Trump pulls out of Paris Accord on ‘America First’ grounds

In an afternoon Rose Garden speech, President Trump announced that the US is pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord for strategically defensible reasons: because it is a bad deal for America.  He left unchallenged the premise of carbon dioxide as a pollutant, and accepted the projections of the models, noting that only two tenths of one percent of a degree in temperature increase would be prevented by the huge sacrifice of money, jobs, and growth. Playing the role of a master dealmaker, he offered to renegotiate Paris or come up with a different agreement among nations, but only if it is “fair” for America.

Photo: AP

Even though I think the climate scare is a fraud and that the models have failed so far, Trump is smart to limit his challenge to his duty to protect the national interest. That leaves the counterargument on grounds that have limited appeal to the general population. Shipping billions of dollars to countries that have stolen our factories, as Trump put it in his speech, is hard to defend. Perhaps the highlight of the speech was the point where he said that the Paris Accord merely ships American jobs in coal generation overseas, since American coal plants would have to be shut, while China and India will be able to build hundreds of new coal-fired power plants. He had earlier mentioned that 80-some percent of coal jobs would have disappeared under the Paris Accord.

President Trump has now put the warmists in a corner, where they must argue that we should make a noble sacrifice, and that otherwise we will lose millions of jobs in the new alternative energy business. That those jobs come at the price of huge subsidies is never mentioned.

Let Elon Musk resign from the two panels he sits on in protest. He should worry more about how long the subsidies his various ventures receive from the federal government will continue.

I still hope that after the dust settles, President Trump will appoint a commission to study climate science and the various claims commonly made, such as the overwhelming consensus. The commission could hold hearings and call witnesses, including Michael Mann, father of the hockey stick.

But in the meantime, Trump has accomplished what he promised, and done so on defensible grounds.

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