Principled Inaction in the Face of Climate Change Extremism
President Trump’s refusal to cosign radical climate extremism is a courageous gesture of principled inaction.
The 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference, “COP25,” began with a cryptic address by U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres: “By the end of the coming decade we will be on one of two paths, one of which is sleepwalking past the point of no return … Do we want to be remembered as the generation that buried its head in the sand and fiddled as the planet burned?”
According to Guterres, “What is still lacking is political will.” And yet, despite all this “lack of political will,” some 70 countries have pledged carbon neutrality by 2050. Conspicuously absent from the proceedings, however, is the Trump Administration. No senior member of President Trump’s administration is in attendance at COP25.
But despite what Greta Thunberg or António Guterres would have you believe, it isn’t a lack of political will that explains our absence—quite the opposite. President Trump’s refusal to cosign radical climate extremism is a courageous gesture of principled inaction.
The main reason behind the administration’s absence from the Madrid summit is that the key objective of the program is to negotiate the finer details of the Paris Climate Accord—the agreement that President Trump has withdrawn us from in the name of American interests.
“[T]o fulfill my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord,” the President announced in June 2017, voicing an interest in negotiating an “entirely new transaction on terms that are fair to the United States, its businesses, its workers, its people, its taxpayers.”
“I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris,” he retorted, critically appraising that the Paris Accords:
“[C]alls for developed countries to send $100 billion to developing countries all on top of America’s existing and massive foreign aid payments. So we’re going to be paying billions and billions and billions of dollars, and we’re already way ahead of anybody else. Many of the other countries haven’t spent anything, and many of them will never pay one dime.”
Earlier last month, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the administration sent an official notification of its plans to exit the Paris Agreement. This was the first step in the year-long process to leave the agreement that allegedly aims to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. The full withdrawal is scheduled for November 4, 2020, a day after the next presidential election.
In positioning America first, the President is refusing to sacrifice the immediate economic needs of everyday Americans in the face of an inflated threat.
The media, often enthusiastic contributors to climate catastrophizing, has presented the administration’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement as an indication that the world’s environmental health has somehow been derailed. “[F]or us to be the exception on this issue is holding the world back,” NPR reports Andrew Light saying, a former climate official in the State Department who helped develop the Paris Agreement.
But that’s not remotely accurate.
In positioning America first, the President is refusing to sacrifice the immediate economic needs of everyday Americans in the face of an inflated threat. The Paris Agreement would have Americans dole out millions of dollars to the so-called developing world—countries like China and India—who refuse to take accountability for their own catastrophic environmental policies.
President Trump will not capitulate to this kind of climate bullying, especially if it compromises our global leadership as energy providers—both traditional and renewable.
It’s not just the technical negotiations over how climate policy will affect American industry; it’s the facticity of climate catastrophe itself that the Trump administration has bravely called into question.
For leaders supporting the Paris agreement, the specter of catastrophic warming provides the moral justification for ever-higher taxation, ever-tighter regulation, ever-greater state interference, ever-larger slush funds for big-spending politicians, and ever-diminished individual freedom to use, acquire, and consume at will.
Several other historical eras—Minoan (2900 to 1100 BC), the Roman Empire (27 BC to 476 AD), and the Medieval warm periods (950 to 1250 AD)—experienced warmer temperatures than we face today. These periods coincided with significant expansions of civilizations, bountiful harvests, and vast improvements in the human condition.
Historical periods of warm global temperature, often higher than our current climate, were commonly referred to as “climate optima” because of the higher temperature and their associated benefits to Earth’s ecosystems. The terminology has fallen into disfavor, however, in recent years, due to a media and scientific blacklisting of any mention of benefits owing to higher temperature. But before climate science became politicized, these past warm periods were associated with a thriving, prospering planet, and human civilization benefited in tandem.
The inconvenient facts, at least to the climate catastrophe crowd, is that the bulk of their predictions are errant speculations about what may or may not occur, 50 or 80 years in the future, based on climate models that substantially overestimate temperature rise.
In reality, by nearly every metric, we see that humans are thriving in the changing ecosystem. The current changing climate has led to increasing food production, soil moisture, crop growth, and a “greening” of the Earth. All the while droughts, forest fires, heatwaves and, temperature-related deaths have declined substantially.
Yes, there is such a thing as the greenhouse effect. Yes, there has been some warming. Yes, some of the warming is likely man-made. Yes, some further man-made warming is to be expected. On all these matters, few would disagree; they are all self-evident.
But no, past and future anthropogenic warming do not mean that catastrophe will follow, or that measures to prevent global warming are scientifically and economically justified. Only the radical worldview of environmental catastrophizing could ignore benefits being accrued from atmospheric changes—while embracing harmful economic policies based on fallacious climate models.
What the “crisis narrative” is achieving, however, is extreme regulation and expropriation of profits from the energy sector. For leaders supporting the Paris agreement, the specter of catastrophic warming provides the moral justification for ever-higher taxation, ever-tighter regulation, ever-greater state interference, ever-larger slush funds for big-spending politicians, and ever-diminished individual freedom to use, acquire, and consume at will.
President Trump is bravely taking a stance against environmental extremism.
“What we won’t do is punish the American people while enriching foreign polluters,” President Trump said during a keynote to natural gas executives and employees at the Shale Insight conference in October of 2017. Pointing to the rising U.S. oil and gas production, and his efforts to deregulate the industry in the name of ending the “war on energy,” President Trump applauded his audience: “With unmatched skill, grit and devotion, you’re making America the greatest energy superpower in the history of the world.”
THE NON-PROBLEM OF MAN-MADE “THERMAGEDDON”
It takes a lot of courage to do nothing.
Imagine the enormous pressure on President Trump to keep the United States in the Paris climate accord. Worldwide indignation and scorn were heaped on him after his decision to withdraw from the agreement. But it was the correct and principled one to make.
Thanks to near-total control of the news media by proponents of a pending Thermageddon, critical truths are poorly understood and even derided. The truth that there is no “consensus” among climate scientists and that “consensus” would not matter even if it existed. The truth is that global warming will be small, and largely beneficial ecological event, and preventing it would be orders of magnitude costlier than adapting to it. The truth that the correct policy is to have the courage to do nothing.
Like it or not, the truth is the truth. Policy should, in the end, be based on objective reality, and not on the back of a lavishly-funded and elaborate international campaigns of crafty and lucrative falsehoods promoted by the political, financial, corporate, bureaucratic and media establishments.