MSNBC’s Wallace: Paris Exit Will Cause Kids to Die from Asthma

Former Bush spokeswoman claims Trump withdrawal from climate deal will have lethal impact

The award for most hyperbolic response to President Donald Trump’s decision to abandon the Paris climate change accord could go to MSNBC pundit Nicolle Wallace, who suggested that children will die.

Wallace, who served as communications director for President George W. Bush, ascribed nefarious motives to Trump. It was not a genuine belief that participation in the worldwide climate regime is hurting the U.S. economy, she suggested, but a “cynical” decision.

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“People would like to think, in their most optimistic visions of American leadership, it’s about innovating our way out of problems,” she said. “It’s about finding a way to do both, to have our economy flourish without our children dying from asthma. I mean it was one of the most cynical sort of prepared sets of remarks that occurred from the president since inauguration day.”

Carbon dioxide, of course, is not a pollutant that causes asthma. There is some scientific basis for the argument that rising global temperatures can exacerbate respiratory illnesses. But drawing a straight line between a non-binding global framework involving nearly 200 countries and illnesses in the real world is a stretch at best.

A 2015 study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, for instance, states that research has shown that urbanization — high levels of vehicle emissions — is correlated with an increased frequency of respiratory allergies. That is mainly true in urban regions; not so much in rural areas.

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“However, it is not easy to evaluate the impact of climate changes and air pollution on the prevalence of asthma in general and on the timing of asthma exacerbations, although the global rise in asthma prevalence and severity could be also considered an effect of air pollution and climate changes,” the study states.

The study’s authors argue for research and steps to confront climate change. But predicting increased asthma deaths seems over the top — even by MSNBC standards.

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