The news that China intends to remain committed to the Paris Climate Accord, even as our president is signing executive orders counteracting our commitment, gives one more reason to doubt our new administration’s wisdom, if not its motives.

Clearly President Xi Jinping sees the public relations point of upholding China’s fossil fuel reduction commitments in light of worldwide popular opinion. He also sees its economic advantages, evidenced by the fact that China now leads the world in renewable energy investments and technology development, and intends to keep the investment growing.

How will the rest of the world respond to the news of President Donald Trump’s executive order scaling back on U.S. clean power initiatives that were enacted to do our part to meet internationally agreed-upon measures to save the future of this planet? So far, we, the second largest producer of greenhouse gases, are the only ones to signal our intention to reverse course on addressing global warming.

As for our president’s intentions with this fossil fuels executive order, they are almost surely a cynical political move intended to mollify demoralized but hopeful coal miners, who are themselves casualties of a national energy policy favoring not workers’ interests, but instead the interests of the coal mining corporations. Continuing to subsidize and encourage exploitation of finite, polluting, environmentally devastating and dangerous extractive energy industries makes no sense when renewables are obviously the future.

The coal mining jobs being promised will not materialize before coal loses its value in the world energy market. At this rate, Chinese-owned alternative energy companies offer far more promising future job prospects for out-of-work American coal miners.

Cynthia Stancioff