5 Bad Reasons to Ditch the Paris Climate Agreement

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Yesterday the President of the United States Donald J Trump decided to remove the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement, something that was agreed to by basically every country on earth except for Syria and Nicaragua Syria in war and Nicaragua because they didn't think it went far enough. Now this just baffles me, I'm trying to understand the reasons for why you would do this, why withdraw from this agreement but none of the stated reasons make any sense to me so in this video I'm going to break down the top five bad reasons I've heard for why the US is withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement. Okay, number one is because it is bad for the US economy. The U.S. set a target of reducing their emissions from 2005 levels by 26 to 28 percent by 2025, and they've already reduced the emissions by around 12 to 14 percent.

So maybe it's fair enough to say if you wanted to implement some really strict policies and really curb emissions there might be a way to do harm to the economy in the process but here's the thing, the Paris agreement is completely non-binding. So if the president didn't want to implement any policies to curb emissions that would be fine and he's not going to be president in 2025 anyway so I mean what does it matter there's a non-binding agreement there are no repercussions no one has to do anything it's mainly just a goal it's a target that target in itself is not going to harm the US economy and all of this ignores the fact that the world is moving towards cleaner, greener tech innovation there's going to be a lot of investment in that area, estimates of multiple trillions of dollars being invested in this so if you're a country that doesn't embrace reductions in emissions then actually you might miss out on investment opportunities new innovations and you might lose the opportunity to be a world leader and that might actually hurt the GDP and if you look at the Canadian province of British Columbia for example they implemented a carbon tax and reduced per capita fossil fuel use by about 20 percent compared to the rest of Canada meanwhile their GDP grew at the same rate as the rest of the country so there isn't a lot of evidence to suggest that reducing emissions, directly causes a downturn in the economy.

Which brings us to number two, well the free market should decide what technologies take off, what innovations happen the money, the smart money should go where the good investment opportunities are the government shouldn't be deciding who should win and who should lose and that we should change to a cleaner greener economy, that is a very American viewpoint on the world and I like it, I like this idea that markets are smart and they'll put money where it pays returns the problem is this market has never been fair and the reason why is because co2 has not been considered really a pollutant up until now and to be fair co2 doesn't really seem like a pollutant and if you're just emitting a little bit of it there's no problem the problem comes when we totally change the amount of co2 in the atmosphere and only then because co2 has this effect of trapping infrared radiation, something scientists figured out you know more than 100 years ago. So here's the problem, people have been emitting co2 which in small amounts is really not a big deal but in large amounts can cause some damage, damage in the form of more intense storms and droughts and people have to pay for that so there is a cost actually associated with emitting co2 except right now that cost is not being borne by the emitters of co2, it's being borne by the whole world and that makes the markets not on a level playing field.

I mean the analogy for this would be let's say there's one company that disposes of its pollution appropriately and that cost some money and so paying this company is more expensive than paying another company which just dumps its pollution in a river and you know leaves the rest of the communities downstream to deal with it. in that market it's not fair because people will go to the cheaper option and they're only cheaper because they're polluting for free, so in order for free markets to decide and make a fair decision all I'm saying is we need to factor in the cost of the pollution. This makes cleaner technology way more competitive and so yeah let's go for a free market solution but let's make sure the market is truly fair first. Number three, China and India don't have to reduce their emissions so why should the United States? Ok well the truth about this is that China and India are setting targets under the Paris agreement to reduce their emissions but that is per unit of GDP.

With the idea that these countries are still developing they're still going to grow a lot and so it seems pretty unfair to curb their emissions so strictly right now, whereas the US is the biggest historic emitter of carbon dioxide they've emitted about 30% of the total excess carbon dioxide that is now in the atmosphere Europe's also emitted about 30% and that has made those countries very rich and very capable of changing their economies into less polluting economies so the idea here is that what seems most fair is for the countries that contributed most of the problem to start to take action first and also because their economies can deal with it they're rich enough and also the economies of the US and Europe don't depend very much on just a lot of energy I mean a lot of the sectors like you know financial and technology and innovation they don't require tons of energy to to get going, not like building the infrastructure in in India and China are going to require in order to lift all of those populations out of poverty so I think it seems pretty fair for the US and Europe to go first I don't think this is a part where you point to a country that hasn't really contributed much the problem say well why aren't they changing first before we do it.

If you created the problem you need to be one of the first to try to fix it. Number four, the Paris agreement wouldn't do anything to help climate change anyway, now while it's true that under the current emissions targets that have been set we're not guaranteed to limit warming to under two degrees Celsius which is what most experts think is kind of a safe level but it is an important starting point it is all the countries of the world virtually coming together to agree to do something and I think once people start taking action to try to achieve these goals we're going to find that it just gets easier to try to lower our emissions so I think the Paris agreement is really a floor not a ceiling on what we can do in terms of reducing our emissions and it's really an important first step and I don't see how anything is gained by leaving it. Number five; he had to withdraw from the Paris agreement because it's politically unpopular here in the U.S. That is actually just not true depending on what poll you look at roughly seven out of ten Americans think that we should still be in the agreement and 60% of swing voters think that it's good to be part of the deal and even half of Republicans wanted to stay in so what really is gained here I think there's certainly a portion of Trumps base that wanted to see him withdraw from this agreement it's something he can point to is a campaign pledge that's been fulfilled and it'll definitely energize that base but beyond that it's hard to see how this is going to raise his approval ratings much which currently sit around 39% and that brings me to bonus reason number six which perhaps is the real reason that he did this and it was to piss off the opposition.

He wanted a whole bunch of environmentalists whipped into a frenzy so that he could point at them and say look how crazy these people are and how much they prefer the trees and birds and stuff like that over jobs and the economy and things that people really should care about. The problem is I mean that relies on people believing that you know these sorts of agreements would be bad for the economy which I think you can demonstrate from the evidence that they're not, so I think the best response to this decision is not to get angry or inflamed or you know go nuts about it because I think that's kind of maybe why he did it in the first place I think the best reaction is one that we're already seeing, that people around the U.S. cities, states, leaders business leaders are all agreeing to work with each other to make sure that the U.

S. meets its responsibilities under the Paris climate agreement whether the federal government actually, you know signs it, ratifies it or not and I think that might be the best outcome here if Trump becomes marginalized and people no longer look to his leadership that might just make him feel small which is probably the thing he would hate the most..

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