OPINION: Misguided Science Underlies Paris Climate Agreement
By Tim Ball and Tom Harris
On June 1, President Donald Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the United Nations Paris Agreement on climate change. He correctly identified it as a very bad deal for America.
In July 1997, the U.S. Senate reached a similar conclusion about the U.N. climate change policy-making process in general. Senators from across the aisle unanimously endorsed the Byrd/Hagel resolution, which stated that America should not be a signatory to “any protocol to, or other agreement regarding, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change [UNFCCC]…that would result in serious harm to the economy of the United States” and did not include emission reductions for developing countries that were similar to those imposed on the U.S.
This is why the Clinton administration never submitted the Kyoto Protocol, which is based on the UNFCCC, to the Senate for ratification. It is also why former President Barack Obama approved the Paris Agreement, which also rests on the UNFCCC, as an “executive agreement” instead of submitting it for Senate approval as required by the Constitution for international treaties. He knew that the Senate would reject Paris as not in America’s best interests.
The Paris Agreement is not just bad for the U.S. According to Australian author and climate analyst Iain Aitken,
“To achieve the goal agreed in Paris of a maximum 20C increase in global temperatures above pre-industrial levels has been estimated to have a global cost of $17 trillion by 2040 (about 800 times more than was spent on all the Apollo missions to the moon) – and it would require carbon dioxide reductions about 100 times greater than those pledged in Paris.”
So, even if the man-made climate change problem were real, the actions specified by the Paris Agreement would solve nothing. And since the climate alarm is not based on sound science, no treaty based on the UNFCCC makes any sense. Kyoto, Paris, Copenhagen, Durban, Cancun, Warsaw, and all the other U.N. climate deals are merely political solutions to a non-existent problem without scientific justification.
Yet the Washington Post-ABC News poll conducted last month showed that a majority of Americans opposed the President’s decision to pull out of Paris. This is largely because most people are unable to differentiate between climate change propaganda, as promoted by the U.N. and activists such as Al Gore, and climate change science conducted by independent researchers.
Even pollsters who apparently support the climate scare recognize that public knowledge about climate change is poor. For example, in their biased 2010 study “Americans’ Knowledge of Climate Change,” investigators from the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication created a multiple-choice test to examine, “what Americans understand about how the climate system works, and the causes, impacts, and potential solutions to global warming.” They concluded, “In this assessment, only 8 percent of Americans have knowledge equivalent to an A or B, 40 percent would receive a C or D, and 52 percent would get an F.”
The focus therefore must be on educating the public about the realities of climate science. This is especially important now since Trump is talking about the possibility of the U.S. agreeing to a new version of the Paris Agreement, but one “on better terms, fairer terms.” There is no need for a deal at all since there never was a problem in the first place.
On June 30, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt announced that he is launching a program to critique climate change science. He will apparently bring in experts from both sides of the debate in order to determine the actual state of the science, something the EPA should have done long before saddling industry with expensive climate change regulations. Global warming campaigners will do everything in their power to block Pruitt’s review since it will demonstrate that, rather than being settled in favor of climate alarm as eco-activists claim, the science is still immature.
Those who created the global warming scare knew that 85% of the public would not understand the science and the remaining 15% would not question it. Pruitt must therefore use his evaluation to help the public understand what is, and what is not, known about climate change science.
He must also promote the concept that “being a skeptic… is quite alright,” as Energy Secretary Rick Perry said last month. Indeed, science requires unfettered skepticism to advance. But the climate scare is more like an extreme religion than science at this point. And, when people start questioning such extreme belief systems, they rapidly lose the blind faith essential to the religion’s survival.
Handled effectively, the EPA science evaluation should lead many in the public to ask their representatives, “Why are you supporting the expenditure of billions of tax dollars on such an uncertain cause when funds are desperately needed to address society’s real, well understood issues?”
Aside from ignorance, or cowardice in the face of political correctness, politicians will have no answer. The climate scare, the biggest deception in history, will then be over.
Tim Ball is an environmental consultant and former climatology professor at the University of Winnipeg in Manitoba. Tom Harris is executive director of the Ottawa, Canada-based International Climate Science Coalition.