We are all going to die. That was the left’s typically chipper and phlegmatic message following Donald Trump’s rejection of the Paris climate agreement, as Twitter filled with warnings that the earth’s surface is now doomed to superheat and all human life to be baked into onion crisps (if anything, I’m underplaying how hysterical they’ve been). Fareed Zakaria spoke for them all when he intoned: “This could be the day the US resigns as leader of the free world.”
Oh, I don’t know. My carbon footprint is only a size 7 to the globetrotting Zakaria’s 14 wide, so maybe I’m not the best authority on pollution, but the reaction seems a bit overblown to me. The Paris Agreement is non-binding, first of all, and member nations set their own benchmarks, with America’s far more onerous than those of big polluters like China and India. Had we followed through, jobs inevitably would have been lost, wages depressed, all for only 0.2 degrees Celsius less warming by the year 2100, according to the Massachusetts Institute for Technology.
Meanwhile, American greenhouse gas emissions are already falling, by 9 percent between 2005 and 2014, and another 2.2 percent in 2015, courtesy of cleaner natural gas obtained through fracking and Fareed Zakaria remembering not to leave his Gulfstream idling in the driveway. We’re making solid progress on our own without the straitjacket of Paris, thank you very much. But even if that agreement wasn’t going to have a major climatological impact here at home, the potential for a political shakeup is very real, especially for the battered Democratic Party. full story