Climate agreement nothing more than exercise in check writing

By: 
An opinion by Brad Molnar

The international community and U.S. press has been going bonkers because President Trump withdrew America from the Paris Climate Agreement. The talking heads never say what the world will miss due to our departure but rather what the agreement “addresses”, “emphasizes”, “recognizes”, “acknowledges”, “affirms”, or “aims to”. This is because the PCA is long on political correctness but void of function. The lack of specificity in reporting can only be due having not read the agreement. This is too bad because this document to save the world from a watery, disease ridden, desert expanding world, punctuated with starvation due to crop failures, is only 25 pages long…and quite humorous. You can’t make this stuff up.
Interior Secretary Zinke called the agreement “a bad deal for America” and President Trump said it would cost taxpayers “hundreds of billions of dollars”. Both are wrong. No country is mandated to accomplish anything or donate a specific amount of money. Yes, the preamble states that “developed countries” should pony up $100B a year payable to “developing countries” to help them reduce carbon emissions or mitigate the effects of climate change. But the preamble, like the body of the agreement is not enforceable on any nation. The agreement is what you make of it and the donations are like tithes in church. Several sections re-affirm that “donations” are voluntary. President Obama pledged three billion deficit dollars to help undeveloped nations but this did not bind President Trump. Article 4 Sec.11 allows any nation to adjust their contributions. All Trump had to do was pledge the amount currently funded through US Aid for the exact same projects and he would have been christened an environmental warrior.
Before the environmental community was outraged that Trump wanted to withdraw they were outraged the world’s largest polluter, China, is exempt. They were also outraged that there were no penalties for the lack of C02 reduction.
So what is this lofty goal worthy of such angst? “Holding the increase of global average temperature to well below 2 deg. C. above the pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 deg. C. (less than 4 degrees Fahrenheit). This is to be accomplished by 2100 A.D. Not only is this within normal temperature fluctuations it is recognized that the predicted disasters of climate change will still happen under the agreement. Less developed nations are allowed to increase their carbon output as they pursue the benefits of affordable and reliable energy but then are expected to spend the second half of the century working to reduce their dependence on affordable and reliable energy to sustain the economies they have just developed “on the basis of equity and efforts to eradicate poverty” (Art. 4 Sec. 1).
The argument advanced allowing lesser developed countries to increase pollution to attract manufacturing jobs to where low cost energy is now plentiful, at the expense of workers in developed countries, has been a part of the discussion since the discarded Kyoto Protocol. The thought process is that the United States and the EU have enjoyed a high quality of life and now it is the turn of the lesser developed nations.
China, though having the largest economy in the world (and growing at twice the rate of the economy of the U.S.) is considered a developing nation. This designation exempts them from the agreement for the next ten years. China supports the agreement. The concept of “whose turn is it”, against the stated concern of the survival of the human race highlights the farce known as the Paris Agreement. Oh, and responses to a climatic apocalypse are to be “gender-responsive” (Art. 7 Sec. 5).
Not all, or even most, or even any, of the $100B per year has to be spent on wind mills and solar panels. Rather it can be spent on, enforcement bureaucracy, improving poor soil, buying storm insurance, and building “resilient communities”. (Art. 8 Sec. 4).
Instead of trying to be clever and saying he represented the people of “Pittsburg not Paris” Trump should have said, “This agreement has nothing to do with climate change. In fact it allows all countries to increase C02 output without a twinge of conscience as long as they purchase carbon credits. It is a thinly veiled wealth re-distribution scheme using failed socialist/progressive principals. I understand why former president Obama signed it, but I reject same”.
In a Sunday morning political talk show Al Gore (AKA Saint Albert of Antarctica) said “we should not be discouraged. Environmentalist will get everything they want.” Al finally got one right. Another panelist called the Paris Climate Agreement an “eco-swindle”. He was right too.

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