Streetwise Professor

June 2, 2017

Trump Rejects the Climate Gateway Drug: Global Progressives Go All Spanish Inquisition

Filed under: China,Climate Change,Economics,Energy,Politics — The Professor @ 7:00 am

The wailing, gnashing of teeth, and rending of garments that has followed Trump’s widely expected decision to withdraw the US from the Paris Climate Accord is truly amazing to witness. It is virtue signaling taken to a new extreme. Indeed, since so many people want to signal simultaneously, each apparently feels obliged to outdo the other in hysterics in order to attract the attention their precious egos crave. Hence the apocalyptic paroxysms of rage that started the moment Trump spoke.

Truth be told, even if one believes the predictions of standard climate models, and even if one believes there will be compliance with the commitments of the Accord (which is slightly less likely than my becoming Pope), it would have a trivial impact on global temperatures: on the order of .2 degrees. The impact of the US withdrawal alone, given its declining CO2 emissions relatively (especially compared to China and India) and even absolutely (something the pious Europeans have not been able to manage despite their moribund economy and costly—and insane–commitment to renewables), means that Trump’s action by itself will have an immeasurable effect on climate in any time frame.

So despite all of the screeching that Trump has doomed—doomed I say!—life on earth, in reality the accord is not a practical agreement, but a ritual. And like all rituals, its primary purpose is to provide an opportunity to display obeisance to a creed, theology, doctrine, or dogma.

Which explains the overwrought reaction: those rejecting creeds, theologies, doctrines, and dogmas are heretics, and heretics must be attacked, ostracized, ridiculed, and in the dreams of some, burned. Trump is accused of heresy on three counts — heresy by thought, heresy by word, heresy by deed, and heresy by action — four counts! Yet he does not confess, and indeed revels in his heresy, only infuriating his inquisitors all the more.

There is much dispute over the concrete effects of Paris qua Paris. Some claim it is merely symbolic. Others claim that it will lead to real policy changes. Whatever the practical effects, there is no doubt about the ambitions of those pushing Paris, and Trump rejected them all. He rejected the delegation of authority over the United States to an unelected and unaccountable (self-perceived but actually utterly failed) elite. He rejected the exploitation of climate concerns to implement a vast scheme of international wealth redistribution.

And perhaps most importantly, he called out, confronted, and rejected the role of Paris as a gateway drug to even more intrusive supranational elite control and power:

The risks grow as historically these agreements only tend to become more and more ambitious over time.  In other words, the Paris framework is a starting point — as bad as it is — not an end point.  And exiting the agreement protects the United States from future intrusions on the United States’ sovereignty and massive future legal liability.  Believe me, we have massive legal liability if we stay in.

Absolutely. Climate concerns (hysteria, really) have become an engine for rent seeking and power grabbing on a global scale never seen before, and it needs to be throttled in the crib. For it is evident from years of experience how the leftist-statist-dirigiste march through the institutions works. Stake out a modest set of policies to achieve a lofty goal. When the policies fall short, impose more draconian ones. When those policies in turn fail, unleash more bureaucratic dragoons to intrude on every aspect of institutional life. And in this case, the institution at stake is the world. Better to stop it now, then to watch it metastasize later.

The reaction has been predictable. Corporate rent seekers—Goldman Sachs’ Lloyd Blackfein, GE’s Jeffrey Immelt, and our favorite among them Elon Musk—have expressed their rage and dismay. Political power seekers, the Euros most notable among them, are beside themselves.

The Euros are particularly amusing. After Trump spurned them, they are now looking to China’s Xie for climate policy leadership, just as they did on “free trade” at Davos. Daddy didn’t give them what they wanted, so they are throwing themselves into the arms of the leader of a biker gang. That will show that meanie, harrumph!

That won’t end well, and don’t bother come crying to us when it doesn’t! China is a mercantilist environmental disaster that will pump out increasing quantities of CO2 for the foreseeable future. China is in this for China, and will exploit climate policy to advance its economic interests while paying lip service to green pieties. Only the willfully self-deluded refuse to see otherwise.

The economic costs of any actual implementation of Paris promises would have dwarfed any benefits accruing to its effects on climate. Force-feeding of renewables will increase energy costs, thereby impairing growth—which will have a disproportionate effect on the poor. Taxes to fund global wealth transfers will have similar effects: and if you think that money transferred to poor countries is going to go to the poor, rather than sticky-fingered elites, you are truly a fool.

So Donald Trump has said we’ll never have Paris. And that’s a damn good thing. Arguably the best thing he’s done—and the shrieking of global progressives is about the best proof of that I can think of.




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  1. The shrieking by The Unhinged is something to behold – chilluns have died, it’s “death by a thousand cuts,” islands and coral reefs have disappeared, and worse – all based on “climate change” data which is false.

    But wait – best of all, to the delight of The Unhinged, due to storms, Mar-a-Lago is under water – great revenge on the evil Trump.

    Under Paris, the “richer countries” were supposed to send – $100 billion a year – to the “poorer countries,” like India and China, for being evil and using fossil fuels.

    What’s going to happen to all those sticky fingers now?

    And see, see, they told you so – Mar-a-Lago is under water:

    Comment by elmer — June 2, 2017 @ 8:06 am

  2. As a fellow heretic, I applaud Trump’s actions. This controversy has all the hallmarks of a religious one masquerading as secular politics.

    It isn’t even the only issue where religious persecution is used against heretics, as Christian florists and photographers have found out on the homosexual marriage issue.

    Comment by Sailor — June 2, 2017 @ 8:31 am

  3. The absurd Mr Trump does another good deed.

    Comment by dearieme — June 2, 2017 @ 8:46 am

  4. Agreed. Well said.

    The image of Europa stamping her foot and running off with the bad boy to spite Daddy is a good one.

    Shake my head in amazement at inverse relationship between depth of understanding of how much good a Paris agreement might do (zero) and strength of feeling about it. Really is a religion – the adherents don’t want to pry too much into the ‘mysteries’, they just want the ‘feels’.

    Would be pleased to see a post on Elon Musk (when you’re free, of course).

    Comment by Global Super-Regulator on Lunch Break — June 2, 2017 @ 10:04 am

  5. The elites largely lack the skill to run a convenience store yet wallow in spending trillions annually. Such a costly transfer of resources.

    Comment by t c phillips — June 2, 2017 @ 4:39 pm

  6. Very funny comments at-

    I especially enjoyed the reference to the Lerner Loewe song-Camelot

    Comment by pahoben — June 3, 2017 @ 4:30 am

  7. The arrogance of these people is breathtaking. On days like this I tend to think the damage done by hurricane Donald is a reasonable price to pay if he can put the brake on this sort of “progress” while at it.

    Comment by Ivan — June 3, 2017 @ 8:40 am

  8. @pahoben – that’s funny! “THERE IS A LEGAL LIMIT TO THE SNOW HERE”

    According to The Unhinged, withdrawing from the Paris Accord has already killed millions of chillun, and put many islands under water.

    But here are some interesting facts, including immediate stoppage of trillions of dollars ending up in China and India, through the “Green Climate Fund.” The politicos who adhere to the “climate change” religion – and it is a political religion – are not worried about “climate change” – they are furious about not receiving Other People’s Money – YOUR money.


    YOUR money, down the drain for “green energy”

    Comment by elmer — June 3, 2017 @ 8:41 am

  9. Elon Musk was getting pounded for being on Trumps economic panel. I’m sure this decision was a godsend for him. He could resign in protest and look like a hero. Granted, he was undoubtedly looking forward to sucking on the government teat, so he still gets burned. At least he gets his fans back.

    Comment by Howard Roark — June 3, 2017 @ 9:45 am

  10. Who’d have thought that the US would cede leadership to China so easily?

    Comment by Euro Trash — June 3, 2017 @ 11:00 am

  11. Perhaps the simplest way of understanding the politics of climate change in America: in my home state of Washington, environmentalists were instrumental in defeating a ballot measure that taxed carbon emissions but rebated the money to the public. The measure didn’t offer enough payola to the relevant parties nor achieved sufficient environmental justice — and those were more important than actually reducing emissions.

    Comment by FTR — June 3, 2017 @ 2:28 pm

  12. @Euro Trash
    Who would have thought the Euro-weenies are so delusional they would look for leadership to an environmental disaster that China is and plans to remain? I guess sucking up to a commie dictatorship is a subconscious need in some circles.

    Comment by Ivan — June 4, 2017 @ 1:11 am

  13. @Ivan. Like Trump to Putin?

    Comment by Euro Trash — June 4, 2017 @ 4:10 am

  14. […] thought this piece on Trump’s withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord came closest to my own […]

    Pingback by The Stebbing-Heuer Project — June 4, 2017 @ 4:34 am

  15. @elmer
    This link shows a good discussion of flooding in Miami

    Common situation-terrible location for a city and poorly planned unless sea level falls a meter or so. Sea level would be rising slightly at this time if there were no humans on the planet. Sea level naturally rises and falls by many meters over geologic time and is never perfectly static. You just can’t legislate a perfectly stable climate.

    I liked the new meme. If your picnic gets rained out then #DamnTrump.

    It was a real euro weenie roast with climate ghost stories and glorious liberation of sequestered carbon from the euro trash on the camp fire.

    Comment by pahoben — June 4, 2017 @ 4:48 am

  16. Orwell noted that to see what is in front of ones nose requires constant struggle and this particularly true of the climate debate. The media constantly bombards of a linkage between global warming and sea level rise. Then sea level rise becomes an indicator of global warming but in fact sea level varies naturally by a very large amount.

    Comment by pahoben — June 4, 2017 @ 5:03 am

  17. “I especially enjoyed the reference to the Lerner Loewe song-Camelot”: when we lived in South Australia the rain did indeed seem to fall disproportionately at night. Please don’t check the figures to disabuse me of this pleasant notion.

    Comment by dearieme — June 4, 2017 @ 5:49 am

  18. @elmer. “Sea level would be rising slightly at this time if there were no humans on the planet.” So human activity does affect climate after all!

    Ironic that you quote Orwell. Read it again, but think about it this time.

    Comment by Euro Trash — June 4, 2017 @ 6:28 am

  19. I can imagine the priests in Thonis-Heracleion exhorting the masses to pay more tribute as it sank into the Mediterranean.

    I promise not to look 🙂

    Comment by pahoben — June 4, 2017 @ 6:34 am

  20. @Euro Trash
    Not a clue what you mean. The sea level is rising very slightly as it would be if there were no humans at all on the planet.

    Comment by pahoben — June 4, 2017 @ 6:37 am

  21. You citizens are to blame for our great city of Thonis submerging in the sea. We need to stop this destruction of our homes and the parks where children play. It is your ignorance and selfishness that has caused this and you must pay tribute to stop the destruction.

    Polish it up a bit and couch it as science and good scheme for re use.

    Comment by pahoben — June 4, 2017 @ 7:30 am

  22. @pahoben. A scholar of Orwell but, perhaps, not of his native grammar. As written, your sentence actually makes the sea level rise conditional on the absence of human beings. To see what I mean, without adding or subtracting a word, just switch your two clauses around, thus: “If there were no human beings on the planet sea level would be rising slightly at this time). Your first sentence needed the conditional conjunction ‘even’ added between the two clauses. It is all about removing ambiguity for the reader, but I think you recognised that yourself when you reconstructed the sentence in comment 19.

    Comment by Euro Trash — June 4, 2017 @ 9:53 am

  23. I agree that the sentence would have been clearer with ‘even’ included.

    As a standalone statement the sentence remains true without ‘even’. My assumption as a reader would have been that it is rising slightly now (mm’s/yr) and if no humans it would be rising slightly so negligible difference due to human presence. I now realize that if the reader thought that it was rising more than slightly now and if no humans it would be rising only slightly then in tthat case the reader would draw a conclusion different than I intended.

    Thank you for this.

    Comment by pahoben — June 4, 2017 @ 10:29 am

  24. @pahoben. I can see your perspective too, so let’s call that a score draw!

    I have enjoyed reading the comments above, but it is like going back in time; in Europe we have this type of debate 5-10 years ago. Here, in the weeny lands, the evangelists of both extremes are now just occupying the margins of the debate i.e tree-huggers who think renewables can replace O&G immediately, and coal-junkies lashing out, frightened and in denial (as above).

    Comment by Euro Trash — June 5, 2017 @ 3:14 am

  25. @Euro Trash
    Okay agreed-not that I think it was a draw in regards to the content but okay. :).

    Comment by pahoben — June 5, 2017 @ 12:17 pm

  26. I see your perspective but I respectfully disagree.
    Trying to migrate from a fossil fuel economy, to a greener one seems like a good plan, if not for anything else, to reduce our skyrocketing health bill! Is embarassing to be the biggest spender per capita in the world and have infant mortality rates closer to African nations than the countries where the “intellectual leftist elites” choose to live.
    On how to have a greener economy is a harder question, resourcing to wind seems a dubious and expensive choice, but clearly nuclear seems the long term bet to me.
    I don`t agree with these international transfers of cash to other countries, but I believe a carbon tax could is a smart way to get government funding that could be used to

    Maybe being in Houston has impaired some of the objectivity, but China has necessarily to lower their CO2 emissions in the long term, specially near to their big cities where air quality is awfull these days. They are doing this more out of true necessity, is a pity no thinks that.
    Trump being in the smoky New York during the 70s and 80s should know better that is a bad idea to try to bring us back to those dirty times.

    In doing this he is clearly pleasing his core White Apalachian coal country base, that represents a tiny bit of the US population, but has gained a extremely disproportionate power. I am sure having those guys happy is more important than what 70% of Americans think…..humpf…politics…
    The only problem for those Coal Country guys is that it isn`t Paris or what you refer as Elites that killed they prospects of a come back, it was actually the dirty Oil Patch in Houston with they increasing and cheaper Natural gas production…. call it…evolution?!
    Trump could have seized the opportunity to undermine Russia grip on Europe through their Gas pipelines in using Paris as a way to export more of our clean energy source… instead we are back to the 19th century mentality… not surprising from such an old president, but completely at odds with anything the large majority of Americans think.
    We are now in the select group of Nicaragua and Syria as non signatories, so proud of this fact!
    Talking of old habits, just reminded me of another select group the US is part of….the countries not using the metric system… US, Liberia and….Burma!

    Comment by Manuel — June 14, 2017 @ 12:48 pm

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