Television audiences didn’t have to click their remotes to MSNBC, ABC, ESPN, or CBS in order to get a terrifying and traumatic take on President Trump’s decision to walk away from terms of his predecessor’s Paris Climate Accord. Fox News Channel anchor Chris Wallace, who covered the White House Rose Garden announcement, accomplished this role very well.
Wallace’s narrative revealed the same ideologically alarmist mind-set evidenced in his earlier April 2 “Fox News Sunday” program interview with EPA Director Scott Pruitt. He made repeated references to “CO2 pollution,” derisively labeling global warming doom and gloom skeptics as “climate changes deniers.”
Trump Administration officials obviously recognized the futility of responding to a media climate alarm feeding frenzy with sound bite-sized tidbits, which threw more red meat into a political science swamp. Instead, they publicly attributed the Paris Climate Accord decision to rejecting a lousy and unfair deal for America.
As the President said, “This agreement is less about the climate and more about other countries gaining a financial advantage” over the U.S.
Reasserting America’s sovereignty, Trump left no doubt about whose interests he represented: “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.” As for revisiting the matter later, he asserted clarity on that too: “We’re getting out. And we will start to renegotiate and we’ll see if there’s a better deal. If we can, great. If we can’t, that’s fine.”
And if we can’t, just how catastrophic will that be? If wildly successful, the Paris deal won’t reduce an estimated increase of mean global temperatures more than 0.17º C by the century’s end . . . far less than the 2º C hyperventilating climate activists predict will flood Al Gore’s $9 million coastal California property.
Speaking of California, some may be comforted to know that the state has recently enacted actions to cork a tearfully flatulent cow-caused climate crisis. The California Air Resources Board has issued regulations requiring the livestock industry to cut methane emissions to 40% of 2013 levels by 2030. Dairies are targeted for 75% of that reduction.
Isn’t it only fair then that climate regulation crusaders Ben and Jerry be required to issue public warnings that the milk they put into their ice cream is killing polar bears? After all, this is exactly the sort of dilemma faced by fossil-energy producers which, unlike ice cream, create products we really do depend upon.
Take, for example, a vote by 62% of Exxon shareholders led by giant funds Vanguard, Fidelity, and Black Rock demanding that the company explain how Obama’s Paris temperature targets would affect its business. Among other things, they wanted to know whether a carbon tax would help or hurt their investments.
As reported in The Wall Street Journal, it could go either way. Whereas new regulations might cause an added drag on oil profits, they might prove to be a boon for Exxon as the top producer of natural gas.
Paris impacts on other industries are far clearer. Honoring President Obama’s commitment to reduce U.S. CO2 emissions between 26% and 28% below 2005 levels by 2025 would impose stringent EPA emission controls and cost penalties upon virtually all sectors of the American economy. Included are steel production, transportation, agriculture and everything else that requires energy.
Those painful expense burdens would fall heaviest upon shoulders of consumers who can least afford them. Conversely, the world’s champion CO2 emitter China and runnerup India are getting free passes. The agreement doesn’t require China to even begin reducing emissions until 2030. Meanwhile they will continue to add lots more coal to their energy mix.
They aren’t alone. Germany, a leading Paris deal proponent, burns more and more coal to compensate for nuclear energy cutbacks and power shortages resulting from growing reliance upon unreliable and anemic solar and wind. Coal provided 40% of Germany’s total power last year, with heavily subsidized renewables accounting for 30%.
There’s little wonder then that the reported average German residential electricity in 2012 was approximately three times higher per kilowatt hour than in the U.S. The same 2014 Manhattan Institute study also reported that energy costs throughout the EU soared 55% from 2005 to 2013.
Speaking on the occasion of his 100th day in office, President Trump described the Paris deal as but another one-sided international agreement, “where the United States pays billions of dollars while China, Russia, and India have contributed and will contribute nothing.” He added, “That means factories and plants closing all over our country. Here we go again. Not with me, folks.”
Sadly, I had hoped that Chris Wallace might at least finally give the President some credit for standing firm for economic and environmental sanity. We should be grateful that Trump refused to be trampled by stampeding Paris lemmings.