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Global Warming is real, and Trump just did the right thing

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Paris accord was too little, but now we have to replace it with better.

President Trump has exited the Paris Climate Accord. He explained his decision in a speech at the White House Rose Garden. According to the president, the agreement is unfair, expensive, and offers only a marginal benefit. He has offered to renegotiate the treaty, but other nations have already rejected the offer.

President Trump announcing the U.S. has left the Paris Climate Accord.

President Trump announcing the U.S. has left the Paris Climate Accord.

LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) -- President Trump has exited the Paris Climate Accord, citing the agreement's expense in both money and jobs, it's lack of fairness towards the United States and its marginal benefit.

Immediately following the speech, I was asked my opinion on the decision, as a staunch believer in anthropogenic global warming.

There appear to be two camps following the speech. The first supports the exit for the reasons listed above, or out of simple allegiance to the president. The second camp is entirely opposed to the decision on the basis that global warming is bad, and we need to participate in the fight against it. Many in the latter camp are never pleased with any decision the president makes. Opinions in the office tend to coincide with party affiliation. Neither opinion appears particularly reasonable since they are predicated by ideology, not facts.

The logical position can be established by verifying President Trump's critical claims about the Paris Climate Accord. According to the president, the agreement does the following:

-    Is excessively anti-American
-    Asks the U.S. to reduce emissions
-    Permits China and India to continue growing their emissions
-    Costs the USA billions while other nations pay little
-    Will cost the USA jobs
-    Will prevent the U.S. energy supply from meeting demands, leading to shortages
-    Will at best provide only a .2 degree Celsius benefit by 2100

As a consolation, President Trump is offering to renegotiate the agreement. That offer has been widely rejected.

Fact checking the agreement, I visited the standard fact checking sites. I immediately found that most sites are critical of the president's claims. However, many such sites are also accused of bias. To balance the equation, I visited more conservative coverage of the agreement and read what they had to say.

While the specific claims listed above require a particular interpretation to be considered factual, there is a basis for most of them.

Perhaps the best argument in favor of Trump's decision came from the Journal Nature, in which Australian scholar, Luke Kemp, explained the Paris Agreement simply accomplishes too little at too great an expense
. Kemp also affirmed that the best case scenario is a marginal benefit of only .2 degrees Celsius.

Exit from the agreement means more can be accomplished later in the form of a more robust agreement.

Each person will make their own conclusion. In general, those on the left of the debate will say that Trump's speech was full of inaccuracies. Meanwhile, on the right proponents will argue the agreement is bad for the United States and offers a dubious benefit at great expense.

Last year, Americans knowingly elected a maverick for a president. He did not win the popular vote, the system being what it is, but enough citizens voted for him that he is now president. A chief motivation was his independent streak. President Trump made clear from day one he would review, judge, and forge new agreements on terms that are favorable to the country. He repeated this throughout his campaign, and he is keeping his promise.

Many Americans feel they have sacrificed much on the altar of globalism and cooperation. A nationalistic sentiment has spread in America. Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton's chief rival also tapped into this nationalist sentiment, although he came from the left.

The world cannot be surprised about this. Since the 1990s, many Americans feel the United States has suffered decline due to globalism, automation, and overseas outsourcing. Those feelings have culminated in a wave of nationalism that makes the United States less cooperative on the world stage.

Where President Obama would have been happy to make sweeping concessions to the world on carbon emissions, President Trump will not stand for it unless the compensation to the U.S. justifies it. In other words, if you want something from the United States, the era of American charity has ended, you will have to trade or buy what you want.

The exit from the Paris Accord is an opportunity. Not every agreement to cut emissions is good. For example, a plan to reduce carbon emissions that negatively impacts the poor in the developing world would be unacceptable. We have to bear in mind we want to save the planet, but not at the expense of human rights and the people who live on it.

Fortunately, a solution that preserves human dignity provides economic opportunities to people and nations and reduces carbon emissions is possible. It seems the Paris Accord wasn't that solution, and if that is the case, then it's scrapping is good news. But its sacrifice must not be in vain. Following the decision to leave the accord, we should work to develop a better plan.

Let the two sides debate in the media, but as for the scientists and the policymakers, it's time to get back to work. A mutually beneficial agreement is possible, of only we can get past ideology and start working together in a spirit of cooperation and mutual respect. This is the only possible way forward.


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