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President Trump announces his intention to pull the United States out of the Paris accord on climate change. (Facebook screen grab / The White House)

President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord was rippling through the tech community on Thursday as Amazon, Microsoft, Elon Musk and others weighed in with reactions to the news.

Despite pleas from those ranging from fellow heads of state to leaders of some of the world’s biggest tech companies, Trump acted to initiate the process of backing out of the landmark agreement aimed at reducing carbon emissions and stemming the tide of global warming.

“In order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord but begin negotiations to re-enter either the Paris accord or an entirely new transaction on terms that are fair to the United States,” Trump said Thursday. “We are getting out. But we will start to negotiate, and we will see if we can make a deal that’s fair. And if we can, that’s great.”

Musk, the billionaire CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, was perhaps the most high-profile tech leader to express his displeasure with Trump’s decision, and he did so by following through on his threat to abandon his positions on the president’s advisory councils.

Musk, who has previously defended his access to the president as a way to work through disagreements from the inside, was serving on White House advisory councils that focus on manufacturing and infrastructure, as well as on Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum. He was also assisting a White House office aimed at boosting American innovation, led by Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law.

In a short tweet storm of its own, Amazon’s official news feed stressed its continued support for action on climate change.

Microsoft President Brad Smith tweeted disappointment on behalf of the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant. Earlier, Smith posted a letter, signed by Microsoft and other companies such as Facebook, Google, Apple and Intel, urging Trump to stick with the agreement signed by President Obama in 2015.

Smith also shared a LinkedIn post in which he wrote, “We all live on a small planet and every nation needs to work with others to protect it.” He said that Microsoft is of the belief that continued U.S. participation in the agreement “benefits U.S. businesses and the economy in important and multiple ways” including creating “new markets for innovative clean technologies, from green power to smart grids to cloud-enabled solutions.”

Reiterating a commitment to embrace sustainability across every aspect of its business, cloud computing company Salesforce tweeted its displeasure with Trump — complete with an illustration of two bears standing in the woods.

Washington Sen. Patty Murray released a statement calling the president’s “short-sighted” action “especially cruel” for her home state.

“It is truly a sad commentary that when faced with two choices — to either uphold the Paris climate deal to combat perhaps the most significant challenge of our time, or, to abdicate all responsibility and walk away — President Trump chose the latter. This is especially cruel as Washington state is already grappling with the harsh effects of climate change, from ocean acidification and shrinking glaciers on Mt. Rainier, to more intense droughts and crop damage, and bigger, more devastating wildfires. Our children, and our children’s children, will remember the moment when the President of the United States of America chose the short-sighted political payoff despite scientific fact, overwhelming global support, long-term financial stability, and the will of millions of families he vowed to represent. To say I’m disappointed with President Trump’s decision is an understatement.”

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee issued several tweets on the “shameful course of action” and announced the state’s intention, along with others, to be part of a United States Climate Alliance.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said that “going backward is not an option” and that cities like Seattle will keep their commitment to the Paris Agreement and even pass a resolution to that effect.

Meanwhile, the folks at — who perhaps know a thing or two about whether it’s getting hotter — dedicated a good chunk of their website, below news of Trump’s actions, to illustrating what it could all mean. Starting with “So, what happens to Earth now?” the site linked to proof of global warming’s effects such as Antarctica turning green and California’s coastline disappearing.
( screen grab)

And in the end, Astronaut Scott Kelly, a man who has seen and reflected on Earth from a place most can only dream about, called the news “devastating” while sharing an image of the home planet from outer space.

The White House streamed Trump’s statement on the Paris accord live on Facebook. You can watch that again right here:

President Trump Makes a Statement Regarding the Paris Accord

Watch LIVE as President Donald J. Trump makes a statement regarding the Paris Accord.

Posted by The White House on Thursday, June 1, 2017

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