Local pain but no gain

Cities and states can increase costs but they won't change global temperature

State and local officials from left-leaning enclaves are vowing to ignore President Trump’s withdrawal from the UN climate agreement by keeping their governments aligned with the tenets of the Paris accord.

Their citizens should prepare to pay more and earn less.

Governor Jerry Brown told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, “This is just a temporary deviation from the norm, the world norm, and it will be corrected.”  On Tuesday Brown signed an agreement with China to reduce emissions in keeping with the UN pact.

California is an economic behemoth, boasting one the top ten economies in the world.  It is also, however, bedeviled by staggering public deficits and expense.  Its public welfare outlays are ballooning.  Its public pension systems are imploding.  A proposed single payer health plan for the state would cost a mind-blowing $400 billion per year if adopted — more than three times California’s $125 billion annual budget.

On Wednesday, Hawaii Governor David Ige signed a law designed to align the island’s climate and energy policy with Paris saying, “we are one canoe, one island, one planet. We cannot afford to mess this up.”

Yet Ige went on to reveal just how little he understands climate science and policy by saying, “We are the testing grounds … We are especially aware of the limits of our natural environment … Tides are getting higher, biodiversity is shrinking, coral is bleaching, coastlines are eroding, weather is becoming more extreme. We must acknowledge these realities at home.”

Had he bothered to check, Governor Ige would have learned that the weather is historically normal, in fact in many respects, extremely benign.  Sea level has been rising about one to three millimeters per year (about the width of a paper clip) since before the industrial revolution and has not accelerated.  Man-made climate change does not account for Hawaiian tides, erosion or anything else.  Weather, of course, will vary.

Exiting the Paris Accord is a “dagger aimed straight at the heart” of New York, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio, who tweated that it is, “unconscionable for the President to step away from it … but we’ll take matters into our own hands.”  Mayor de Blasio is planning to keep the city engaged with the Paris agreement via executive order.

Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti, who co-founded the “Mayors National Climate Change Agenda,” is planning to take similar action.

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto took issue with President Trump’s statement that he would pursue the interests of “Pittsburgh over Paris,” pointing out that Pittsburgh overwhelmingly chose Hillary Clinton for President.  However, Peduto and predecessors who share his ideology, have presided over the shuttering of Pittsburgh’s steel industry and industrial might.  From 1950 until today half of Pittsburgh’s population fled, shrinking the city’s population from 676,806 in 1950 to 307,484 in 2010.  A new rise of productivity fostered by affordable energy is helping the city rebound and is providing Pittsburgh what it actually needs, not feckless climate ideology.

The U.S. Constitution gives the federal government preemptive authority to conduct international diplomacy with foreign powers.  State and local governments can set goals, but not adopt treaties.  The Left can huff-and-puff about Paris, but as Chris White explains in an analysis posted at CFACT.org, all this posturing won’t make any difference to the temperature of the Earth.  Only to the economic climate, where these devastating global warming policies are adopted, will there be any actual impact.

One must wonder: After the political Left gets done increasing the price of energy and hammering the economies over which it holds sway, how long will it be before they try to stanch their torrent of fleeing businesses by compelling others to share their pain?

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About the Author: Craig Rucker

Craig Rucker is the executive director and co-founder of CFACT.

  • ktuncia

    Notice these States are not offering to pony up the $400 billion dollars; most of it slated to come from the U.S., that is supposed to be paid without strings or conditions from developed nations to third world nations according to the agreement. It’s all just shallow grandstanding absurdity.