Donald Trump did the right thing by saying goodbye to the Paris Accord. If nothing else, it will begin an honest debate on climate change science. If truth be told, there has been none. The other aspect is that in long run, we will improve our place in the world. Why? Because, the rest of the developed world will have to make a decision whether to stick to a treaty that will hurt their economy or, instead, to advance their economy. Bet on the latter. As a recent story about the German’s car industry observed, “The German car industry said Europe would need to reassess its environmental standards to remain competitive after the United States said it would withdraw from the Paris climate pact.”
As Powerlineblog’s John Hinderaker noted:
“So Paris will make participating countries’ economies less competitive…. Note that while the Germans are willing to incur inefficiency as long as other countries go along–or at least pretend to go along–if they have to choose between their economy and the purported threat of global climate catastrophe, they will choose their economy. Which means that they don’t believe in the reality of the supposed climate calamity any more than we do.”
The German auto industry know that electricity and energy prices in German exceed the United States. It won’t be long before German industrialists turn against an energy policy that increases energy cost in Germany while competitors in the United States take advantage of cheaper energy.
David French writing for the National Review observed:
“In international relations, power flows through military and economic strength combined with the choice to exert that strength to impose the national will. Leadership is a function of power, and leadership without power isn’t leadership at all. Keep those realities in mind as you read and ponder hyperbolic analyses in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement.”
French’s observation is that this will not complicate building a counter terrorism coalition. He later added America has a bipartisan tradition opposing international climate pacts for the past two decades and the United States still maintain their leadership. During the Clinton’s administration, the Senate rejected the Kyoto Protocol 95-0. Later, George Bush announced the U.S. would dispense of implementing the agreement. As French noted, “America is indispensable to the national security of every single one of its allies.”
French went on:
“as long as America remains in NATO, keeps its treaty obligations elsewhere, and maintains its economic strength, it is and will be the leader of the free world, and the world’s dominant global power. America is indispensable to the national security of every single one of its allies. America is arguably even indispensable to the economy of every single one of its allies.”
Is Germany going to take an international lead outside of Europe. Right now, they can’t even maintain security in Europe without United States backing? Germany can’t project military power beyond Europe and would need to rebuild their defenses. Will China be capable of replacing United States? Not if the Europeans care about morality and human rights. China has played a double game, talking green energy while going full borne on Coal.
David French concluded:
“I’ll believe we’re abdicating our leadership when we’re removing missile-defense batteries from South Korea rather than rushing them into action to meet emerging North Korean threats. Oh, and I’ll believe that Germany is ready to assert itself on the world stage when it more than triples its defense budget, quintuples its fighter force, and builds even one aircraft carrier.”
We suffered a far worse failure in world leadership when the Obama administration pulled out of Iraq leaving ISIS to fill the vacuum. The result: ISIS moved across Iraq and Syria. Obama issued a red line for Syria and did nothing. Now, Russia owns Syria through proxy, as well as half of Ukraine and all of Crimea. How can we forget the Libya disaster which is now a jihadist playground? Meanwhile, Trump may have been critical of NATO in the election but he has reaffirmed our commitment. And, by insisting our allies spend more on defense will only strengthen NATO. Additionally, Trump has not walked away from the Middle East.
Therefore, leaving the Paris Accord will force us to re-examining climate science and economics behind it. This is good. We will find the science is weak and the economics behind climate science will only make us poorer.