First, the timing and context was his return from the False Song of Globalism Tour that he was forced into by the Pentagon to reassure the globalist elites of "US commitment to world leadership" etc., after promising and initially trying to withdraw America from foreign intrigue that has minimal upside and infinite downside, before the Pentagon boarding party hijacked immigration and foreign policy in April.
Coming back to American soil, speaking to the American people rather than its multicultural elites, and posing a basic clash between American and globalist goals, served to reinvigorate the nationalist spirit after getting sapped by partying with jihadists in Saudi Arabia, and not getting to tell NATO how obsolete they are.
At the same time, this open rejection of globalism shows the limits within which nationalism can proceed -- only when there is a fundamentally economic angle to the tension between the core nation and the empire. Trump's only leverage, as an unconnected hostile outsider in DC, is the size of his supporter base that he can mobilize, and in particular the Rust Belt voters who he is uniquely able to deliver on election day, and win rather than lose the White House for Republicans.
The main power group controlling the GOP is the Pentagon (Wall Street controls the Democrats), and they are globalists intent on propping up the bloated and flaccid empire, rather than making the American core nation great again. Where the global commitments are not economic in nature, such as the military alliances with jihadists in the Middle East, Trump has no leverage to push back against the Pentagon.
But if it comes down to protecting American workers, such as exiting the Paris climate accord, then the Pentagon has to yield to him -- otherwise the GOP will never win the executive branch ever again, and the Pentagon will be left out in the cold like they were under Clinton and Obama, compared to Reagan and the two Bushes.
This is why the Establishment had to yield to Trump on exiting the TPP, re-negotiating NAFTA, and potentially on work-related visas that would bring in more immigrants. But on foreign policy and immigration in general, the economic factor is less straightforward and not so keenly felt in the Rust Belt, so the Pentagon junta (Generals Mattis, McMaster, and Kelly) can block Trump's nationalist ambitions without worrying too much about losing the White House.
It's odd to see our expectations inverted in this way: we thought we were going to get nationalism for sure, and populism maybe. Now it's clear that we're only getting concessions where those two domains intersect, namely economic nationalism. (Broad populism would include a new Glass-Steagall, blocked by Wall Streeter Sec Treasury Mnuchin, or single-payer healthcare, blocked by the GOP Establishment in Congress, who are bought off by Big Pharma. Broad nationalism would include only alliances with high upside and minimal downside, and strong borders and deportation squads.)
As an aside, you might be wondering if the Pentagon even cares about airy-fairy crap like climate change deals. Mike Cernovich tweeted that the NSC Advisor and Pentagon boarding party member General McMaster was furious at Trump about leaving the accord, and was trash-talking him at the Bilderberg conference where he was mingling with other high-ranking globalists (such as General Petraeus and former CIA Director Brennan).
McMaster is furious about the Paris Agreement, was overheard bashing @realDonaldTrump at Bilderberg.— Mike Cernovich (@Cernovich) June 2, 2017
Staying or leaving the deal has no direct effect on military policy, but that may mean that McMaster's concern was with an over-arching aim of maintaining globalist alliances in general and keeping other world leaders happy. If the Pentagon wants compliant clients around the world, without using military force, they will have to go along with other concessions like supporting a climate change deal that they'd otherwise have no interest in, and whose costs will not be borne by them anyway.
As for the role of environmentalism in the new nationalist-populist age, notice what Trump's speech did not say -- anything that played into the liberal vs. conservative culture wars, which are dead in this new era of materialist focus, on both the Bernie Left and the Trump Right. That's how Trump handled the issue before -- during a blizzard, snarking about how "It sure would be nice to have some of that global warming that they all assure us is happening," and expressing disbelief that the aerosols from his hairspray could leave his apartment and enter the atmosphere. In his speech, he avoided using climate change as a way to troll liberals.
At the same time, he did not just adopt the "white guilt" liberal framing on climate change -- calling for Americans to atone for their sins, and cleanse the pollution they have caused to Mother Earth, etc. Trump came right out and said that the Third World is the problem, which it is. Everyone knows what a festering polluted shithole India is, and how the Chinese cheat at everything and adulterate anything in the pursuit of cost-cutting. With well over 1 billion people apiece, and both having reached industrial status, those two ought to be the main targets in limiting pollution and protecting against global warming.
He could have put further blame on the Third World for clearing out the rainforests, which could have absorbed some of the carbon dioxide. People in tropical climates make a living by horticulture, or small-scale gardening, rather than large-scale intensive agriculture. The environment is so fertile that you just plant a tuber at a shallow depth, and the next day it's sprung up and ready to eat. Since there's so much fertile soil in all directions, there is no incentive to care for and steward a limited garden plot -- when you've torn up one area, you just move on to another. In the tropics, that requires you to "slash and burn" a new area from the forests.
People who are adapted to annual harvesting of crops are better at stewarding an area to make sure it doesn't get over-exploited too soon, or there will be no crops at all next year. Ditto for transhumance pastoralists, who drive their flocks along routes from valleys in the winter to hills and mountains in the summer. If they allow over-grazing of these common spaces, then nobody's flocks will feed next season. Northwestern Europe has relied on a mix of harvesting crops and herding livestock, making them uniquely environmentally conscious and most capable of stewarding the planet. And of course, where did the environmental movement come from? Not China, not India, not tropical climates.
If we're looking for global partners to further the protection of the environment, it should be seasonally mobile herders -- or sedentary people who are descended from them -- who are predominantly from the hilly and mountainous regions of the Middle East. The friendliest country toward us now is Lebanon, although Iran is far larger and more powerful.
Nomadic pastoralists from the desert are a different thing: their environment is so barren that they have the incentive to exploit any scrap they find, and to move around in all directions, like tropical horticulturalists. Nomadic pastoralists of the Steppe are similar for the opposite reason: grasslands are so abundant all around, that they cannot be easily over-grazed.
Only where the environment is intermediate in fertility will the people's actions make much of a difference on its future fertility, and therefore only people adapted to such environments will have a stewardship mindset. No matter what tropical people do, it'll stay fertile (at their local scale of perception). No matter what desert people do, it'll stay barren. A mountain pasture, however, depends on what the people do -- if they steward it, it remains, and if not, it will be over-grazed and disappear.
Just another way in which the Pentagon is going to get in the way by shackling us to the Saudis rather than letting us make deals with the Iranians.
But stewardship rather than exploitation is only one side of the solution. Economic nationalism seeks a higher standard of living for each citizen, and that will not happen even if we have cleaner energy forms, if we get sucked into the economists' plans to ramp up population size as high as possible. In their minds, if the energy industry finds a way to cut the average person's carbon emissions to just one-tenth of what they were, that means we can have tens times the population size!
Environmentalism can never frame the problem as "coping with scarcity," or it will fail to resonate with people enough to get implemented. It should accept the opposite end of the trade-off spectrum -- not a more energy efficient and larger population, but a population that shrinks to one-tenth in size, which still uses the old energy source that is ten times more polluting. (There is no disagreement that the worst case is large and wasteful, and that the best case is small and clean.) With populations as gigantic as they are in the industrialized world, nobody can raise any serious objections about turning China or India into nations of "only" 100 million instead of 1 billion, or Nigeria from 200 to 20 million.
How do we accomplish that? Simple: stop sending, and take back all of the material goodies we have given those countries. Foreign aid is mostly stolen by local elites, and the rest just serves to boost population growth in already poor nations, reducing the standard of living (wealth per capita) for those below the elites.
Far more important, though, has been the industrialization of the Third World -- we must de-industrialize them for the good of the planet, as well as our own economic national interests once those manufacturing jobs return to American workers. We have proven to be better stewards of industrial processes, and we invented industrialization and are entitled to control who else gets to enjoy it.
That means cracking down on investors who are nominally American yet invest primarily in China, India, Brazil, etc. Get serious about that 35% or 50% tariff on anything they manufacture abroad, and force them to invest in factories right here in America. The stockholders will make lower profit margins, but American workers will earn higher wages, and the environmental regulations will be much more effective -- benefiting everyone around the world who values clean air and lower rather than higher volatility in temperature.
Perhaps Third Worlders would prefer to sacrifice worldwide environmental benefits in return for having higher wages with the factories being located in their countries. Well, then it's time for the West to spiritually enlighten the tropical people, and teach them the value of protecting nature even if it means giving up on some material toys. In the long-term, though, even those people will enjoy a higher standard of living than now -- it will just come the old-fashioned way from de-population rather than industrialization.
The Paris climate accord was going to be nothing other than a wealth transfer from the working and middle classes in the First World to the elites in the Third World -- taxes here used to fund "government programs" over there, which would in reality get stuffed right into their corrupt bank accounts. Breaking with this deal was more about resisting the integration of globalist elites into a single policy apparatus.
But when it comes to actually doing what's needed to save the environment, the main solution is also economic nationalism -- that will claw back all of those factories in the Third World, and then we won't even have to worry about incentivizing them to pollute less or plant more trees. Our Western governments will have regulatory power over the factories when they are located on Western soil, obviating the need for global governance, and putting them under the control of more stewardship-minded people anyway.
It is unlikely to be a coincidence that the sharp rise in global temperatures since the 1980s and '90s has accompanied the de-industrialization of the West, and the re-location of those industries to the Third World. I would attribute the temperature rise during the 1930s to the industrialization of the Soviet Union. And of course it all kicked off with the Industrial Revolution in the West.
Some of those people, though, are better able to control and regulate what happens after initially industrializing, so they should be the only ones allowed to run industries. Since most of the industrialization of the irresponsible and wasteful places in the world was not organic endogenous growth, but transplanted industries from the First World, we can claw them back without worrying too much that the industries will just spring up on their own all over again.