Pittsburgh Not Paris
June 7, 2017
No matter what side of the aisle you come from, an open, honest and curious mind has most likely confronted the ideas of climate change. When it is described on the news as a revelational end times dilemma by Al Gore and other pundits it deserves a fair look. A recent effect of globalization brought the world together in 2015 to implement the Paris Agreement, also known as the Paris climate accord, to revolutionize the regulation of carbon emissions globally. By fulfilling a campaign promise, the President of the United States removed our country from this last week. Regardless of the truth of climate change, in relation to man made causes, there is a good case that the Paris Agreement is not the right way for the United States to manage these problems.
“I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris,” Trump said to applause on the back steps of the White House lawn. Putting America first was always the main selling point of the Trump campaign. The now novel idea is slowly making itself apparent with this being one of the first big steps taken by the Trump administration. Anyone familiar with the art of making a good deal knows this is not a fair one for the U.S. As Trump said, it is time to pursue a new deal that protects the environment, our companies, our citizens and our country.
The deal was faulty from the start. Obama hoping Hillary would be his successor skipped the proper procedures necessary for implementing a treaty on our country. Law states that the Senate must ratify any document that enters the U.S. into a treaty. The former president lost his democratic majority Senate in 2015 and had no hopes of securing the votes to make the Paris Agreement legal. So, as easy as it was to build up, it was rightfully just as easy to tear down and completely dismember. If you live by the sword, you die by the sword.
If the accord were to remain in place, the National Economic Research Associates estimate that 2.7 millions jobs would be lost by 2025 and 6.5 million jobs by 2040. Over 1 trillion dollars of GDP would be lost from the: paper, cement, iron/steel, natural gas and coal industries. Coal alone would decline by 86 percent in our country, especially devastating for Montana.
The globe may have clapped as we entered the Paris Agreement but rightfully so as our harm was turned into their reward. Recently, China has become the world’s largest consumer and producer of coal. And while we are expected to cut our coal development they are allowed unlimited growth until the year 2030 with no penalties. India, a population with 1 billion people and massive carbon emissions, is allowed to double their coal plants until 2020.
Only three European countries plan to adhere to the deal in the same manner as us. Germany is in that group but has increased their emissions over the last two years. The accord seems to be less about climate change and more of gaining a financial advantage over the United States. If we do not use our large supply of natural resources, other countries will grab the needed jobs and profits in order to meet global demand. It will not affect the environment but merely harm the United States. It is a redistribution of wealth for 2/10 of one degree celsius reduction in global temperatures by the year 2100, according to the Paris Agreement document.
There is a better path forward for the United States. It is noble to elevate human existence and create a more sustainable and greater world for mankind. Space exploration in the 50s and 60s is a great example of this, such as, that it not only lifted spirits but through its leaps and bounds in technological advances literally made the world a more humane and safe place. It brought about the mundane such as microwaves to the life-saving such as MRI technology, hearing aids and much more. A green revolution would probably bring similar results. But, this can only happen with the caveat that Americans are not forced to it, losing their jobs and way of life. In achieving this it would be most desirable for the private sector to act on its own accord, not the Paris accord, if we are to see lasting and wanted change.