President Trump has pledged to cancel U.S. participation in the United Nations climate agreement signed last year by President Obama in Paris. However, various media sources are reporting that the president has backed off of this campaign commitment due to lobbying from daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner, who reportedly support the UN Paris Agreement. Also in the global-warming alarmist camp, apparently, is Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
There are many compelling arguments for President Trump to make good on this signature campaign promise, notwithstanding the dissidents within his family and his cabinet. Cost alone provides sufficient reason to deep-six the agreement, without even going into the incredible liberty-destroying regulatory shackles it proposes for the entire planet. The price tag associated with the global carbon-regulating regime envisioned in the document is nothing short of mind-boggling. How much would it cost? According to Danish environmentalist/statistician Bjørn Lomborg, the cumulative price tag for the UN Paris Climate Agreement, by the end of the century, would be an astronomical $100 trillion!
“Much has been made of the Paris Climate Agreement signed by the leaders of 178 countries in 2016,” states Dr. Lomborg, president of the Copenhagen Consensus Center in Denmark in a recent video for the Prager University website (see below). When Gina McCarthy, President Obama’s head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, testified before the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, noted Lomborg, she said the Paris Agreement was an “incredible achievement.”
“But,” says Lomborg, “when pressed by committee members to explain exactly how much this treaty would reduce global temperatures, she would not — or could not — say. This combination of grand pronouncements and vague specifics is a good strategy for Paris Agreement fans to take. Because the agreement will cost a fortune, but do little to reduce global warming."
How big a fortune and how little a reduction? According to Dr. Lomborg’s calculations, using the UN’s own figures, the cost will be $1 to $2 trillion per year, for an inconsequential reduction measured in tenths to hundredths of a degree Fahrenheit over the entire century!
Here are some specifics from his commentary:
Consider the Obama administration’s signature climate policy, the Clean Power Plan. Using the same climate prediction model that the UN uses, I found that the power plan will accomplish almost nothing. Even if its cuts to carbon dioxide emissions are fully implemented — not just for the 14 years that the Paris Agreement lasts, but for the rest of the century — the Clean Power Plan would reduce the temperature increase in 2100 by just 0.023 degrees Fahrenheit. The President has made further, and grander, promises of future U.S. carbon cuts, but these are only vaguely outlined. In the unlikely event that all of these extra cuts also happen, and are adhered to throughout the rest of the century, the combined reduction in temperatures would be 0.057 degrees. To put it another way, if the U.S. delivers for the whole century on the President’s very ambitious rhetoric, it would postpone global warming by about eight months at the end of the century.
However, the Paris Agreement, remember, is a global compact. What happens to the calculations if we add in the promised CO2 cuts of the rest of the world’s countries? “If we generously assume that the promised carbon cuts for 2030 are not only met (which itself would be a UN first), but sustained, throughout the rest of the century,” says the provocative Dane, “temperatures in 2100 would drop by 0.3 degrees — the equivalent of postponing warming by less than four years. Again, that’s using the UN’s own climate prediction model.”
But here’s the biggest problem: These miniscule benefits do not come free; quite the contrary. The cost of the Paris climate pact is likely to run to 1 to 2 trillion dollars every year, based on estimates produced by the Stanford Energy Modeling Forum and the Asia Modeling Exercise, Free Courses for Free Minds.com. In other words, we will spend at least one hundred trillion dollars in order to reduce the temperature, by the end of the century, by a grand total of three tenths of one degree.
Three tenths of one degree — for a hundred trillion dollars. Not exactly a bargain, unless that is, you’re Al Gore or one of the other green vultures planning to make billions off of trading carbon credits and investing in government-sponsored-and-subsidized “green energy” schemes (see here and here).
The official U.S. national debt is already a staggering $20 trillion. However, as we reported recently, Boston University accounting professor Lawrence Kotlikoff warns that the real national debt (including unfunded liabilities) is in the $200 trillion range. Which brings to mind the old adage, “If you find yourself in a hole you can’t get out of … stop digging!”
President Trump and the U.S. Congress should be urged to dump the UN Paris Agreement immediately, and to stop U.S. participation in (and funding of) the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).