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In case you missed it yesterday – and if you watch television, listen to the radio, go on the internet, read newspapers, or have any social media accounts, you probably didn’t – President Trump announced his intention to pull the United States out of the Paris Climate agreement.
The agreement was non-binding, the United States still has three years to work out something different, and quite frankly, it was going to be far more punishing to this country than to China and India, two other major users of carbon.
None of that mattered to the Twitter and Facebook mobs, though. All day I read comments like “RIP earth,” or “America is destroying the planet.”
I don’t watch a lot of television but last night I happened to have Tucker Carlson’s show on and one of his guests was a Mayor in Miami. Carlson conceded the point that climate change may be a real issue that needs to be dealt with, but asked a poignant question about how this specific agreement would help make any kind of significant impact on climate change, which given the cost, it should. The Mayor reverted to talking points about climate change in general, never once answering Carlson’s question.
This is important because I saw a lot of it in the wake of the president’s decision. Reasonable minds can argue over climate change itself, but the issue here isn’t whether or not climate change is bad, it is whether or not this deal is (A) beneficial in a significant way (B) worth the exorbitant costs it would impose on our country.
Unfortunately, when it comes to climate change, emotions have taken over to the point where as long as “something” is being done, then it must be good. We don’t even need to examine the particulars, we just need to act.
This is an incredibly dangerous way to approach anything, let alone a major agreement like this.
Further, as I said above, the agreement is non-binding, which means there is no enforcement mechanism and any country involved can decide not to hold up their end if they so choose. If you are somebody who truly believes climate change is disastrous and you want real, impactful action, shouldn’t you be lobbying for the president to work with the senate and house to ratify a treaty that can then be presented as legally binding? Isn’t doing otherwise just meaningless grandstanding and posturing?
But none of those questions get asked when hysterics are involved.
The brilliant Michael Malice – whose book on North Korea “Dear Reader” is a must read for anybody who wants to know what is REALLY going on there – recently said on the Joe Rogan podcast that the issue of climate change is amazing to him because 95% of people who will call you a “denier” for showing even the slightest bit of skepticism about the catastrophic predictions don’t know anything about the subject themselves except that “all scientists agree” and they are intellectually and morally superior to you for not being a “denier.” As Malice joked, the vast majority of these people can’t even name two clouds but they somehow think they are experts on a very complex subject like climate change.
This is not to say that the climate change alarmists are wrong. They may not be. But the ones who sound the alarm without really knowing anything are part of the problem and not part of the solution.
Most scientists agree climate change is occurring and that it is a problem. But what to do about it and just how drastic of a problem it is are areas that need robust discussion. It is possible that climate change activists are right when they say the answer can’t be “do nothing.” But the answer also can’t be “Do something…..anything.”
Whatever we do needs to be beneficial to the point of being worth the price that will have to be paid. What does that entail? Honestly, I don’t know. But I do know the Paris agreement doesn’t fit the bill. And those screaming at the top of their lungs need to realize that, too, so that they can focus their energy on coming up with a more practical and purposeful solution, instead of one that just feels good but is merely symbolic.