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So Let's Talk About the Paris Climate Agreement


12 replies to this topic

#1
Poe Dameron

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My take on the whole thing is probably a bit off from everyone else's.  I'm less interested in whether all this is good policy than the process and what it actually means for our governance going forward.  Part of that is that I don't really believe Trump's decision is going to make all that much of an actual real world difference in the end on the climate, but the greater part of it is that it seems to me that Obama and liberals believe that a Democrat president has the power to tie the hands of future presidents, indeed give up a piece of our national sovereignty, by writing up a treaty, calling it something else, and then not bothering to give it to Congress for ratification.

 

The two biggest examples of this were the climate treaty, which I believe would have been mostly an excuse for increased regulations and more lawsuits being brought.  Environmentalists would be doing that anyway, so who cares?  The second was the Iran deal which Obama pushed into place over the strong objections of the country and a majority of the Senate and which no one has been able to explain to me how it hasn't given the store away to Iran for a promise of a temporary pause in nuke development.  Obama had an odd love for temporary restrictions, he handed terrorists we had in Gitmo to other countries to watch for a few years and let them go free after that.  Considering that treaties require a super-majority to pass, this was a major breach of our government pact.

 

And this is important because a large strain of the Democrat party is becoming increasingly autocratic in terms of finding ways around the actual government and doing whatever they want.  Domestically, they've tried using the courts, but it looks like that avenue will be going away for a generation.  Here it's literally bringing in other countries as allies in forcing future presidents to honor extra-legal deals they make.  While Trump was abroad, he was told time and again that it wasn't legal for him to pull out of the Paris Agreement because the law in the agreement was that you had to wait a few years.

 

Just based on that, I think that it was good policy to rip it up and withdraw immediately.  It tells the rest of the world that they can't play mommy against daddy in the United States.  They can't get a president that they agree with, sign a document together and restrict United States sovereignty.  Obama never had that power because no president has that power.  It was a power grab that future Democrat presidents would surely have used to get what they want.

 

It's being portrayed that America is losing power because other nations can't trust that they'll stick to its agreements.  In this case, that's not only fine and proper, but a huge win for the United States.  Instructing the world that we are a nation that requires treaties to be backed by our legislature and not worked out between presidents and the Secretary of State is a positive.

 

Finally, the idea that the United States is going to be isolated by this is a theme going around.  We can't let China take the lead on climate change.  If the United States drops out China, India, and Europe will just drop emissions themselves.  Umm, good.  I really don't give a rip who takes credit for all this.  I've noted before around here that I figure that technology and efficiency will go further to lower carbon emissions than all the virtue signalling politicians put together.  In 20 years, we'll all be in electric-powered driverless vehicles that will make carbon emissions nosedive and it'll have nothing to do with government regulations.  If some politicians who signed a piece of paper wish to take credit because they needed to "do something", that's just what they do.

 

I think it's much more important to restore our government's checks and balances than to stay within this treaty.



#2
Metropolis

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Interesting take. I haven't heard that position yet. I'll be honest, I remember the Accords when it happened, but I wasn't that aware of what was actually in it. So I'm catching up on what the deal was.

What caught my attention yesterday were the companies and mayors that were opposed to the US pulling out of the agreement. Most said they would "stand with their brothers in Paris" and do their best to help reduce our carbon footprint. What???? That's like a person whose dad cancelled their gym membership saying they'll do their best to lose weight anyways. So you're saying you didn't need the agreement but it would be nice to have a buddy there to spot you.

I'm skeptical enough to not trust politicians and business person's intentions. So when Elon Musk steps down as a Trump business advisor and I see that the Accords would have almost doubled his government incentives, I call bull**** on his altruistic reasoning.

#3
Ms. Spam

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Eh, I think it's a big tantrum thing. 

 

In reality though when Trump's out we just get back in. Right now I think of Trump as the teenager pushing boundries and doing dumb stuff which we can't hide like some families do. I think it's hilarious that were now one of three countries not in the Paris Accords. We're lumped in with Syria and Nicaragua. People join the Paris Accords - like North Korea - more for status to be shown as less of a third world country. 

 

Maybe Trump just wants to tear us down so in the end of his term - if he doesn't get impeached or die - he'll say LOOK I made America better. Because he had to build it up again.

 

Imposing rules that help make the environment is better. People are sicker and that costs money for health care. If you take away regulations I don't think it makes that better. Flint is a great example of bad government. But we as purchasers have control too. We can chose to buy things that are environmentally good and be more responsible. But really, the Paris Accords don't make us do anything. They just affirm a commitment to be more responsible.



#4
Poe Dameron

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Eh, I think it's a big tantrum thing.

 

Pretty sure it's the left throwing a tantrum.  Tossing out a treaty that was never ratified is what every president should do and none should ever claim that we are bound by them.

 

Now, the folks claiming that this is doomsday and snuggling up to China and Russia over it are the ones throwing a tantrum.  Myself, I'm plenty happy to keep the Germans to themselves and not entangle ourselves in globalism where we give up our ability to actually govern ourselves.  The more we can keep at arms' length from that future the better.  Call it a preemptive Brexit on our part on something that might matter to them, but isn't really all that substantive.



#5
Ms. Spam

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Oh no, it's a big thumb in the face troll. Like seriously. 



#6
Carrie Mathison

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Spam, there are plenty of times when Trump's actions can be explained as simply tantrum throwing.  Heck, most of his 5 AM tweets after seeing something on cable news that pisses him off probably fall into that category.

 

This isn't one of them.  Withdrawal from the Paris Agreement actually has a defensible policy rationale that has been legitimized by the so-called 'serious' people from the think tanks and what not.  This outcome was very likely to happen if any Republican got elected, not just Trump.  I could get into the details why the agreement is flawed and is unlikely to do anything to help the environment, such as, for example, the fact that China and India (the bigger problem currently) don't have to do sh-t, while all sorts of costs are imposed on the US.

 

.... but, I won't go into the details, because I doubt you're interested in hearing them.  Whenever I've tried pointing out reasons why this deal isn't good for either the environment OR the US, liberals quickly betray the fact that they don't actually even know what's in the agreement, and their support for it boils down to: it makes them feel better because we're supposedly "doing something" about the environment.  Along with, of course, some cultural signaling.  Supporting it is a way to demonstrate to liberal friends that you're on the "right side," and not... you know, one of those people.

 

So I'll leave it at a short post, since I'm 99% sure you've already made up your mind about this, no matter what someone may tell you about it.  It's too bad that climate change and the environment have become one of those issues that have taken on a near religious fervor.  Or at least, similar to following your favorite sports teams.  Where people just support one side or the other because it's simply "their team," and no one cares to form any opinions with nuance or knowledge of the details.


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#7
Poe Dameron

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Oh no, it's a big thumb in the face troll. Like seriously. 

Are you just not getting the larger issue I'm explaining?



#8
Tex

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Speaking of tantrums, Trump said he was willing to be a part of it if they were open for negotiation. That's when they promptly went into a hissy fit.

#9
Ms. Spam

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Oh no, it's a big thumb in the face troll. Like seriously. 

Are you just not getting the larger issue I'm explaining?

 

Oh yeah. I get what your saying. I'm a person of minimum replies. For me this is a bigger thing than even what you pointed out. We're withdrawing from anything that doesn't make immediate profit. If we keep going America will be a third world country with teevees and cars and debt and a very small percentage of rich people.



#10
Ms. Spam

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Spam, there are plenty of times when Trump's actions can be explained as simply tantrum throwing.  Heck, most of his 5 AM tweets after seeing something on cable news that pisses him off probably fall into that category.

 

This isn't one of them.  Withdrawal from the Paris Agreement actually has a defensible policy rationale that has been legitimized by the so-called 'serious' people from the think tanks and what not.  This outcome was very likely to happen if any Republican got elected, not just Trump.  I could get into the details why the agreement is flawed and is unlikely to do anything to help the environment, such as, for example, the fact that China and India (the bigger problem currently) don't have to do sh-t, while all sorts of costs are imposed on the US.

 

.... but, I won't go into the details, because I doubt you're interested in hearing them.  Whenever I've tried pointing out reasons why this deal isn't good for either the environment OR the US, liberals quickly betray the fact that they don't actually even know what's in the agreement, and their support for it boils down to: it makes them feel better because we're supposedly "doing something" about the environment.  Along with, of course, some cultural signaling.  Supporting it is a way to demonstrate to liberal friends that you're on the "right side," and not... you know, one of those people.

 

So I'll leave it at a short post, since I'm 99% sure you've already made up your mind about this, no matter what someone may tell you about it.  It's too bad that climate change and the environment have become one of those issues that have taken on a near religious fervor.  Or at least, similar to following your favorite sports teams.  Where people just support one side or the other because it's simply "their team," and no one cares to form any opinions with nuance or knowledge of the details.

Doesn't mean I don't read it and think about it at all. You can go into details. Personally I have already posted that Trump has had minimum impact on my actual world right now beyond students not being in school or health care premiums. Just as Trump's chosen to leave the Paris Accords doesn't mean in the future we can't re-enter. Our status will have changed if we return and some of the "classic" Western countries will be less likely to listen to us. We are the top resource for renewable energy and we can still buy and chose things that are better for the environment. This is  just a campaign promise Trump kept. It does save money as were were spending money to prop up third world countries but it's a drop in the bucket. China may become the biggest contributor to the Paris Accords now and that just makes Asia much more interesting.

 

It's an economy of words for me. I just hate typing out a ton of things on my phone to go into depth.

 

I enjoy the angsty angry-ness of both sides.



#11
Poe Dameron

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We're withdrawing from anything that doesn't make immediate profit.

 

That's another little weird saying.  As if this will stop companies from creating new technologies.  I'm not sure what any of that is even based on.  Elon Musk might be so annoyed with Trump that he quit his council, but it's not like he'll throw his hands in the air and quit making new stuff because of it.



#12
Carrie Mathison

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Doesn't mean I don't read it and think about it at all. You can go into details.


OK. Tell me why you think the agreement is a good idea then.

My point is that the agreement does absolutely nothing to help the environment, while hurting the US economy. I'm not sure exactly why that's a good deal for us.  The biggest flaw in the agreement is that the largest carbon emitters didn't have to do sh-t, while all the costs were being placed on the US.  China 'promised' (LOL) to do something about carbon emissions in 13 years, and good f-cking luck holding them to that, since the agreement has no enforcement mechanism and China does whatever the hell they want to do anyway (the typical US response being to bend over and lube the anus).  India made some nebulous commitment to "increase efficiency," whatever the f-ck that means.  This is even though China, India, and developing countries are responsible for 63% of global CO2 emissions.  Oh and by the way, China and India are actually building new coal power plants as we speak- they'll probably last 80 years or more.  But hey, don't worry America, we're gonna do something later!  We promise!!  big grin, wink wink, nudge nudge...

 

So, they get a pass, while we have to reduce emissions and give cash to developing countries?  I fail to see why this is a good idea, and furthermore, I have yet to come across an actual response to any of these points by liberals.  Maybe you can be the first?



#13
Ms. Spam

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It's about status being in the Accords. The US was able to dictate standards and provide guidance. California is a leader in clean energy. Hell, some nutty GOP Mayor in Carmel IN goes around touting clean energy options to India and China because of these Accords. Tons of countries get a pass. Like North Korea or China are paragons of clean energy</sarcasm> Also as a major contributor of green house gases I feel we bear a certain responsibility to help be less pollute-ee. I wish Pong still posted. He's much better at typing up something but I know he'd be better at it.

 

Honestly I think Trump's helping prop up outdated energy options. I hear about COAL all the time. Power plants that produce energy are actually huge chemical making facilities. And the things we have to do to make coal burning facilities clean costs billions to add to a power plant. Three Mile Island is going to close in a year or so and nuclear power is more shunned now than before so why go backwards to coal? 





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