Saturday, June 03, 2017

We love participation trophies…don’t we?

Who said that history repeats itself? Who remembers this one from the late 1990s:   
In 1997, more than 150 countries came together in Kyoto, Japan, to negotiate a deal to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions driving global warming. Back then, the negotiations centered around developed countries, like the U.S., Japan and Australia with the intention that richer countries would lead the way and create a legally binding treaty with emissions targets and reduction timelines.     
As you may remember, it did not pass the U.S. Senate.   
Kyoto was another example of how difficult it is to pass an international treaty dealing with economic issues.   
For some, climate change is the end of the world and even a religion. For a lot of workers, it’s their job going to China or paying more for electricity. It’s complicated, to say the least.
The Paris Agreement was a lousy deal, as Matt Lewis wrote:   
This was greeted with predictable scorn. Supporters of the Paris climate deal present a false choice. You either (a) believe in the scientific consensus about climate change (in which case, you support Paris), or (b) you are a denier. But they are missing a third option, which is that (c) this is simply a bad deal in terms of the cost-benefit analysis.      Why is it a bad deal? There are no consistent standards for participation. Countries unilaterally decided what voluntary and non-binding commitment they wanted to pledge. The United States will cut emissions 26-28 percent by 2025 — a pledge that is much more rigorous than other nations. “They can do whatever they want for 13 years,” Trump said of China. “Not us.” (Note: Technically, China has obligations that must be fulfilled by 2030.)
The Paris Agreement is nothing more than world leaders playing a silly “participation trophy” game.    
They didn’t have the courage to force China or India to abide by the rules, so they gave each one a trophy for going to Paris. And then President Obama, the ever-ready man of the pen, did not even send it to the U.S. Senate for ratification. Wonder how many of those red-state Democrats would have voted for it?
So the world hates us now? Not really. They are probably delighted that someone had the courage to shut down this deal.  
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