Quote of the Day:

In choosing American interests over Davos pieties — in the face of resistance from some within his own administration — the president here has made good on his promise to put America first.

–the editors of National Review


The Gulfstream Class–those climate change activists who jet to high-minded conferences in private planes–is beside itself that President Trump has pulled the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement.

If you are one of those wicked souls who get a kick out of watching the left go crackers, this will be a good day for you. Here is a selection of elite responses to the withdrawal. Another one: Trump is letting down the pope!

My favorite argument from the left is that the agreement was unenforceable anyway, so why not stay and feel good. The Wall Street Journal addresses this very argument in an editorial this morning:

President Trump announced the U.S. will withdraw from the Paris climate agreement on Thursday, to the horror of green elites world-wide. If the decision shows he is more mindful of American economic interests than they are, the other virtue of pulling out is to expose the fraudulence of this Potemkin village.

. . .

But amid the outrage, the aggrieved still haven’t gotten around to resolving the central Paris contradiction, which is that it promises to be Earth-saving but fails on its own terms. It is a pledge of phony progress.

The 195 signatory nations volunteered their own carbon emission-reduction pledges, known as “intended nationally determined contributions,” or INDCs. China and the other developing nations account for 63% of annual global CO 2 emissions, and their share is rising. They submitted INDCs that pledged to peak the carbon status quo “around” 2030, and maybe later, or never, since Paris included no enforcement mechanisms to prevent cheating.

Meanwhile, the developed OECD nations—responsible for 55% of world CO 2 as recently as 2000—made unrealistic assurances that even they knew they could not achieve. As central-planning prone as the Obama Administration was, it never identified a tax-and-regulation program that came close to meeting its own emissions pledge of 26% to 28% reductions from 2005 levels by 2025.

Paris is thus an exercise in moral and social signaling that is likely to exert little if any influence on atmospheric CO 2 , much less on global temperatures. The Paris target was to limit the surface temperature increase to “well below” two degrees Celsius from the pre-industrial level by 2100. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Joint Program conclude that even if every INDC is fulfilled to the letter, the temperature increase will be in the range of 1.9–2.6 degrees Celsius by 2050, and 3.1–5.2 degrees Celsius by 2100.

If the agreement was a Potemkin Village in terms of what it could do for climate change, it did pose a genuine threat to constitutional government. As David French points out this morning at NRO, former president Obama had no constitutional right to bind the U.S. to that agreement. The editors of National Review add that the agreement was unlikely to produce the desired results, or, indeed, any beneficial results at all.

Going back to the Wall Street Journal, it should be noted that the agreement would diminish economic growth, and, while that may appeal to activists and people who already have their trust funds, it is not good for the rest of us:

All of which make the claims that the U.S. is abdicating global leadership so overwrought. Leadership is not defined as the U.S. endorsing whatever other world leaders have already decided they want to do, and the U.S. is providing a better model in any case.

Private economies that can innovate and provide cost-effective energy alternatives will always beat meaningless international agreements. To the extent Paris damages economic growth, the irony is that it would leave the world less prepared for climate change.

The agreement was about two things: virtue signaling and western guilt (developed countries would redistribute some of their wealth to undeveloped countries, which probably would not in the long run promote economic growth in developing countries).