The Wall Street Journal backs Trump's decision to pull out of Paris Accord

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by darksithpro, Jun 2, 2017.

  1. darksithpro macrumors regular

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    #1
    https://archive.is/wYfiV


    "Growth and innovation are better forms of climate insurance.

    But amid the outrage, the aggrieved still haven’t gotten around to resolving the central Paris contradiction, which is that it promises to be Earth-saving but fails on its own terms. It is a pledge of phony progress.
    The 195 signatory nations volunteered their own carbon emission-reduction pledges, known as “intended nationally determined contributions,” or INDCs. China and the other developing nations account for 63% of annual global CO 2 emissions, and their share is rising. They submitted INDCs that pledged to peak the carbon status quo “around” 2030, and maybe later, or never, since Paris included no enforcement mechanisms to prevent cheating.
    Meanwhile, the developed OECD nations—responsible for 55% of world CO 2 as recently as 2000—made unrealistic assurances that even they knew they could not achieve. As central-planning prone as the Obama Administration was, it never identified a tax-and-regulation program that came close to meeting its own emissions pledge of 26% to 28% reductions from 2005 levels by 2025.
    Paris is thus an exercise in moral and social signaling that is likely to exert little if any influence on atmospheric CO 2 , much less on global temperatures. The Paris target was to limit the surface temperature increase to “well below” two degrees Celsius from the pre-industrial level by 2100. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Joint Program conclude that even if every INDC is fulfilled to the letter, the temperature increase will be in the range of 1.9–2.6 degrees Celsius by 2050, and 3.1–5.2 degrees Celsius by 2100.
    Such forecasts are highly uncertain, which is inherent when scientists attempt to predict the future behavior of a system as complex as global climate. The best form of climate-change insurance is a large and growing economy so that future generations can afford to adapt to whatever they may confront.
    A more prosperous society a century or more from now is a more important goal than asking the world to accept a lower standard of living today in exchange for symbolic benefits. Poorer nations in a world where 1.35 billion live without electricity will never accept such a trade in any case, while Mr. Trump is right to decline to lock in U.S. promises that make U.S. industries less competitive.

    The surest way to “reject the future” is to burden the economy with new political controls today, because economic growth underwrites technological progress and human ingenuity. These are the major drivers of energy transitions that allow people to generate more wealth with fewer resources. Energy intensity—the amount of energy necessary to create a dollar of GDP—has plunged 58% in the U.S. since 1990, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
    Over the same period, intensity declined merely 37% in OECD Europe, 20% in Japan, 22% in Mexico and 7% in Korea. China dropped by 133%, but working off a far more wasteful initial base. Superior efficiency helps explain why U.S. carbon emissions fell by 145 million tons in 2016 compared to 2015, more than any other country. Russia was second, at minus 64 million tons. Over the past five years U.S. emissions have fallen by 270 million tons, while China—the No. 1 CO 2 emitter—added 1.1 billion tons.
    All of which make the claims that the U.S. is abdicating global leadership so overwrought. Leadership is not defined as the U.S. endorsing whatever other world leaders have already decided they want to do, and the U.S. is providing a better model in any case. Private economies that can innovate and provide cost-effective energy alternatives will always beat meaningless international agreements. To the extent Paris damages economic growth, the irony is that it would leave the world less prepared for climate change."
     
  2. elistan macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    Hmm, it's in their Opinion section. I wonder if @SteveJobzniak would consider this 'fake'?
     
  3. LizKat macrumors 68040

    LizKat

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    #3
    I'd be a lot more impressed by their arguments if I didn't frequently read news articles in their own paper about companies cutting back on R&D, outsourcing R&D, buying other companies to avoid having to invent something to make a buck with, etc., etc., etc.

    What the WSJ offers as opinion makes sense until you realize how much next quarter's profit margins mean to "the markets" today. It's only a select bunch of companies like say Amazon, Alphabet, Apple that "the markets" reluctantly cut some slack to regarding capital expenditures, R&D, assorted long-running experiments. Run of the mill companies, including some behemoths, all get the "where's the return??!?!" treatment at earnings report time. So the response has become acquisition, cost-cutting, offshoring, share buybacks, and hey there's always a convertible bond issue for the truly desperate. Oh yeah, and some automation as long as it can be bought off the shelf...

    So... "innovation" --as a just-in-time gig in an admittedly highly talented pantheon of USA companies, accomplished in order to beat a sudden realization that climate change is not only not fake but imminently past recovering from-- seems less and less feasible unless the markets shift their focus away from next quarter returns. Place your bets somewhere else, I'm not holding money on that one.

    What I do think will preserve our erstwhile good faith efforts to cooperate in mitigation of climate change is the fact that state and local response to Trump's withdrawal from Paris agreement has been vociferous assertion that just because Trump's not interested doesn't mean that "the USA" has also lost interest.

    I still can't believe Trump let Bannon (and Pruitt) talk him into exiting the Paris accords. So short sighted. Such a lack of true leadership. China and India will step right up to fill the void while the US gets to watch Europe look to Asia when it wants serious discssion of climate-related problems as time goes on. Meanwhile we start up the coal-fired power plants again? Honestly, even the utilities don't want to go there. It's nuts.
     
  4. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #4
    Their conclusion ... no need for international accords, private industry will just naturally fix the problem. International agreements will just get in the way.

    Oh well. I'm 56. No children.

    What do I care?

    The future is your's, not mine. Enjoy the ride (as another member would say).
     
  5. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #5
    This is a water-is-wet kind of opinion piece—the WSJ thinks innovation and competition will make everything wonderful, no d'uh—but it speaks to a certain reality.
    The agreement was hugely flexible and allowed each country to figure out target and systems while creating a grant system to help countries minimize their CO2 production.

    In other words, it was the kind of things conservatives used to promote when they liked international agreements and pushed for competition, flexibility, and national independence.

    And, for all the hue and cry about it, there are two salient facts: one, the U.S. has to wait three years to submit a plan to withdraw, which takes another year, meaning that the U.S. will withdraw the day after the next presidential election; and two, the U.S. industry is already on this road and unless the president demands we burn garbage and covert everything back to coal—he might and dummies in the Republican party might follow along—we're already on the road.

    Really, what this did was cement the idea that Europe and the rest of the world doesn't need the U.S. anymore. We can be depended on to lead. And, that U.S. states like California can forge ahead regardless.

    The American Century is done. Trump's administration is just the period at the end of that sentence.
     
  6. Dmunjal macrumors 65816

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    #6
    You don't think Tesla, Thorium reactors, and solar panels aren't private industry trying to solve the CO2 problem?

    I actually have more faith in technology than I do government.
     
  7. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #7
    Did you miss my line: "The U.S. industry is already on this road?"

    I actually agree to a point. The renewable industry grew from eight percent of electricity generation to 13 percent in 10 years and it's on pace to grow ever faster as the cost of solar panels and wind turbines drop precipitously.

    Tesla, little companies like Forward Labs, others are doing a great job. The benefit of plans like the Paris Accord is that countries can encourage these industries, just as they subsidized coal and gas in the last century.

    Governments are great sources of research dollars, grants, and funding help. This has helped Tesla immensely. And, we should encourage these companies, rather than hamstringing them while our EU cousins funnel billions to Mercedes-Benz and China makes sure that CHINT Group is a powerhouse.

    But, Republicans just want to hurt the solar industry to protect coal—see how every conservative news site taught people about Solyndra without acknowledging that Elon Musk's company got $465 million, which was promptly repaid.

    And, Democrats can't defend even the DoE's successful grant process because they're so busy being in a defense crouch they can't win. On anything.

    Neither party can claim they know what they're doing, but good lord, Republicans are stupid on this subject.

    The right thing is to treat the whole industry as a Moonshot. Poor billions into it, and make the U.S. a renewable-energy powerhouse with all the patents and contractors for shiny new Thorium reactors.

    Get government in place to fund grants and back loans. Let the DoE fund nerds messing around with complex algorithms and new ideas. Let the Navy buy Green Hornets and let the Air Force cover bases with solar panels.

    And, then let industry fight out whether people want big obvious solar arrays or solar tiles and let some people harvest water and get a discount from their city.

    Just get it done.
     
  8. Dmunjal macrumors 65816

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    #8
    Would the Paris Accords stop the trillions in subsidies that the fossil fuel industry currently enjoys?
     
  9. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #9
    No. And, that's a good question and a good point about the accords. It expressly didn't create a structure for countries to follow. They just had to submit "targets."

    This is a political failure that won't go away—sudden libertarian utopias aside—but at least the accords created a deadline.

    Again. I think a lot of people are gnashing their teeth for no reason. The accords weren't the be-all end-all of agreements. But, they were a good start.

    And, we rejected them because of our asinine leader.
     
  10. iLunar macrumors 6502

    iLunar

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    #10
    Wall Street Journal? Part of the lamestream media. This is so fake news! Sean Spicer denied all of this last night.
     
  11. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #11
    Hang on. They didn't just have to submit targets. They also had to track and measure results, and then report back those findings. This wasn't just, "I might do something some day."
     
  12. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #12
    1) No repercussions for not hitting targets
    2) China gets to continue to increase emissions, and gets cash from developed nations even though it is the second richest country in the world.
    3) No real means of ensuring measurements are accurate
     
  13. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #13
    How much buy in do you think you'd get if the incentive for falling short was some sort of punishment?
     
  14. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #14
    Didn't realize we were both on the same page of this being some feel good ******** accord.
     
  15. joy.757 macrumors regular

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    #15
    I think taking historical emissions also need to be taken into consideration, rather than just saying that US/EU don't have as much emissions now. It's farcical to talk about emissions just in 2016 (or any year) while deciding who to "blame".
     
  16. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #16
    No. We're on two very different pages on how to build mutual trust and cooperation.

    Your form involves punishment.

    I think that's counterproductive. But that's been a common theme in conservative's posts on this issue.

    You guys sure love your punishment.
     
  17. MadeTheSwitch macrumors 6502a

    MadeTheSwitch

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    #17
    More than doing nothing. What naysayers like you miss, is this was a starting point. Now we have absolutely nothing. How does doing nothing change anything?
     
  18. jkcerda Suspended

    jkcerda

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    #18
    Not on the hook for billions.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 2, 2017 ---
    Because it was a scam.
     
  19. darksithpro thread starter macrumors regular

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    #19

    Face the facts, there's nothing we humans can do to stop climate change.
     
  20. noisycats macrumors 6502a

    noisycats

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    #20
    It's an opinion piece. We can all find 'opinions' that back our beliefs.

    As such, it's not fake news...not even news.
     
  21. LizKat macrumors 68040

    LizKat

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    #21
    Yes they were a good start and an effort to lead, which Trump has now ceded to whichever of China or India starts to look more credible to the rest of the world as time goes on. People will look for now to Merkel to see what Europe thinks. Whether we gnashed our teeth for no good reason depends on how the states who disfavor EPA regulations will operate while states who favor them will continue to observe local related regulation. We have one atmosphere... and will probably have a lot of court cases related to that fact as the coal trains get back on track.

    How Trump left it was with a "so maybe we'll renegotiate Paris agreement later [shrug]" and then immediately cast shade on that by turning over the podium to the guy whom he has appointed to gut our Environmental Protection Agency. It's clear that whatever else Scott Pruitt is about, he's not about active stewardship of our environment, much less mitigation of climate change effects. From Wikipedia:

    Pruitt rejects the scientific consensus that human activities are a primary contributor to climate change.[3][7][8][9] He specifically rejects the stance of the scientific community, including US agencies NASA and NOAA, that carbon dioxide is the primary contributor.[10][11]

    Here's what my Congressman (John Faso, R-NY19) had to say about Trump's decision --the bolding is mine-- no doubt after careful consideration of the growing purpleness of his district and the fact he's been targeted by the Dems for 2016, but also bearing in mind his membership in the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus. From Faso's weekly email:

    Statement on Paris Agreement Withdrawal

    As a member of the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus, I support US efforts to continue promotion of innovative clean-energy solutions which will mitigate the effects of man-made climate change. As such, I believe the withdrawal of the US from the agreement is ill-advised. However, the non-binding Paris COP21 never received Senate approval, as treaties must under our Constitution. The US never ratified the Kyoto agreement yet our nation reduced CO2 emissions beyond those called for in that agreement due to the responsiveness of our market-based economy. Regardless of who is in the White House, I believe the US must continue to work to lower greenhouse gas emissions while balancing the needs of our economy. At the end of the day, economic incentives for cleaner, less-polluting energy will have a greater impact on reducing CO2 emissions than a non-binding agreement with no enforcement mechanisms.
    So it's all political, certainly, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It's complicated for Republicans who hail from states with regulations mirroring or exceeding EPA regs. It's complicated for moderate Republicans in other states. It's certainly more complicated for any Republicans on that bipartisan caucus on climate change in the House right now than it was before Trump's public announcement of his decision to withdraw from the Paris accords.

    But it's not complicated for the rest of the world to look at Trump's decision to pull out, coupled with his focus on dismantling the country's own Environmental Protection Agency: they will come to their own conclusion about the ability of the USA to remain a "leader" now in even the politics of global efforts to minimize man-made contributions to climate change.

    It remains to be seen whether public reassurances by state and local governments opposed to Trump's decision will be found convincing by the rest of the world. Or... shall I say it?... here at home either. We do after all have only one atmosphere, and watersheds offer no natural respect to state or municipal boundaries.
     
  22. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #22
    Ceded? From the terms of the deal it looked like China was already running the show, no other way to justify the top world polluter getting deemed an undeveloped nation that can be paid to increase emissions. Sounds like another dumb deal from the Obama era.
     
  23. LizKat macrumors 68040

    LizKat

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    #23
    So have you read anything about what China has done regarding at-home efforts to mitigate pollution? You don't really think the Party leaders figured people would just tolerate wearing masks and eventually gas masks to their jobs, do you? Or tolerate waking up to find dead pigs washing downstream past their muni water intake facilities? Or stand around watching desertification creep in from the Gobi as the sandstorms pick up? Or watching the coastal cities' factories, roads, port facilities and airports succumb to the sea?

    Below are a couple excerpts from a Guardian piece back in November; they outline with clarity that China is not just kidding around. Like plenty of other countries, facts on the ground have pointed them towards getting real about trying to keep China's own piece of the planet habitable, and so cooperating with the rest of the world.


    When the Kyoto Protocol was negotiated in 1997, China had 21% of the world’s population, but was responsible for only 14% of global CO2 emissions. By 2009, China was producing 26% of the world’s emissions and had begun publicly to articulate a climate policy. Its first public goal was to reduce its carbon intensity by 40% to 45% by 2020, and as the 2015 Paris conference approached, China, then by far the world’s biggest emitter, announced that its emissions would peak by 2030 or earlier. It is a target most experts judge to be well within China’s reach; some believe that the peak could come in the early 2020s.

    Xi Jinping’s administration adopted “ecological civilisation” as its slogan and floated a raft of policies that included the restoration of decimated forests, efforts to reverse desertification, the promotion of electric mobility and eco-friendly urbanisation, as well as important investments in new technologies. Given the state of the air that China’s citizens were breathing, there was unlikely to be any popular opposition to a government that wanted to clean up. On top of that, China’s leadership had a clear understanding of the potential impacts of climate change on China, affecting its food security, exacerbating the threat of extreme weather events, ratcheting up its water crisis, and threatening to drown its most prosperous cities as sea levels rise.
     
  24. cube macrumors G5

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  25. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #25
    Why is the US, a country that is indebted to China, expected to pay into a slush fund for China, the second largest economy in the world, to get their pollution problems in order? I think if they can't breath outside that would be a good enough incentive for them.
     

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