The sky is falling! So goes the Left’s reaction to President Trump’s unequivocal declaration that the Paris Climate Accord is a “bad deal” for America.
Thank you, Mr. President, for not following the lemmings over the cliff.
We should not be surprised that other nations relentlessly advocated for confirmation of the accord. President Obama, true to his many other progressive policy initiatives, sought to commit the United States to the greatest transfer of wealth in the history of the world. The accord provided Obama justification for imposing punitive measures against the United States, but allowed China, India, and other developing countries to choose “full speed ahead.”
China has been building a new coal-fired power plant every few months, with very weak environmental controls. Their airports are expanding and their industrial base has minimal environmental restrictions. Just land in Beijing, Shenzhen, or Shanghai, where I have traveled, and your eyes will be burning from the smog before you leave the airplane on the tarmac.
Thanks to market forces and American innovation and technology employed voluntarily, greenhouse gas emissions in the United States are already below 1995 levels. America continues to lead the world by example. We don’t need the Paris Climate Accord, which could potentially induce the United States make major sacrifices in deference to the rest of the world.
America should not be coerced into a deal that will cost our economy $3 trillion and further impede job growth, while we contribute $3 billion to a UN mitigation fund.
While the Left denounces President Trump’ decision with a nearly religious fervor, as they did when President George W. Bush rejected the Kyoto Accord, there are many thoughtful climatologists who share a different perspective on the “realities” of climate change. In 2004, as a N.C. State Senator and appointed member of the North Carolina Legislative Commission on Global Climate Change, I began my pursuit of the facts and met many knowledgeable experts who, even then, were going against the rush to judgment.
Our commission heard 90 presentations from more than 60 “experts” who addressed global warming, most of whom were astronomers, chemists, geologists, biologists, and left-leaning think tank advocates, but not climatologists.
The Democrat-controlled legislature and this Commission sought to achieve a pre-determined goal to bind North Carolina businesses to cap and trade restrictions against the behemoth China. Not satisfied that North Carolina had already lost hundreds of thousands of textile and manufacturing jobs to China and other foreign competitors in the 1990s, Democrats apparently believed we should again tie our hands behind our backs.
I persistently called on the Commission Chair in our hearings to have presentations from actual climatologists, or at least present their papers. The leadership finally relented and diverse views contributed to the conversation. There are many accomplished scientists who have expressed views on the causes of global warming that run contrary to those trumpeted in the media. Among the scientists who believe that global warming/climate change is not accurately represented by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are: Dr. Richard Lindzen, Atmospheric Physicist and former professor at MIT, whom I hosted for a lecture in Charlotte; Dr. Sallie Baliunas, former astrophysicist, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics; Dr. William Happer, Physicist at Princeton University; Dr. Nicola Scafetta, former research scientist at Duke University; Dr. Fred Singer, Professor Emeritus of Environmental Science, University of Virginia; Dr. Patrick Michaels, former Research Professor of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia; Dr. Nils-Axel Morner, retired head of Paleogeophysics and Geodynamics at Stockholm University and former Chair of the INQUA Commission on Sea Level Changes and Coastal Evolution. The list goes on.
We did succeed in preventing the North Carolina Legislature from passing environmental compliance requirements for our business and industry that would have further driven North Carolina into a dark hole in the mid-2000s. By the way, North Carolina’s greenhouse gas emissions are approximately 2.3 percent of the U.S. total. If all North Carolina emissions were eliminated, the effect on global temperatures would be virtually zero.
The climate has been changing for millennia. And there are plenty of people who recognize the climate is changing yet don’t think we have a catastrophic problem on our hands, or which demands a specific policy response dreamed up by politicians. The Paris Climate Accord would have a very minimal material impact on global warming regardless of what you believe about it.
Moreover, we need a prudent re-evaluation of this supposed greatest threat to America and the world. Is this a greater threat than the nuclear missiles currently pointed at America? Than the declared radical Islamic jihad against freedom-loving peoples? Some things you don’t have to think or pray much about. The Lord gave us all a sound mind to recognize reality.
Rep. Robert Pittenger is a Republican representing North Carolina’s Ninth Congressional District.
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