The Paris Climate Agreement - Trump Finally Got One Right

The Paris Climate Agreement - Trump Finally Got One Right

© David Burton 2017

Radical Islam


     On 1 June 2017, “President Trump announced the United States will leave the Paris Climate Agreement.
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     ". . . Without any impact on global temperatures, Paris was the open door for egregious regulation, cronyism, and government spending that would have been as disastrous for the American economy as it is proving to be for those in Europe. Heritage {Foundation} analysts projected that this agreement would have raised energy prices, killed jobs and cost the average family of four $20,000 by 2035. It’s the exact opposite of the ‘Make America Great Again’ agenda Pres. Trump promised to pursue. [Emphasis mine]
     “This decision has come after a long debate over the issue . . . research showed that the Paris plan would have created a shortfall of 400,000 jobs, a total income loss of $20,000 for a family of four by 2035, and an increase in household electricity expenditure by 13 to 20 percent . . .” (Ref. 1)

     Realistically, the Paris agreement was basically an attempt to halt climate change on the honor system, a system that internationally rarely, if ever, succeeds. Its only legal requirements were for signatories to announce goals and report progress, with no international enforcement mechanism. Under the agreement, it is highly likely that the United States and wealthy developed nations would have implemented severe climate change rules while many of other countries would have avoided doing anything that would slow their own economies. The agreement basically made the U.S. economy and other nations’ economies sacrificial lambs to the cause of climate change.

     There are some who regarded (and still do) the Paris climate accord as nothing but blackmail on the part of several countries who want lots of U.S. dollars to consider reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. For example, “Yemen has promised a whopping 1 percent cut in greenhouse gas emissions as part of the global Paris climate agreement.
     “North Korea, meanwhile, has said its pollution will double by 2030 compared with 2000 levels — but only if the rest of the world writes a sizable check. Otherwise, its emissions will rise even further.
     “Peru says it can cut emissions by 30 percent by 2030 compared with its ‘“business as usual’ projections, though that would be a net pollution increase of 22 percent and is contingent on billions of dollars in funding.
     “India, Iran, South Sudan, Niger, the Central African Republic, Cuba, Egypt, Paraguay and a host of other countries have similar demands: Pay up, or else they will have to keep polluting. [Emphasis mine]
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     “. . . for many that remain in the accord, the demands for cash are fueling the argument that the Paris agreement, at its core, is as much about redistributing international wealth as it is about saving the planet from climate change.
     “Supporters of the deal routinely point out that 193 countries have signed on. Although that is technically true, the vast majority of commitments offered in Paris would result in emissions increases or would require billions of dollars in funding — or, in many cases, both.
     “ ‘Claiming that 193 countries signed on is a meaningless statement, which is likely why it’s made. The meaningful way to view it is that 193 countries agreed that the U.S. should harm itself and to gladly pay on Tuesday for the U.S. to harm itself today,’ . . . ‘There’s a stark difference between agreeing to sign on to Paris and agreeing to do something, to undertake pain. In essence, they rented their signature for the promise of Paris-related wealth transfers. But for them to promise to do anything beyond take our money and impose the agenda, too, would really cost us.’ [Emphasis mine]
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     “. . . for the vast majority of the countries, their promises aren’t feasible without a major influx of money.
     “At least $420 billion has been formally requested under countries’ submissions to the Paris agreement . . .
     “That figure, however, is far lower than what will ultimately be required. Many countries do not specify exactly how much money it will take to meet their emissions reduction targets.
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     “Some analysts say the final figure for worldwide compliance with the Paris pledges would be in the trillions of dollars. U.N. officials estimated that it would cost at least $100 billion per year, and that figure could rise to more than $400 billion per year by 2020 to ensure compliance.
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     “It’s unclear whether the agreement can survive without U.S. financial support. The president has said he is willing to re-enter the deal if he can secure terms more favorable for the U.S., though he seemed unwilling to put the country on the hook for significant payouts to developing countries. (Ref. 2)


     It’s become clear that global warming has been taking place in recent years. However, what is not clear is whether this rise in global temperatures is primarily man-induced or simple a natural change in the earth’s climate. Let’s remember that the globe has undergone several cycles of global warming and global cooling well before mankind began burning fossil fuels. In spite of this fact, the Chicken-Littles of the world have started screaming that “the sky is falling”, that’s it’s entirely mankind’s fault, that mankind has the power to reverse the warming trend and that the world will come to end if the trend is not reversed. According to these alarmists, we must stop burning fossil fuels, no matter what the consequences.

     “During the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, President Barack Obama met with world leaders from around the globe to discuss plans to combat climate change. The general consensus from the summit was that the use of natural resources, such as coal, oil, and natural gas—which provide 80 percent of the world’s energy needs—should be avoided. Furthermore, industrialized, rich countries should pay for poor countries to build more renewable power and address climate change. In effect, the framework {was} a push for un-development for the industrialized world and a major obstacle for growth for the developing world. [Emphasis mine] The economic impact of instituting the regulations associated with the Paris agreement {would} be severe. Policies that restrict the use of carbon-based energy in America {would} kill jobs and stifle economic growth. Regardless of one’s opinions on the impact of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions on global temperatures the economic sacrifices will generate a negligible impact on global temperatures. [Emphasis mine]
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     “A central element to the U.S. commitment as part of the Paris agreement {was} the intended nationally determined contribution (INDC) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Countries {would have to} make specific, measurable commitments to curb carbon dioxide emissions and submit them to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) secretariat. The Obama Administration’s INDC {aimed} to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent to 28 percent below 2005 levels by the year 2025. While the INDC {was} non-binding and the Administration emphasize{d} that the U.S. ‘does not intend to utilize international market mechanisms,’ the plan outline{d} the litany of domestic regulations that the Administration proposed and implemented during President Obama’s time in office . . .” (Ref. 3)

     The Paris climate agreement was negotiated badly and signed out of desperation. In fact, there was enough bipartisan opposition to the pact in Congress that President Obama bypassed sending it to the Senate for ratification as a treaty. The American agreement rests on nothing more than the former president’s handshake. That is why America’s agreement was based upon an executive order and not a formal treaty.

     Global climate changes have occurred many times over the life of this planet and none, so far, have been caused by man. “Geological data shows evidence of large-scale climate changes in the past, caused by factors like the tilt of the Earth’s axis and tectonic plate movement (as climate is affected by the distribution of the planet’s continents). Some of these changes were gradual; others were much more rapid.
     “Life on Earth has flourished and evolved for hundreds of millions of years. However, this does not mean that the climate has been stable throughout this time.
     “Over the last 4 billion years, the Earth’s climate has changed many times.
     “In the mid Cretaceous, about 100 million years ago, the distribution of fossil plants, and large herbivorous dinosaurs, suggests sub-tropical conditions extended to Alaska and Antarctica and there were no polar ice caps. The planet was warmer than today - scientists have estimated it was 6 – 8°C warmer. Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere were about 5 times higher than today.” (Ref. 4) Life was not extinguished because of a warmer planet- just the opposite- it apparently flourished!

     Even in the relatively recent past, when man was beginning his reign on earth and well before he began to use fossil fuels to crate greenhouse gasses, there were ongoing changes to the earth’s climate. “Geologically speaking, we live in a time period of intense climatic change. Since the last 1 million years, our species and our human forebears experienced a dozen or so major glaciations of the northern hemisphere, with the greatest ever occurring around 650,000 years ago. During this period of extreme ice buildup, the ice advanced deep into the Midwest, from its center around Hudson Bay in Canada, and deep into Germany, from its center on the Scandinavian Shield. So much ice collected in these two major regions and several lesser ones that the sea level dropped by some 400 feet and the overall global temperature was lowered by around 9°F. Mammoth, mastodon, wooly rhinoceros, giant bison, camels, horses, and many large predators (cats, wolves, bears) roamed the grasslands well south of the rim of the miles-high ice, both in North America and in Europe. Small bands of humans made a living by hunting and gathering in Africa, and perhaps elsewhere. The glaciation that occurred 650,000 years ago lasted some 50,000 years. . . .” (Ref. 5) Clearly, the earth’s environment has changed many times in the earth’s history without any interference by mankind. Whether these changes have been for good or bad is a question without an answer, the creator or nature makes such changes irrespective of the desires of the creatures that are so affected. Today’s global warming may well be yet another example of this. The chances of the final outcome being beneficial are likely as great as the chances of it being detrimental. The cause of the change is yet to be determined.


     “Energy is a key building block for economic opportunity. Carbon-dioxide-emitting fuels, such as coal, oil, and natural gas, provided 87 percent of America’s energy needs in the past decade, and have been the overwhelming supplier for over a century. Restricting the use of conventional energy sources as laid out by the Obama Administration’s INDC {would} significantly harm the U.S. economy. Americans feel the pain of higher energy prices directly, but also indirectly through almost all of the goods and services they buy, because energy is a necessary component of production and service. Higher energy prices will disproportionately hurt the poorest Americans, who spend the highest percentage of their budget on energy bills. [Emphasis mine]
     “Companies will pass higher costs on to consumers or absorb the costs, which prevents hiring and new investment. As prices rise, consumers buy less, and companies will drop employees, close entirely, or move to other countries where the cost of doing business is lower. The result is fewer opportunities for American workers, lower incomes, less economic growth, and higher unemployment.
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     “{A comprehensive analysis of the consequences of the Paris agreement carried out by the Heritage Foundation showed the devastating impact on America.} Policies adapted from domestic regulations emphasized in the Paris agreement will affect a variety of aspects of the American economy. As a result of the plan, one can expect that by 2035, there will be:

An overall average shortfall of nearly 400,000 jobs;
An average manufacturing shortfall of over 200,000 jobs;
A total income loss of more than $20,000 for a family of four;
An aggregate gross domestic product (GDP) loss of over $2.5 trillion; and
Increases in household electricity expenditures between 13 percent and 20 percent.
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     “. . . the impact of the Paris agreement on manufacturing is quite devastating. In terms of overall employment, the agreement ends up killing more than 300,000 jobs by 2035.  . . .
    ”The impact on personal income that an average family of four would incur is also quite significant, especially toward the end of the next decade.
     “As global warming regulations stifle the use of the most efficient and inexpensive forms of electricity, businesses as well as households will incur higher electricity costs.  . . .
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     “In his 2015 State of the Union Address, President Obama claimed that ‘no challenge—no challenge—poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change.’ In that case, the President’s policies have missed their mark. Regardless of one’s opinions on the degree to which climate change is occurring, there is compelling evidence that policies like those resulting from the Paris agreement will have little impact on global temperatures. [Emphasis mine] In fact, using the Model for the Assessment of Greenhouse Gas Induced Climate Change developed by researchers at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, even if all carbon dioxide emissions in the United States were effectively eliminated, there would be less than two-tenths of a degree Celsius reduction in global temperatures. In fact, the entire industrialized world could cut carbon emissions down to zero, and the climate impact would still be less than four-tenths of a degree Celsius in terms of averted warming by the year 2100.
     “In addition, the various country-specific emissions targets for all the countries in the Paris agreement do not offer much hope for climate impact even if all the countries comply perfectly with their promised cuts. History, however, gives little confidence that such compliance will even occur. For instance, China is building 350 coal-fired power plants, and has plans for another 800. Further, if China is not addressing its harmful smog and poor water quality, there is justification for doubting its commitment to addressing global warming. Many developing countries have shown an unwillingness to curb economic growth to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
     “Heritage’s {comprehensive analysis, using} the Energy Information Administration’s energy model shows that restricting energy production to meet targets like those of the Paris agreement will significantly harm the U.S. economy. Bureaucratically administered mandates, taxes, and special interest subsidies will drive family incomes down by thousands of dollars per year, drive up energy costs, and eliminate hundreds of thousands of jobs. All of these costs would be incurred to achieve only trivial and theoretical impacts on global warming.” [Emphasis mine] (Ref. 3)

     The Paris agreement would be a great deal for countries like China and India. They would be given the opportunity to get an economic leg up on the United States. With an abundance of low-cost coal, these nations would place American manufacturers at a competitive disadvantage. At the same time, with reduced American oil and natural gas production, OPEC countries and Russia would gain greater leverage in the global energy market.


     Let’s get something clear: “First, the Paris Agreement isn’t a treaty and it would require America to do absolutely nothing. Treaties must be passed through the Senate (unless they involve Iran, apparently) and President Obama never sent it. In addition, there are no enforcement mechanisms to punish nations that don’t abide by it. Trump could mandate that every public-school student ride to class in a coal-fired school bus, and there would be no real-world consequences.
     “Or as the always level-headed Chris Hayes of MSNBC tweeted yesterday: ‘THE AGREEMENT QUITE LITERALLY IMPOSES NOTHING!!!’
     “How can the Paris deal simultaneously A) ‘impose nothing’ and B) be the environment’s last line of defense against Trump’s evil plans? . . .
     “Something else the media passed over: How much would it cost? Trump mentioned that the deal includes ‘yet another scheme to redistribute wealth out of the United States.’ He’s right that it calls for wealthy nations such as the United States to pony up $100 billion a year by 2020 for developing nations. Oren Cass of the Manhattan Institute reports we’ve already sent more than $500 million to the so-called ‘Green Climate Fund.’
     “But that’s chump change compared to the increased heating bills and lost jobs and wages if U.S. businesses were to get hit with the mandates Obama pushed as part of the Paris deal. According to a study by the Heritage Foundation, Obama’s Paris policies would cost America $2.5 trillion in lost GDP and the average family of four $20,000 in lost income.
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     “From The Wall Street Journal editorial page: ‘The Big Con at the heart of Paris is that even its supporters concede that meeting all of its commitments won’t prevent more than a 0.17 degree Celsius increase in global temperatures by 2100, far less than the two degrees that is supposedly needed to avert climate doom.’
     “That’s right: Both MIT and the UN’s own Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have projected that full adherence to the Paris deal would have little or no impact on global temperatures. Meanwhile, even without an agreement, U.S. CO2 emissions were 23 percent lower (per GDP dollar) in 2015 than in 2005. We’re cutting greenhouse gas emissions faster and farther than the same European nations that are denouncing Trump for destroying the Earth. [Emphasis mine]
     Ah, but who can bother about boring old facts when {the tree huggers of the world scream that the sky is falling and that} ‘Trump Pulling Out of Paris Accord is a ‘Suicide Note To The World!’ “ (Ref. 6)

     “Candidate Donald Trump made a promise; yesterday {1 June 2017} President Trump kept that promise, while leaving the door open for a renegotiated ‘fairer’ deal. What has gotten lost amid all the entirely predictable hot-air spewing is that the Paris agreement was always more symbolism than substance. It was an entirely voluntary agreement — not binding on any of the member countries that signed it.
     “At its heart, the agreement was about goal-setting — its aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and, therefore, to limit global temperature increases to no more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above preindustrial levels.
     “And here’s one small factoid to ponder about the worth of the Paris accords: A study by climate scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology estimated that if all of the participating nations met all of their stated goals and timetables by the year 2100, the resulting decline in global temperatures would be a paltry 0.2 degrees Celsius. [Emphasis mine] . . .
     “Now President Obama did indeed set rather ambitious goals after signing on to the agreement. (Notice he never sent it to the Senate to be ratified, which would have given it the status of a treaty.)
     “But he did commit to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent to 28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025. And Trump is right about one thing — meeting such goals could indeed pose a threat to American industries — iron and steel manufacturing, cement, paper in addition to coal. Meanwhile, as the president pointed out yesterday, China, the world’s largest emitter of carbon, will not begin to reduce its emissions until 2030. [Emphasis mine]
     “In fact, China, India, Pakistan and even some European nations will be increasing their use of coal over the next five years — nations like Germany foolishly shuttering nuclear plants and replacing them with carbon-spewing coal plants. [Emphasis mine]
     “ ‘This agreement is less about the climate and more about other countries gaining a financial advantage over the United States,’ Trump said yesterday.
     “He’s right on that score.
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     “Renewable energy is on the rise — even without those ill-advised Obama-era giveaways. That is a genie that is not about to return to the bottle — with or without the Paris accords.
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     “The U.S. doesn’t need the Paris accords to make us do the right thing.” [Emphasis mine] (Ref. 7)

     Just because President Trump announced America’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, it does not mean that America will abandon its move to a cleaner and more sustainable environment. Development of wind and solar power will still continue; there will continue to be more and more electric and hybrid electric vehicles on our highways; the changeover from coal and oil to cleaner natural gas will continue because of American ingenuity that has made the U.S. the largest source on earth of this energy source; federal and state subsidies and incentives for energy conservation and the commercialization of nonpolluting and renewable energy sources will continue and may well increase; and finally, the American public will continue to demand greater energy efficiency, more renewable energy and less atmospheric pollution, irrespective of whether or not we are part of the Paris environmental accord. America will do this on its own and does not need to be held hostage to the demands of environmental zealots whose blinders keep them from realizing the harmful consequences of their demands on the American economy and the American people. In spite of the dire predictions of the global warming alarmists that the end is near, the sky will not fall, Armageddon will not happen and life will go on. The United States wants a cleaner environment, but the Paris agreement, and the ill-conceived regulations that it would give birth to, would disproportionately harm America’s economy and would put us at a competitive disadvantage in the world marketplace.

     As Scott Pruitt, the head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, said on 2 June 2017, “while he believes human activity plays a role in global warming, there are also ‘climate exaggerators’ overblowing its potential impact.” (Ref. 8) He could have used a more descriptive term for these ‘climate exaggerators’ such as alarmists, Chicken-Littles, zealots, or even fanatics.

     “Exiting the agreement means the U.S. can lead with strength in promoting energy and environmental policies, protecting U.S. jobs and easing the costly regulatory burden across the country. Now the Trump administration can push ahead with a plan that conserves the environment while protecting economic competitiveness and promoting affordability and reliability.” (Ref. 9) In addition, the president left open the possibility of the U.S. reentering the climate agreement, but next time, with terms more favorable to America. America can reduce its emissions without the Paris accords. The U.S. reduction in carbon emissions will not be the result of government regulations or international agreements. It will, in large part, be because of new and innovative technologies from the private sector, including innovations in natural gas production.

     Even if man is the cause of global warming, corrective actions must be well thought out and must take into account more than just ecological and environmental considerations. And, let’s not forget that irrespective of the actual facts about Global Warming, the law of unintended consequences remains in effect. Sometimes the cure is worse than the affliction!


  1. President Trump just announced the US is leaving the Paris Climate Agreement, Edwin J. Feulner,
    The Heritage Foundation, 1 June 2017.
  2. Consequences of Paris Protocol: Devastating Economic Costs, Essentially Zero Environmental Benefits,
    Kevin Dayaratna, Nicolas Loris and David Kreutzer, The Heritage Foundation, 13 April 2016.
  3. Climate change in the past , Thompson Reuters, Natural History Museum , Accessed 8 July 2015.
  4. General Overview of the Ice Ages, Earthguide: University of California, San Diego, Accessed 8 July 2015.
  5. Lot of hot air over climate decision, Michael Graham, Boston Herald, page 14, 2 June 2017.
  6. Getting beyond Paris, OpEd, Boston Herald, page 14, 2 June 2017.
  7. EPA chief slams 'climate exaggerators,' won't say if Trump believes in climate change, Thompson Reuters,
    AOL News, 2 June 2017.
  8. The Paris climate agreement was a terrible deal for the US, Christine Harbin, Washington Examiner, 6 June 2017.


  15 June 2017 {Article 295; Whatever_55}    
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