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Thursday, June 1, 2017

USA Out of Paris Agreements

I wonder how many people watched President Trump announce that the USA was pulling out of the Paris Climate Accords.  One thing is certain; anyone who watched Trump's statement understands that he did the right thing.  We will, no doubt, now see an avalanche of negative media coverage in which some "expert" or another screams about how wrong Trump's action is.  The only people who will accept that, however, will be people who did not hear Trump today.

Here are a few of the most important points the President made:

1.  The Paris agreements will not have a material effect on the climate.  Even if the agreements are followed exactly, the global temperature many years from now will be less than a tenth of a degree cooler (assuming that the global warming models are actually valid.)

2.  If the USA follows the Paris agreements, it will have roughly 8 million fewer jobs in 20 years and will have a GDP that is about 3 trillion dollars smaller.  The US government will also have to spend tens or hundreds of billions of dollars more to meet obligations under the Paris agreements.  In other words, America will suffer severe economic pain if it stays in the agreement.

3.  Other countries which are substantial polluters (like China and India) will not be limited by the Paris agreements.  China will see no restrictions of any sort over the next 15 years even though it is the world's biggest polluter.

4.  No other nation will have to bear comparable burdens to the ones that Paris places on the USA.

5.  America is ready to renegotiate its participation in the Paris agreements or an entirely new agreement on the environment.  Such new agreement has to be fair to America and its workers, however.

No sane person could argue with this logic.  In president Obama's world, it might make sense for the USA to undertake major burdens not accepted by other nations for wholly symbolic purposes.  Obama was all about what looked good or what sounded good.  Trump, on the other hand, is concerned with what is good for the average American worker and his or her family.  From that standpoint, the Paris agreements were non-starters.

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