Andy McCarthy says it’s time to return to constitutional government.
What a concept.
[Update a few minutes later]
I hadn’t realized that Nixon had signed that abominable “Treaty on Treaties”:
President Trump is taking a significant step in removing the United States from the Paris agreement. But the step should not be significant, or politically fraught, at all. President Obama’s eleventh-hour consent to the agreement’s terms should have been nothing more consequential than symbolic pom-pom waving at his fellow climate alarmists. It should have had no legal ramifications.
Think, moreover, of how badly the treaty on treaties betrays our constitutional system, which is based on representative government that is accountable to the people. The Constitution’s treaty process is designed to be a presumption against international entanglements. Unless two-thirds of senators are convinced than an agreement between or among countries is truly in the national interests of the United States — not of some “progressive” conception of global stability, but of our people’s interests — the agreement will not be ratified, and therefore should be deemed null and void.
He was a terrible president, though not as bad as Humphrey or McGovern would have been.
The outrage over Trump’s decision to withdraw is like Groundhog Day.
Why the Paris Agreement is useless, in one graph.
Trump blocks the first of Obama’s three authoritarianisms. It’s going to be a lot harder to undo the Iran disaster.
[Update a few minutes later]
The sound and fury of Trump’s Paris pull out:
this wasn’t about measurable change, it was about optics, pure and simple.
Domestically, Trump just fulfilled a campaign promise and mollified many in his base who might have been concerned about his steadfast commitment to scuttling ‘globalist’ international treaties. He stuck it to the Left, and simultaneously dismantled the last important piece of Obama’s green legacy. (At this point, President Obama has precious few lasting environmental policy successes to point to from his time in office. That’s an inherent problem with governing by the executive action, as Obama chose to do. Of course, there’s a bright side to that fact for greens: Trump is also unlikely to make a large impact on environmental policy through Congress, so his legacy on that front should have a similarly short shelf life.)
Internationally, Trump has flipped the bird to world. Developing countries will be gnashing their teeth at the thought of America backing out its financial commitments. Don’t be surprised to see a kind of domino effect, with leaders in the developing world jumping ship now that the cash flow promised them through the GCF could be drying up. As for the richer countries, they will see it as something akin to green treason.
China may try to exploit the opening, and talk a big game about joining the EU in taking on a climate leadership role. If this comes to pass, understand that it will be nothing more than posturing. China is far and away the global leader in greenhouse gas emissions, and for all of the EU’s stern tone and finger wagging on climate change, the bloc’s latest data show that its emissions actually increased 0.5 percent in 2015. Contrast that with the United States, which saw emissions drop a whopping 3 percent last year as a result of the continuing (shale-enabled) transition from coal to natural gas.
And that gets us to the heart of the issue. One’s opinion of the new climate course Trump just charted for America will ultimately depend on how much faith one puts in climate diplomacy as the holy grail for addressing climate change. The truth is, climate diplomacy has always been about preening, posturing, and moralizing—about optics above all else. What happened today was also all about optics (intentionally so) and that’s why greens committed to finding “diplomatic” solutions are pulling their hair out today.
But let’s not forget that Paris was a next-to-worthless agreement, and U.S. climate policy is going to look very much the same without it as it would have if Trump had announced a decision to stick to the deal. America’s real climate impacts will be determined by how quickly we can transition to a more energy efficient information economy and, more importantly, by our ability to develop and adopt new technologies (the pairing of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal well drilling being the most important example of the past decade). Paris had nothing to do with any of that.
Sound and fury, signifying nothing.