■ In these insane times, will Proverbs
25:12 provide a dollop of wisdom?
12 Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold
is the rebuke of a wise judge to a listening ear.
Hm. "Like this gold thing, or this other gold thing?"
I'm not impressed with the style. But today's Getty illustration is
definitely a rebuke to a earring-free, but listening, ear.
■ So, you may have heard, because everyone's talking about it,
including the WSJ editorialists: Trump
Bids Paris Adieu. Particularly apt is this aside about
[…C]laims that the U.S. is abdicating global
leadership [are] 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.
So much of the pro-Paris argument relies on the notion that we can
regulate, tax, spend, and (above all) plan our way to
prosperity. That's not the way to bet. And by the time such
arguments would have been revealed to be Obamacare-style lies, it
would have been too late.
■ Oren Cass at City Journal does not regret that We’ll
Never Have Paris.
Even before President Trump had completed his announcement that the United States would withdraw from the Paris Accord on climate change, howls of disbelief and outrage went up from proponents of the agreement. But the critical dynamic underlying the 2015 Accord, willfully ignored by its advocates, is that major developing countries offered “commitments” for emissions reduction that only mirrored their economies’ existing trajectories. Thus, for instance, China committed to reaching peak emissions by 2030—in line with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s prior analysis. India committed to improving its emissions per unit of GDP—at a rate slower than that metric was already improving. President Obama, meanwhile, pledged America to concrete and aggressive emissions cuts that would require genuine and costly change.
Which was why (a) other countries were so eager to sign on; (b)
Obama realized that he could never get this "treaty" ratified by the
■ At Cato, Patrick J. Michaels presents The
Scientific Argument against the Paris Climate Agreement. (Yes,
there is one.)
The Paris Agreement is based upon a fundamental misconception of
climate history and science. The objective is to hold temperatures
to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, and to
“pursue efforts” to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The key misconception is that all of the warming since the
Industrial Revolution — 0.9 degrees Celsius — is a result of human
And much of it, Michaels argues, is not.
■ Keith Hennessey asks: Is
the Paris Agreement QTIIPS?. Which is:
QTIIPS stands for Quantitatively Trivial Impact + Intense Political Symbolism.
As for the first part: the "models" don't predict a substantial
effect from the Paris deal, even if fully implemented. But:
QTIIPS policy changes rest on the assumption that the first step is likely to lead to that theoretical quantitatively significant outcome. Most supporters of the Paris Agreement would privately concede that it is only a modest first step, and would then express hope that it could/will/might/should lead to further progress in the future. Opponents of the agreement would share their fears that this first step could/will/might lead to an eventual outcome they fear.
But this shared assumption, of a first step or slippery slope, could
easily be wrong. If the Paris Agreement were never to have led to a
more significant next step, then a key premise of the fight is
wrong. The intense political symbolism and the fierce battles waged
over both President Obama’s and President Trump’s relatively small
policy moves would then be unsupported by strong policy arguments.
It's an interesting argument.
■ Ron Bailey at Reason has an equally sane take (with graphs,
so it's science): Trump Announces Withdrawal From Paris Climate Deal. What Happens Now?
Make the heroic
assumption that the climate models are right: What should be
done? In an article for Foreign Affairs, the eco-modernists
over at the Breakthrough Institute advocate policies encouraging
the innovation that would make carbon-free energy cheaper than that
provided by burning fossil fuels. This might include, among other
things, the entrepreneurial development of radically
safer and cheaper nuclear power.
My own solution for any problems that might arise from man-made climate change (and for most other challenges faced by humanity) is to adopt policies that boost technological innovation and wealth creation. For details on what that would entail, go here.
Bailey is credible on both science and economics, a rare combination
in the debate.
■ And then there are the naysayers. The Federalist compiles
Over-The-Top Reactions To Trump’s Withdrawal From Paris Climate
Deal. Number one:
Billionaire and faux environmentalist Tom Steyer said withdrawing would be a “traitorous act of war.”
Does the argument get better from there, or worse. You be the judge!
■ Julie Kelly at NR combs over the same ground: The
Left’s Unhinged Freakout over Trump’s Paris Accord Withdrawal.
She has Steyer too, but also:
Celebrities who still haven’t learned that their endorsement of
anyone or anything usually yields the opposite of the intended
effect also weighed in on Trump’s move. Hollywood’s most prolific
climate celeb — the bed-hopping, jet-setting, yacht-cruising Leo
DiCaprio — said he hoped Trump would make the “moral” decision to
stay in Paris, then tweeted shortly after the president’s
announcement that “today, our planet suffered.” Unhinged showgirl
Bette Midler tweeted that Trump’s exit gave “BigOil a windfall” and
that “there has never in US history been such a destructive
megalomaniac in the WH. Thank you to US press and other numbskulls
who put him there.”
Bette Midler also claims
we are entering a despotic
age, but that's not stopping her from appearing in a revival
of Hello, Dolly, to which a ticket will set you back (as I
type) up to $1430. No, I didn't leave out a decimal point. A
despotic age can also be a profitable one.