June 1st, 2017

Trump and the Climate Accord

President Trump has announced that the US is withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord. That CNN article I just linked to says in the first sentence that his withdrawal will “seriously dampen global efforts to curb global warming.”

But do those efforts matter in any save the political and/or symbolic sense? Trump describes the Accord this way:

“The agreement doesn’t eliminate coal jobs, it just transfers those jobs out of the United States and ships them to foreign countries,” Trump said from the Rose Garden. “This agreement is less about the climate and more about other countries gaining a financial advantage over the United States.”

He also says he plans to negotiate a new and better deal.

Powerline’s Steven Hayward has written:

In one sense, the Paris Accord is so weak and unserious that it doesn’t much matter to the climate whether we stay or go. This is one reason why major oil companies want us to stay in, but chief climatista James Hansen calls the Paris Accord a “fraud.” Nevertheless, Tom Steyer is already shrieking that withdrawal from the Paris Accord would be a “declaration of war” against the American people. In fact, if you’re a true-believeing climatista, it is possible that the cause of reducing greenhouse gas emissions might prosper better without the Paris Accord.

The argument for indifference can be seen in these two simple charts, produced by our friends at the green-leaning Breakthrough Institute, which show that the Kyoto Protocol had no discernible effect on the rate of decarbonization that has been steadily taking place for decades now…[charts follow]

The point being made is that the Paris Accord is a red herring, mere window-dressing that doesn’t affect the real issues of climate and emissions that continue to be hotly debated. Of course, Trump will be demonized for this action by the AGW proponents, and lauded by the AGW detractors, but the Accord itself probably has had no appreciable effect whatsoever on climate change.

More background on the Paris Accord can be found here:

The Accord was doomed before negotiators ever assembled for photographs in December 2015. They were not there to commit each country to meaningful greenhouse-gas reductions; rather, everyone submitted their voluntary pledges in advance, and all were accepted without scrutiny. Pledges did not have to mention emissions levels, nor were there penalties for falling short. The conference itself was, in essence, a stapling exercise…

Celebrating the success of this collation coalition, Secretary of State John Kerry claimed that “186 nations in the world came together to submit a plan, all of them reducing their emissions.” That was not true. In fact, most of the major developing countries, whose emissions will drive climate change this century, pledged only to continue with business as usual…

The volunteer pledges have commanded precisely the respect they deserve. An April report by Transport Environment found only three European countries pursuing policies in line with their Paris commitments and one of those, Germany, has now seen two straight years of emissions increases. The Philippines has outright renounced its commitment. A study published by the American Geophysical Union warns that India’s planned coal-plant construction is incompatible with its own targets. All this behavior is socially acceptable amongst the climate crowd. Only Trump’s presumption that the agreement means something, and that countries should be forthright about their commitments, is beyond the pale.

That writer, Oren Cass, also makes the interesting point that Obama never submitted the agreement to the Senate because he knew he couldn’t get Senate approval, and that Trump could redress that error by submitting the withdrawal to a Senate vote. That ignores the fact that Trump’s withdrawal probably wouldn’t pass, either, due to the filibuster (unless the nuclear option were to be used). One of the drawbacks to a president such as Obama who does so many things by executive fiat without Congressional approval is that a subsequent president can do or undo the same things and not feel the least bit bad about it.

82 Responses to “Trump and the Climate Accord”

  1. blert Says:

    The President nailed it: the ‘agreement’ was designed by Barry Soetoro to screw the American economy — and as ‘adopted’ was done so in gross violation of the US Constitution.

    Rising carbon dioxide levels are causing the Earth to get GREENER, with the greatest impact in the equatorial rice-growing zone.

    It’s responsible for about 10% of today’s crop yield in rice, all by itself.

    ( Extrapolated from NASA’s research. )

  2. Cornhead Says:

    I was so, so impressed with Trump’s speech. It beautifully combined emotion and logic; a jewel of rhetoric. The line, “I was elected by the people of Pittsburgh; not Paris” will go down in history as a classic.

    I’m ecstatic.

  3. neo-neocon Says:

    Cornhead:

    Of course, Pittsburgh begs to differ, and they have electoral facts on their side.

  4. Cornhead Says:

    Neo

    So now Pittsburgh, via its mayor, declares itself a sanctuary city for the Paris Accord?

    Trump carries PA by 10% in 2020.

  5. Dave Says:

    isn’t achieving absolute equality the ultimate goal of the progressives. If by withdrawing from the climate accord the human race gets wiped out as a result of climate change, why isn’t that a good thing to the lefties? rich and poor everyone gets annihilated together at the same time, there is nothing more equal than that.

  6. parker Says:

    This is right up there with the Gorsuch appointment, thank you djt. How anyone can take people like Gore, Obama, Dicaprio, etc seriously as they fly around the globe on private jets, cruisie on their mega yachts, and live in manisions that spew more carbon than ten thousand of the humble abodes of the peasants is simply astounding.

  7. Cornhead Says:

    I had my doubts about Trump early in the campaign, but his actions have converted me to a true believer. Now he needs to get Congress on board and pass some bills. The guy is really historic and transformative.

  8. Dave Says:

    Do you believe you can lower your chance of getting lung cancer by quitting smoking now at 60 after being a heavy smoker for 45 years? If you choose to believe their models you also have to believe the prediction of the future derived from those models, climate change is irreversible and all these futile measures do nothing but postponing the inevitable demise of mankind.

  9. Paul in Boston Says:

    In 1988 James Hansen, head of NASA’s climate science group, announced that the West Side Highway in Manhattan would be 20 feet under water by 2008. It was still dry and heavily used this past weekend when we visited NYC.

    I spent a fair amount of time looking into the claims of the wamists and have come to the conclusion that they would have a hard time predicting high noon if you gave them an atomic clock. What a scam.

  10. neo-neocon Says:

    Dave:

    You can indeed reduce your chances of dying by quitting smoking at 60 after a lifetime as a smoker. See also this. None of the articles I saw specifically broke the statistics down in terms of just lung cancer; they studied deaths from all causes. But lung cancer certainly was included:

    Causes of smoking-related death [in the study] included lung, bladder, bowel, liver, pancreatic and stomach cancers, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and respiratory conditions such as pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

    This is how the lung cancer risk changes if you stop smoking at 60:

    …[A] popular belief is that, by a certain length of time after quitting – five years, say – your lungs will be back to normal. Unfortunately, that is not the case. “When you stop smoking, your lung cancer risk does not go down,” says West. “What happens is that it stops going up. It’s like a sort of escalator of death – you want to try and get off on the lowest floor possible.”

    So it seems that with lung cancer the risk does not decline but it stops advancing. A sort of freeze ensues. The risk of things such as cardiac arrest, though, most definitely goes down, and it happens rather quickly in those without any evidence of systemic heart disease (who are not immune from cardiac arrest, which is more common in smokers).

  11. Dave Says:

    Thank You Neo, very valuable info.

  12. Edwhy Says:

    ‘Dampen efforts to curb global warming’……, the hubris is laughable.

  13. Bill Says:

    I’ve long been skeptical about global warming hysteria, especially since I can remember back to when we were all going to die of boiling and drowning the day after tomorrow. And before that we were all going to freeze to death.

    However, I’ve been wondering if there’s any way for me to get better educated on this subject, and cut through the propaganda on both sides. I am interested as to what’s the truth and what’s not. On one hand I’ve read the predictions over the decades and they have not come true. On the other hand I have some good friends (and they aren’t that liberal, although also not Trump supporters) who have done research and think AGW is real and needs to be dealt with.

    I think from a predictions point of view, AGW is similar to “peak oil” (notice no one talks about THAT anymore – I’m in the Energy business and we have more of the black gold than we know what to do with, which is making it, ironically but beneficially for most people, less valuable/costly).

    All that being said:…

    Then Blert drops this on us: “Rising carbon dioxide levels are causing the Earth to get GREENER, with the greatest impact in the equatorial rice-growing zone.

    It’s responsible for about 10% of today’s crop yield in rice, all by itself.”

    Which is it!!!!???? I really want to know.

    Regarding Trump’s action: I’m going to say it was probably the right thing to do. I think the Paris accords were more symbolic than anything else. If Blert is right and AGW is real, I’ve always figured that our technology will find better ways.

    But I also think that the backing out of the agreement is part of the ongoing middle finger Trump is giving to Europe (intentionally, I think) which I’m not as keen on. If GWB was a “cowboy” I don’t know what metaphor you can find for Trump but he’s an order of magnitude worse (as far as our European allies are concerned) and potentially riskier than GWB ever was. He was serious about America first but the implications of that are also America increasingly alone and America less in charge on the world stage.

    Your mileage may vary as to whether that’s a good thing or not, or whether I’m just all wet in thinking so.

  14. Harry the Extremist Says:

    I wonder if Tom Steyer’s going to have himself photographed holding Trump’s head. He sounds quite unhinged. Judging by the remarks of other alt-left extremists, he could probably get away with it.

  15. mollyNH Says:

    Why do they need the US on this they have everyone else ?
    They want Uncle money bags to put up the cash.
    Why don’t AL gore. Soros, Dicaprio pony up the GREEN as a gift to the world, save the planet, maybe a go fund me page.

  16. OM Says:

    Dave:

    Sorry to break the news to you but not all models are infallible and they all aren’t the same. So believing or accepting results of one model sheds no intrinsic credibility on a different model. Each must be tested on its merits.

  17. Physicsguy Says:

    Bill,

    Go to wattsupwiththat.com. world’s most viewed climate site. At the top of the page is the link to the reference pages. There you will find all the data to examine.

    The bottom line is that the hysteria is all based on computer models. That’s ok, and exactly what scientists should do when making a hypothesis : what does it predict? The problem that has become so very apparent over the last decade is that the models don’t match the observations of temperature; they greatly over estimate the effect. I’ll let Richard Feynman have the last word:

    https://youtu.be/OL6-x0modwY

  18. Bill Says:

    PhysicsGuy,

    Thanks.

  19. J.J. Says:

    Bill, for some good info about the AGW issue got to Dr. Roy Spencer’s blog.
    http://www.drroyspencer.com/
    Another informative site is wattsupwiththat https://wattsupwiththat.com/

    The problem stems from the claim that CO2, a minor trace gas in the atmosphere, which is necessary for plant life (which the warmists are now calling a pollutant) controls the temperature of the planet. It is true that CO2 does absorb a small amount of infra red energy that is reflecting back into space, but there is so little of the gas in the atmosphere it cannot have such an outsize effect. The warmists address this by saying that there are “forcings” that magnify the effect of CO2. They use “best estimates” (hand waving or WAGs) of these forcings to construct their computer models. They claim their models are telling us what is going to happen 100 years hence. Ha!

    Ask any warmist what causes the El Nino, La Nina water temperature shifts in the Pacific. They observe it and know it has a big effect on the weather, but they have no idea what causes it. If we ever understand what causes that, we might be onto what really controls our climate over the long term.

    Yes, there is warming going on. Very gradual warming since about 1885. Is it man made? No one is certain. If CO2 is the problem can we mitigate the effects? Only if the entire world reverts to the low energy life style of the 1800s. (A fact that even the warmists know but ignore.) That way lies starvation and death for billions. Fossil fuels have made our standard of living possible. There is no known substitute at this time. Warmists would be more convincing if they were willing to accept nuclear and hydropower as a part of the green solution. But they won’t. It’s solar and wind or nothing. Our best course is to continue to become energy efficient, (Huge strides have been made in the last forty years.), keep working on alternative energy sources, (wind and solar may at some point be practical) and adapt to (not mitigate) whatever climate change throws our way.

    It appears to me that President Trump grasps all this.

  20. Ken Mitchell Says:

    The world is only “warming” because we’re clawing our way out of the last little ice age. Google “Maunder Minimum” or “Dalton Minimum”. The climate is driven by the SUN, and when the Sun becomes a little quiescent, it gets colder here. Not a whole lot, but enough that the Hudson and the Thames Rivers used to freeze solid, and they no longer do.

    But the Sun appears to be moving into a new solar minimum, and there’s every chance that things are going to get enough colder over the next 40 years that you youngsters are really going to notice the difference. (I’ll be long gone.)

    But Paris Accords? The ONLY country to meet the CO2 reduction goals was the United States. Not that it matters; CO2 doesn’t really count. Water vapor counts – but the computer models don’t account for water vapor. But India and China are building dozens of coal-fired powerplants.

    So the whole thing was an enormous Obama Farce.

  21. Mr. Frank Says:

    Lefty heads are exploding.

    Good chance of a riot says me.

  22. Liz Says:

    As Instapundit says… “I’ll believe it’s a crisis when the people telling me it is a crisis, act like it is a crisis.”

    Several people mentioned WWUT website. He had a series of posts describing his visits to the various temperature sites around the US. There are actually these weather stations at airport tarmacs, near parking lots, air conditioners, etc that impact the accuracy of the temperatures. garbage in-garbage out.

  23. Ray Says:

    Neo,
    According to the National Cancer Institute, the cause of cancer is unknown. Read the next to last paragraph.
    https://training.seer.cancer.gov/disease/war/

  24. parker Says:

    As a flyover farm boy and now an aging geezer, I have long paid attention to weather. I’ve lived through droughts and floods, bitter prolonged winter blizzards and 20 days in a row of 100+ temperatures, ‘Climate science’ is a pig in a poke sold by chicken little.

  25. blert Says:

    Bill Says:
    June 1st, 2017 at 6:49 pm

    There actually was a time that NASA was not politicized, when carbon dioxide partial pressures in the atmosphere was not politicized: the ’60s.

    NASA spent LARGE to see if food could be grown on orbit, whether carbon dioxide could be removed from a space station on orbit… something that NASA figured to be the Next Step after the Moon.

    This was the FIRST time that ANYONE ever attempted total in vitro plant growth at scale — with all the bells and whistles of modern science.

    NASA’s researchers ( Ivy league biologists and more ) were astounded as to how high crop yields ( hydroponic algae ) reached, per square foot, as the partial pressure of carbon dioxide rose — and as illumination went to 24 hours — and the frequencies were filtered to be ideal.

    The dream scheme would be a solar collector that would send filtered light to a rotating torus filled with hydroponic systems… growing algae and more.

    Their earliest discovery is that plant growth EXPLODES as the partial pressure of carbon dioxide rises. In the laboratory, water and sunlight and fertilizer are established at ideal levels. So the only limiting factor was carbon dioxide.

    NASA’s research has grand children. All bio-Diesel schemes are clones of NASA’s test rigs. Growth is so rapid you’d swear you can see it before your eyes.

    &&&&

    The rice paddies of India and Red China are saturated with water, sun and fertilizer. They actually achieve much higher yields per acre than Californian farmers.

    So, for them, the Rate Limiting factor in their crop yields is — beyond all doubt — the partial pressure of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

    ( This will not be true for the Sahara Desert, where, obviously, water is the rate limiting factor. )

    Water, as THE rate limiting factor has been known since ancient times.

    Since the atmosphere is virtually the same everywhere, until NASA’s research, no-one ever thought to even consider the partial pressure of carbon dioxide. ( As if you could affect it, anyway. )

    &&&

    Crop yields have been rocketing up, globally. What’s curious is that MOST of the world’s food is STILL grown without fertilizers. The farmers can’t afford any.

    So the ONLY logical reason for their bump in yield HAS TO BE the rising partial pressure of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere.

    Should the Warmists have their sway, MILLIONS of poverty stricken subsistence farmers MUST STARVE.

    That’s the biological consequence of dropping carbon dioxide levels back to that of a century ago.

    &&&&

    Months ago I lectured you that AOPEC can’t possibly live with low oil prices.

    You took my words as fluff.

    The results are in: AOPEC is FRANTIC.

    Even at today’s higher prices, AOPEC is going BROKE.

    QED

  26. Griffin Says:

    So on one hand they say this is really just symbolic but on the other hand Trump pulling out may literally end the world.

    Got it!

  27. Tuvea Says:

    So the problem with Climate Change is that the seas are going to rise. And New York and LA are going to flood.

    Like that is going to bother us deplorable bitter-clingers living in fly-over country.

  28. OM Says:

    Tuvea:

    Beachfront property in San Bernardino or Riverside, CA?

  29. Frog Says:

    The bad news about Exec Orders is they are not durable. Trump’s can all be undone too, if we are unfortunate enough to get a Dem back in.

  30. CapnRusty Says:

    If there is justice in this world, Stephen MacIntyre, Ross McKitrick and Anthony Watts will someday receive a Nobel prize in Science.

  31. AesopFan Says:

    parker Says:
    June 1st, 2017 at 5:52 pm
    This is right up there with the Gorsuch appointment, thank you djt. How anyone can take people like Gore, Obama, Dicaprio, etc seriously as they fly around the globe on private jets, cruisie on their mega yachts, and live in manisions that spew more carbon than ten thousand of the humble abodes of the peasants is simply astounding.
    * * *
    Liz beat me to the obvious reply.
    Liz Says:
    June 1st, 2017 at 8:23 pm
    As Instapundit says… “I’ll believe it’s a crisis when the people telling me it is a crisis, act like it is a crisis.”

    Bill Says:
    June 1st, 2017 at 6:49 pm
    …But I also think that the backing out of the agreement is part of the ongoing middle finger Trump is giving to Europe (intentionally, I think) which I’m not as keen on. If GWB was a “cowboy” I don’t know what metaphor you can find for Trump but he’s an order of magnitude worse (as far as our European allies are concerned) and potentially riskier than GWB ever was. He was serious about America first but the implications of that are also America increasingly alone and America less in charge on the world stage.

    Your mileage may vary as to whether that’s a good thing or not, or whether I’m just all wet in thinking so.
    * * *
    I suspect we have mileages varying all over the place (with or without ethanol), but here’s some perspective on GWB and Trump in re Climate Hysteria.

    http://www.aei.org/publication/outrage-over-trumps-climate-withdrawal-is-like-groundhog-day/

    “The left-wing Guardian newspaper said the president’s decision to withdraw from the global climate treaty signed by his Democratic predecessor represents “a blunt rebuff to European hopes” and has turned America into “the ultimate rogue state.” Britain’s Independent declared: “It is not even isolationism, it is in-your-face truculence.” The president of France called the decision “disturbing and unacceptable.” The US National Environmental Trust declared: “This is no way to conduct policy. It looks like amateur hour at the White House.”

    The president being attacked is not Donald Trump. It is George W. Bush, who was chastised for his 2001 decision to withdraw the United States from the Kyoto treaty on global climate change signed by the Clinton administration.

    Of course, the predicted apocalypse never happened. To the contrary, the Wall Street Journal reports that after Bush’s withdrawal the US “reduced emissions faster than much of Europe thanks to business innovation—namely, hydraulic fracturing that is replacing coal with natural gas.” It turns out that technology, not treaties, is the best way to curb emissions – and to do so without harming consumers by dramatically increasing the cost of electricity. In the years after Bush’s Kyoto withdrawal, electricity prices in the US were half of the European Union average (which went up by 55% from 2005 to 2013) and one-third of the price in Germany—where emissions, ironically, went up thanks to the abandonment of nuclear power.

    No matter; the left-wing outrage machine savaged Bush anyway, just as it is savaging Trump today for his pending announcement of America’s withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement signed by Barack Obama.

    Keep the pangs of outrage in perspective. We’ve seen this movie many times before. Republican president withdraws from cherished international agreement. Left goes into apoplexy. Rinse and repeat.

    It’s like Groundhog Day.
    * * *
    The Kyoto Protocol is an international treaty, but not ratified by the US (which is why Bush could withdraw under his own authority without Congressional action)*; and it appears to me that these toothless virtue-signaling accords actually impede technological advances because they substitute preening for productive action.

    *No one is actually taking Kyoto seriously, according to Wikipedia: The Protocol’s first commitment period started in 2008 and ended in 2012. A second commitment period was agreed on in 2012, known as the Doha Amendment to the protocol, in which 37 countries have binding targets: Australia, the European Union (and its 28 member states), Belarus, Iceland, Kazakhstan, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, and Ukraine. Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine have stated that they may withdraw from the Protocol or not put into legal force the Amendment with second round targets.[8] Japan, New Zealand and Russia have participated in Kyoto’s first-round but have not taken on new targets in the second commitment period. Other developed countries without second-round targets are Canada (which withdrew from the Kyoto Protocol in 2012) and the United States (which has not ratified the Protocol). As of July 2016, 66 states have accepted the Doha Amendment, while entry into force requires the acceptances of 144 states. Of the 37 countries with binding commitments, 7 have ratified.

  32. AesopFan Says:

    This contains some interesting points I haven’t seen elsewheretoday.
    http://libertyunyielding.com/2017/06/01/frances-macron-shows-trump-whats-paris-accord-announcement/

    “Meanwhile, the Indivisible “movement” promptly shifted ground from “climate accord” to “clean air,” and put out a typically deceptive tweet…The climate accord isn’t about clean air — not even indirectly or obliquely. It’s not about pollutants that are thought to harm humans or animal life. Those are separate issues.

    The climate accord is about a hypothetical effect of greenhouse gases on global climate patterns, with an obsessive focus on temperature. “Pollution” and demonstrated “environmental harm” are not at issue here. “Climate change,” even in theory, isn’t about dumping toxic substances in rivers, or human-manufactured chemicals weakening the ozone layer. It’s about carbon dioxide emissions and greenhouse-gas effects.

    The hoary old bait-and-switch tactic of shouting “climate change” while showing unsightly images of roadside litter is one of the most ridiculous theme packages going, but it always gets pulled out of the drawer. That, of course, is because the whole thing isn’t about science or the climate or the environment to begin with; it’s about imposing collective solutions that must bring the entire globe under open-ended, unappealable mandates.

    Never fear, however. Indivisible’s comrades in arms promptly undid the “clean air/pollution” theme by leaving a big, hypocrimonious pile of non-degradable trash across from the White House with their protest signs reading “LESS POLLUTION MORE SOLUTIONS”:

    View image on Twitter ”

    [I add that this kind of trashiness is standard MO for the Left and Dems, with innumerable examples over the last few years alone]

    “The American Interest, in April, previewed how the other developed countries (besides the United States) were dragging their heels on the climate accord’s wealth transfer. In theory, the climate fund — committed to in December 2015 — was supposed to receive contributions from all the developed nations. In reality, it had reached only 40% of its goal by April 2017, and that only by relabeling previous forms of foreign aid as “climate assistance.” Trump’s withdrawal puts any real “new money” contributions to the climate fund in grave doubt. I don’t see France or Germany stepping up to that plate.

    Fox News, meanwhile, put up some numbers on the accord’s ill consequences for the U.S. economy…”

    [frightening numbers, in fact]

    “One analytical note from here on what we’re dodging by pulling out of the climate accord. There’s a lot of detail being parsed out there, but in terms of just how bad this deal has been from the get-go, we need to take a step back and look at a very important passage. Here’s Article 2 Para 1(a) of the accord:

    1. This Agreement, in enhancing the implementation of the Convention, including its objective, aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change, in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty, including by:

    (a) Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change…

    This is unverifiable, unmeasurable, unaccountable, and about 20 other things that make this what the president would call a terrible, terrible deal.
    Do you know what “the global average temperature” was in “pre-industrial” times? Does anyone? What is the definition of “pre-industrial”? Where does “pre-industrial” end on the calendar?

    What’s to keep a Consensus of Scientists from deciding that the pre-industrial “levels” (how many were there?) of “the global average temperature” were lower than previously thought — and thus imply for political purposes that any compliance with the initial 1.5°C limit is real nice, people, but it simply isn’t good enough?

    Only a fool would sign up to have his future held hostage to an unmeasurable standard like this. Talk about meaningless and unenforceable. The only point can be to ensure that there is always some pretext for continued global collectivization and wealth transfer.

    That paragraph sounds a lot like much of our Congressional legislation, which leaves the actual details at the mercy of the bureaucrats — the majority of them Leftists — in order to pretend to the voters that whatever happens, it’s not their fault.

  33. AesopFan Says:

    Steyn nails it –
    https://www.steynonline.com/7879/the-full-covfefe

    “Co-host Brian Kilmeade asked why the issue of climate change had become a “religion” for the left, to which Steyn noted those on the left argue border enforcement is an impossibility, yet they believe they can control the heavens.

    “I think precisely because it is so meaningless,” Steyn replied as to why the left is so invested in the issue. “Because if you say to them, ‘Let’s enforce the border’ — ‘What? Are you out of your mind? That’s just a natural phenomenon. We can’t enforce the border. People are going to be coming in anyway.’ But if you say to them, ‘We can control the very heavens,’ that, we can do. And it’s actually literally insane. The less it has to do with your life, the more the left is invested in it.”

    It will be interesting to see how they react to President Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate “Accord”.”

    That last line is a little bit disingenuous; he knows exactly how they will react.
    See this at PowerLine for a quick survey.
    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2017/06/let-the-hysteria-begin.php

    And I disagree with Mark’s less-more formulation, because the Left is very invested in doing things to our lives (e.g., wedding cakes, bathrooms, and kids-in-school indoctrination).

    It’s obvious that the Left has always refused to acknowledge any connection between their ideological agenda and its negative effects on the daily lives of most (dare I say normal?) people (although they claim the positive effects that happen in spite of their actions; cf. Obama and fracking).

    I think Mark means that the Left selects grandiose, unprovable, distant goals which they can manipulate as needed because of their abstract nature and far remove from daily life, over policies that have a homely, observable, and immediate impact where they can be judged on their effectiveness.

    Plus, of course, the Left doesn’t WANT to control the borders, and it DOES want to control your prosperity (by making it dependent on their largesse, not your own efforts).

    Another example of the “hard/easy” hypocrisy, BTW, is the simultaneous insistence that actual physical homosexual attraction is hard-wired non-negotiable unchangeable etc; but gender-identification is flexible.

    IOW, gays gotta be gays, but guys can be gals.

    Say whut?

  34. neo-neocon Says:

    Ray:

    Cancer is not a unitary disease with one cause. And each type of cancer actually has causes, plural, rather than one cause. Therefore, of course we don’t know the “cause” of cancer, because no such animal exists.

    So what? We certainly know plenty of things that encourage cancer and help it to show up in those who practice these activities. For example, there is no question that smoking raises the risk of lung cancer. However, there are non-smokers who get lung cancer, and smokers who don’t get it. Therefore, smoking is not a simple one-on-one cause. But it is a huge and important trigger that encourages a process that ends up with lung cancer in a higher percentage of smokers than non-smokers.

  35. Manju Says:

    Just curious about Obama’s excessive use of Executive Actions. How do we know this is true?

    For what it’s worth there’s a wiki list that suggest the claim is false. Apparently GW Bush, Reagan, Nixon, and Ike all had more. Even HW Bush, if one were to go on a per-term basis, issued Executive Orders at a higher rate.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_order_(United_States)

  36. Richard Aubrey Says:

    I’ve asked several people how the deal was supposed to help climate change. The connection between our joining, coming up with the scratch, largest polluters not required to reduce emissions, our emissions already down…..etc.
    Blank looks. Sort of like, “it just is,”
    Tucker Carlson was quizzing the mayor of Miami Beach. Asked at least three times before I lost patience, how is this supposed to work. Mayor goes on about flooded streets. How’s it supposed to work? Flooded streets. How’s it going to make a difference? Flooded streets. I think that’s the best argument Ive heard.
    Now the lib churches are chiming in and, as usual, asking how this is supposed to work yields…..flooded streets, it just is, Trump’s awfu.
    I persevere asking how the dea is supppsed to work. Gets to be funny, after a while.l

  37. neo-neocon Says:

    Manju:

    It’s really not sheer numbers that’s the important thing about executive actions. It’s about both numbers and whether they are about trivial things or large ones. Obama issued a great many orders of the latter type. Obama’s actions on immigration were particularly egregious because of their nature, which was to stop the enforcement of federal immigration law rather than implement it. What’s more, some of the expansion of Obama’s power was accomplished through memoranda, which are harder to count and track.

    See this.

  38. Bill Says:

    Well said Neo. I have been saying for a long time that Presidents (of both parties) have too much power and can just get us into wars or enter into international agreements without congressional approval. It’s not Constitutional, and it’s not even smart when all it takes to undo all your work on unratified agreements, EOs and Presidential Memoranda is to have the other side get their guy/girl into the Presidency.

  39. Tuvea Says:

    OM,

    I’m still not sure why I should have to change MY behavior just to please virtue signaling leftists.

    Anyway according to a documentary I saw years ago – Superman perhaps – a leading industrialist like Elon Musk or George Soros – was doing his best to create more beachfront property. 🙂

    Not that those of us barely getting by in the burned out, over used, decrepit rust belt will ever be able to do more than wistfully dream of life in the modern nirvana that is California.

  40. Cappy Says:

    Sounds like Marches on the March! is in order!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTHiPo-Kwtc

  41. MHollywood Says:

    on GW: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BiKfWdXXfIs&t=55s <– in case you have not yet met the indomitable Freeman Dyson, now in his 90s, charming as heck, housed in Einstein's building at Princeton. Dyson did the mathematics for Feynman "back in the day." He's got a rational thing or two to say about GW.

  42. Michael Says:

    I’m not a scientist and any comments about the benefits of this agreement from me would be uninformed.

    But this is simple for me: this is a Treaty. Obama signed the Paris Accord without putting it to a Senate vote, knowing it wouldn’t pass.

    Therefore, this alone renders this Accord illegitimate and we shouldn’t be a part of it.

  43. ColoComment Says:

    Keith Hennessey, former WH economist, calls it “QTIIPS” in his email this morning. He begins:

    “QTIIPS stands for Quantitative Trivial Impact + Intense Political Symbolism.

    QTIIPS policy changes provoke fierce political battles over trivially small policy impacts. Passionate advocates on both sides ignore numbers and policy details while fighting endlessly about symbols.

    A policy change is QTIIPS if:

    a) its direct measurable effects are quite small relative to the underlying policy problem to be solved;
    b)it is viewed both by supporters and opponents as a first step toward an end state that all agree would be quite a large change;
    c) supporters and opponents alike attach great significance to the direction of the change, as a precursor to possible future movement toward that quantitatively significant end goal; and
    d) a fierce political battle erupts over the symbolism of this directional shift. This political battle is often zero-sum, unresolvable, and endless.”

  44. Dave Says:

    Paris Climate Accord is like a swinger party where America is the only loser who bought his wife.

  45. Dave Says:

    In my uneducated opinion the Paris Climate Accord withdrawal speech is President Trump’s best speech ever after the inauguration. This is the first time in a speech that he has clearly explained his position in the matter and his reasoning behind that decision with adequate statistics and evidence to back those up.

  46. Brian E Says:

    “Cancer is not a unitary disease with one cause. And each type of cancer actually has causes, plural, rather than one cause. Therefore, of course we don’t know the “cause” of cancer, because no such animal exists.” – Neo

    ——
    “…scientists found that men who ejaculated 21 or more times a month enjoyed a 33% lower risk of prostate cancer compared with men who reported four to seven ejaculations a month throughout their lifetimes.”

    Doing my part to rid the world of cancer.

    Reminds me of an old joke.

    Man goes to the doctor. Doctor tells him that he’s going to die unless he gets more sex.

    Upon leaving, the man tells his wife that unless he gets more sex he’s going to die.

    The woman demands to talk to the doctor. Returns and, indeed, talks to the doctor.

    After talking to the doctor, man asks wife what the doctor said.

    Wife: “You’re going to die.”

  47. Kyndyll G Says:

    Good point by ColoComment. The left in particular attaches great significance to stated intent/purpose/symbolism of something, rather than the details of what it does, how to measure success, how much it will cost, whether it’s even possible, and so on. (Righty debaters are not without flaws, but this tendency definitely seems to be one that I see almost exclusively on the left.)

    Thus, any attempt to rationally debate whether a proposed plan is practical, efficient or workable, or whether a plan that has been in operation is shown to be sufficiently effective and efficient to continue, is met by hysterical invective about how simply daring to raise a question about the plan means that you stand against the stated purpose of the plan.

    It makes rational debate impossible and the particularly irksome part is that the party who is ruining the debate with 100% fact-free hysterics smugly believes that they are smarter and have facts and science on their side. It also makes it possible for the left to propose absurd nonsense that can’t be questioned, much less stopped, without the risk of significant social, financial and possibly even physical harm.

  48. arfldgr Says:

    When your damned if you do
    and damned if you dont
    you are free to do what you want..
    and be indiferent…

    such is the outcome of being angry
    otis redding knew it
    “i cant do what 10 people tell me to do, so i guess i will remain the same… sittin on the dock of the bay”

  49. arfldgr Says:

    Oh, whether your part of it or not has nothing to do with anything as you can pollute if on it, and not pollute if off of it. without a police penalty punishment part, nothing actually matters other than screwing with peoples heads a la – never mind who figured it out first… no one cares any more than they do to win.. only the left cares to win at any cost. so they will.

  50. Frog Says:

    I wonder if MHollywood finds other nonagenerians (George Schultz, Henry Kissinger, Jimmy Carter) as worthy and rational as Dyson. Dyson has a history; he calls himself a science “subversive”, though he has been showered with honors. According to the BBC, “he calculated the number of atoms in the sun at age five”. Uh huh. I do indeed hope he has some “rational thoughts” on AGW, though why they should matter and should add to the din eludes me.

  51. AesopFan Says:

    neo-neocon Says:
    June 2nd, 2017 at 7:02 am
    Manju:

    It’s really not sheer numbers that’s the important thing about executive actions. It’s about both numbers and whether they are about trivial things or large ones.
    * * *
    It’s not the quantity it’s the, umm, quality.. in a perverse sort of way.

    QTIPS works for me.

    ColoComment Says:
    June 2nd, 2017 at 11:25 am
    Keith Hennessey, former WH economist, calls it “QTIIPS” in his email this morning. He begins:

    “QTIIPS stands for Quantitative Trivial Impact + Intense Political Symbolism.

    QTIIPS policy changes provoke fierce political battles over trivially small policy impacts. Passionate advocates on both sides ignore numbers and policy details while fighting endlessly about symbols.

  52. T Says:

    “Of course, Pittsburgh begs to differ . . . ” [Neo @ 5:34]

    Our Pittsburgh mayor is a buffoon. Yes, like Philadelphia and NYC, Pittsburgh overwhelmingly voted for Clinton–what does that tell one about the voting public here? Following DeBlasio’s lead in New York, Pittsburgh’s Mayor Peduto claims that Pittsburgh will also follow the Paris Accord.
    He’s a “me too” Democrat without even an original idea of his own. The fact that he counts DeBlasio as his friend (and hero?) is all one needs to know about his value.

  53. n.n Says:

    Oh, the irony. Climate change forces global cooling.

  54. The Other Chuck Says:

    Kudos to Trump for this. I would say it took guts, but with Trump it took consistency which he’s been lacking at times. If he keeps this up, he may actually win me over. The best part is the consternation and unhappiness of the Euro trash.

  55. Big Maq Says:

    “However, I’ve been wondering if there’s any way for me to get better educated on this subject, and cut through the propaganda on both sides. I am interested as to what’s the truth and what’s not.” – Bill

    For Bill (and everyone else interested in knowing more, and to arm themselves with SOLID key facts / arguments – vs “conservative” media talking points), check out the Coyote Blog.

    I came across this in my prior searches on this very same point. Check the right most column list of Climate articles.
    http://www.coyoteblog.com/

    You might find him somewhat more objective, or less in the weeds, than the people behind the links provided in above comments.
    .

    For a taste, here is his (Warren Meyer’s) introduction to the underlying assumptions (in his article “Understanding the Global Warming Debate” – Forbes), in easy to grasp language (vs the scientific obfuscation or generalizations provided by most global warming alarmists):

    “the theory is actually a chain of at least three steps:

    1) CO2, via the greenhouse effect, causes some warming.

    2) A series of processes in the climate multiply this warming by several times, such that most of the projected warming in various IPCC and other forecasts come from this feedback, rather than directly from the greenhouse gas effect of CO2.

    3) Warming only matters if it is harmful, so there are a variety of theories about how warming might increase hazardous weather (e.g. hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, droughts), raise sea levels, or affect biological processes.”
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/warrenmeyer/2012/02/09/understanding-the-global-warming-debate/#48df8d043956
    .

    When it comes to “97% of scientists” agreeing, it is on assumption #1 . But, there is much debate about assumptions #2 and #3.

    #2 is the main source of the “hockey stick” prediction on future warming in the 90s – something not validated by actual measurements since.

    #3 is also rather important, as he does see the issue being hyped and politicized to push through a leftist agenda.

  56. Big Maq Says:

    “I’m not a scientist and any comments about the benefits of this agreement from me would be uninformed.

    But this is simple for me: this is a Treaty. Obama signed the Paris Accord without putting it to a Senate vote, knowing it wouldn’t pass.

    Therefore, this alone renders this Accord illegitimate and we shouldn’t be a part of it.” – Michael

    I am very much on the side that:

    1) This accord didn’t particularly address the issue the political leaders said they were concerned about, given how weak it was.

    2) We don’t want our Presidents unilaterally signing treaties without passing through ratification by the Senate.
    .

    However, I think it was handled and framed the wrong way.

    1) The argument was about “jobs”, “economy”, etc. But if the accord was so weak as to be ineffective in meeting the stated underlying objective – combat global warming – then surely it would have minimal impact on jobs and economy.

    2) trump’s emphasis should have been all about legitimacy and procedure. The US is bound by treaties that are ratified by its Senate. That did not happen, leaving it to the discretion of the President.

    3) This is / would have been an important point, to differentiate the decision from other treaty concerns, as trump hardly gave European leaders much comfort regarding NATO, and even trade agreements seem up for grabs.

    So, now, the US looks to be willing to flaunt any and all agreements.

    That is a worse position to be in than obama’s “lead from behind” crap, and fake “red lines”.

    That is not a good thing at all, as it can soon deteriorate into a free for all (we are seeing signs of this now), and it gives our foes / rogue nations leverage that they should never have had in the first place.
    .

    trump has the better part of four years to “renegotiate” and to bring it to the Senate to vote – to a time he better knows he can win. That is was not ratified gives him leverage to get a “better deal”. He could also campaign that the accord was a sham to start with, and gain popular support for a go it alone approach.

    Instead, we wind up with a symbolic gesture (about a symbolic gesture) that caters to his base, and, yes, conservatives, but creates a fissure with our allies.

    And, the powers vested in Congress (checks and balances) are not even recognized, let alone validated or strengthened, in this episode.

  57. Big Maq Says:

    “#2 is the main source of the “hockey stick” prediction on future warming in the 90s”

    Should read:

    “#2 is the main source of the “hockey stick” prediction, in the 90s, on future warming”

  58. Bill Says:

    Thanks for the link BigMaq.

    I too think that enhancing the US reputation as untrustworthy is short term political points with his base but long term destructive. Someone above mentioned that it was great to see “Euro trash” upset. It does stimulate the nerve endings in the lizard brain, but while we may be a rich and powerful nation we are not going to do better as America Alone.

    Other rising nations will take our place on the world stage.

    Here’s what I with Trump had said. “This agreement does not meet the constitutional requirements for our compliance as it is not a Senate ratified treaty.”

    Period.

    Selling hogwash about how he’s going to “renegotiate” to get a better deal is, as I think most people would agree, just a line in a speech. He’s not going to do that, and our allies (or “Euro trash” for those who prefer) are not going to renegotiate the Paris accords w Donald Trump.

    At least I find that very unlikely.

  59. Brian E Says:

    “1) The argument was about “jobs”, “economy”, etc. But if the accord was so weak as to be ineffective in meeting the stated underlying objective – combat global warming – then surely it would have minimal impact on jobs and economy.” -Big Maq

    I think you’re minimizing the impact on the US economy.

    This is what the agreement requires the US to do:

    “So what exactly is the United States proposing to do?
    The United States has committed to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28 percent below the 2005 level in 2025, and to make “best efforts” to reduce emissions by 28 percent. That would include curbs on carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, perfluorocarbons, sulfur hexafluoride and nitrogen trifluoride, all of which contribute to global warming.
    How will we do that? The United States already is taking measures that will help reduce emissions. The nation can continue that effort by becoming more efficient in how we use energy in everything from buildings and cars to washing machines and cell phones; using a greater portion of alternative energies like solar and wind over fossil fuels; and developing better technologies for energy storage, and for the capture, storage and recycling of carbon.
    All of that could take place through a combination of laws, regulations and incentives—Congress and the courts willing. That includes regulations under the Clean Air Act that would force electric power plants to reduce their carbon emissions; and grants and tax incentives to propel the development of more alternative energy sources like wind and solar power.
    The power sector now accounts for 31 percent of U.S. e”missions. Efforts to upgrade the electricity grid to better accommodate intermittent sources like solar and wind would help, as would development of better energy storage technologies.
    The efforts to date have put the U.S. on a path to reduce emissions 17 percent below the 2005 level by 2020. To reach the new 2025 goal, the nation will have to double the pace.”

    http://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2015/12/11/what-is-the-u-s-commitment-in-paris/

    We are going to enter the law of diminishing returns trying to meet these goals. All to reduce, estimates say, warming by 0.05 degrees C and may cost $1.9 trillion. And this assumes every other country on the planet meets their goals.

  60. Big Maq Says:

    “and to make “best efforts” to reduce emissions by 28 percent.” – Brian

    1) “best efforts” is an ambiguous standard to be held to, right? What does that really mean in context of this accord? That if the US doesn’t spend 99% of its GDP on it, borrowing to the hilt, we’ve not done our best effort? If we don’t, what is the consequence / penalty?

    2) I fully realize that while this agreement is more for show than for substance, it will be used by the left to justify all kinds of measures locally.

    They will use it as some kind of authority endorsement for the “97% agreement” on all aspects of their global warming argument.

    So, of course, those follow on actions would have economic consequences.

    But, the accord alone does not force those consequences.

    I’d argue that those actions would be done by dem politicians regardless of the accord.

    3) Speaking of the law of diminishing returns, and their impact, here is an interesting discussion of unintended consequences of pushing too far:
    http://www.coyoteblog.com/coyote_blog/2017/05/as-predicted-here-2-years-ago-more-diesel-emissions-cheating-alleged.html

  61. Big Maq Says:

    “Selling hogwash about how he’s going to “renegotiate” to get a better deal is, as I think most people would agree, just a line in a speech. He’s not going to do that” – Bill

    Right.

    A “good faith” “renegotiation” wouldn’t mean announcing one is reneging on the deal already made. In fact, much leverage is gone once that trigger is pulled. In addition doing so creates animosity, and sows distrust.

    There were so many alternative strategic paths to take that may have been viable / accomplish the same end goal.
    .

    Allies seem to be on the receiving end of more WH public ire than those who have far less of our interests at heart.

    Putin, Xi Jinping, Khamenei, Kim Jong-Un must all be laughing, as European nations may have little choice but to turn to them more as the US turns a less reliable partner.

    If we don’t think that could / would happen, we are sadly mistaken.

  62. Otiose Says:

    “That writer, Oren Cass, also makes the interesting point that Obama never submitted the agreement to the Senate because he knew he couldn’t get Senate approval, and that Trump could redress that error by submitting the withdrawal to a Senate vote. That ignores the fact that Trump’s withdrawal probably wouldn’t pass, either, due to the filibuster (unless the nuclear option were to be used).

    I’m not sure how Trump could have submitted the agreement withdrawal to a Senate vote. The agreement should have been submitted for approval by Obama. He didn’t because he suspected it wouldn’t have gotten the 2/3 needed for a ‘treaty’ obligation, which many people think it is. So one approach Trump could have taken would have been to submit it for approval, and if it failed to go to a vote, or was voted down (very unlikely to get that 2/3), then he could declare it was never effective (and therefore the provisions within the agreement about how to withdraw were null and not binding).

    This option would have drawn the whole issue out over weeks or months, but would have emphasized the need for Senate approval for such obligations. But it would have foreclosed some future Administration reversing Trump after he is out of office. Some on the Left on talking about this possibility because Trump is withdrawing within the terms of the agreement.

  63. Bill Says:

    Otiose,

    Yes. Well said.

    Our Presidents think they are kings and their followers seem to want them to be kings.

    THESE GUYS CAN’T RULE UNILATERALLY. (Sorry for shouting, but this really gets to me).

    THEY. CAN’T. RULE. UNILATERALLY. But they freaking do, to thunderous cheers.

    All that hard work of legislation and compromise and hammering out actual deals is so hard. And so, hey, I’ve got a pen and a phone . . .

    Obama did. GWB did it. Clinton did it. It just gets worse every time. Trump’s doing it in spades.

    I want to visit an act of WAR on a sovereign nation like Syria? Well, I’m the KING (oops, meant to say President) so [waves hand] make it so.

    And the next President will undo all the unconstitutional decrees Trump enacts, and so on and so on and so on.

    That’s why the term (heard often around here) that the Constitution is not a “suicide pact” gives me hives. It’s said by people who then follow it up with their desire that the current President do something UNCONSTITUTIONAL to “save the Republic”. I expect this from Democrats. Not from so-called conservatives.

    Sorry for the general rant. 🙂

  64. Brian E Says:

    “THEY. CAN’T. RULE. UNILATERALLY. Obama did. GWB did it. Clinton did it. It just gets worse every time. Trump’s doing it in spades.” – Bill

    Really, Bill. DOING. IT. IN. SPADES?

    Examples please. So far all he’s done is rescind Obama’s overreach. You really believe that’s the same thing?

  65. Brian E Says:

    Bill, before you go blaming Presidents for this dilemma, I would suggest you also blame Congress. They’re the spineless folks that pass legislation and punt the details to the executive branch.

  66. TommyJay Says:

    To the original thrust of Neo’s post, yes the Paris agreement is ineffectual and has no teeth with regards to impacting climate change or AGW. (AGW is the correct labeling IMHO.) But the agreement is potentially terribly effective in damaging our economy.

    Go re-watch or re-read Trump’s speech. The agreement is half redistribution of wealth and half self-immolation of our economy. The AGW clap-trap is the just the confidence artistry used to lay hands on the billions and trillions.

    Big-Mac makes some goods points, but his statement that because the agreement is ineffectual at curbing AGW, it must be ineffectual at impacting the economy, makes no sense to me. It is designed precisely to not achieve its stated goal (curbing AGW) while doing a great job at achieving its unstated goal (theft and economic crippling).

    Kimberley Guilfoyle made an interesting point on the unbinding nature of the agreement. She said, if left in place, the federal judges would have a field day subverting Congressional and White House authority, using the agreement as their excuse.

  67. Brian E Says:

    “That is a worse position to be in than obama’s “lead from behind” crap, and fake “red lines”.
    That is not a good thing at all, as it can soon deteriorate into a free for all (we are seeing signs of this now), and it gives our foes / rogue nations leverage that they should never have had in the first place.
    .
    trump has the better part of four years to “renegotiate” and to bring it to the Senate to vote – to a time he better knows he can win. That is was not ratified gives him leverage to get a “better deal”. He could also campaign that the accord was a sham to start with, and gain popular support for a go it alone approach.” – Big Maq

    ______

    There’s nothing to re-negotiate, Eeyore. The Paris Agreement was a crap sandwich, to be followed up in 2030 by a dessert of BS.

    From the NY Times:

    “But what’s now very much in question is whether the world can still meet its broader climate goals. The Earth has already warmed 1 degree since humans began burning fossil fuels, and countries have dithered so long in taking action that little short of a crash program to choke off the flow of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere would keep the temperature rise well below 2 degrees.
    Analyses by Mr. Peters and others have found that the United States, Europe and other wealthy nations would need to sharply accelerate their efforts and shift to a near-zero-carbon economy by midcentury. That would include steps like phasing out coal plants and gasoline-burning cars within mere decades. Poorer countries like China and India would need to quickly follow, even as they faced the task of lifting millions out of poverty.
    Under the Paris deal, countries submitted voluntary pledges for curbing emissions that, various analyses have found, would put the world on pace for 3 degrees or more of warming — an improvement over doing nothing, but still far short of what is necessary. The hope was that countries would collectively ratchet up their efforts, slowly inching toward the deep cuts needed to stave off 2 degrees.
    The United States, which accounts for one-fifth of the world’s emissions, had slowly been making headway on that task as cheaper natural gas and renewables drove hundreds of coal plants into retirement. As part of the Paris agreement, the Obama administration put forward a pledge to cut domestic emissions 26 to 28 percent by 2025. And, in November, the White House put out a report sketching out various technological pathways to cutting emissions 80 percent or more by 2050.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/02/climate/climate-goals-paris-accord.html?_r=0

    This agreement was merely the beginning to position the US to deep cuts in carbon based energy.

    These are the same people that also want to restrict use of nuclear, that don’t accept large hydro as a “renewable” energy source and believe that wind and solar can provide our energy needs.

    These people are delusional and shouldn’t be humored in any way. I think that rational people are beginning to recognize the utter foolishness of their proposals, since none of their predictions have been accurate.

  68. Brian E Says:

    When the climate alarmists begin advocating 90% of electrical production by nuclear, with most of the rest from hydro and a smattering of windmills (so the left has something to tilt at), I would be willing to “negotiate” with them.

    The idea that you can “negotiate” with these people is naïve.

  69. Big Maq Says:

    “Big-Mac makes some goods points, but his statement that because the agreement is ineffectual at curbing AGW, it must be ineffectual at impacting the economy, makes no sense to me. It is designed precisely to not achieve its stated goal (curbing AGW) while doing a great job at achieving its unstated goal (theft and economic crippling).” – TommyJay

    Thanks, tho not quite what I meant, but it may have not been clear on my initial comment.

    In my point #2 to Brian, I do realize it will be used to justify all kinds of programs, rules, etc. that will have an impact – a rather similar point about the “judges having a field day” (though an argument can be made that the agreement is not ratified by Congress, thus has no standing in US court of law).

    The accord alone does not compel our government to any specific course of action – it is just voluntary, nonbinding targets (also a reason why judges might not have much to base any opinion on – only any supporting legislation / policy would be judged).

  70. Bill Says:

    “Really, Bill. DOING. IT. IN. SPADES?
    Examples please. So far all he’s done is rescind Obama’s overreach. You really believe that’s the same thing?”

    At this point, no. You’re right. I was on a bit of a rant.

    I would hope, though, that Trump would work on legislating in this moment when he has the Congress. I haven’t seen evidence of that yet, but it’s still early on.

    He hasn’t had time yet, though, to do it “in spades”. I was being unfair and hopefully I’m wrong.

    I do think we’re in an era when each President will just spend their time undoing their predecessors unconstitutional acts and piling on more of their own, to be undone by their successors, while Congress postures.

  71. Big Maq Says:

    Brian, please read my #2 point again and the above comment.

    It might be a justification that the left / dems use for laws and policy, but it does not compel us to any specific action.

    Fact it, the left/dems will likely attempt to justify much the same anyway, regardless of this accord.

    Anyway, my argument is not about keeping the accord whatsoever.

    It was that there were many alternative paths to accomplish the same thing that would have not signaled (yet, again) to our allies that we won’t stand behind commitments made be they alliances, trade, or other.
    .

    Quite frankly, if you’ve ever spent time around the world, citizens from most countries have as many reasons or more in their minds as to why their agreements with the US sucks, is unfair, exploits them in US or “the West’s” favor, etc.

    We’ve spent ages trying to bring some semblance of rule of law to international relations, to bring order from potential chaos. It is in our interest that we have such agreements and all parties honor them.

    Once it is clear we are willing to renege on our agreements (yes, plural), then don’t be surprised that nobody feels any obligation to the US either.

    And, if you think, so what?…

    It will make your concerns about economic or other impacts from this climate deal seem quite insignificant.
    .

    trump may THINK, may be telling US, it’s all part of his “negotiation”, but it sure doesn’t come across as that to the other parties.

    It is creating uncertainty.

    This kind of uncertainty creates a wedge, and gives our foes opportunity.

    If I were putin, I’d be rather happy at how this has all played out.

  72. Bill Says:

    “If I were putin, I’d be rather happy at how this has all played out.”

    Yes. All of these actions result in

    1. a weakening of NATO and
    2. the US with a lesser role/influence in international affairs

    my guess is Putin is pretty happy.

  73. Brian E Says:

    “It is in our interest that we have such agreements and all parties honor them.” -Big Maq

    OK. How about the European countries meet their financial obligations to NATO. Trump’s not the problem. It’s the freeloading Europeans that are the problem.

    Only Greece, UK, Estonia and Poland meet the mandatory 2% minimum. If they’re so concerned about Russian aggression, they might want to beef up their defense spending.

    Trump acknowledged Article 5 in his NATO speech. But it’s hollow talk when coming from the EU.

    “With a few honorable exceptions, NATO’s European members–especially France, Germany, Italy, and Spain–have underresourced the U.N.-mandated International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan from the start. They have provided too few troops with too many national caveats on their deployments. Furthermore, their support for the civilian component of the comprehensive strategy approved at NATO’s Bucharest summit in 2008 has been woeful, despite a stated eagerness to forgo combat missions in favor of aid and development projects.”

    http://www.heritage.org/defense/report/nato-allies-europe-must-do-more-afghanistan

    I’m not sure the EU deserves our support. They started two of the costliest wars in World history, and yet still refuse to take responsibility for their own defense.

    Germany cheats on trade. Germany shut down nuclear plants in favor of W&S– claim some absurd amount of renewable energy from them, while their actual CO2 production actually increases!

    Look, when the EU starts meeting it’s obligations, get back to me on having respect for most of the countries there.

  74. Bill Says:

    Brian,

    I am no expert. I also agree that Europe should meet its obligations. I don’t have a comprehensive grasp of all the issues.

    But, regardless of the rightness or wrongness of current EU practices, what are the costs, pros and cons, of us abandoning NATO (I’m basing this on your point that they may not deserve our support)

    I lived in Germany, long ago. We have bases there. We Want to have bases there. These were and are forward positions for us.

    We also, at least back in the day, weren’t keen on Germany and Italy beefing up their militaries, for obvious reasons.

    OK, perhaps this is all WWII legacy thinking and needs to be changed. I’m OK with going down that road.

    But diplomacy still matters. Treating EU members like we’re the mob and they’re behind on paying for protection may not be the best approach.

    Again, regarding the rightness or wrongness of the EU’s current level of military spending, how do you think Putin feels about our new stance, strategically?

    What’s the cost of making Europe less safe?

  75. Big Maq Says:

    “OK. How about the European countries meet their financial obligations to NATO.” – Brian E

    Didn’t say that wasn’t a problem.
    .

    The problem that trump generated is campaigning that NATO is obsolete, and, THEN, refusing to actually say himself that the US would still come to the defense of any member (Article 5).

    “”He did not make a decision not to say it,” McMaster continued. “It was implicit in the speech. There was no decision to not put it in there. It is a matter of fact that the United States, the president, stands firmly behind our Article 5 commitments under NATO.”” – Thomson Reuters
    https://www.aol.com/article/news/2017/05/27/mcmaster-says-of-course-trump-supports-nato-article-5/22112490/

    Sounds very much like how the dems explained / obfuscated away obama’s refusal to say “radical islamic terrorism”.
    .

    Without that continued pledge from the US, NATO, indeed, effectively does mean nothing.

    There is no reason this should publicly be a question when we still have russia, china, iran, north korea out there.

    This creates unnecessary fear and uncertainty, and provides those foes leverage they shouldn’t have.
    .

    Would very much like the world to be fair, and that our allies see things all our way and fully meet their commitments.

    That they don’t doesn’t automatically translate into “NATO is obsolete”.

    And, to echo Bill’s point, where’s trump’s case that goes beyond the bickering about contributions and understands the full balance of the pros and cons of NATO as is for the US?

    trump’s not suggesting an alternative.

    Ukraine wasn’t part of NATO, and we see what may happen.

    Should the US stand by if russia invades Lithuania and Latvia, because their contribution was only at 1%?

    If Poland’s contribution slides below 2% (as in the recent past), do we stand down?

    Oh, and since Germany’s is less than 2%, are they fair game on the domino list?

    Is it worth even tempting russia?
    .

    IMHO, pulling out (i.e. going it alone) probably means a MUCH higher cost for the US to maintain forward readiness to protect our interests.

    And if we don’t even do that, expect our economy to shrink significantly.
    .

    If this is some kind of “negotiation tactic” it is a d*mn poor one, with high risk, on something that is a low risk, and is a net positive for the US.

    After all, which country is the first and only one to make an Article 5 call?

  76. Bill Says:

    Big Maq – as a side note, I was in Ukraine recently. Talked to a lot of people who had to leave Crimea after the Russians went in.

    The mood there regarding that issue is not good.

  77. Brian E Says:

    “After all, which country is the first and only one to make an Article 5 call?” – Big Maq

    And as I alluded to in my previous post, how did Europe respond? They failed the test.

    Trump specifically mentioned the article 5 response to 911. What he didn’t say, and maybe this is why the leftists have their knickers in a bunch, is that NATO failed. Besides some platitudes, they didn’t step up to provide meaningful support in Afghanistan, let alone Iraq.

    Europe can’t have it both ways.

    As to our response to aggression against the Baltic states, logistically, I’m not sure what we could do– same with Crimea.
    Poland may be as far east as we could realistically counter Russian movement. I doubt Europe would wholeheartedly respond to protect Poland.

    Like Bill, I’m no expert, but we do need to be realistic about the limits of our power.

  78. Brian E Says:

    Big Maq, if Europe was sincere about NATO, they would step up their defense spending.

    Talk is cheap.

  79. Brian E Says:

    I remember Europe being in a tither with Bush the Cowboy. Continental sensitivities were bruised.

    It may be true that we need NATO to keep Europe leftists from caving and aligning with Russia, but at what cost?

  80. Brian E Says:

    Big Maq,

    I haven’t been to Europe for 40 years, but I imagine not much has changed. Many didn’t like us then and probably don’t like us now.

    I’d love to go back. Probably not to France or Germany though.

  81. Brian E Says:

    From the Manhattan Contrarian:

    “Among my New York friends, one of the most frequent criticisms that I hear of Donald Trump is that he just doesn’t have the basic competence to be President. He is ignorant of fundamental issues of public policy; he arrogantly thinks he knows everything, while in fact he knows little or nothing; his attention span is about 6 seconds, and he refuses to learn. I mean, how can such a person possibly carry out in an appropriate way the awesome responsibilities of the presidency?

    For myself, I’ve been withholding judgment. After all, a President doesn’t really need to know all that much. He has endless expert advisors, indeed far more advisors than any human being could have time to listen to. Far and away the most important thing he needs to do is avoid making major blunders that can do great harm to the American economy and the American people.

    In the decision regarding the Paris climate accord, Donald Trump has just been tested on this fundamental criterion of basic competence, and has passed. Barack Obama was tested on the same criterion, and totally failed.

    It is impossible to look at the Paris climate accord with any degree of scrutiny and conclude that a remotely competent American president could have anything to do with it. This conclusion applies irrespective of whatever you might think about whether “greenhouse gas” emissions are causing a problem or even a crisis for world climate. Even if you think that the climatic effect of human GHG emissions is an existential crisis facing the planet, it would still be completely incompetent for an American president to sign on to this particular agreement.

    This conclusion follows from the most basic cost/benefit analysis. The Paris accord imposes huge and uncapped costs on the American people and economy, for little to no climate benefit…”

    http://manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2017/6/2/0tibm28uj5hv8ndzksobz3o39ybjd7

    Bill,
    This blog is a good source for information about the AGW debate, among other issues he comments on.

  82. Big Maq Says:

    “Big Maq, if Europe was sincere about NATO, they would step up their defense spending.

    Talk is cheap.” – Brian

    I very much agree with the point, BUT, in the stone cold reality we have, is there anything better?

    Can we work our way towards that “better”?

    Is trump recognizing that “better” solution, and, if so, is he effectively making his way to that point?

    Or, is he really just antagonizing our allies, nothing changes, and we all walk away dissatisfied with the question of US’s commitment up in the air?

    Meanwhile, the signal is loud an clear to our foes that there is a good possibility they can make inroads where we’ve been a roadblock before?

    If trump really has something different and “better” in mind, he ought to start explaining it, and bringing folks on board.

    IMHO, I don’t think he’s applied much depth of thinking on it, and views the whole thing transactionally.
    .

    We’ve ventured far from the discussion on the Climate Accord.

    As a stand alone item, trump’s approach might not have meant much.

    In context of several other statements from trump, on trade, on NATO, etc., it leaves our allies wondering if the US is committed to any agreement.

    trump had many alternative paths to achieve the same thing wrt this Paris accord, that might have mitigated those concerns, but he chose what he did, reinforcing those same concerns.

    Art of the Deal? Well first one has to understand their counter party.

    Does trump? IDK, not clear he does.

About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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