The US departure from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Paris Agreement has generated much acrimony in the United States and abroad. For several news cycles, knee jerk reactions fed the unthinking mainstream medias hunger to audience attention. But when you step back, it’s pretty clear that Donald Trump’s Administration was right; and more importantly, responsible. The United States forced a reality check reconsideration that the Mid-Century Strategy for Deep De-Carbonization is, in fact, infeasible.
I’m a firm believer in never relying on the media for anything other than to alert you that you have some research to do on your own to figure out real from fake. I follow the third principle I wrote about in “Three Steps to Take Control Back from the Media Anyone Can Do”; that you need to read the original source material. The bottom line, particularly with complex issues, you should take the time to find it, read it, understand it, and form your own considered opinion. The objective is simple; keep other people’s poop from getting stuck to the soles on one’s shoes.
So for Paris Agreement on climate change, the official documentation contains the year 2050 mission statements of various signatories outlining their plans; these include, among others, France, Germany, Canada and Mexico. There is also an older 2016 statement by the United States file during Barack Obama’s term.
These are official government documents. The writing is not internet low information mall ninja meme. The documents are arduous, technical, ministerial, steeped in economic theory, presumptuous, prescriptive, and full of assumptions that may or may not be realizable in the real world. But they are the controlling documents about the future of the quality of life in first word countries potentially affecting everyone alive today and those who will be born in the first half of the 21st century.
What’s in them? What do these governments plan to do to “socially engineer” our lives? Is it what we want? Or will we reject their plans utterly to the point what’s on paper will only end in man made disaster? Let’s go over some of the “policy highlights”.
One theme of the Paris Agreement is a concept called “energy sobriety”. It’s a catch term for central planning economists engaging global it what’s called “manufactured scarcity” to alter the cost-benefit landscape to achieve a particular supply-demand outcome. In English, they want to change to price of anything that uses energy to something so high that people cannot afford to use energy. It’s done by a series of tax, tariff and quota methods that ultimately eat up your disposable income almost immediately if you want to drive a couple of miles to buy a hamburger in an air-conditioned restaurant. You won’t have the money for such a “luxury”. In America, and most other 1st world nations, we take simple things like going to where we want, to get what we want, at a reasonable price for granted. In a Mid-Century Deeply De-Carbonized world, all that is gone. That’s what’s in the math of the Paris Agreement. It means changing everything about how we perceive life should be led. It becomes one far more devoid of liberty and the ability to pursue happiness. The Paris Agreement plan is to exchange unfettered living for something more like the sacrifices of the Dark Ages, in this case self-inflicted sacrifices. Literally! That’s what accepting the highbrow “energy sobriety” theories of the Paris Agreement means.
No we’re not done yet, there’s more. Another of the Paris Agreement’s major principles is to severely curtail and, if possible, eliminate “mobile societies”. All of the Paris plans, including the one filed by the Obama Administration, embrace the concept of ending the era of transportation for people beyond the distance they can go without using a form of transportation that consumes any form of direct or indirect carbon emission causing energy. The bottom line translation of that is only as far as you can walk. Basically, they envision a world where personal transportation ceases to exist. That’s how you “de-carbonize” the system. You destroy it.
This has tremendous social and cultural implications that are in direct conflict with our world’s highly connected digital life human experience. Isolating our real world lives down to walking distance means you also destroy cultural mixing as people become more isolated, insular and yes, prejudicial. The consequence projections of this kind of social engineering are potentially catastrophic. Whether deliberate or accidental, it means the eventual demise of large spread out nations like the United States where quality of life and national identity are defined by the mobility and interaction of their societies on a continental scale. It’s a solution basically incompatible with first world problems modern life as we know it today.
It’s a solution that is also incompatible with international stability among peers of interacting nations. This too will be eliminated into pockets of insular quarrelsome bands who never visit each other. It’s in the 2050 Paris Agreement plans being sold as something desirable. Me? As a global stability strategist who watches for precursors and triggers that open pathways to terrible wars, I’m no so sure. Well actually, I am sure, but the prime computation outcome prediction is not desirable.
And then there’s the “Where’s the beef?” question. Again, literally. Every 2050 Paris Agreement plan eliminates meat from the planetary diet. Specifically, farmed and ranched livestock; because apparently cow farts contain methane and are therefore dangerous contributors, even existential threats, to human life on this planet. I cannot make this shit up! Yes, that is a crappy pun. The de-carbonization plan alters the dietary expectations of every human being on earth. We will all eat meals that look like those Common Core school broccoli and bean sprouts with a celery juice chaser meals. No ice cream, maybe tofutti. And they’ll be laced with laboratory made “essential vitamins and amino acids”. You think I’m kidding? Read the damn documents.
Finally, even if everything is done, it’s not enough. The Paris Agreements documents clearly say that even all these Draconian changes to be forced upon the first world will not achieve the 2% greenhouse gas reductions they are aiming for. Nope. Nuh-uh. Won’t work. The proponents know this. They are saying beat people of the first world down anyway. That’s the plan. Bottom line, it’s bullshit. People will be people in how they react to this. People will cheat. People will protest. People will launch and win successful revolutions over government nonsense this bad. That’s not even a hard scenario to project. I’ve been around this global stability analysis since the 1980’s, long enough to know the truth; these documents are a smoke screen because these economists and social engineers aren’t fools; they can project scenario probabilities just like I can. It’s an attempt obfuscate a formula for manufacturing a global human disaster, a very cruel one. And for what, you do this process and waste another forty years that will end in doing squat for the quality of human life? Come on.
The Trump Administration is not off track calling foul on such a plan. Calling for negotiating a better way really is what’s right for furthering the quality of life for human beings on this changing planet. The US did the right thing.