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Trump Bids Paris Adieu!

June 2, 2017

Climate Change Weekly #251

In a much anticipated decision, saying it was a bad deal for America, President Donald Trump announced the United States was withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement 195 countries negotiated in December 2015.

At a June 1 a press conference held in the Rose Garden at the White House, Trump kept his campaign promise to withdraw from the Paris agreement, which required the U.S. to cut its carbon dioxide emissions 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025 and to provide billions of dollars in funding to a “Green Climate Fund” administered by the United Nations.

Numerous studies show meeting the carbon dioxide targets imposed on the United States under the Paris agreement would force the premature closure of many of the least expensive power plants nationwide. For instance, a study by NERA Economic Consulting cited by Trump estimated that if the United States met its carbon emission reduction obligations under the Paris climate agreement, it would cost the U.S. economy nearly $3 trillion, and the United States would lose 6.5 million industrial jobs by 2040, including 3.1 million in the manufacturing sector.

Trump also justified his decision by saying the Paris agreement allows major economic or geopolitical competitors like China, India, and Russia, among the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitters, to continue growing their emissions, making their economies comparatively more attractive to investment than the United States. In contrast, the United States, which has already used technical innovation to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 12 percent since 2006, more than any other country, would have to continue cutting emissions.

Trump also noted the treaty would do little to prevent future warming. Talking points provided by the Trump administration after the press conference cited an MIT study showing if all member nations met their obligations, it would reduce global temperature rise by less than .2 degrees Celsius in 2100. The U.N. Environment Programme also found the treaty would have a negligible impact on climate change, with a 2016 report by it showing, even if all the parties to the agreement meet their promised emissions targets, the Paris agreement will result in less than half the greenhouse gas cuts required to halt temperatures at an upper limit of 2°C.

Craig Idso, founder and chairman of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, lauded Trump for showing bold leadership by withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement, stating, “President Trump stands alone on the world stage as the only true global leader willing to call a spade a spade. The Paris Climate Accord was less about saving the planet as it was about transferring wealth and ceding governing control from the U.S. to other nations of the world.”

Joseph Bast, president of The Heartland Institute, praised Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement in a press release saying, “President Trump made exactly the right call by deciding to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Treaty. Staying in would make it impossible to implement his America First Energy Plan and result in U.S. taxpayers and consumers paying hundreds of billions of dollars in higher taxes and higher energy costs solely for the benefit of crony capitalists in the ‘renewable’ energy industry and Third World dictators. … Staying in would not benefit the global environment one whit, but instead, by impoverishing millions of people, would have exactly the opposite effect,” Bast said.

Tom Harris, executive director of the International Climate Science Coalition, said he hopes Trump’s decision to pull out of Paris has a ripple effect.

“Now the U.S. has withdrawn from the Paris climate agreement, I hope countries like my own homeland, Canada, follow America’s lead and put their citizens’ well-being ahead of the desires of anti-fossil fuel activists and big government bureaucrats.”

President Trump is a breath of fresh air in the White House, a president whose primary mission is to promote the interests of America as a country, and the aspirations of the American people as individuals. Trump rightly recognized the Paris Climate Agreement did nothing to promote a better environment and that hampering domestic fossil fuel use and production is a recipe for economic decline. Good riddance to a bad treaty!

— H. Sterling Burnett

SOURCES: Politico and The Heartland Institute


IN THIS ISSUE …

No proof yet humans are driving rising sea levels Climate models wrong about sea ice trendsClimate change not driving conflictGov. Energy efficiency programs reduce welfare


NO PROOF YET HUMANS ARE DRIVING RISING SEA LEVELS

A number of papers published in 2016 that received almost no notice in the mainstream media indicate the present rate of sea level rise is neither unusual nor clearly due to human action. In an article on No Tricks Zone summarizing a number of recent articles on climate change and rising sea levels, Keven Richards writes, “[D]ue to the inherently large contribution of natural oscillatory influences on sea level fluctuation ... [s]cientists who have recently attempted to detect an anthropogenic signal in regional sea level rise trends have had to admit that there is ‘no observable sea-level effect of anthropogenic global warming.’”

The authors of one paper presented at the 2016 European Geosciences Union General Assembly (EGU 2016) found, “recent sea level trends in the tropical Pacific ‘are still within the range of long-term internal decadal variability. Further, such variability strengthens in response to enhanced greenhouse gas concentrations, which may further hinder detection of anthropogenic climate signals in that region.’” A second paper presented at EGU 2016 examined the contributions to rising sea levels from 18 major glacier regions, the Greenland ice sheet, and ocean circulation patterns finding, “superimposed on any anthropogenic trend there are also considerable decadal to centennial signals linked to intrinsic natural variability in the climate system. ... [B]eside the anthropogenic signature a non-negligible fraction of the observed 20th sea level rise still represents a response to pre-industrial natural climate variations such as the Little Ice Age.” A paper in The Journal of Coastal Research examined sea level patterns from the eastern North Sea to the central Baltic Sea from 1849 through 2009 finding “… there is (yet) no observable sea-level effect of anthropogenic global warming in the world’s best recorded region.”

SOURCE: CNS News and No Tricks Zone


CLIMATE MODELS WRONG ABOUT SEA ICE TRENDS

The May 2017 Journal of Climate, published by the American Meteorological Society, shows climate model projections of sea ice trends in both the Arctic and Antarctica badly miss the mark. The vast majority of climate models indicate sea ice levels should be declining steadily but moderately in both the Arctic and Antarctica. The reality is, however, sea ice has dramatically receded in the Arctic while it is growing in Antarctica. The very few model simulations projecting a rapid sea ice decline in the Arctic -- that is every model run accurately tracking the observed trend -- indicates the planet should have warmed much more than it has. And the few model simulations projecting sea ice expansion in Antarctica show less warming than actually measured. None of the model simulations capture the asymmetric sea ice trends in Antarctica and the Arctic. Because the models are inconsistent with observed trends, the only logical conclusion is they are missing fundamental factors which drive sea ice trends, with natural internal climate variability, not human greenhouse gas emissions, driving sea ice expansions and declines.

SOURCES: Journal of Climate (Behind Paywall)


CLIMATE CHANGE NOT DRIVING CONFLICT

Professor Clionadh Raleigh, from the University of Sussex, recently gave a presentation at the Oxford Martin School, at the University of Oxford, in its lecture series “The Nature of Conflict,” in which she showed the alleged link between human-caused climate change and conflict, especially in the Middle-East and sub-Saharan Africa, was not just non-existent, but was, in many instances, absurd. Raleigh noted, “There is a cottage industry that has emerged to promote [the climate conflict relationship] and others very similar to it, and those people and institutions …will find evidence or will ... I hesitate to use the word ‘manipulate’ ... they will provide evidence as they see fit. There’s plenty of evidence that many of these presumed relationships are nonsense ....”

For example, Raleigh points out, while raiding is a common practice among pastoralists as a form of wealth accumulation, contrary to climate alarmists’ assertions, pastoralists or herders in sub-Saharan Africa rarely raid other herders’ livestock or farms during drought because there would not be enough grass or fodder to feed them. Rather, raids increase before the rainy season.

Western researchers had previously used broad “metastudies, to look at very, very general patterns to explain very local phenomena ... the presumed relationship that has been forwarded in the literature and I think that many in the West pick up on tends to depoliticize the conflicts that occur within developing countries. It acts as if conflicts occur for natural reasons: people will naturally become violent under conditions of adverse weather conditions and nothing could be further from the truth. Cooperation is far more likely in difficult conditions ... those that are highly vulnerable to climate change. But cooperation doesn't make headline news.” In fact, conflicts are driven almost exclusively by local, non-climate-related political or social conditions.

SOURCES: Climate Skepticism (video) and Global Warming Policy Foundation


GOV. ENERGY EFFICIENCY PROGRAMS REDUCE WELFARE

A recent study by economists from New York University and the University of Chicago found the cost of two of former President Barack Obama’s energy efficiency programs, part of his efforts to fight climate change, vastly exceeded the value of the energy savings and the environmental benefits. Researchers compared 100,000 households in Wisconsin from June 2012 to February 2013, who were offered two federally-funded residential energy efficiency programs: one subsidized home energy audits educating homeowners about steps they could take to improve efficiency, and a second subsidized recommended energy efficiency projects. The researchers found computer models projected the subsidies provided to homeowners would save far more money than they actually realized. Audit subsidies did encourage homeowners to undergo energy audits. However, of the homeowners who underwent an audit, many ultimately decided not to adopt the recommended efficiency upgrades, largely based on “non-monetary factors such as hassle costs, aesthetics, and environmental concerns.” Even when homeowners went through both programs, they only realized 58 percent of the savings predicted by computer models, and had higher upfront costs than predicted. As a result, the combined programs only produced $0.20 in environmental benefits per dollar of subsidy. When all the benefits and costs of the program had been calculated, the auditing program had a minus-four percent (or negative) rate of return.

SOURCES: E2E Project

Author
H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D. is a Heartland senior fellow on environmental policy and the managing editor of Environment & Climate News.
hsburnett@heartland.org