For what its worth…
Kerry signs climate agreement with granddaughter
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says the signing of the climate agreement by a record number of countries is a moment for world leaders to recommit to actually win the “war” against carbon emissions. (April 22) AP
Politicians will vaunt U.N. treaty, but its costs far outweigh its meager benefits.
World leaders will disembark from carbon-spewing jets in New York on Earth Day this Friday to sign the Paris climate treaty, the world’s costliest-ever accord.
No doubt, American presidential candidates will use the spectacle to make hay. In line with President Obama, Hillary Clinton believes the treaty is a “historic step forward” against “one of the greatest challenges” of our age, while Bernie Sanders argues it “goes nowhere near far enough.” John Kasich has “serious concerns” the agreement will hurt the American economy; Donald Trump is not a “great believer” in man-made climate change and might ditch the treaty; Ted Cruz says he’d do the same because it was agreed to by “ideologues.”
Amid this political back-and-forth — man-made climate change is not real, or it is the worst threat facing humanity; the treaty is horrendous, or it is great — the facts are easily lost.
The reality is that we need to respond to the real problem of climate change, but this well-intentioned treaty is a hugely expensive way of doing very little.
The Paris accord talks a big game. It doesn’t just commit to capping the global temperature increase at 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The text goes even further and says the world’s leaders commit to keeping the increase “well below 2 degrees Celsius” and will try to cap it at 1.5 degrees Celsius.