On Thursday, President Trump decided to pull the US from the Paris climate accords, a large scale agreement meant to curb global warming. While many on the left heavily criticized this decision, others on the right claim that this was the right call in order to protect American jobs and the economy.
So the question is, who is right? Are people on the left overreacting, or is there truly reason to be angered by the President’s decision?
Here’s what you need to know:
1. There is a whole new industry in green energy just waiting to blossom.
Back when cars were first being invented, is should come as no surprise that a lot of people working in the horse-and-buggy industry were out of a job. And yet, thanks to Henry Ford’s efforts at assembly line production, 8 million automobiles were produced by 1920, and so many since, in turn creating millions upon millions of jobs. And many million more jobs than the horse and carriage industry ever did.
The point here is that the industry potential for green energy is waiting to be tapped, and yet it will continue to wait now that Trump has withdrawn the US from this monumental agreement. Think of how many jobs could be created from a brand new industry such as green energy.
But don’t take our word for it. Just take a look at California.
2. California’s economy is booming after push towards green energy.
When Arnold Schwarzenegger was governor of California, the state passed some of the strictest environmental laws in the country, including the The Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act of 2015, divesting from coal, and a ban on ivory to help save those ever-depleting populations of African Elephants.
Contrary to what lots of people, including our President, would expect, California’s economy is now booming. Today, California is number one in protecting the environment, and number one in economic growth. The proof is in the pudding: environmental-friendly laws do not equal economic downfall. Now, this does not necessarily prove that it always helps the economy, but it goes to show that the rewards outweigh the risks.
California has the cleanest air and water while also creating more manufacturing jobs last year than any other state.
3. The goal of the agreement was to put a cap on temperature rise, not to lower it.
I’m sure everyone remembers when Trump said that the agreement would have only lowered the temperature by two tenths of one degree celsius by the year 2100. “This much”, he exclaimed as he made a pinching gesture with his fingers.
However, the goal of the Paris climate agreement was not to lower global temperatures at all, but to put a cap on global temperature rise at 2 degrees celsius. And even that goal would come with a cost, i.e. tidal areas disappearing and climate refugees being thrown into the equation.
4. This was an agreement, not a treaty.
The whole idea of this climate agreement was that it was a sort of gentlemen’s agreement. Originally, it was supposed to be a treaty, in which countries were required by law to do certain things in order to put a cap on global warming. However, since many in congress did not favor this idea, it was changed to a non-binding agreement in which countries chose their own path to greener environmental policies. So, if the US wanted to increase coal jobs while, at the same time, tripling solar energy usage, we could do it. You get the picture.
5. This isolates the US from the world stage.
The only countries to pull out of the climate agreement were the US, Nicaragua, and Syria. Nicaragua’s reasoning was that they felt the agreement was not strict enough, and that they would like to implement stronger environmental policies. Syria? They are in the middle of a violent and bloody civil war.
What is the United States’ excuse?