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Friday, June 2, 2017

Why Won't They Answer The Question

In the midst of all the outrage over President Trump's withdrawal of the USA from the Paris climate agreement, there are some unanswered questions.  No one seems to be willing to provide an answer to them.

1.  How will the treatment of China and India (which happen to be two of the three biggest polluters in the world) protect Earth's climate?  China has no obligations to reduce pollution until 2030 at the earliest but will get paid billions of dollars (much for the USA) to help accomplish that goal.  India has no obligation to do anything ever unless it gets over two trillion dollars of aid from more developed countries.

I watched Tucker Carlson ask for an answer to this question last night on his show.  His guest was the mayor of Miami Beach who just avoided answering the question.  While it may be too much to expect a local politician to provide an answer, it is not unreasonable to expect that someone would do so.  We've yet to hear an answer.

2.  How does withdrawal for the Paris agreement undermine our economy as the opponents of Trump's move keep screaming?  What part of the economy will be hurt?  The closest we get to an answer is that there will be fewer "green jobs".  Why?  No one will say.  Instead, they just assume this result.  The interesting thing about that assumption is that we've tried it out in the past.  In 2009, the stimulus bill included massive spending on green energy which was supposed to produce millions of jobs in the USA.  We spent the money, but we didn't get the jobs.  Oh, many were created, but the moment the huge federal spending stopped, the jobs were all lost.  We were spending roughly a million dollars to generate a job that paid fifty thousand dollars per year.  Why would it make sense to continue to do that? 

We do know that staying in the Paris agreements would have cost the USA billions of dollars.  That is money that has to be paid by taxpayers, and it would slow the economy and cost jobs as a result.

3.  What is the merit of an agreement like Paris that has no clear effect on the climate even if everyone actually does what is required?  It's another unanswered question.  Here, at least, some people talk about the symbolic importance of the agreements which show the world is united to combat global warming.  But that is not an acceptable answer.  It's the rough equivalent of having everyone wear a yellow wristband to show support for world peace.  Whoever sells those wristbands will make money, but it won't change anything else.  If global warming is an actual problem (which I don't accept as having been proven), shouldn't the actions taken to combat it be designed to work?  In that context, why do the Paris agreements make sense.

We need answers.  We don't need hysterical people acting as if there are no questions.

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