It is fun watching defenders of the Paris climate accord – many of whom have absolutely no idea what it actually says – scramble to come up with reasons why President Trump should not pull the United States out of it.
It remains to be seen just how far out we will get, no matter what the White House says in the anticipated Thursday announcement. Political hot air is the unhealthy emission that cannot be limited by any technology known to man. Complete withdrawal is not easily accomplished because like all socialist schemes, the Paris accords were designed to be hard to escape from. (Notice how the only parts of Obamacare that were carefully written by its designers were the roach-motel clauses that made defunding or repeal incredibly difficult.)
Below are the seven worst arguments for keeping the U.S. in the Paris deal:
It’s all about science: No, it’s not even remotely about science. There is nothing scientific about the Paris accords. As you can see from the rest of this list, there is no rational argument to be made for the merits of the Paris deal whatsoever. Even its ardent defenders are forced to admit it has no real impact on the environment. It’s a purely political artifact, the very opposite of science.
The Heritage Foundation shreds the agreement by noting it would, if fully implemented, have a “staggering” effect on America’s economy and our quality of life, in return for “essentially zero environmental benefits.” It is, quite simply, a bad deal by any rational calculation.
Even if the always-wrong climate change computer models turned out to be right in this case, we are talking about spending trillions of dollars, and sacrificing millions of jobs, to reduce the average global temperature in the year 2100 by 0.17 degrees. Sacrifices that would force many Americans into Third World standards of living would contribute 0.015 degrees to that total reduction.
Science is not just about diagnosing problems, something politicized “climate science” has failed spectacularly at for three decades running. It’s also about devising reasonable solutions to whatever problems are detected. Cost-benefit analysis is a scientific discipline. The costs of any project must be measured against the potential benefits, with realistic goals kept in mind. It is supremely irrational to claim that even the most minuscule benefit is worth the most extravagant cost.
Among other fallacies, spending more than $600 billion globally per year to hypothetically nudge the temperature down by a nearly undetectable amount would inflict economic damage that could prevent mankind from discovering truly reliable and productive “sustainable” energy sources and industrial methods. Money tithed to the Church of Global Warming will not be available for real scientific research and development. The crony capitalist incentives provided by these madcap environmental protocols tend to reward political connections and public relations, not innovation.
You can judge how little climate alarmists care about actual science by looking at ridiculous grandstanding stunts like New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s insistence that his city will obey the Paris restrictions, even if the U.S. government pulls out. One city obeying madcap restrictions that would not have made a difference even if the entire world played along is an even more offensive example of politicians forcing their serfs to suffer for no real purpose. De Blasio is a fanatic and a political opportunist, not a scientist.
We should stay in because the accords are mostly symbolic anyway: Although the Paris deal talks about inflicting a global economic apocalypse to nudge the thermometers of the year 2100 down a bit, panicked defenders insist it is largely meaningless in practice. As written, it imposes fewer costs than its lofty goals and accomplishes even less “climate change reduction.” It’s just a showpiece, a statement of principle, an expression of the unified soul of mankind or whatever:
This is, again, the opposite of science. The planetary ecosystem does not give a damn about what a pack of politicians, bureaucrats, and celebrities think the unified soul of man wants. Political poetry will not affect the weather patterns of the next hundred years at all.
It is funny how quickly “scientific socialists” will toss the scientific method aside to focus on socialist politics, isn’t it? No, strike that. It’s not funny. It’s alarming.
The argument that the Paris accords are useless, and that’s why we should keep them, is a trap. They establish the framework for even more incursions on our wealth and sovereignty in the future. These supposedly meaningless international treaties are clubs that could be used by ambitious activists, rent-seeking special interests, and messianic district court judges to bludgeon the American economy at any moment. The Heritage Foundation article provides detailed and plausible scenarios for how that could happen.
Do not believe anyone who claims the Paris accords are toothless. It will bare its fangs at the proper time, when the U.S. has a compliant left-wing administration and resistance against the entrenched agreement is even more futile. Every crackpot socialist scheme becomes an ancient and inviolable law, carved upon tablets of stone, shortly after its first birthday.
Pulling out would violate international norms: Supposedly, an exit from the accords would offend the international community, violate some kind of global consensus, or damage the framework of international law.
On the contrary, neutralizing President Barack Obama’s attempt to circumvent the U.S. Constitution would be a huge step toward restoring the rule of law. Trump critics keep accusing him of threatening American constitutional order, but here he is, thwarting Obama’s deliberate and calculated assault on the Constitution and the structure of American government.
As Andrew McCarthy points out, the Paris accords are a scurrilous attempt to impose a treaty on the United States without going through the proper congressional procedure, without even the courtesy of what he calls the “bob-and-weave farce” of the Iran nuclear deal. The con artists who dumped that deal on the people of the free world at least took the trouble to portray it as an “unsigned understanding.” Obama sprang the Paris trap on his way out the door, precisely so there would be less time for Congress to assert its authority.
Paris accord boosters are blatantly seeking to strip Congress of its role in the treaty process, knowing full well that the ridiculous global-warming agreement would never make it past the Senate. It is effectively the birthing cry of a new international “Congress” that completely supersedes the one established by the U.S. Constitution. A certain number of foreign governments voted “Yea,” so we are now obliged to obey a treaty our Senate was never allowed to debate? The only proper response to such a demand is “Nuts.”
Pulling out of the accords is a sin against Gaia: Democrat sugar daddy Tom Steyer has it exactly backward when he hyperbolically accuses Trump of committing “a traitorous act of war against the American people” by pulling out of the Paris agreement.
Don’t you love how calm and rational the devotees of “environmental science” become at moments like this? Maybe Steyer should talk to the people who claim we should keep the Paris accord because it’s a meaningless symbolic gesture until his blood pressure comes down.
Agreements like the Paris accord are acts of war against the American system of representative democracy. No Paris apologist can pretend it remotely conforms to the proper procedure for ratifying an international treaty.
If you read past the red-faced hysteria in Steyer’s statement, his argument boils down to standard enviro-socialist fearmongering: we must abandon our outmoded system of representative democracy immediately, or else the earth will die! We don’t have time for the normal system of checks and balances! There is no time for debate, skepticism, or persuasion!
Sorry, Mr. Steyer. We’re going to keep our Constitution, no matter how much it upsets you. You’re free to campaign for a properly ratified climate treaty, of course. The American people are likely to reject your appeal when they see the price tag. If your response is to demand a trans-national dictatorship to override their decision, get ready for a fight.
We must stay in the accords to demonstrate American “leadership”: This is an especially common argument from the people who also concede the Paris accords are useless, as with Richard Haas above. America is allegedly sacrificing its “leadership” by refusing to go along with an unreasonable and illogical demand made by foreign leaders. That kind of thinking has Obama’s “leading from behind” philosophy written all over it.
Here’s a better idea for displaying real American leadership: Trump shouldn’t just pull out of the Paris accords; he should lay Obama’s scheme bare and call out everyone involved in promulgating it for launching an attack on the Constitution that he is proud to repel. Then he should lecture the Europeans on how imposing madcap international agreements, negotiated by insulated elites under a mantle of “science” they admit is false propaganda, is a sin against their representative democracies, too.
Collectivist politics is largely premised on the belief that politicians can repeal iron laws of economics, like the laws of supply and demand or cost-benefit analysis. The leader of the free world has a sacred duty to demolish that kind of anti-science rhetoric.
We have to stay in Paris so the kids do not turn against environmentalism: Collectivists never wait long before rolling out their “do it for the children!” artillery, which is designed to circumvent reason and logic with emotional appeals:
By pulling out of Paris Accord, Trump will help turn millions & millions of idealistic, environmentalist school kids against him & the GOP. https://twitter.com/nytimes/status/869905612531957761 …
I think we can rest assured that the Democrat Party-dominated teachers union will continue turning kids against the GOP, no matter what Trump does about Paris. There will be no reduction in the level of environmentalist propaganda pumped into school curriculums, either. The kids will still graduate convinced that their selfish demands for reliable and affordable energy are murdering the earth.
Climate hysteria persists, in defiance of actual data and sweet reason, precisely because so many “symbolic gestures” are made for “awareness-raising” purposes. It is the triumph of emotionalism over logic and democracy. It is an aggressive religion that amasses power by demanding the ritual submission of unbelievers. Teaching children to resist demands like that is very important.
We should stay in because China loves it: Watching the Greens sing hosannas to China for supporting an economic weapon against its global competitors is hilarious.
Of course China loves the Paris accords! They impose huge costs on China’s adversaries while explicitly requiring nothing of Beijing for thirty years. (Spoiler: they won’t make any real sacrifices to the Church of Global Warming in thirty years, either.) Meanwhile, China collects valuable international prestige from the political elite of its adversaries, for nothing more than the cost of flying a few representatives to swanky climate meetings with five-star hotels and dining. What’s not to love?
This numbskull argument that China sincerely reveres the Paris accords is a subset of the standard left-wing inability to understand that Big Business loves Big Government, even when Big Government hands down regulations that cost tons of money to comply with. Big Business has tons of money to spend on compliance. Its smaller competitors and aspiring entrance to hyper-regulated markets do not.
China can afford what little Paris might demand of it, and its client states, while watching the West fork over billions and pass up on countless business opportunities. China’s air is so polluted that it is difficult to see through and sometimes dangerous to breathe. It’s not shy about polluting the air of its neighbors, either. Environmentalists are making absolute fools of themselves by hailing China as a paragon of Green piety because it says nice things about international climate accords.
Speaking of foolishness bordering on delusional insanity:
Worth pointing out that even North Korea has ratified the Paris climate accord https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/dec/08/north-korea-war-climate-paris-deforestation …
North Korea launches ‘war on deforestation’
Kim Jong-un will turn mountains into golden forests, foreign minister tells climate summit in Paris
No, it’s not worth pointing that out. Not at all.