Commentary

Paris Climate Agreement No Help to People or Climate, Harmful to Both

E. Calvin Beisner
By E. Calvin Beisner | June 5, 2017 | 10:55 AM EDT

President Trump addresses decision to pull U.S. out of Paris Climate Accord. (WH.gov Screenshot)

Last week, President Donald Trump announced his decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement.

Not only Americans but people all over the world should celebrate.

President Trump’s decision took courage in the face of pressure from many world leaders to remain in the agreement.

But it’s the right decision. It’s right because, as former NASA scientist and leading climate alarmist Dr. James Hansen put it, the Paris agreement is “a fraud, really, a fake … just worthless words.”

Why would someone like Hansen say that?

Because even assuming climate alarmists are right and human emissions of carbon dioxide are driving dangerous global warming, full implementation of the Paris agreement throughout this century would be no help to the environment or to people. Instead, it would be harmful to both.

And as President Trump said today, the Paris agreement is predicted by its proponents to “reduce global temperature by no more than 2 tenths of a degree Celsius.” That reduction would cost $23 to $46 trillion per tenth of a degree Fahrenheit—an amount that will have no effect on the environment or human wellbeing.

It would trap billions in poverty for decades to come. Since a clean, healthful, beautiful environment is a costly good, this means prolonging environmental damage and delaying environmental improvement.

And that’s assuming the alarmist predictions are accurate. Real life observations have proven the models, the only basis for those alarmist predictions, to be completely false. So not only is it all pain and no gain, it’s all pain and no gain for no reason.

We are grateful to President Donald J. Trump for his thoughtful exploration of the issues, his courageous leadership against great pressure, and his willingness to stand up for the American people.

But it is important to note that withdrawing from the Paris agreement, and opposing other environmental alarmist policies, is not just good for Americans, it is good for the citizens of all countries—especially the poor.

E. Calvin Beisner, Ph.D., is Founder and National Spokesman of The Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation and a scholar on the application of Biblical worldview, theology, and ethics to economics, government, and public policy.

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