by Andrew Linn
Last week, the Donald announced that the United States would be pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord, a.k.a. the Paris Agreement
At any rate, the Donald’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord has resulted in criticism from across the globe. Various state and local leaders in America have responded by saying they will impose their own measures to reduce carbon emissions. Environmentalists have condemned the withdrawal, as have various scientists, liberals, and even a few members of Congress.
The Trump Administration’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord reminds me of the Kyoto Protocol. According to Tom Bethell’s book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Science, the Kyoto Protocol called for nations to reduce their greenhouse-gas emissions below their 1990 levels by 2012. Although Bill Clinton signed the protocol, he needed the approval of the Senate (as is required by the Constitution since the Kyoto Protocol was a treaty).
He never submitted it to the Senate, because it would not pass since it was controlled by Republicans at the time. Bethell goes on to say that it was clear that the United States was the target of the treaty, especially since a recently re-united Germany had replaced the inefficient coal-fired power plants in former East Germany with more modernized power plants, while the breakup of the Soviet Union resulted in economic activity being reduced by one-third amidst all of its former republics. Thus, those countries had fulfilled its obligations.
Had the Senate approved the Kyoto Protocol, then carbon emissions in the United States would have to be reduced by one-third, something that would have resulted in an economic depression, especially since it meant that America would have to give up one-third of its energy, which in turn would result in a reduced reliance on vehicles and on electricity in general. Bethell then mentions that China, India, and various Third World countries were exempt from the Kyoto Protocol, and that only thirty-five nations (mostly from Europe) agreed to it.
It should be noted that there was no way to enforce the terms of the treaty, as is the case with the Paris Climate Accord.
In conclusion, the Paris Climate Accord is just a repeat of the Kyoto Protocol, with the United States bearing the burden of the terms. Thus, withdrawing from it was the right decision.
Image: Excerpted from: Rkj927 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=32800975