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Trump rightly picks abundant energy and prosperity with Paris Agreement withdrawal

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President Trump’s most important mandate is to revive America’s struggling economy. According to many economists, that can’t be done under the terms of the Paris Climate Accord. There’s a reason why we suffered the slowest economic growth of the post-war era under Barack Obama: bad deals and bad policies like this.

President Obama bound America to the Paris Accord by executive fiat. He committed billions of dollars of taxes paid by American families to an international slush fund for third world countries, and set his agencies loose to suppress American industry regardless of the costs imposed on working families. According to a Heritage Foundation analysis, adhering to the accords would destroy 400,000 American jobs and forfeit $2.5 trillion in lost productivity by 2035 – lowering average family earnings by about $20,000. 

{mosads}Astonishingly, by the EPA’s own modelling, the accord would reduce global temperature increases by only 0.17 of one degree (C) by the end of the century if fully implemented. Its advocates have recently dismissed this inconvenient truth by explaining it would at least “send a powerful signal.”

The cost of this “powerful signal” to average families is debilitating and has been keenly felt wherever these policies are practiced. European energy prices are more than twice as high as the United States and their economies lag far behind even the anemic growth under Obama.  California has adopted many of these policies and now bears one of the highest energy costs in the country. Not coincidentally, it also suffers the highest poverty rate. Without the high-tech wealth of the Bay area, California’s economy would trail well behind the national growth rate.

We’re promised a new green economy and told that solar jobs already dwarf those in the outdated fossil fuel sector. But that’s not the whole story. Those 374,000 solar jobs generate just 9/10 of one percent of U.S. electricity. The 187,000 coal, oil and gas jobs produce 64.8 percent. As long as government coerces consumers to buy overpriced green products and forces taxpayers to fork over billions of dollars of subsidies to solar companies through higher utility and tax bills, solar jobs will flourish – but at the great expense of everyone else. 

The wide historical fluctuations in both CO2 atmospheric concentrations and global temperatures suggest that natural influences vastly outweigh the human causes of global warming. Paleo-climatologists document that atmospheric CO2 levels were five times higher during the Jurassic Period and global temperatures were about 13 degrees (F) higher during the Pleistocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum – long before humans or the SUV.

In 2016, President Obama came to Yosemite Valley to warn that the last of Yosemite’s glaciers would soon disappear. Timing is everything: if he had stood on the same spot 20,000 years earlier, he would have been buried under about 2,000 feet of glacial ice.

The first IPCC report in 1990 sounding the alarm over global warming gives us some actual experience with the accuracy of its climate modelling. Actual global temperatures are now well below the smallest temperature increases it originally projected. Twenty years before, the scientific consensus warned pollution was about to trigger another Ice Age.

The inaccuracy of past projections suggests that the current state of science is still far from understanding the intricate natural forces and interrelationships at play – and farther still from accurately forecasting temperatures over hundreds of years within fractions of a degree. Perhaps that’s why many prominent and respected climatologists continue to challenge and debate the question, despite claims that “97 percent of the scientists agree” and despite calls to silence “climate deniers” as heretics.

As the fable of the “Emperor’s New Clothes” illustrates, nothing is more threatening to a flawed consensus than a single dissenter. Our politically incorrect President has just stepped forward from the crowd and pointed out the obvious.

The Paris Accord points the way to a future of skyrocketing energy prices, lower productivity and wages, a massive wealth transfer from America to nations like China and India, and a permanently declining quality of life for our children.

Fortunately, President Trump has a different vision: a future in which families can enjoy the prosperity that abundant energy provides and the quality of life that comes from that prosperity. We can’t get there from Paris.

Whichever course we take — whether we choose abundance and prosperity or scarcity and poverty — one thing is certain. The earth will continue to warm and cool as it has for billions of years.

McClintock represents California’s 4th District.

The views expressed by this author are their own and are not the views of The Hill. 

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