Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Paris Climate Discord

Among the horrors that President Trump has inflicted on the nation and the world, one stands out in the mind of Thomas Friedman. Trump withdrew from the Paris Climate Accord. As it happened, this extra-constitutional piece of Obamaesque nonsense was not ratified by the United States Senate. It was enacted by executive fiat. No matter to Friedman. To his mind the greatest threat that the United States and the world faces is climate change. The United States counts as one of the greatest, if not the greatest cause of said climate change. The world is going to end, so says chicken little Friedman, unless we rejoin the Paris Climate Accord.

Over at the Manhattan Contrarian blog Francis Menton explains the stakes with exemplary clarity (via Maggie’s Farm). The Paris Climate Accord has nothing really to do with climate. It’s a massive income redistribution scheme, whereby guilt-ridden rich countries will cut back on their emissions and funnel their ill-gotten wealth-- isn’t all their wealth ill-gotten?-- to developing countries. And to the international do-good bureaucracy. Since most of these developing countries are effective kleptocracies, the money will end up in their leaders' Swiss bank accounts.

Menton enlightens us:

Back in 2015, then-President Barack Obama traveled to Paris to have the United States join on to the Paris climate accord. The gist of the accord is that the United States, EU, Canada and Australia agree to cut their carbon emissions and hamstring their economies for no noticeable effect on the world's climate, all other countries go right on increasing their emissions by a multiple of the cuts of the US et al., and the US et al. transfer $100 billion a year to kleptocratic third world governments. Obama thought this was the greatest thing ever.

Of course, Obama liked it. The accord punished America. China, being led by more skilled negotiators, was required to do nothing… either to reduce emissions or to fund developing country kleptocrats:

The US was agreeing to major cuts in emissions and hundreds of billions of dollars of financial contributions to the kleptocracies, while China agreed to effectively nothing.

What has Trump done about climate change? Menton explains:

On the plus side, Trump early on announced withdrawal from the Paris flimflam, and his people have resumed giving go-aheads to things like pipelines and oil leases. But there are plenty of negatives as well: the so-called "Endangerment Finding" (an EPA 2009 determination that CO2 poses a "danger" to human health and welfare) remains in place and unchallenged; and the temperature adjusters at NOAA and NASA remain unquestioned by their nominal bosses (Commerce Secretary Ross and NASA Administrator Bridenstine).

For now the accord is being run by United Nations bureaucrats. They have recently become aware of the fact that developed rich countries are not rushing to pony up for the boondoggle:

First up, the UN bureaucrats seeking to implement the Paris accord have been holding "emergency" meeting in Bangkok trying to finalize a few minor details like, for example, exactly when that $100 billion annual payment from the rich countries (mostly the US) is going to start showing up, and which sucker country is going to pay how much of it.

This has pushed the accord to the brink. That means, it is about to collapse under the weight of its own stupidity:

Nothing in the AFP piece says exactly what the designated victim countries actually said, and presumably they put it more diplomatically. But we do get a few clues:
[A]ctivists said the US -- with Western acquiescence -- had stonewalled momentum on the key funding issue. Harjeet Singh, global lead on climate change for NGO ActionAid, said Sunday the Paris deal was "on the brink. Developed countries are going back on their word and refusing to agree clear rules governing climate finance," he told reporters. "If they remain stuck in their positions and fail to loosen their purses, this treaty may collapse."

Among the other pieces of good news from the Trump administration is this. Princeton physics professor Will Happer has been appointed to the National Security Council:

And for our next piece of news, we have the appointment of Professor Will Happer of Princeton as senior director for emerging technologies at the National Security Council…..  Happer is not just one of the top physicists in the country, but also a serious climate skeptic, of the sort not given to mincing his words. Here are a couple of quotes from Happer:

From an interview with The Scientist, February 2017: "[M]y position [is] that I think climate change has been tremendously exaggerated—its significance. Climate is important, always has been, but I think it’s become sort of a cult movement in the last five or 10 years.’"

As quoted in the 2018 book, "The Politically Incorrect Guide To Climate Change": “I don’t see a whole lot of difference between the consensus on climate change and the consensus on witches. At the witch trials in Salem, the judges were educated at Harvard. This was supposedly 100 percent science. The one or two people who said there were no witches were immediately hung. Not much has changed.”

So, a flicker of light shines into the darkness. It’s a good thing.


trigger warning said...

The developing kleptocracies are complaining that the free money may be shuttled to foreign aid "trickle down" budgets, or even awarded as (horrors!) loans, instead of arriving in the dead of night under heavy military guard as Iranian-style air freight pallets of cash.

Perfectly understandable.

Sam L. said...

Even worse, they won't get the money!!!1111!!!