Change from World War level subsidized annual crops to things that actually fit the ecology of the land you are in. There's a long list of people in this space, and when you get down to it, they are all building soil- and they usually fund their soil building efforts by farming some sort of yield out of the ecology they manage to get functional. Anyway, if you don't know, building the soil just so happens to lock a lot of carbon into the ground. There are some true believers in the global warming scare who think enough carbon can be sequestered to actually make the difference.
The Paris agreement wasn't going to make that difference- that difference the global warming believers believe in since before they switched to yammering on about climate change in an effort to turn the conversation into complete garbage. The Paris agreement is paying for more international politicians- politicians who exhale CO2 a bit too often, and never actually provide solutions for anything.
I think CO2 is probably nothing to be bothered about. We should be focused on real pollution, real erosion, and work out how to get devastated ecological systems back up an running instead of having the Bureau of Land Management preside over dustblown wastelands.
Not to mention what happens when the agricultural land in America just keels over and refuses to produce anymore, no matter how much NPK you throw on it. This happens.
It is better to have lower yields over more land, and have the soil improve over time. You slowly improve yields as the soil improves, and you get an appreciating asset.
But now I must wheel around and talk about optics. Optics is a suspicious word to me. They say the optics on this one is bad. But I am not sure what that means. Surely, if Trump's decision to get out of Paris helps him make the deals he wants to make with the world, wouldn't we then have to say these are 'good' optics? Do these 'optics' serve the ends or are you just saying it looks bad?
Trump doesn't know politics, but he knows deals. His entire speech was about this being a bad deal. He doesn't like multi-lateral deals and he would definitely despise this particular deal. Nobody can defend the actual deal. It is something only a politician can love, and something only beneficial to them and a few chosen partners from the pseudo-private sector.
So Trump pulls out, and various politicians squeal. But they are already weak, especially those in Europe, who refuse to listen to their own people, and continue to allow Jihad on their streets.
There isn't an alternative, yet, to the American market. If access is denied, or other nations begin to be preferred over yours- and you are one of these pathetic rabbit people, well chances they'll start vying to out do one another in order to give concessions to Trump. They practically have to.
I did see some attempts at importing a backbone from China, which I think is actually good thing. This uni-polar world need to find a graceful transition to a multi-polar world. But I don't see this materially affect Trump's bargaining position, yet.