Who needs the Paris agreement, we’ve got God

Vox’s Jim Tankersly on the “moral disagrace” of quitting the Paris Climate agreement:

No laid-off coal miners will get their jobs back if President Trump pulls the United States from the Paris accord on climate change. No extra oil rigs will sprout in the Gulf. There is no employment upside to an “America First” retreat from global leadership on one of the few issues that can accurately be described as a potentially existential threat to humankind.

There is only the profound immorality of abdication — of gleefully passing a mounting problem on to our children, and on to the poor…

Trump tweeted on Wednesday that he will announce a decision soon; when he makes it, he will almost certainly cast the departure in terms of job growth, particularly for the coal industry.

There is no evidence, though, to suggest the Paris deal is holding back coal or any other industry in America today. Trump’s position amounts to nothing more than a dollop of false hope for downtrodden coal communities, in exchange for a ton of additional risk heaped on everyone, particularly the poorest people in the world.

As more carbon accumulates in the atmosphere, and global average temperatures continue to rise, the odds of calamitous future environmental outcomes increase. Swamped cities, scorched crops, pandemics — nothing you would wish upon your children, or anyone else’s…

“It is a decision made for domestic political purposes that puts the livelihood and lives of millions of people in developing countries at risk,” says Trevor Houser, a former climate negotiator for President Barack Obama who is now a partner with the Rhodium Group. “This is a craven, symbolic political move without any direct benefits for the constituents he’s targeting.” [emphases mine]

Yep.  Ugh.  Of course, this is not Trump being Trump.  This is Trump being the leader of a head-in-the-sand, anti-science, pro fossil fuel at all costs, political party.  This is today’s Republican party, not some Trump idiosyncrasy.  Not just some no-name Republican state legislators, but real live members of the United States Congress are laughably backwards and ignorant on this issue.  To wit:

Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.) told a constituent last week that God can solve the problem of climate change if the global phenomenon truly exists.

The 66-year-old Republican, who is a climate change skeptic, made the remark at a town hall in Coldwater, Michigan, on Friday.

“I believe there’s climate change,” Walberg said, according to a video of the exchange obtained by HuffPost. “I believe there’s been climate change since the beginning of time. I believe there are cycles. Do I think man has some impact? Yeah, of course. Can man change the entire universe? No.”

“Why do I believe that?” he went on. “Well, as a Christian, I believe that there is a creator in God who is much bigger than us. And I’m confident that, if there’s a real problem, he can take care of it.”

Of course, not just bad science, really bad theology.  Would be nice if God took care of all natural events that presented a major threat to human life.  Pretty sure we’ve got some evidence that’s not the case.

But, hey, it’s only the planet we all share and depend upon for our literal lives.


About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

13 Responses to Who needs the Paris agreement, we’ve got God

  1. jeffbc94 says:

    Dont know if this is the first time you’ve pulled a Jim Tankersley column for comment, but Jen and I are good friends with him! He was married to one of Jen’s best friends from college, and we’ve been following his work since his days at the Toledo Blade!

  2. rgbact says:

    Sadly, typical low info, sneering, anti-Christian stuff you get from the Left on climate. Thats our politics these days. Play to the cheap seats.Shouldn’t be surprised that science debates are a complete joke. I was loving the MSM having real science types like Donny Deutch and Van Jones offering commentary.

    I’m not sure of the actual impact. If China still stays in….it’ll probably have little impact besides saving us a tidy sum in payoffs.

    • Steve Greene says:

      Hmmm. I’m not anti-Christian in the least. Just anti stupid-Christian using their idiotic views as guide to public policy.

      • rgbact says:

        Maybe the writer is. Anyway. so many lefties think mocking the dumbest Republican in the room makes for a great science argument. Its led to an abysmal climate debate overall. I’m amazed how few liberals debate the climate issue. Anyway, very little content in the articles posted.

      • Steve Greene says:

        Debate?! What’s to debate?! Should we debate about Moore’s Law, like we know anything about computer chips? Should we debate quantum gravity of string theory, as if we were physicists? Then why debate climate science as if we were climate scientists. Are there any other areas of scientific consensus you look to debate?

      • rgbact says:

        Whats to debate? What exactly is your vision of what online discourse on climate issues should be? A liberal writing stuff and the rest of us nodding and proclaiming what sweet sweet science it is? Please share that vision….since evidently debate isn’t included in it.

        Anyway. its just an observation that climate discussions on the internet are incredibly lame. I’m shocked at how little attention they get from liberals. My suspicion is the “the debate is over” mentality of many has much to do with this. Just a thought.

      • Steve Greene says:

        The *science* debate is over!! Stop pretending otherwise– that’s the damn problem.

      • rgbact says:

        I understand you don’t want to debate…..I’m just saying that I believe this whole attitude has hurt the claim movement in many ways. If theres nothing to debate…then why talk about it. And if you’re not talking about it, it gets hard to energize people and educate them. Again. this is just my perspective as someone who notices so little interest in the issue on the forums I read and wonders why.

        And you didn’t answer my question about what is a proper role for a conservative in climate discussions if its not to debate anything a liberal says?

      • Steve Greene says:

        The debate should be about what are the most appropriate political actions *given the scientific consensus on the human-caused warming planet.* It’s ridiculous that only in America is their this crazy idea we should debate the scientific consensus.

      • rgbact says:

        We recently went 18 straight years with no warming….sorry, I think that deserves debate and explanation along with all the other predictions that have failed.

        As for taking action. we should be talking about all the failures in “green” countries like Germany and Japan rather than getting hysterical over meaningless agreements that few abide by.

      • Mika says:

        I almost started debating that 18 years thingy but then I realized that it really doesn’t deserve a debate and that also you know that, don’t you. You’re smart enough.

    • Jeremy Tarone says:

      You haven’t debated anything. All you’ve done is whine, deny and show us exactly what actual sneering looks like. As for “the dumbest Republican in the room”, that sets the bar pretty low. Vapid excuses and anti science is rampant in the Republican party, especially in those elected to office.
      It’s not anti-Christian to point out vapid and stupid ideas that some people and groups of people hold. Especially when those stupid ideas go directly against observed history.

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