As expected, President Donald Trump announced on Thursday that the United States is withdrawing from the Paris Accord signed by President Obama in 2016.
Since this was an accord and not a treaty ratified by the US Senate, the President exercised his prerogative to reverse what Obama considered one of his signature achievements.
“The United States will withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord,” Trump declared in a lengthy speech in the White House Rose Garden, and will “begin negotiations to reenter either the Paris accord or an entirely new transaction.”
Trump reaffirmed his commitment to putting America first by adding “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.”
So now that the final verdict is in, it is time to ask what the consequences will be. Domestically, it will likely mean more jobs in America, and a revival of the American economy. Many politicians would dispute that, claiming that renewable energy creates jobs, and in fact, that solar power now employs more people than fossil fuel industries in the United States, according to Forbes.
However, that analysis ignores the fact that all those new jobs do not generate more energy. According to the Washington Examiner, for every worker in the coal power industry, seventy-nine workers are required to create the same amount of energy from solar power.
To start, despite a huge workforce of almost 400,000 solar workers (about 20 percent of electric power payrolls in 2016), that sector produced an insignificant share, less than 1 percent, of the electric power generated in the United States last year[.]
In contrast, it took about the same number of natural gas workers (398,235) last year to produce more than one-third of U.S. electric power, or 37 times more electricity than solar’s minuscule share of 0.90 percent. And with only 160,000 coal workers (less than half the number of workers in either solar or gas), that sector produced nearly one-third (almost as much as gas) of U.S. electricity last year.
The great French economist Frédéric Bastiat addressed this economic fallacy in his essay “That which is seen, and that which is not seen” as early as 1850. He showed that you could generate many jobs by breaking windows, but society as a whole would ultimately be poorer. That is why pulling out the Paris Accord will be good for the American economy. It will allow investments to pour into markets where they will do the most good and create the most valuable jobs.
International commentators are speculating that China now will take on a leading role in combating climate change. A more accurate assessment may be that China will benefit financially from the foolhardiness of climate-bamboozled countries.
The East-Asian superpower is today a world leader in exports of solar panels, and most of the demand for such comes from politically engineered treaties such as the Paris Accord. With European leaders doubling down on their climate commitment, the demand for Chinese solar panels will most likely increase. China will likely relish their new role as saviors of the planet while reeling in the big bucks from gullible nations.
Meanwhile, China is scrambling to gain control over hydrocarbon energy resources in the South China Sea to meet the demands of the energy-hungry populace, as recently reported by Liberty Nation. China is building up its industry and technology complex for becoming energy independent and getting the rest of the world to pay for it.
If the Paris Accord is allowed to play out as planned, China and America will stand out as winners. America because they got out of a bad deal in time, and China because they are on the receiving end.
Will the climate frenzy continue with the U.S. on the outside? That remains to be seen, but many nations, especially in Eastern Europe, will not sit idly by and allow themselves to be bogged down in a miasma of damaging climate commitments.
Trump’s climate exit will likely inspire other nations to break rank and follow suit. With America on the outside, we may see a revival of a genuine scientific debate, especially in light of a quantifiable lack of global warming in this entire century. The scientific basis is shaky at best and scandalous at worst, and the Paris Accord pullout may embolden more scientists to publically question the validity of the catastrophic scenarios and the need for climate action.