One number is needed to illustrate the absurdity that is the Paris climate agreement: 0.17 degree Celsius. That is the temperature reduction in 2100 attendant upon the Paris greenhouse gas emissions reduction, which is the simple sum of the promises (“Nationally Determined Contributions”) made by the participating countries. The U.S. contribution to that “achievement”: 0.015 degree Celsius. These figures are the modeling results using the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency climate model. There is no dispute about them.

That global 0.17 degree Celsius includes the ostensible effects of the Obama 2015 pseudo-agreement with China, if it is meaningful. (It is not.) The Chinese promise that their greenhouse gas emissions will peak “around 2030.” How high will that peak be? No one knows. What will their emissions be after the peak? No one knows. What will happen if, or when, their emissions continue to rise after “around 2030”? Actually, we do know the answer to that: nothing.

A full implementation of the

Paris agreement would impose annual costs of at least 1% of global GDP, or $850 billion or more per year, inflicted disproportionately upon the world’s poor. (That is why there is a Green Climate Fund, which exists far more in theory than in fact.) Has anyone anywhere conducted a cost-benefit test under which the agreement makes any sense at all?

After all, substitutes for fossil fuels are vastly uncompetitive — the international evidence on that is incontrovertible — notwithstanding the laughable claims that wind and solar power are now “competitive,” assertions that ignore the massive subsidies, guaranteed market shares, and costs of backup generation and longer transmission systems. (It is no accident that power costs in California now are the highest in the lower 48 states.) And such substitutes are almost entirely a first-world luxury; for the most part, poor countries will respond to higher energy costs simply by consuming less. The proponents of the Paris agreement want to pretend that doing with less is costless because the value of forgone energy consumption does not show up in the national income accounts. The rest of us need not be so silly: Expensive energy means more poverty.

But, you say: Is there not a looming crisis?

Well, no. There is no evidence — none — in support of the “crisis” (or “existential threat”) view of anthropogenic climate change. Temperatures are rising, but as the Little Ice Age ended around 1850, it is not easy to separate natural from anthropogenic effects on temperatures. The latest research in the peer-reviewed literature suggests that mankind is responsible for about 0.5 degree Celsius of the global temperature increase of about 1.5 degrees Celsius since 1850.

Put aside the reality that the agreement does not and cannot contain a mechanism to enforce the “Nationally Determined Contributions.” More important, the NDCs cannot be taken seriously because almost all are promised greenhouse gas emissions cuts relative to a “business as usual” baseline, that is, relative to a future emissions path unconstrained by any policies at all. Since emissions are closely correlated with economic growth, a nation can “fulfill” its promise by assuming excessive economic growth; when actual growth proves lower, the same will be true for greenhouse gas emissions. Thus will the “commitments” be met without any actual change in underlying emissions behavior at all.

Not to worry, say the proponents: The agreement puts in place “monitoring,” a review process, and recalibration of targets every five years. That means, obviously, that the initial promises might not be met; precisely how is it that the revisions five years hence, and five years after that, ad infinitum, will prove any more meaningful than the original “landmark” Paris promises?

What is blatantly obvious is that this “review” process has nothing to do with emissions reductions; it is instead a full-employment act guaranteeing into the indefinite future endless meetings and U.N. Climate Change Conferences at luxury resorts for the international climate bureaucracy, academics, foundation staffers, politicians, celebrities and others for whom climate policy is a godsend. As an aside, the “monitoring” is to be done in part with satellite surveillance; am I alone in noticing the Big Brother flavor of this exercise?

Because the central ideological goal of the climate industry is an elimination of fossil fuels, the planet will never be saved and the goalposts will be moved continually. Accordingly, the Paris agreement is silly and destructive as a strategy to engender environmental improvement, but it works beautifully as a mechanism to transform the climate industry into a perpetual motion machine.

President Trump is wise to reject it.

Copyright 2019 Tribune Content Agency.

(44) comments

MD1756

The writer states: "After all, substitutes for fossil fuels are vastly uncompetitive — the international evidence on that is incontrovertible — notwithstanding the laughable claims that wind and solar power are now “competitive,” assertions that ignore the massive subsidies, guaranteed market shares, and costs of backup generation and longer transmission systems." That is clearly wrong for a number of reasons, mostly the externalized costs of fossil fuel combustion. Fossil fuel uses are not paying the true costs. We're not just talking about CO2 emissions. How about all of the mercury emitted by coal fired power plants? How about all the coal ash that is not being properly treated as hazardous waste and as has already happened in a couple of cases, places some communities at risk when the ash storage fails catastrophically or just leaches heavy metals into the ground water contaminating indiviuals' drinking water supply?

Comment deleted.
thump1202

How does it feel to be as ignorant and arrogant as you are? Honestly, you really have no understanding of this issue whatsoever.

Obadiah Plainsmen

2016 Trumps wins Presidential election, 2018 Democrats wins back HOR, October 31, 2019 HOR passes impeachment resolution, November 01, 2019 Tumps backs out of Paris Climate Agreement. "Elections have Consequences"......To be continued.

Comment deleted.
DickD

Glad I am a Democrat so I can be here in 2069.

DickD

" Well, no. There is no evidence — none — in support of the “crisis” (or “existential threat”) view of anthropogenic climate change."   There is evidence, our air is changing, our seas are warming up, our ice on the polar caps is melting, our oceans are rising.  Our scientists agree, climate is changing and man is causing some, if not all of it.

veritas

Cue Boyce Rensberger...

hayduke2

A NONSENSE post by someone who only represents money and energy groups.

stjohn42

The writer is a shill for a fringe web site and would deny gravity if he could. His science advice is as valuable as Trump's financial advice ("steal it and hope no one notices").

thump1202

The climate has always changed, one thing though is certain: As long as countries like China and India do nothing, the problem of global pollution will continue. The US had peak carbon emissions back in the late 90's, we get better every year whether Trump cares or not, as a people we are concerned with our environment. This agreement is useless and until the major pollutant countries get on board, we have no reason to do more than we already are.

hayduke2

The everybody else is doing it is not an argument that we should adhere to. An environmental strawman argument.

thump1202

You did nothing to refute my very correct argument.

hayduke2

My very correct argument [lol]

gabrielshorn2013

Hay, while cutting our emissions as close as reasonably achievable (zero?) Is the right thing to do, thump is right, and committing economic suicide while doing so is not reasonable. If ways of generating energy without generating greenhouse gasses becomes economically viable, there may be some hope. However, as seen in this space, there are plenty of solar and wind NIMBYS to prevent such adoption.

MD1756

Once again I'll point out that costs are being paid whether it is economic or environmental (and not just climate change). From the Union of Concerned Scientists, please see: https://www.ucsusa.org/resources/hidden-costs-fossil-fuels. For impact of coal ash impoundments please see: https://www.environmentalintegrity.org/coal-ash-groundwater-contamination/

hayduke2

Economic suicide is extreme and a bit over the top but environmental suicide is more permanent with dire consequences for all life.

gabrielshorn2013

Ok then, let's call it significant economic disadvantage. Everyone has to have skin in the game for it to be fair. It does nothing for us to cut our emissions, while China and India do not.

hayduke2

An excuse to do nothing. Time to be leader

gabrielshorn2013

To what end hay? I thoroughly support environmental issues, and my home is about as carbon neutral as you can get. However, you are asking the country to put ourselves at an economic disadvantage that the other countries will not do? This is a complex, multi dimensional issue. I was watching tv this morning, and there were interviews with tha Brazilian government regarding tha Amazon rain forest. Their basic response to the rest of the world is don't tell Brazil what to do. You cut down all of your forests as you gained economic independence, so don't tell us that we can't.

seanjames

ok, since you obviously do not care about the world we are leaving our children, i won't appeal to that. but since you do care about money and only money, do you think doing nothing will not also have devastating economic consequences? as major storm and droughts and wildfires increase in frequency, are those thing free to address? and rising sea levels? and increased oceanic acidity? do you think these things won't cost trillions of dollars to combat? a green new deal will ultimately save us money (while having the fringe benefit of saving the planet, of course). but, it would cost oil companies short term profits and stock prices, so they are funding all of this pseudo-science garbage like the above column.

also, for those in the back WE ARE ALREADY SUBSIDIZING FOSSIL FUELS!! this idea that fossil fuels are self sufficient while wind and solar require subsidies and therefore fossil fuels are inherently superior is false on its face. please pull your heads out of the sand before it's too late

gabrielshorn2013

With all due respect, I don't know who you are responding to seanjames, but if me, please reread .my post. Do you always catastrophize everything? My home is carbon-neutral. Yours? My recycling is 4x the size of my trash bin. Trash gets put out once a month, if that. You? My. vehicles are as efficient as practical. You have a political bent which you vigorously pursue, but I doubt you do half of what I, or several other contributors to this forum do to minimize our environmental impact, so get off your hypocritical soapbox. The fact is, when the impact actually hits people in the pocket, it has been proven time and time again that most vote for their own financial interest. Debating that fact is foolish. Now, outside of your rant, what did I say that you dispute? What I said about China? I'm IN China as I write this, and can see what is happening firsthand. You?

MD1756

The U.S. emits much more CO2 and other pollution on a per capita basis than China does. For those who think China is doing nothing just read some articles such as: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-renewables/china-pushes-regions-to-maximize-renewable-energy-usage-idUSKCN1VK087. Where there are issues it is because of subsidies to fossil fuel such as reported here: https://e360.yale.edu/features/why-chinas-renewable-energy-transition-is-losing-momentum where it is reported "And while curtailing subsidies for wind and solar power, the central government has sharply increased financial support for what it calls “new energy” extraction, which includes fracking of shale gas and separating methane from coal. Those subsidies are an important reason behind China’s rising CO2 emissions."

gabrielshorn2013

Nonetheless MD1756, China's emissions are rising, while the US has been falling. What China plans to do, or wants to do, isn't they seem to be doing.

Comment deleted.
prg45fan

1,000,000 abortions a year are promoted by the democrats yet you say the Republicans don't care about "future generations"? You are a joke and so is the democrat party of haters.

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