President Trump fulfilled one of his campaign promises by withdrawing our country from last year’s Paris agreement on phasing out fossil-fuel energy production.
This is pure America First policy-making. The Paris agreement was a big favorite with globalists, in spite of the fact that it wasn’t actually very global.
Sure, all the important countries signed on to it, but not on equal terms. The U.S.A., in the person of Barack Obama, promised to reduce the U.S.A.’s carbon dioxide emissions by at least 26 percent over 15 years; China only promised that their emissions would stop rising by 2030 — having of course risen mightily in the meantime. [U.S., China formally enter climate change deal, CBS, September 3, 2016 ]
The fact that well-nigh every country has signed on to the agreement tells you, all by itself, that nobody much takes it seriously. Only Syria and Nicaragua have not signed. Syria is busy with other issues, and nobody knows or cares where Nicaragua is or what happens to the place, if it even is a place.
When 195 of the world’s countries agree to something, without discord or rancor or the mobilization of troops, you can be sure it’s something of very little consequence to any of them. This is global-scale virtue signalling.
And as is the case with all virtue signalling, the Paris agreement, so far as it has any content at all, is anti-white. It places the heaviest obligations on prosperous, successful developed countries, which means mostly white countries.
(Apologies to the Japanese and Koreans, who, I would guess from some modest acquaintance with them, signed the agreement in a spirit of pure undiluted cynicism. And in case you’re wondering: Yes, North Korea is a signatory to the agreement too — a very telling index of the level of cynicism here.)
Setting aside the degree of sincerity with which the countries of the world have signed up to the Paris agreement, the agreement itself amounts to nothing much.
What, for example, would be the penalties against a country that broke its promises under the Paris Agreement? And who would enforce those penalties? Answers: Nothing and nobody. There is no enforcement mechanism.
In the particular case of the U.S.A., our signature to the agreement anyway has no force, as it’s not a treaty as defined in our Constitution. Article II, Section 2 of that blessed document specifies that the President, quote, “shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur,” end quote. Obama never went through that little formality, so the agreements have no legal force in our country.[ The U.S. can’t quit the Paris climate agreement, because it never actually joined by Eugene Kontorovich, Washington Post, June 2, 2017]
So pretty much anything to do with the Paris agreement is just gestural. Our signing up to it was a gesture; our leaving it is a gesture. Neither act makes any difference to your life or mine.
President Trump’s pulling out of the agreement was at least, though, a gesture in the right direction. As I said, it was a gesture to his America First principle. As he said, quote: “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris,” end quote. The Mayor of Pittsburgh grumbled that his citizens actually voted eighty percent for Mrs. Clinton. [ Mayor Peduto slams Trump for name-dropping Pittsburgh, by Adam Smelts, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 1, 2017] But that’s splitting hairs. President Trump was elected, and the American electorate in its collective wisdom elects a President to represent them all, including those who didn’t vote for the winning candidate.
Given what a nothingburger this all is, the reactions both at home and abroad to Trump’s announcement have been bizarrely disproportionate. Ex-President Obama said Trump had “joined a small handful of nations that reject the future.”[Barack Obama’s statement on Trump’s Paris Agreement withdrawal: Read it in full, Independent, June 1, 2017]
German Chancellorette Angela Merkel paused briefly from handing over her country to Muslim invaders to tell us that Trump, “can’t and won’t stop all those of us who feel obliged to protect the planet.” [EU to bypass Trump administration after Paris climate agreement pullout, Guardian, June 2, 2017] A tabloid newspaper in her nation ran a front-page heading saying: Earth to Trump: [bleep] You!. That headline was of course in German, except for the bleep, which was Anglo-Saxon … or in this case, I guess, just Saxon.
The Chinese Communist Party, as represented by their propaganda outlet Global Times, honked that “the selfishness and irresponsibility of the U.S.A. will be made clear to the world, crippling the country’s world leadership.” [Paris deal tests responsibility of Washington, Global Times (China) June 1, 2017] That is from a gang that has yet to apologize to its own citizens for having murdered thirty million of them. Selfishness and irresponsibility, right.
Liberals, globalists, and white ethnomasochists — what Chinese bloggers derisively call the baizuo, the white left — were hyperventilating fit to burst. Showbiz airheads were of course to the fore. Victoria’s Secret bimbo Candice Swanepoel lamented that: “We are nothing without a healthy planet. Nothing.” [Victoria’s Secret Angel Gets Heated About The Climate Deal, by Ford Springer, SmokeRoom, June 1, 2017 ]
What, you never heard of Ms. Swanepoel? Me neither until this morning. She looks really nice in a spangled bikini.
All the weeping and wailing demonstrates yet again, if it needed demonstrating yet again, that as religion has ebbed from the public life in advanced countries, politics has taken its place. The kind of passions that once fired up Arians and Athanasians, Protestants and Catholics, Premillennials and Postmillennials against each other, have been transferred to the political realm.
Those modules of the human mind that used to fix on the nature of the gods and the best way to appease them are now busy with matters of public policy, bringing to political issues the same excess of heat and deficit of light that religious passions once generated.
In this new schema, Global Warming is a sort of apocalypse or Judgement Day. Repent, you sinners! — the sinners in this case being civilized white folk. Repent!
Where Global Warming is concerned, I continue my refusal to be concerned. If there’s a problem, it’s a gradual one, and we’ll science our way out of it somehow, I’m sure.
That’s we, the civilized nations. Things might get dire for backward regions a few decades on, but things are likely going to get dire for them anyway, with resource depletion and uncontrolled population growth. We need to take care of ourselves, and if necessary practice lifeboat ethics.
The thing that mainly irks me about the Global Warming fuss is, in fact, that it directs our political energies towards things we shouldn’t bother about and away from pressing matters we should bother about, and some of which we can actually change with some straightforward legislation.
I’m thinking mostly of course about
- mass immigration and the demographic transformation of Western countries.
But there are other issues, too, that warrant much more political attention than Global Warming:
- There’s the fiscal problem of countries whose populations are aging;
- there is getting to a rational, cost-effective healthcare system;
- there’s rusting infrastructure;
- there is a swelling pool of citizens made unemployable by advances in automation and Artificial Intelligence.
In the list of things I want my politicians to work on, to come up with solutions for, Global Warming ranks about Number 49.
And then, in among that leading 48, there is
John Derbyshire [email him] writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjects for all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him. ) He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books. He’s had two books published by VDARE.com: FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT (also available in Kindle) and From the Dissident Right II: Essays 2013. His writings are archived at JohnDerbyshire.com.