We'll Always Have Paris

Trump kicks environmentalists to the curb and unleashes America's economy.

In a move that shocked everyone except those who still believed in politicians keeping their promises, President Donald Trump withdrew America from the Paris Climate Accord and doomed humanity to an inevitable unhappy early demise.

At least, that's how the unhinged rantings of the Left are portraying it.  In reality, even if somehow the nonbinding political promises of the Accord were kept by each and every country, and even if those actions had the desired effect on the climate, the warming of the planet would be reduced by, at best, a whopping two-tenths of one percent - which is why some prominent environmentalists have dismissed the Accord as "a fraud."

The real fraud, as President Trump pointed out many times on the campaign trail, is the idea that global temperature rises are caused solely or mostly by man's activities and can be fixed by ever-higher taxes and ever-bigger government.

Nevertheless, we can imagine that some of the horrified screams may be justified, as is being pointed out - if enough other countries truly believe in global warming, they might be moved to harm America economically, or at the very least America might be left out of various new-energy markets that could reap billions of dollars.  Regardless of the underlying falsehood of climate change, are these worries justified?

The One-Eyed Man in the Land of the Blind

Let's try, for a moment, to set aside all the hype over so-called renewable energy.  It's an objective fact that fossil fuels require a great deal of often-messy and always capital-intensive labor to make available.  There's no oil without oil wells, oil pipelines, and oil leaks; there's no coal without coal miners, black-lung disease, and clouds of noxious smoke, not to mention uranium for nuclear power plants.  All this costs vast amounts of money and the infrastructure is undoubtedly unsightly.

In contrast, solar cells just sit there, glistening in the sunlight, churning out energy.  They cost money to install and a little bit for ongoing maintenance, but once they're in place, the energy is basically free.  Forget the arguable environmental benefits; who wouldn't want to buy a device that eliminates your electric bill?

Like anything else, though, solar panels are not the answer to everything.  They can do very nicely in sunny Texas, but less well in wintry Germany.  In fact, Germany's power grid has become so lopsided with solar power that the German government recently ended most green-power subsidies - yes, that very same government that's now excoriating President Trump for killing the planet.

Has Donald Trump forbidden the manufacture or sale of solar panels?  Has he outlawed research into alternative energy?  Certainly not - green power is still available to any American who wants to pay for it themselves, or for any investor to work on with their own money.

If renewable energy is truly the wave of the future, America will be involved, treaty or no treaty, because sensible people will want to buy new technology if it's any good.  For all Elon Musk's fulminating against Mr. Trump's decision, we don't anticipate any drop in Tesla sales because they're still "the best car ever made."  As taxpayers who can't afford Teslas, however, we resent our taxes being used to subsidize playthings for the rich.

Why, then, is the exit from the Paris Accords such a big deal?  Listen to President Trump's explanation:

Compliance with the terms of the Paris accord and the onerous energy restrictions it has placed on the United States could cost America as much as 2.7 million lost jobs by 2025, according to the National Economic Research Associates.

This includes 440,000 fewer manufacturing jobs -- not what we need...

The cost to the economy at this time would be close to $3 trillion in lost GDP and 6.5 million industrial jobs, while households would have $7,000 less income, and in many cases, much worse than that.

As Vice President Pence pointed out in his opening act to Mr. Trump's speech, this is nothing more than the President keeping a promise made to the people who elected him.  These people include coal miners, electric company workers, and heavy-industry hardhats of all sorts whose jobs have been dying for decades because of excessive regulations and higher energy costs than the competition.

President Obama, so quick to rake Mr. Trump over the coals, seems to have forgotten his own explicit promise to bankrupt coal companies and raise electricity prices.  It's hardly a stretch to imagine that his doing his best to fulfill this ill-advised promise had something to do with the Midwest turning Republican.

It's not rocket science, but simple common sense to suppose that cheaper energy prices will make American manufacturing more competitive at home and abroad.  If our electricity is cheaper, consumers and businesses in America will be more likely to buy American-made goods than stuff made in Europe under heavy environmental regulations and outlandish energy costs.  How can that not help American job growth?

Punching a Paper Tiger - and Releasing a Real One

Yes, the Europeans are angry - so very, very angry that they are begging Donald Trump to change his mind via his favorite medium of Twitter.  That is not a sign of strength.

If Europe's leaders truly believed America was committing an economic blunder, they'd obey Napoleon's sage counsel to "Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake."  The reason they're hollering so hard is because they know he's not making a mistake; instead, just as advertised during the campaign, he's wised America up to how badly we were being fleeced by international agreements which not even Mr. Obama dared send to the Senate for ratification.

Speaking of international agreements, there's a reason this "Accord" is not technically called a treaty.  Treaties have to be approved by our Senate, and everyone knew a job-destroying sacrifice of billions of American dollars would never pass.  President Obama and his leftist allies around the world conspired to skeeze this through; they almost succeeded.  As Mr. Trump both eloquently and succinctly put it, "I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris."

Donald Trump has delivered something remarkable that even Ronald Reagan rarely achieved: actually rolling back a leftist policy that had been put in place by his predecessor.  Environmental groups were already gearing up up lawsuits against factories, power plants, and other "polluters" on the basis that carbon dioxide pollution was unconstitutional because, says the Constitution, treaties are the supreme law of the land - never mind that the Accord is explicitly not a treaty and was never going to be approved by the Senate.  Now they have not even this weak leg to stand on.

This gives the President 18 months to let economics and America's "animal spirits" of business go to work on our economy.  As some of our more farsighted pundits are beginning to realize, all the President has to do to keep a majority of Republicans in Congress and himself in the White House is persuade Americans that their jobs are coming back.

This week, he's take a giant step in that direction.  No wonder the Democrats are so petrified with fear!

Petrarch is a contributing editor for Scragged.  Read other Scragged.com articles by Petrarch or other articles on Environment.
Reader Comments

Good one!

June 1, 2017 9:52 PM

"I was elected to represent the people of Pittsburgh not Paris"
That is what we taxpayers call MAGA!!

June 2, 2017 11:22 AM

Probably not a coincidence that the Dow went up after the announcement of dropping the Paris "Accord". When the stakes are real, people vote with their wallet. As you pointed out, the Obamacrats... Global Warming Hucksters, trial lawyers, bureaucrats, consultants, pundits etc...saw the Accords as a real bonus to their wallets. Given its breadth and complexity, it would be a gift that keeps on giving for a long time.
I read recently where the CEO of Laredo Oil said that he just converted from trucks to pipelines to transport his frac sand and oil. He figured he saved the pollution from 300,000 truck trips per year. And, he saved a lot of money at the same time. Set up the rules, and let the profit motive take over.

June 3, 2017 2:34 PM
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