Marty Walsh’s Viral Climate Moment

His tough talk on the Paris accord is ricocheting around the country.

Photo via Mayor’s Office/Isabel Leon

In the fallout of President Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is having a viral moment.

While most things he posts on Twitter get retweets in the single or double digits, anytime he mentions climate change his reach grows exponentially. Tweets from the mayor’s official account challenging Trump’s decision, which are written by his staff, have been shared thousands of times. “@RealDonaldTrump says that the U.S. is pulling out of the #ParisAccord,” he tweeted yesterday afternoon. “He better check his geography because Boston will do no such thing.” It’s been shared nearly 11,000 times.

Then Thursday night Walsh’s team turned those popular lights illuminating City Hall green, a statement intended to project that Boston will honor its emissions-reducing commitments regardless of what happens in Washington.

“City Hall is green tonight,” his account tweeted. “Boston stands with the environment. We must protect our future.” That one has 8,400 retweets.

Paris did the same thing, as did New York City, Mexico City, and Washington, D.C.

And in Pittsburgh, talking back to the president on Twitter made that city’s mayor, Bill Peduto, a star.

Now that the federal government is walking away from its role as a leader in global efforts to combat climate change, calls have been ratcheting up for American mayors and governors to step in. Climate activists would say that’s good for the environment, and a way to circumvent federal leadership hostile to their cause. It’s also, as far as the internet is concerned, good politics.


Spencer Buell Staff Writer at Boston Magazine sbuell@bostonmagazine.com