“…our withdrawal from the agreement represents a reassertion of America’s sovereignty.”
President Donald J. Trump, on his patriotic decision to exit the Paris Climate Accords
I’m no great fan of Donald Trump, but as a big fan of objective argumentation and the inherent right to the pursuit of self-interest, I enthusiastically applauded his speech explaining his decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accords a.k.a. The Big Swindle. Even with Trump’s ad-libbing I thought he laid out the case for withdrawal in an admirably succinct, compelling and persuasive way for anyone who still embraces logic and believes in the right of Americans to look out for their own economic interests. Little did I know how small that group has become.
The following remarks are my selected excerpts from Trump’s June 1st Rose Garden speech announcing the withdrawal. If you didn’t already hear or read the speech, please peruse them so that the absurdity of the Left’s reactions, discussed afterwards, can be appreciated in full context:
The Paris Climate Accord is simply the latest example of Washington entering into an agreement that disadvantages the United States to the exclusive benefit of other countries….
Compliance with the terms of the Paris Accord and the onerous energy restrictions it has placed on the United States could cost America as much as 2.7 million lost jobs by 2025 according to the National Economic Research Associates.
According to this same study, by 2040, compliance with the commitments put into place by the previous administration would cut production for the following sectors: paper down 12 percent; cement down 23 percent; iron and steel down 38 percent; coal … down 86 percent; natural gas down 31 percent. The cost to the economy at this time would be close to $3 trillion in lost GDP and 6.5 million industrial jobs, while households would have $7,000 less income and, in many cases, much worse than that.
…I cannot in good conscience support a deal that punishes the United States … while imposing no meaningful obligations on the world’s leading polluters.
…under the agreement, China … can do whatever they want for 13 years. Not us. India makes its participation contingent on receiving billions…of dollars in foreign aid from developed countries. There are many other examples. But the bottom line is that the Paris Accord is very unfair, at the highest level, to the United States.
…the agreement doesn’t eliminate coal jobs, it just transfers those jobs out of America and the United States, and ships them to foreign countries.
This agreement is less about the climate and more about other countries gaining a financial advantage over the United States. The rest of the world applauded when we signed the Paris Agreement… for the simple reason that it [it puts]… the United States of America…at a very, very big economic disadvantage. A cynic would say the obvious reason for economic competitors and their wish to see us remain in the agreement is so that we continue to suffer this self-inflicted major economic wound. We would find it very hard to compete with other countries from other parts of the world.
We have among the most abundant energy reserves on the planet, sufficient to lift millions of America’s poorest workers out of poverty. Yet, under this agreement, we are effectively putting these reserves under lock and key, taking away the great wealth of our nation … and leaving millions and millions of families trapped in poverty and joblessness.
The agreement is a massive redistribution of United States wealth to other countries.
Even if the Paris Agreement were implemented in full, with total compliance from all nations, it is estimated it would only produce a two-tenths of one degree…Celsius reduction in global temperature by the year 2100. … In fact, 14 days of carbon emissions from China alone would wipe out the gains from America — and … would totally wipe out the gains from America’s expected reductions in the year 2030, after we have had to spend billions and billions of dollars, lost jobs, closed factories, and suffered much higher energy costs for our businesses and for our homes.
As the Wall Street Journal wrote this morning: “The reality is that withdrawing is in America’s economic interest and won’t matter much to the climate.”
We will be environmentally friendly, but we’re not going to put our businesses out of work and we’re not going to lose our jobs. We’re going to grow; we’re going to grow rapidly.
I’m willing to immediately work with Democratic leaders to either negotiate our way back into Paris, under the terms that are fair to the United States and its workers, or to negotiate a new deal that protects our country and its taxpayers.
I will work to ensure that America remains the world’s leader on environmental issues, but under a framework that is fair and where the burdens and responsibilities are equally shared among the many nations all around the world.
No responsible leader can put the workers — and the people — of their country at this debilitating and tremendous disadvantage. The fact that the Paris deal hamstrings the United States, while empowering some of the world’s top polluting countries, should dispel any doubt as to the real reason why foreign lobbyists wish to keep our magnificent country tied up and bound down by this agreement: It’s to give their country an economic edge over the United States.
My job as President is to do everything within my power to give America a level playing field and to create the economic, regulatory and tax structures that make America the most prosperous and productive country on Earth, and with the highest standard of living and the highest standard of environmental protection.
The Paris Agreement handicaps the United States economy in order to win praise from the very foreign capitals and global activists that have long sought to gain wealth at our country’s expense. They don’t put America first. I do, and I always will.
The same nations asking us to stay in the agreement are the countries that have collectively cost America trillions of dollars through tough trade practices and, in many cases, lax contributions to our critical military alliance. You see what’s happening. It’s pretty obvious to those that want to keep an open mind.
I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.
Beyond the severe energy restrictions inflicted by the Paris Accord, it includes yet another scheme to redistribute wealth out of the United States through the so-called Green Climate Fund — nice name — which calls for developed countries to send $100 billion to developing countries all on top of America’s existing and massive foreign aid payments. So we’re going to be paying billions and billions and billions of dollars, and we’re already way ahead of anybody else. Many of the other countries haven’t spent anything, and many of them will never pay one dime.
In 2015, the Green Climate Fund’s executive director reportedly stated that estimated funding needed would increase to $450 billion per year after 2020. And nobody even knows where the money is going to.
America is $20 trillion in debt. Cash-strapped cities cannot hire enough police officers or fix vital infrastructure. Millions of our citizens are out of work. And yet, under the Paris Accord, billions of dollars that ought to be invested right here in America will be sent to the very countries that have taken our factories and our jobs away from us.
Foreign leaders in Europe, Asia, and across the world should not have more to say with respect to the U.S. economy than our own citizens and their elected representatives. Thus, our withdrawal from the agreement represents a reassertion of America’s sovereignty.
Our Constitution is unique among all the nations of the world, and it is my highest obligation and greatest honor to protect it. And I will.
Staying in the agreement could also pose serious obstacles for the United States as we begin the process of unlocking the restrictions on America’s abundant energy reserves, which we have started very strongly. It would once have been unthinkable that an international agreement could prevent the United States from conducting its own domestic economic affairs, but this is the new reality we face if we do not leave the agreement or if we do not negotiate a far better deal.
The risks grow as historically these agreements only tend to become more and more ambitious over time. In other words, the Paris framework is a starting point — as bad as it is — not an end point. And exiting the agreement protects the United States from future intrusions on the United States’ sovereignty and massive future legal liability. Believe me, we have massive legal liability if we stay in.
As President, I have one obligation, and that obligation is to the American people. The Paris Accord would undermine our economy, hamstring our workers, weaken our sovereignty, impose unacceptable legal risks, and put us at a permanent disadvantage to the other countries of the world.
Unless someone can prove that Trump is lying about what’s in the Accord, no sane person could rationally conclude that the Paris Accords were good for America. The definitive proof of this, the nail in the coffin – so to speak, is the fact that it was negotiated by our former Leftist-in-Chief, Barack Hussein Obama, the most anti-American president in this nation’s history.
The NYT’s Maureen Dowd writes,
“We’ve been conditioned by Hollywood to see the president of the United States step up to the lectern to confidently tell us how he will combat the existential threat to the planet — be it aliens, asteroids, tidal waves, volcanoes, killer sharks, killer robots or a 500-billion-ton comet the size of New York City. So it was quite stunning to see the president of the United States step up to the lectern to declare himself the existential threat to the planet.”
Apparently Ms. Dowd has been watching movies as a way of learning about existential threats and presidential heroism. She got goosebumps when Barack Obama was valiantly saving the planet from killer climate change. That’s so special, isn’t it? But seriously, what you’ll note if you read this column by this top-notch, leftwing opinion journalist for the NYT is that she didn’t rebut even a single one of the persuasive points made by Donald Trump. Her great refutation to Trump consisted entirely of name-calling. Is that all you’ve got, Maureen? How pathetic.
From Sasha Abramsky at The Nation:
“Trump Echoed Hitler in His Speech Withdrawing From the Paris Climate Accord”
Oh no, not Hitler!
From Staff Writer Lauren McCauley at Common Dreams (Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community):
“’Destructive Fossil Fuel Puppet’ Trump Ditches Climate Deal with Fact-Free Speech”
But the closest McCauley’s article comes to challenging Trump’s facts was to say that, “Long-debunked fossil fuel industry talking points about lost jobs and economic “suffering” peppered the speech.” No link to this supposedly well-known de-bunking was included with the article, naturally.
Nancy Pelosi claimed Trump was “dishonoring God” by pulling out of the Accord.
Ruh Roh! Apparently not volunteering to be a whipping boy for the rest of the world dishonors God but supporting abortion does not.
Bernie Sanders said, “Despite Trump’s view that he knows more than virtually the entire scientific community, the American people will move forward and do everything we can to combat the planetary crisis of climate change and I wanted you to know that.”
Everything except make any personal sacrifices, as evidenced by the fact that Sanders issued his comments while abroad for promotion of his new book. Apparently “the planetary crisis of climate change” takes a backseat to making money and pursuing political power, but only if you’re a leftist!
Michael Russnow, Contributor to the The Huffington Post, wrote:
“Now That Trump’s Trashed The Paris Climate Accord: Isn’t This Enough To Discuss Changing The Presidential Election System?”
Mr. Russnow gives no rebuttal whatsoever to the arguments Trump made for withdrawing from the Accord, yet he’s using this “outrage” to justify calling for a national referendum on the way we vote. Who says there isn’t a method to the Left’s madness? Not me!
Graham Readfearn of The Guardian wrote:
“Trump’s Paris exit: climate science denial industry has just had its greatest victory”
But Readfearn is yet another leftist who references the “long-debunked” talking points without providing any actual evidence of this famous debunking. What’s worse is that he obsesses about the supposed denial over climate change while ignoring the economic costs, the absence of requirements for major polluters like China and India, and that tiny, best-case reward for Americans’ great sacrifice.
The leftists have made it clear that they have no intention of ever engaging in a rational debate on the many reasonable arguments Trump outlined for his decision to pull out of Paris. Arguments which, by the way, are not Trump’s invention but are those that respected scientists, economists and other concerned Americans have been putting forth all along, only to be silenced by the Left. Rather than engage in honest debate the Left has chosen to follow the lead of Barack Obama who arrogantly declared many times, “The debate is over.” Our response to that declaration was the election of Donald Trump.
I would love nothing more than to sneer that now it’s our turn to say, “The debate is over;” but the truth is that with Donald Trump holding a televised address in the White House Rose Garden to explain to Americans, point by point, why the Paris Accords were a bad deal for this country, the debate has finally just begun. And for that I thank our president.