You cannot put too high a price on stupidity. French President Macron was determined to stop Trump from dominating the G7 summit. So, he decided to change the agenda, before Trump even arrived and without consulting other world leaders. Macron declared the fires in the Amazon rain forest to be an international crisis. Oops. It appears that Macron was watching CNN and naively assumed those were real videos. Actually, they were recycled videos from years ago, probably copies obtained from Leonardo DiCaprio. Close enough, right?
Incredibly, if Macron had just kept up with the Washington Post, the New York Times and NASA he could have avoided a painful self-inflicted wound. You see, the Amazon rain forest is not actually on fire. It turns out that the number of fires this year are BELOW average. In addition, it isn’t actually the Amazon rain forest burning, it is previously deforested land turned over to agriculture. And, this wasn’t actually caused by climate change, the fires were started deliberately by farmers to clear their land in preparation for the next growing season. And, by the way, Brazil has actually grown 860,000 acres of new forest over the past few years. In other words, the CNN report is the polar opposite of the truth.
Few people supported Macron. Even Angela Merkel shrugged him off, because Germany does a lot of business in Brazil. The President of Brazil was outraged, partly because France was trying to tell him how to run Brazil and partly because this was based on patently false information.
Fast forward to Trump arriving in France and having lunch with Macron. Trump described it as the best meeting he has ever had with Macron. I can easily imagine this. Trump reaches over, pats Macron on the arm and says: “It’s ok, a lot of people were misled by CNN.” Then Trump probably laughed and said now you understand why I call it fake news.
This G7 conference will be different. There is unlikely to be any joint statement regarding some area of consensus. The era of Globalism is officially over. Now is the area of working together with something called common sense. Trump told American companies they don’t need China. He is right. There are many other places, including Vietnam, ready, willing and able to replace China. Trump realizes something important. China needs the U.S. The U.S. does not need China. He also realizes that Europe needs the U.S. The U.S. does not need Europe. The U.S. economy is doing fine. The rest of the world, not so much. If the U.S. economy does go into the recession hoped for by liberals and Democrats, it will have a devastating effect on the rest of the world.
This has been true for a long time. It has just been ignored. Trump’s message is actually quite clear. You can be our friend, you can be neutral, or you can be our enemy. Those who choose friendship will prosper. Those who choose to be our enemy risk destruction. And, oh, by the way. The threat from climate change is not actually real, but the threat from us is very real indeed.