Democrats Want to Re-Enter the Paris Climate Agreement – Here’s Why It’s Already Failing (2/2)
In part one I reviewed how the Paris Climate Agreement effectively asked the U.S. to heavily subsidize the climate goals of the developed world – while the developed world had to make the smallest cuts to their greenhouse gas emissions. A number of developing countries threatened to continue polluting if not properly compensated by the Agreement, but even that wouldn’t have mattered, because nothing in the Paris agreement is binding. If a nation fails to meet their targeted cuts in greenhouse emissions they can simply revise them for following years.
And yet we’re to believe that because Trump refused to subsidize this experiment the world is nearing its end.
Reality begs to differ.
Even (the failing) New York Times Admits the Paris Agreement Isn’t Working
Ironically, it’s the New York Times bewildered that the Agreement isn’t working as planned.
One of the greatest aforementioned flaws with the Paris Agreement is that no countries’ pledges to cut carbon emissions are binding. Entering into a contract where the other party or parties don’t have to uphold their end should be a red flag. If a country doesn’t cut emissions as much as they had pledged, they can simply revise their pledge without consequence. The Times is now realizing that, in their words, “The Paris Agreement, it seems, is only as good as the willingness of national leaders to keep their word,” and “So far, those voluntary pledges have not been sufficient.”
No kidding – and there’s no explanation for why this wasn’t a concern for them when they were blasting Trump for pulling out of the deal. As they now note:
Emissions are rising in the United States and China, the world’s two largest economies. [Five] Other countries are backsliding on their commitments. The world as a whole is not meeting its targets under the Paris pact.
Emissions in China have grown for the past two years, signaling the difficulties of shifting the country away from its coal-dependent industrial economy. Germany is having a hard time moving away from lignite because of political opposition in the country’s coal-rich east. The French president, Emmanuel Macron, faces unrest at home over a layer cake of taxes that working-class people say burdens them unfairly.
Globally, greenhouse gas emissions hit an all-time high in 2018, but don’t blame the U.S. for it.
The U.S. is (Mostly) Meeting the Paris Agreement’s Goals Without Being Part of It
While the aforementioned New York Times article quoted led by citing increasing emissions in the U.S., we’re doing a much better job of complying with the agreement than many other countries, despite not being part of it.
Indeed, as the Times noted “To be sure, the Paris pact, and the growing scientific clarity about global warming, has spurred countries and businesses to reorient themselves. From shipping to fast food to insurance, companies are setting their own targets to reduce carbon footprints. Solar and wind energy is expanding rapidly. Within the United States, a number of cities and states have dissented from the Trump administration’s planned exit and created their own local plans to green their economies.” U.S. emissions grew by about 2.5% in 2018, but the overall trend remains downward.
In March of 2018, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that “There are expectations that, independently of the position of the administration, the U.S. might be able to meet the commitments made in Paris as a country.”
In September of 2018, Mark Chediak reported in Bloomberg that “Cities, states, businesses and market forces are poised to trim carbon emissions to 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2025, according to a report presented Thursday by California Governor Jerry Brown and Michael Bloomberg. That compares with the 26 percent to 28 percent U.S. commitment under the Paris agreement.” In other words, the U.S. was still on track to meet 2/3rds of our climate-emission goals under the Paris Agreement.
And closing out the year, former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg echoed the same sentiments reported in his publication earlier this year, telling NBC that it wouldn’t make much of a difference if Trump were to re-enter the Paris Agreement because “we are halfway there towards meeting our goals already.”
Don’t Fear the Reaper
Alarmists have thus far had an identical track record in predicting the apocalypse as every religious figure that’s claimed to know the same. The latter are rightly widely dismissed as crackpots, but the former have the media bolster their narrative and provide excuses for their failed predictions.
Predicting the date that the climate finally decides to launch D-Day on us is hardly the only scare tactic in the Left’s arsenal. In a speech widely viewed as inspirational by progressives for unknown reasons, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said in response to an argument nobody had made: “You want to tell people that their desire for clean air and clean water is elitist? Tell that to the kids in the South Bronx which are suffering from the highest rates of childhood asthma in the country … You’re telling those kids that they are trying to get on a plane to Davos? People are dying!”
The fiery rant masquerading as a speech came after a grand total of zero Senators voted in favor of her green new deal (with four Democrats siding with Republicans, and the rest abstaining). Among the 2020 hopefuls who abstained included Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, and Bernie Sanders.
People are indeed dying of climate related deaths – albeit at the lowest rates in recorded history. While the climate changes, the species capable of sending a man to the moon also happens to be capable of adapting to their surroundings. As the Patrick J. Michaels noted:
Here are a couple of striking numbers from the data: in the decade from 2004 to 2013, worldwide climate-related deaths (including droughts, floods, extreme temperatures, wildfires, and storms) plummeted to a level 88.6 percent below that of the peak decade, 1930 to 1939. The year 2013, with 29,404 reported deaths, had 99.4 percent fewer climate-related deaths than the historic record year of 1932, which had 5,073,283 reported deaths for the same category.
Those figures are sourced from the International Disaster Database.
That decline in deaths coincided an increase in recorded natural disaster events. There were only 14 recorded in 1930, and 332 in 2013 according to Our World in Data. Of course, the earlier reporting data isn’t as reliable as the newest, so it’s extremely likely the 1930 figure is an underestimate. Their figures also differ on climate deaths – showing a decline from roughly 540,000 deaths per year in the 1930s to just north of 50,000 by the 2010s. Measured per-capita, there were nearly 28 climate related deaths per 100,000 people in the 1930s, compared to under two today (a 93% decline).
There is no time in history where humans are safer from the climate – and ironically that fact coincides with peak hysteria.