Cli­mate change hyp­ocrites

The Euro­pean and Chi­nese lead­ers who scolded Trump vi­o­lated the last cli­mate treaty

The Washington Times Daily - - COMMENTARY - By Stephen Moore and Ti­mothy Doescher

Maybe the phoni­est and most laugh­able re­ac­tion to Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump pulling out of the Paris Cli­mate Ac­cord was the Euro­pean and Chi­nese lead­ers who blasted Mr. Trump and Amer­ica for “sur­ren­der­ing its world lead­er­ship” role. The sanc­ti­mo­nious lead­ers in Asia and Euro­pean na­tions pledged to move full speed ahead on clean en­ergy with or with­out the United States. Be my guest.

But we’ve been to this movie be­fore. The Eu­ro­peans were all in on the Ky­oto Cli­mate Change deal back in 2001 — an in­ter­na­tional treaty the U.S. rightly re­jected. Euroland

promised a mas­sive shift to green en­ergy and to aban­don fos­sil fu­els to dra­mat­i­cally re­duce their green­house gas emis­sions. But guess what? The green en­ergy rev­o­lu­tion was a bust. None of these coun­tries came close to meet­ing those tar­gets. Now these na­tions, espe­cially Ger­many, are mov­ing away from the saintly clean en­ergy sources.

Why would we be­lieve them when they say they are now solemnly com­mit­ted to a new treaty when they vi­o­lated the last one?

Even more amaz­ing and un­der­re­ported is that the United States — even though we did not make a pledge to re­duce our green­house gases in ac­cord with that treaty — has re­duced our car­bon emis­sions more than the Euro­pean sig­na­to­ries .

Con­trary to the flood of in­sults di­rected at the Trump ad­minin­is­tra­tion, the U.S. is not the bad ac­tor on the world stage on en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion. We are the world leader in en­vi­ron­men­tal stew­ard­ship and our en­ergy use as a share of the econ­omy con­tin­ues to shrink.

An even more pre­pos­ter­ous claim is that China and In­dia — the two largest pol­luters by far — are mov­ing away from fos­sil fu­els and tran­si­tion­ing to wind and so­lar power.

No they are not. Here is what The Wall Street Jour­nal re­ported in a Novem­ber story about China and In­dia “dou­bling down” on fos­sil fuel use: “China’s gov­ern­ment said it would raise coal power ca­pac­ity by as much as 20 per­cent by 2020, en­sur­ing a con­tin­u­ing strong role for the com­mod­ity in the coun­try’s en­ergy sec­tor de­spite a pledge to bring down pol­lu­tion lev­els. In a new five-year plan for elec­tric­ity re­leased Mon­day, the Na­tional En­ergy Ad­min­is­tra­tion said it would raise coal-fired power ca­pac­ity from around 900 gi­gawatts last year to as high as 1,100 gi­gawatts by 2020.”

In April a science in­dus­try news­let­ter head­line read: “Ja­pan, In­dia, and China Still Tur­ing to More Coal Through­out 2020s, Which means More co2 and Pol­lu­tion.” The air qual­ity to­day is filthy in Bei­jing and Shaghai as fac­to­ries belch out black smoke and smog.

Wait. We are go­ing to be lec­tured by these na­tions about sav­ing the planet? This is like tak­ing a les­son in per­sonal hy­giene from Pig­pen (my fa­vorite Peanuts char­ac­ter).

We should have learned by now that with for­eign na­tions, you al­ways have to watch what they do, not lis­ten to what they say. China isn’t in­ter­ested in re­duc­ing pol­lu­tion lev­els. It is hy­per­fo­cused on one goal: gain­ing global dom­i­nance in ev­ery in­dus­try and us­ing the cheap­est and most re­li­able en­ergy sources pos­si­ble to get there. China and Europe want the U.S. to tran­si­tion to more ex­pen­sive en­ergy sources in no small part so they can re­gain the com­pet­i­tive­ness they lost due to green en­rgy poli­cies.

The press is also hav­ing a field day with the story that Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and So­lar City, has re­signed from a Trump eco­nomic ad­vi­sory coun­cil out of protest. But Mr. Musk, ac­cord­ing to the Los Angeles Times, has re­ceived al­most $5 bil­lion in gov­ern­ment sub­si­dies. So­lar City and Tesla are likely out of busi­ness with­out all the tax­payer-funded green hand­outs. Why doesn’t the press re­port that Musk has a multi-bil­lion dol­lar per­sonal stake in global warm­ing.

Amer­ica has at least 200 years of shale gas, which is clean burn­ing, ef­fi­cient, and made in Amer­ica. We have 500 years of coal, and the emis­sions of pol­lu­tants from coal plants have fallen by more than 50 per­cent in re­cent decades. Clean coal is here and rather than shut­down this in­dus­try and put tens of thou­sands more coal min­ers in un­em­ploy­ment lines, we should al­low tech­nol­ogy and in­no­va­tion to make it cleaner still through gasi­fi­ca­tion, car­bon cap­ture, and so on.

Be­cause of stun­ning ad­vances in drilling tech­nolo­gies, the value of Amer­i­can oil, gas and coal re­sources that are cur­rently re­cov­er­able is es­ti­mated at near $50 tril­lion — which is more than dou­ble our na­tional debt. The Paris Cli­mate Ac­cord would re­quire Amer­ica to keep this mas­sive trea­sure chest of re­sources in the ground never to be used. Sadly, Pres­i­dent Barack Obama ne­go­ti­ated a treaty that ac­com­mo­dated the eco­nomic in­ter­ests of our ri­vals and put Amer­ica last. Mr. Trump’s gutsy de­ci­sion puts Amer­ica on the path to be­com­ing the global en­ergy su­per­power in the decades to come and puts Amer­i­can work­ers first.

IL­LUS­TRA­TION BY GREG GROESCH

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