Vernuccio’s View: Absurd Reaction to Trump’s Paris Climate Accord Decision

The reaction to President Trump’s decision to not comply with the Paris Climate Accord has resulted in near-hysterical reactions. Legally, the White House was able to withdraw, since the measure, although in reality a treaty, was never sent to the Senate by Obama for ratification as required by the Constitution.

The fact that, even if fully complied with, and even if the measures were completely successful, no appreciable environmental results would have occurred continues to be ignored by those expressing apocalyptic warnings about the Oval Office decision.

CNN  reported “Some of the fiercest criticism came from Europe, where many leaders had made personal appeals to Trump…German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni put out a joint statement in which they pledged to implement the Paris climate agreement notwithstanding the withdrawal of the US.”

Media comments have been harsh. The Express  reports that a “Local [German] newspaper Berliner Kurier used the headline: ‘Earth to Trump: F*** you!’ on its front page.

Brian Rogers, writing in realclearenergy  reports that “the Environmentalist Left is now experiencing a total meltdown. ‘World War III is well and truly underway. And we are losing,’ wrote Bill McKibben, founder of the climate activist group 350.org, and a key member of the Democrats’ platform committee last year.

American compliance to the Paris treaty would have heavily cost U.S. taxpayers and the U.S. economy, without producing any significant environmental benefits. When Obama agreed to the measure, Americans for Tax reform noted:

“Through a litany of regulations stemming from the agreement, Obama has essentially offered up the U.S. economy as a sacrificial lamb to further his own legacy.  Sadly, the agreement will not just hurt the country’s growth as a whole, but will trickle down to low-and-middle income Americans. As a result of the agreement, energy costs will skyrocket, in turn raising the cost of utility bills for families and increasing the costs of consumer goods.

A peer-reviewed study by Dr. Bjorn Lomborg  in the Global Policy Journal found that:

  • “The climate impact of all Paris INDC promisesis minuscule: if we measure the impact of every nation fulfilling every promise by 2030, the total temperature reduction will be 0.048°C (0.086°F) by 2100.
  • Even if we assume that these promises would be extended for another 70 years, there is still little impact: if every nationfulfills every promise by 2030, and continues to fulfill these promises faithfully until the end of the century, and there is no ‘CO₂ leakage’ to non-committed nations, the entirety of the Paris promises will reduce temperature rises by just 0.17°C (0.306°F) by 2100.
  • US climate policies, in the most optimistic circumstances, fully achieved and adhered to throughout the century, will reduce global temperatures by 0.031°C (0.057°F)by 2100.
  • EU climate policies, in the most optimistic circumstances, fully achieved and adhered to throughout the century, will reduce global temperatures by 0.053°C (0.096°F)by 2100.
  • China climate policies, in the most optimistic circumstances, fully achieved and adhered to throughout the century, will reduce global temperatures by 0.048°C (0.086°F)by 2100.
  • The rest of the world’s climate policies, in the most optimistic circumstances, fully achieved and adhered to throughout the century, will reduce global temperatures by 0.036°C (0.064°F)by 2100.”

Rendering the over-the top rhetoric all the more irrational are the inherent weaknesses in the treaty. A Popular Science  study states

“…the truth is that the agreement amounts to little more than a gentleman’s handshake. The terms are entirely unenforceable…There’s also no framework that explains how the various countries are going to meet their targets. (What technologies or cuts will they use? This is mostly left up to the imagination, for now.) And it’s unrealistic, given that the global energy supply… is doing so at a dangerously slow pace.”

Frank V. Vernuccio, Jr., J.D.

Frank V. Vernuccio, Jr., J.D.

Frank Vernuccio serves as editor-in-chief of the New York Analysis of Policy & Government

Print Friendly
Share this Article: