Princeton Physicist Schools Bill Nye: Paris Climate Agreement is Like 1938 Munich Agreement -- It's 'Appeasement'

By Michael W. Chapman | April 24, 2017 | 2:43pm EDT

Princeton Physics Professor

William Happer.

(Photo: Gage Skidmore/Wikipedia)

During a panel discussion about global warming and the Paris Climate Agreement, Princeton Physics Professor William Happer explained that the Paris Agreement makes no "scientific sense," would do "enormous harm to many people" if implemented, and is comparable to the 1938 Munich Agreement to appease Nazi Germany.

The panel discussion was on the April 22 edition of CNN's New Day Weekend, hosted by Victor Blackwell.  During the discussion, Blackwell asked, “The president during the campaign said he would quote/unquote cancel that [Paris Climate Agreement] -- has not done it yet. How would you advise the president, if you had his ear, on how to move forward on the Paris Climate Agreement?”

William Happer, an atomic physicist and the Cyrus Fogg Brackett Professor of Physics (emeritus) at Princeton University, answered, "Well, you have to consider many things but on the face of it, it should be cancelled. I can imagine you might want to consider ties with allies, and things like that, that might perhaps make that unadvisable. But I don’t think it makes any scientific sense."

"It’s just a silly thing, I think," said Prof. Happer.  "To me, it’s very similar to the [1938] Munich Agreement that Mr. [Neville] Chamberlain signed.”

Panel member Bill Nye, an engineer popularly known as the "Science Guy," reacted, “Wow. Okay. Everybody here, bear in mind, this may backfire. If you pull out of an international agreement, other countries may establish what are effectively tariffs on U.S.-produced goods and especially services.”

Host Victor Blackwell then said, “So, Mr. Happer, I just want to make sure – you are comparing the Paris Climate Agreement to the appeasement policy?”

Happer, the former director of the Department of Energy's Office of Science (1991-93), said, “It’s definitely appeasement. Let me add also, you know that –"

Blackwell interjected,  “How so? I don’t want to jump beyond that. How is this comparable to Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement of Hitler? How is that an appropriate comparison?”

Professor Happer said,  “It is an appropriate comparison because it was a treaty that was not going to do any good. This treaty [Paris Agreement] also will not do any good. Anyone looking at the results of doing what the treaty says, can see that the effect on the Earth’s climate is – even if you take the alarmists’ computer models – trivial."

British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain waving the 1938 Munich Pact,

which he signed to appease Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany.  Chamberlain

called it "peace in our time." Within a few months, Czechoslovakia was

taken over by the Germans, and in September 1939 the Soviet Union

and Nazi Germany invaded Poland, officialy starting World War II. 

"It will not make any difference, and yet it will cause enormous harm to many people," said Happer. 

In addition to his work at Princeton and other institutions, Prof. William Happer is a member of the JASON advisory group, an organization of elite scientists who advise the U.S. government on matters of science and technology. 

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