April 22, 2016

Earth Day — Signing the Paris Climate Agreement

Fabricated holiday plus dubious legal agreement. What could go wrong?

For this year’s rendition of Earth Day, the stakes couldn’t be higher. More than 130 nations will gather to formally sign the Paris Climate Agreement at the United Nations in New York. Nothing could better signify Earth Day than a global gaggle of government leaders burning fossil fuels on their way to forcing us to spend a lot of green to preserve a little green, all while expanding their control over our lives.

While Congress has not ratified the agreement — nor are there any plans to — the Obama administration argues that its own assent is all that is necessary. Once 55 or more nations that represent 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions sign, the Paris accord can become effective as early as November 2017. The United States and China, which has also pledged to sign, together make up 38% of emissions. Meanwhile, a number of smaller nations are willing to sign in the hope of becoming beneficiaries of the inevitable wealth transfer the UN is sure to facilitate.

We’ve talked about the racket known as Earth Day many times on these pages, but climate alarmists are now shrieking that 2016 will be the warmest year on record, and that we have to DO SOMETHING before the global average temperature rises more than two degrees Celsius from pre-industrial values. “We are at a critical juncture when it comes to preserving our climate,” warned Michael Mann, the “climate researcher” who’s best known for the discredited “hockey stick” graph of global temperatures over the centuries, and for his omission of relevant data that failed to support his theory.

Unfortunately, no one has conclusively proven that our current climate is the optimal or “normal” one, either. Did you know, for example, as “skeptical environmentalist” Bjorn Lomborg points out, that about 0.5% of all deaths are heat-related, while more than 7% are cold-related?

It’s worth noting too that climate alarmists aren’t the only ones predicting a record warm year. Climate “deniers” like meteorologist Joe Bastardi have been forecasting higher temperatures this year because of weather patterns.

Despite all that, Barack Obama is plunging head-first into the Paris agreement as a continuation of his quest to wipe out the coal industry through power plant regulations and keeping other abundant energy sources off limits.

Yet not only is there a cost in jobs lost in the energy sector, but also a real increase in what’s known as “green energy poverty,” an economic condition where families spend more than 10% of their income on heating and other domestic energy costs. While the relatively low price of natural gas helps keep heating costs down, government subsidies and outright mandates for “renewable energy,” such as wind and solar power, bend the cost curve upward — sort of like a hockey stick.

Yet a change in administration, such as one to Ted Cruz, or, to a lesser extent, Donald Trump, will provide little relief from the Paris provisions. Buried in the Paris Climate Agreement is language preventing any nation from withdrawing within the first three years after it takes effect, with a further cooling-off period of one year. In essence, given a possible effective date of November 2017, the next president is stuck with this agreement. One silver lining is that there is little in the way of strict enforcement, as that would make the agreement a treaty requiring Senate ratification, something Obama scrupulously sought to avoid.

So let’s recap: Today we celebrate a completely fabricated holiday (which, no small irony, occurs on the anniversary of Vladimir Lenin’s birth) by signing an agreement of dubious legality and limited enforcement mechanisms in order for do-gooders to try to solve a problem that mankind has little, if anything, to do with. Sounds like a perfect example of liberalism to us. (Read more about the Left’s “Real ‘Climate Change’ Agenda.”)

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