Last Thursday, President Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris climate agreement, a multilateral framework to fight global warming in which each country determines its own contributions to decreasing emissions and funding a transition to green energy.
The deal, signed by every country in the world besides Syria and Nicaragua, was a major step forward on the issue of climate change, though withdrawing doesn’t change that. There are several reasons why the Obama-led initiative isn’t a perfect fit to addressing the serious problems we face. While also someone who sees the threat we face from a warming earth, I am a conservative first, and it’s hard to get past the fact the accord was forced onto the American people without approval from the Senate – the multilateral treaty was framed as “an executive agreement” and suddenly anyone else worried about the constitutionality of it all became denier of science or worse.
It’s also important to point out that the Paris Accord itself is non-binding, even the far-left has to give Trump credit for telling the American people his intentions instead of simply not enforcing the agreement while pretending to remain part of it. It takes courage to stand up to the hordes of Washington elites insisting on, at the very least, a continued duplicitous involvement in the agreement. Really, if you accept the far left’s idea that Trump from the outset believes global warming is a hoax, there’s no reason for any new outcry his withdrawal from the accord, it doesn’t really change anything. Besides the loss of some international prestige (a negative affect hopefully countered by a reversal by our current administration of Obama’s disastrous weakening of American international presence), there really isn’t too much to bemoan - for a conservative, there is a lot to appreciate. For one, the recent outpouring of support among governors and mayors as well as CEOs and corporate leaders has been hugely encouraging. I firmly believe the federal government has no ability to fix our problems; this rebirth of dedication among private citizens to fight environmental collapse is, as Trump would say, “huge”.
A huge framework imposed on us by Parisian bureaucrats won’t save the environment, but the combined efforts of business leaders, environmentalists, and consumers might. You don’t fight polluters by banning their practices; you do so by maintaining a country of informed and passionate citizens where market forces push us to new heights. Regardless of Trump’s intentions, his decision might someday lead us to that place.