Why The U.S. Pulling Out Of The Paris Accord Was A Real Mistake

Introduction

Last week, President Trump followed through on one of his campaign promises – to pull out of the Paris Accord. Since he has been prevented from implementing several of his campaign promises, he was under pressure to follow through on at least one of them. The irony is that few of his core supporters had any idea of what the Paris Accord was and why the US was involved. Below I explain what the Accord is and why the US should not have pulled out.

Why the US Pulling Out of the Paris Accord Was a Real Mistake

Global Warming: A Primer

 a. Evidence of Warming

There is general agreement the earth is warming. And while temperatures can vary widely by year or region, data do support the warming hypothesis. NOAA has recorded 2015 as the hottest year since records began in 1880. The 16 warmest years ever recorded are also in the 1998–2015 period. 2015 was characterized by one of the strongest El-Niños and record warmth in the global oceans with an annually averaged temperature for ocean surface waters around the world that was 0.74 °C higher than the 20th century average.

b. Emissions

So the earth is getting warmer. The real policy question is whether man’s actions are part of the reason for it. The vast majority of scientists say yes, pointing to man-created growing CO2 emissions as evidence of it.

Table 1 provides data on CO2 emissions by country. The US was the leading emitter until China took over in the first decade of the 21st Century. But there are some hopeful signs. Global emission growth has at least leveled off. And China’s emissions declined for the first time in 2015. China is working hard to reduce emissions for two reasons:

  • China is a resource-poor country and
  • Country leaders are worried about citizens’ complaints about high air pollution levels.

European countries have led the way in reducing emissions, down overall by 11% since 2010. The US, with rapidly growing and low cost natural gas supplies, has also lowered CO2 emissions. The US and other countries with large fossil fuel reserves lead the list of countries with the largest emissions per capita.

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Comments

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Elliott Morss 2 years ago Author's comment

Gary:

Was the Marshall Plan the result of global brainwashing? I think not. The US spent huge sums to get both allied and axis powers back on their feet after WW2.

Was it global brainwashing that led to the US funding the creation of the UN?

And when Kennedy created the Peace Corps. Was he brainwashed?

I think these 3 acts were the US at its best.

Pulling out of the Paris Peace Accord was conceding world leadership to others - not a good idea.

Gary Anderson 2 years ago Contributor's comment

Except for the UN, those were acts of sovereignty. Maybe the UN was in a way as the US was dominant. But certainly, Paris is a withdrawal of sovereignty. Apples and oranges. Guess we won't agree on this.

Elliott Morss 2 years ago Author's comment

Gary: Thanks for your comment. I agree the earth will get warmer over at least the next decade as developing countries become more energy intensive. Nevertheless, the Paris Accord can bring pressure to bear on countries to reduce global emissions. It will also serve as an incubator for accelerated technologies. The US has already invested $1 billion in its climate fund and by leaving loses and say over how it is used.

There is also the point about the US abnegating its world leadership role. for more on this, see www.project-syndicate.org/.../paris-comes-to-pittsburgh-by-laurence-tubiana-2017-06

David Reynolds 2 years ago Member's comment

That's a good point, Elliott.

Gary Anderson 2 years ago Contributor's comment

I think it is a matter of globalist brainwashing. It probably would never be ratified by congress anyway. This is because most of the land mass of the US, not the population centers, does not trust the direction of globalism and for good reason.

Gary Anderson 2 years ago Contributor's comment

According to main stream scientists, global warming cannot be stopped by the Paris Accords. While I am no fan of Trump, odious as he is, if Paris won't work it is stupid to stay in.

Carl Schwartz 2 years ago Member's comment

But wouldn't leaving only accelerate #GlobalWarming?

Gary Anderson 2 years ago Contributor's comment

So what? It is going to happen anyway? Why throw good money after bad?

Elliott Morss 2 years ago Author's comment

Let's assume for the moment that man is not causing global warming. We should still plan to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

Several reasons:

1. there is a limited supply of fossil fuels meaning that some time in the future, we will run out of them.

2. The mining of fossils fuels is dangerous with many thousands of deaths annually.

3. The burning of fossil fuels generates pollutants that also cause a large number of deaths every year.

There are also predictions that as a result of global warming, ocean levels will rise and more violent and dangerous storms will occur, In light of these predictions, precautions should be taken. And at the very least, the Federal govt. should stop subsidizing flood insurance in high risk areas.

Gary Anderson 2 years ago Contributor's comment

That may be. But in the grand scheme of things it won't matter, Carl. But it will destroy our sovereignty, and will cost permanent jobs while creating temp jobs that will soon go away. A quick boom followed by a real bust. I wrote about it here: www.talkmarkets.com/.../trump-and-the-big-renewable-energy-effort