The United States and Syria Against The World? Trump Pulls Out Of The Paris Accord

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In fulfillment of his campaign promise, President Donald Trump has defied the world and pulled our country out of the Paris Accord.  The United States will now join Syria and Nicaragua as the only countries outside of the agreement.  You really cannot include Nicaragua because it did not sign in protest of the agreement not going far enough (a valid objection).  That leaves us and our environmental fellow traveler, Syria.

In terms of delivery, I thought this was one of Trump’s stronger speeches though MIT scientists say that he got their data wrong.  Other experts noted that Trump was wrong on the details of the agreement regarding China’s commitments as well as its costs to the United States.

Trump has declared climate change to be a “hoax” despite the virtually unanimous opinion of the scientific community and many Republicans who now acknowledge the reality of climate change.  (Though some appear to accept climate change while insisting that God will take care of it).  He started calling the theory a hoax in 2014: “This very expensive GLOBAL WARMING bullshit has got to stop. Our planet is freezing, record low temps, and our GW scientists are stuck in ice.”  As evidence mounted and the science community unified on the role of man in causing climate change, Trump became more and more firm on the idea that all of these scientists and studies promulgated a myth.

While Trump did not repeat his view of climate change as a hoax, he declared the agreement as “very unfair at the highest level to the United States.”  In fairness to Trump, I was highly critical of the agreement in the deal given to China and India.  I was also critical on the low level of achievement set by the countries.  However, the world united behind American leadership on the most important environmental agreement in history.  We are now withdrawing and placing our country in the position of a global spoiler.

At the same time, Trump is ramping up coal reliance while downgrading alternative energy programs.  As we have previously discussed, our allies are making huge advances in reducing their reliance on fossil fuel energies.  From this transition, Europe is taking a lead in new technologies.  We on the other hand are rushing in the opposite direction like an investor doubling down on buggy whips despite the rise of automobiles.  This point was driven home by an impressive collection of companies and CEOs, including companies like Exxon, who fought to keep the United States in the agreement and rejected the economic claims made by Trump.

Again, in fairness to Trump, it is worth noting the Obama administration also expanded coal production.  However, countries like Germany are showing how to lead on this new technology while shifting to solar and other energy sources.  Part of benefit of the Paris Accord is to create incentives for technology and alternative fuel advancement.

The irony is that, in the name of protecting the United States economy, Trump has taken the country toward greater dependence on fossil fuels and an economic model linked to the last century rather than the next century.  We will be all the poorer for it not just in terms of the environmental damages but also the economic losses.

 

192 thoughts on “The United States and Syria Against The World? Trump Pulls Out Of The Paris Accord”

  1. Those who actually are interested in learning the science are encouraged to read “The Discovery of Global Warming” by Spencer Weart. The extended version is available online, free from AIP.

  2. More classic Leftist propaganda from JT: “The irony is that, in the name of protecting the United States economy, Trump has taken the country toward greater dependence on fossil fuels and an economic model linked to the last century rather than the next century. We will be all the poorer for it not just in terms of the environmental damages but also the economic losses.”

    Wrong, wrong, and more wrong.

    First. there’s no irony whatsoever. Irony involves opposites, and there are no opposites involved here (apart from common sense and Turley himself, which are polar opposites).

    Second, the US economy has already strongly benefitted from the technological advances in fossil fuel development. America, for the first time in its history, is becoming a major EXPORTER of liquid natural gas (LNG) and is poised to become a major competitor of Russia and Australia. Cheniere, the first US company in the US to become an international player in the LNG field has already had a powerful impact on boosting the US economy and jobs creation in the US. Cheniere is also in talks with China to serve as a major supplier of LNG, and if the Company is successful, this will dramatically change the international landscape, resulting in unprecedented growth in the US economy.

    Third, the US will be all the RICHER for becoming a major EXPORTER of fossil fuels and will be well on its way toward becoming 100% energy-self-sufficient.

    Fourth, as a result of the unprecedented economic growth from these fossil fuel EXPORTS, there will be much GREATER investments in newer and even more advanced technologies that will improve and sustain life.

    But anti-American Leftists HATE it when the US becomes stronger. They want to weaken and destroy America and make it submit to the Globalists (i.e., the Leftists). They want to strip the US of its wealth and to force it to turn over both its assets and its control over assets to the Globalists. At least with Trump, that Globalist anti-American process which has ALREADY been well underway, will be slowed or, better still, stopped altogether.

      1. No, Leftist, just reality. Like most Leftists, you HATE reality with the same passion that you HATE facts.

  3. Autumn,

    Honduras, yes, most people don’t have clue as to what Killery & Obama did to those people 7-8 years ago.

    Clinton Foundation Slush Fund & it’s actions in Haiti.

    Etc.

    Have a nice evening/weekend.

    1. LOL,

      autumn, you got it right the 1st time.

      ” We came, we saw, he died”

      Plus how many millions of others?

      1. Oky1 – like my old friend from high school living in Honduras who has disappeared. I don’t wanna join the list =)

    1. Yess Oky1 – the MSM is all over the Paris Accord and why Killer lost and buries the DNC Fraud Lawsuit as well as the murder of Seth Rich (thankfully Judicial Watch has filed an FOIA) and never mind the death of Beranton J. Whisenant Jr. in Medusa Wasserman Schultz’s district….

      Thanks for posting!!

    2. OkyI – evidently there are people calling her office asking about it and Seth Rich. Her office is not happy.

  4. Climate change has been occurring for 4.5 billion years. A bunch of collectivist hippies will never stop it.

    The cost of producing alternative power exceeds that of petro-based energy.

    Elon Musk thrives on government rebates and subsidies.

    Electric and wind energy are wholly inefficient “novelties” for the wealthy.

    The “idle rich” ruling elite need something to do – they need an “enemy” to unite against.

    One-world, globalist communists “unite” against the faux, common enemy of “Global Warming.”

    Sovereign and “exceptional” America promotes and upholds freedom and free enterprise.

    The very ineligible Obama engaged in degrading America and redistributing American wealth on Earth.

    If people don’t use oil, it will emerge from the earth spontaneously and “pollute” the environment.

    Pismo is Chumash for tar. Brea means tar in Spanish.

    Oil is abiotic, self-regenerating, ubiquitous and popping out of the ground everywhere.

    Pismo Beach had spontaneous emergence of oil as tar.

    The La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles were natural emergence of tar.

    The City of Brea had ubiquitous tar.

      1. Oops. I almost responded with insults and ad hominem attacks. Imagine.

        You insult rather than refute the facts – you employ fake news.

        No dinosaurs are 35,000 feet deep – the depth of the deepest oil well. Oops!

        Methane exists on planets and moons with NO dinosaurs. What the heck, over.

        Oil is spewed forth constantly by the earth.

        Oil is not of fossils and is abiotic. Oil is produced by a physical reaction not dead dinosaurs.

        “Alternative” energy sources are artificially and prohibitively costly while those costs are hidden by supporters, including the public zealots and elected liberal democratic officials. For example, California’s Comrade President. Jerry Brown, subsidized Elon Musk or Musk’s enterprises would not exist.

        Solar power is not viable without subsidies by fanatical liberals – there is no “business” there.

        It costs more than its revenue to produce the “solar” industry.

        Solar and battery production is toxic and dangerously polluting.

        Google the “lakes of pollution” in China.

        GAOLONG, China — The first time Li Gengxuan saw the dump trucks from the nearby factory pull into his village, he couldn’t believe what happened. Stopping between the cornfields and the primary school playground, the workers dumped buckets of bubbling white liquid onto the ground. Then they turned around and drove right back through the gates of their compound without a word.

        Why don’t you speak the truth with facts?

  5. I found a very interesting, Left leaning article that explains how leaving the Paris Accord may actually benefit the environment, as well as afford for conservative and Liberal environmentalists to join together:

    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/31/trump-paris-accord-exit-is-good-for-the-environment-commentary.html

    “The Paris climate deal is one of the most prominent liberal/big government vanities in history. There is simply no evidence that it would be any more effective than the Kyoto or Copenhagen deals, and it unnecessarily raises the hackles of conservatives and moderates who fear a loss of American freedoms and sovereignty. It’s agreements like these, often enforced by un-elected and even anonymous bureaucrats that fuel Brexit-like sentiments around the world.

    The real disaster for the ecology is the environmental movement’s decision to push for these kinds of shaky international agreements that could end up harming the environment more and angering a great deal of American voters in the process.”

    I am likely going to fumble this, but I’m going to attempt to explain what is wrong with the paradigm that produces results such as the Paris Accord.

    The Paris Accord takes a globalization approach to the environment. It creates a massive bureaucracy, imposes far higher financial burdens on a few countries (like the US), but there is no consequence for member nations who simply ignore their own promises. As has happened in every single similar agreement that came before, cheating and accounting sleight of hand, as well as financial waste and fraud, is anticipated to be rampant. A few member countries, like the US, would try its best to comply, and would live up to its monetary promises, whilst most others would simply ignore it, take and waste the money or worse, fuel dictatorships, and the end result is the environment, and by extension us, would be screwed. Again.

    The Liberal approach to many issues, but especially the environment, is Big Government, Globalization, increased bureaucracy, increased spending, increased regulation, crony capitalism for government favorites, higher taxes, government waste and fraud is the norm in all of the global efforts so far, and the result often harms the intended beneficiary. This drives conservatives in general, and fiscal conservatives in particular, absolutely wild.

    How many people understand how the Paris Accord affects indigenous people, that group that is so often explicitly screwed over in environmental globalization efforts? The Accord makes some vague reference to allowing indigenous people more access to Western resources and respecting their knowledge. What the heck does that even mean? Typically, global government environmental efforts give massive amounts of money to third world countries, which funnels to dictators, who often snatch more land from indigenous people or just kill them to take it, and they use that money to buy weapons or whatever else dictators spend their environmental allowance on. There is no real benefit to the environment. Remember all the Liberal unity about the US “causing” ISIS and Al Qaeda, by helping the Taliban fight the Soviets? Well, where is their outrage at funding third world dictators who abuse human rights?

    The criticism of the Paris Accord is that it wastes money, is expensive, is projected to have very little, if any, benefit, there is not sufficient oversight, and the money may go to very bad places.

    Another issue that conservation minded conservatives have is with the accounting sleight of hand used to fudge the numbers. Do you recall the recent articles about how carbon has exceeded 410ppm? You are to recall that agencies have proclaimed that carbon output has stabilized for years, and actually reduced over the past year. And yet carbon suddenly doubled. Perhaps that has something to do with that nifty loophole where we are chopping down trees (an oxygen factory and filter of carbon), grinding them up into wood pellets, and shipping them (using fossil fuels) to Europe, where they burn them in pellet stoves (which are now popular in both utilities and end users because renewable energy has driven up energy costs), which then produces more carbon and pollutants than if they just burned “clean” coal, but the carbon is not counted because the trees are technically a renewable resource, and replanting them will remove that carbon that was produced in a couple of decades. Of course, those new trees would just be cut down and burned again. There are many other, highly entertaining, accounting tricks that do not count pollution because of special loopholes, and the end result was actually higher pollution, all under the banner of fighting climate change.

    And yet another issue that is at the heart of voters, but totally ignored by the DNC, is the financial impact on average Americans. We need to afford to pay our rent, gas, buy food, etc. Many efforts by the DNC have raised the cost of gas (CA gas tax), taxes, electricity, etc. And it’s for our own good. Which sounds great except when it comes time to buy food, which also costs more as the costs of shipping increase. And when someone buys an electric vehicle to help the environment, the cost of registering it just went up by $100 because those vehicles are not paying the gas tax, and they want their money. Under the guise of environmentalism, or the greater good in general, the government could take everything we have. The response to “how will I afford my electric bill” is often along the lines of “let them eat cake. This is for the environment.” And the answer is often to go out and buy a pellet stove and chop down trees to heat your home.

    Our politicians of the Establishment would not listen to average Americans who were increasingly urgent that “we can’t afford this!” to numerous issues, from health care to the environment.

    They ignored them at their own peril, and are now absolutely shocked that the tide has turned against them. They have absolutely no idea how this happened, other than perhaps that half the country is evil. But that is because they have not been listening.

    The same thing happened with the Clean Water Act, the EPA, and various similar agencies and programs. They abused the application of wetlands status, arbitrarily applied it to land owners, from ranchers and farmers to the average homeowner. And the average land owner cannot afford to fight a $30,000/day fine as well as the unlimited litigation coffers of the government. So some of the public soured on the EPA, who treated them like the enemy. And there were calls of fraud, abuse, and cronyism, which have led to a concerted effort to either overhaul or get rid of the EPA altogether. Again, the DNC react by assuming half the country is evil. They do not ask questions, seek to understand, or listen to the aggrieved.

    The DNC is like Freud. He spent decades asking women about their problems, and then didn’t listen and mansplained to them what was really wrong.

    Our Duopoly didn’t listen to us. And so, we got stuck with yet another global initiative that will not help, will cost us a fortune, and will likely fund dictators as well as put us at an economic disadvantage with those who cheat, and who will go unpunished.

    I want to help the environment. But I want the US to be in charge of our own efforts. I want a rigorous review of results. And I want the agility to change our approach if we do not like the results. The Paris Accord does none of that.

    The Paris Accord was an expensive feel good maneuver that would accomplish little. Just like the Far Left.

    1. Conserving resources and keeping our air, water, and land clean should be a unifying effort.

      Perhaps the far Left should re-evaluate how they have driven half the country away over politics and approach. They will never “save the planet” if they alienate half of the citizens of the US. They should be working on efforts to find common ground and bring people together instead of divide.

      But they went in a different direction. How’s that working out for them?

      1. Moderates support the Paris Climate Agreement. You far right wingers are the ones that are isolated.

        1. Moderates support the Paris Climate Agreement. You far right wingers are the ones that are isolated.

          You make these vapid statements and when challenged on them you never provide anything to support them. Where’s your data to prove this? What is considered a moderate? Which moderates are you talking about? What country are you talking about? What is a far right winger? Isolated to what?

          Without any of those answers you might as well claim moderates eat one scoop of ice cream while right wingers eat two. Thus contributing to a rise in greenhouse gases because more cows are needed to produce the extra ice cream.

      2. Only the most conservative republicans in congress agree with Trump on this.

        1. If that were the case, the Senate would have ratified it.

        2. Strictly speaking they are not conservatives but rather radical wreckers.

          1. wreckers.

            Pretty amusing the faculty in Pullman fancy Stalinist diction.

    2. I wrote the wrong word above. Carbon didn’t suddenly double. It suddenly breached 410 ppm after years of our being told that carbon output had stabilized and reduced.

      1. Don’t know who espoused that nonsense. The Keeling curve is readily available and continues to rise.

    3. I am likely going to fumble this, but I’m going to attempt to explain what is wrong with the paradigm that produces results such as the Paris Accord.

      No fumble at all. That was a touchdown!

    4. Karen, I think you make a lot of good points, not least of which is the issue of poorer countries. Being on the hoof for the negative aspect of this agreement is a real weakness – and as you enumerate, there are others.

      Possibly we should implement our own carbon emission solution without entering into any agreements no matter how toothless they are.

      But it should also be considered that we, for good or ill, are the world leader so unless we do develop a very serious program for the world to see, we will not be leading by example. And in some senses, we owe them that much. After all, since the Industrial Revolution, we have consumed far more fossil fuel and other resources and produced far greater output of carbon emissions and other pollutants than any other country. For us to now tell the rest of the world, your problem not ours, seems unfair.

      The Paris agreement is just that, an agreement, NOT a Treaty where the congress would have to be involved. But, as Olly says (using an argument I don’t agree with) climate change is such a huge problem (or non problem) and is so contentious, that Congress should be involved. I would agree with that, particularly if it was a process completely open to the public so that neither scientists nor fossil fuel magnates could game the outcome. It might help to demystify some of the facts around climate change and let factions on either side either confirm or re-evaluate their opinions. This would be valuable in my opinion regardless of whether or not we continue or enter future agreements with the international community.

  6. Prof. Turley,

    I don’t think I’m going to spend my day attacking all the mistakes you’ve made with your illogical conclusions.

    Your article on this subject, like many others in recent months, is completely trash and if there was a grade lower the F I’d give to you on some of the issues/article.

  7. OK, the followers of Trumpus Maximus who still believe in what Trump is doing we get it. The world is flat, the sun goes around the earth. And Trump will bring back whale oil jobs and the horse and buggy, without the wheels of course.

      1. Sh*t like Hillary is why he won; that and the fact that the process is utterly rigged, and not by the Russians, so that we had no other choice.

  8. There is more at stake here than whether or not you believe in climate change. I think the title “The
    United States And Syria Against the World?” is very telling. The U.S. began its entry on to the world
    stage with the Industrial Revolution and our search for more raw materials and new markets. After
    WWI the die was cast and there was no turning back. We walked away from the League of Nations
    and tried isolationism and look what that got us. Two concerns I have with this administration is their wanton disregard or total lack of understanding of historical perspective. Also they have no
    political or diplomatic skills when it comes to working with our allies. We must cultivate our relationships with our allies such as Britain, France and Germany, going our own way is not an option. If we continue down this path withdrawing unto ourselves with catch phrases like America First and Make America Great Again there very well could be another war on a much larger scale
    than what we’ve experienced before. Our security rests not just within ourselves but on how we
    interact with both our allies and our adversaries.

  9. Excellent article by Jonathan Turley. Let’s not pretend that Bush, Obama & Hillary are any better for the climate than Trump.

    I’m disappointed at Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement because we need to work with other nations to reduce CO2 emissions; tackle pollution of our seas w/plastic rubbish; safeguard wild areas for the biodiversity & to protect natural habitats for wildlife. It’s better to work with others than to withdraw into isolation.

    However, the reaction by EU nations to say that there will be no re-negotiation of the Paris Accords is a silly reaction which they know that they can get away with due to the dislike of Trump. EU nations will ultimately be required to re-assess aspects which are harmful to working people: i.e. jobs. That said, I’m under no illusion that the GOP or the DNC care about working people–they don’t–they are corporate-owned parties who shill for the Oligarchy–ergo: http://www.bbc.com/news/business-35339475

    Finally, let’s not pretend that Hillary was a climate change proponent–Hillary even bragged to Wall Street about her public versus her private personas– and, she shilled for Big Oil pollluters:

    “I’ve promoted fracking in other places around the world,” [Hillary Clinton] declared during a 2013 paid talk to Deutsche Bank, adding that she launched a new wing of the State Department devoted to the initiative” – https://theintercept.com/2016/10/10/clinton-fracking-theworld/

    We have systemic problems with two political parties both of whom put corporate interests above the good of the people of America; above Planet Earth; and above future generations. Until we band together against the very clever Oligarchy who pits us against each other by exploiting identity politics: i.e. race, gender, class, etc.–we’ll remain ping-ponged between one corrupt politico and another corrupt politico with different faces, but the same motives: Greed & Power using the same tactics: Divide-and-Conquer & Triangulation.

    1. P.S. Regarding the climate pollution by Bush Obama & Hillary–just look to the Wars for Profit that the US (along with the hypocrites in the EU) have engaged in for years in the Middle East in order to have control over their OIL. That’s kept us back from making progress towards moving away from fossil fuels.

  10. This is a fair and balanced description of our sitting President’s first 132 days in office.

    Still, it is worth looking through all the fireworks and noise that Trump and the media symbiotically create, each to their detriment and advantage. Beyond his inconvenient propensity to throw hand-grenades straight up in the air, a different picture of this president emerges. Maybe, inconceivably, against all establishment conventional wisdom and experience, Donald Trump’s America sees their president doing a good job, standing up to the two bankrupt political parties that have failed them.

    http://thefederalist.com/2017/06/02/trumps-voters-continue-see-washington-cant/?utm_source=The+Federalist+List&utm_campaign=86ffcb8267-RSS_The_Federalist_Daily_Updates_w_Transom&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_cfcb868ceb-86ffcb8267-79248369

  11. The accord was pretty much a sham so I don’t really think the actual withdraw is a big deal. It’s what the withdraw signifies that is so disturbing.

    Just from an economic standpoint it would be extremely profitable to invest in a new grid feeding off alternative, largely regionally based, energy. Pretty much you have to be an idiot not to do this. Making money seems to motivate a lot of people, people who don’t have to care about science or the planet. It can be a greed based system and it would work out fine. Lots of money!!!!! Lots of jobs!!!! Reduce the deficit. Reduce resource wars. Save money on cleaning up plutonium and uranium leaks from nuclear power.

    One could also curb spending on the disaster relief of monster storms and even keep people from getting sick due to bad air, poison water and poisoned earth. But, I digress from the greed based theory! Go with greed! It will be very profitable and put people back to work. No science necessary.

    1. I hear you JIll. But I strongly suspect the “do it for greed’s sake”, even if we could establish a movement on it, would backfire and probably sooner than later. The Koch bros. are largely behind the US being the only major country in the world to reject the scientific validity of global warming. They are not alone, but nevertheless are greatly responsible for the ideology that is driving so many people to almost religiously reject any serious consideration of what’s going on, who really profits and who looses by this.

      Just as with the tobacco fiasco, It’s utterly beyond me, why these .01%ers would continue these efforts even though they are fully aware of the consequences. I suppose it’s like the addicted gambler. Anything for profit.

      Anyway, people on this site should be aware that the Paris agreement was just that; an agreement, not a treaty and not even an accord thanks to the US (before Trump). Here are some other factoids as per Naomi Klein at:
      https://theintercept.com/2017/06/01/will-trumps-slow-mo-walkaway-world-in-flames-behind-him-finally-provoke-consequences-for-planetary-arson/

      The fact that the agreement only commits governments to keeping warming below an increase of 2 degrees, rather than a much safer firm target of 1.5 degrees, was lobbied for and won by the United States.

      The fact that the agreement left it to individual nations to determine how much they were willing to do to reach that temperature target, allowing them to come to Paris with commitments that collectively put us on a disastrous course toward more than 3 degrees of warming, was lobbied for and won by the United States.

      The fact that the agreement treats even these inadequate commitments as non-binding, which means governments apparently do not have anything to fear if they ignore their commitments, is something else that was lobbied for and won by the United States.

      The fact that the agreement specifically prohibits poor countries from seeking damages for the costs of climate disasters was lobbied for and won by the United States.

      The fact that it is an “agreement” or an “accord” and not a treaty — the very thing that makes it possible for Trump to stage his action-movie slow-mo walk away, world in flames behind him — was lobbied for and won by the United States.

      So it would appear that you are correct, that it doesn’t really matter if this peice of meaningless trash is ignored by Trump or not. But I think we would both be wrong in such an assumption. More from Naomi’s article:

      But weak is not the same as useless. The power of the Paris Agreement was always in what social movements resolved to do with it. Having a clear commitment to keep warming below 2 degrees Celsius, while pursuing “efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 C,” means there is no room left in the global carbon budget to develop new fossil fuel reserves.

      That simple fact, even without legal enforcement behind it, has been a potent tool in the hands of movements against new oil pipelines, fracking fields, and coal mines, as well as in the hands of some very brave young people taking the U.S. government to court for failing to protect their right to a safe future.

      1. BTW, this argument parallels Squeeky’s very reasonable assertion that with or without global warming being a real threat the conservation of our fossil carbon resources remains a highly desirable – and now achievable – goal.

  12. I am utterly amazed at how determined people can be about climate science when more than 97% of them (maybe 99.999%) have absolutely know idea about how to perform good scientific research, including most every AGW scientist out there. Being a very experienced scientist, this whole AGW thing is a terrible hoax and it is shameful to see how the public have been conned. It comes down to a rather simple mistake in assumption by climate alarmists; correlation versus causation.

    Mark my words, a cooling period is more likely to occur than a warming period in the next couple of decades. The nice thing is that the world climate is that it will follow its own path regardless of how many thousands of junk scientific papers are written. I look forward to the death of climate alarmism and with it, the Progressive movement will crash or at least move away from their brainless causes.

    1. What a fool.

      Perform John Tyndall’s experiment. Then get back to me.

    2. I am utterly amazed at how determined people can be about climate science when more than 97% of them (maybe 99.999%) have absolutely know idea about how to perform good scientific research, including most every AGW scientist out there.

      See Steve McIntyre on the University of East Anglia (“I think their problem is they’ve lost control of their data…).

  13. Corrupt deal from the start. So much intrigue as to how this came together that will never see the light of day because there are no honest journalists in the MSM anymore. And in any case, the truth gets in the way of ideological agendas, so it’s just so very inconvenient to even go down that path for them. The UN is nothing more than a cash machine for global corruption.

  14. I came to this site this morning hoping for some Constitutional perspective on this Trump opt-out of the Paris Agreement/Accord. I was hoping for some (even cursory) mention of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (VCLT/the “treaty on treaties”) which, contrary to all purporting that the Paris Climate Agreement was “non-binding” and “malleable,” absolutely IS binding and NON-malleable under Article 18 of the treaty on treaties.

    Once a nation signs a treaty — or merely does something that could be interpreted as “express[ing] its consent to be bound by the treaty” — that nation is “obliged to refrain from acts which would defeat the object and purpose of the treaty.”(VCLT). In other words, once an administration signs or otherwise signals assent to the terms of an international agreement (as Obama did with Paris Agreement), the United States must consider itself bound – even though the Senate has not approved it, even though it has not been ratified. So that means none of us–the citizenry–have a say in it, whatever “it” is at all.

    Come on JT. I can usually count on you to divorce yourself from the “feelz” to lay out the Constitutional perspective. Hoping for a JT reply.

    1. Notwithstanding patrickchatsamiably’s comment, which is quite interesting, is there language in an agreement that would trigger Vienna? I know that before the Swiss parliament ratified the EU bilateral agreements in 2001, Switzerland basically violated it by bailing out Swissair under the guise of recapitalization of Crossair, but the Euros never called them on it because there was a bigger agenda at work.

      1. The greatest thing about Trump is that he stands for the proposition that it doesn’t really matter. He might not know constitutional intricacies (I have no idea how much he knows in this regard), but he loves America. He knows enough to know that a treaties become the law of the land only after a very difficult process. This was by intent, when the Constitution was crafted. The idea that some faceless eurocrats can tell us that their opinions trump our Constitution makes The Donald laugh.

        That is, if these ciphers contend that the unratified treaty on treaties is binding on the United States, to force us to consider another unratified treaty above our Constitution, Trump’s just the guy to tell them to piss up a rope.

        Normal Americans chose to go with a non-politician because they are sick to death of crafty shenanigans of this sort, and believed that he would cut the gordian knot when necessary. He’s proven to be trustworthy in this. Here’s great (and hilarious) take on that: https://townhall.com/columnists/kurtschlichter/2017/06/01/the-left-freaks-out-as-everything-it-tries-makes-it-look-stupider-n2333860

        1. Well said patrick. As for knowing constitutional intricacies, the American people are by and large unarmed. What they are armed with however is a healthy skepticism of government power (at least those that voted against Clinton). They also have an internal compass regarding their rights. They may not understand how the power of the federal government is abusing those rights but they certainly have risen up against it.

          President Trump has proven to be a threat to the political class that have mastered the art of making government abuse of power appear constitutional. Jonathan Turley is one of those artists, but he does hide his progressive nature fairly well. His Kryptonite is the environment. This subject will make him unabashedly abandon all constitutional principles.

          There’s a reason I couldn’t find Res ipsa loquitur in a Google search for top legal blogs.

          1. “His Kryptonite is the environment. This subject will make him unabashedly abandon all constitutional principles.”

            Not just that.

            I don’t comment here much, but when I do, it’s for a reason. Another time I spent a little while here was to take umbrage at his bizarre, utterly unconstitutionally ignorant, desire that California, New York and Illinois select the president. It is very good news that it is not possible to imagine a way that the small states will cooperate in eliminating the Electoral College. This makes the professor very unhappy.

            As I said at the time, there is no other country like America; the closest comparison would be a continent-wide Europe with a central government. Were such a thing to exist, and the popular vote used to determine its “president,” Luxembourg, Greece, Ireland and Belgium would never have a voice.

            Well, here, Wyoming, Rhode Island and Delaware–not to mention Iowa, New Hampshire and Vermont–have plenty of say-so. Thank God.

            It’s sad that a professor of Constitutional law can’t appreciate the wonderfulness of the Electoral College system.

            And it’s weird that he thinks bird-chopper farms are environmentally acceptable.

            1. It’s sad that a professor of Constitutional law can’t appreciate the wonderfulness of the Electoral College system.

              Thank you for that reminder.

        2. The Senate lacks the authority to ratify the Treaty on Treaties. It would require a Constitutional Amendment to grant them the authority to delegate that power to the Executive.

  15. Turley states “despite the virtuously unanimous opinion of the scientific community”…………what BS. It is just the scientific community that the Leftist mainstay media will report on. Remember the report from one of the background studies from a university in England that was supposedly the gospel regarding global warming and then it was shown and admitted to by some of the “experts” in that study that they lied about the data. Wake up Turley, there is no unanimous opinion, just the Commie-Leftist opinion that has you suckered in.

    1. It’s a talking point…”nearly all scientists agree…” They all got the memo…..that also includes “all 17 of our intelligence agencies agree that Russia hacked our election”…

    2. Among climatologists, some of whom are Republicans, the agreement is nearly unanimous. These people study, not rant.

      1. David Benson – climatologists do not agree, their models do not agree, their massaging of data does not agree.

          1. David Benson – having read ALL the Climategate emails, I know the texts are a fraud. As are the papers. And you should be honest enough to admit it, too.

  16. Would all you utilitarians be okay with 200+ nations and the United States agreeing to (without Congress) a war on ISIS, at a tremendous cost to the United States relative to the other 200 countries, with a projected benefit of reducing terrorist attacks by 1%? Oh, and with 2 of the 200 continually funding terrorism? Can you get behind that?

  17. One other point. I’ve heard and read that it’s supposed to be a greater threat than terrorism. For all the cries that this country and the MIC has us in endless states of war without requiring a formal declaration of war from Congress, why is this War on Climate Change not seen as something that should go through the Senate?

    1. War means a state of armed conflict between two nation states.

      The term, “war” has a very specific meaning, particularly in terms of Constitutional obligations, and this meaning does not include anything and everything we don’t like .

      The anything and everything definition of war, has been misused by both parties alike since at least Johnson’s “war” on poverty, to Regan’s “war” on drugs, to our current war on “anything and everything we fear, anything that doesn’t make enough profit for our private industry, or that we just generally don’t like.”

      While this misuse has provided politicians with a clever rhetorical trick to make false comparisons with any number of bête noir issues, or pet peeves, to an actual state of war that requires congressional approval, such verbal trickery does not require loyalty by the public.

      1. BB,
        You are making a very narrow interpretation of my comment. Committing a nation to war or any other enterprise that has such an impact on our rights as citizens, and included in there are the rights of all the states, should not be left to the imagination of the Executive Branch. Our Legislative Branch is there as a check on the Executive; without that check the Executive would have unlimited power to commit this country to any warm & fuzzy agreements, accords, etc. the President fancies. Today the issue is about the Paris Accord, but tomorrow it will be about some other initiative that will have this nation divided. What we cannot continue to support are utilitarian ends by unconstitutional means.

        1. Thanks for the reply, Olly, I would have responded sooner but had to attend to some things.

          I happen to agree with at least part of your thesis, namely that given the importance of the issue, as well as the potential cost, it would have been beneficial for the Senate and House to take up the issue of global warming and our commitment or abstention to or from the Paris agreement (or accord – totally non binding in either case). But I differ on the rest.

          You can make your case quite well for congressional involvement without reference to the War Powers Clause of the Constitution, so by evoking that clause it is you, not me, who used a very specific very narrow Constitutional obligation to make an association with a very broad claim about what you call utilitarian ends. The framers of the Constitution were specific or that point, using the narrow term, “war,” and they did so for a purpose or they themselves would have made the clause more broad (they might have said, “When in doubt, ask Olle.”, for instance , 🙂 – but they didn’t)

          The Paris agreement is absolutely and utterly non binding in every respect thanks in large part to Obama (only the Repubs can turn something they wholly agree with against the poor sod who was just doing his damnedest to represent the wishes of the oil conglomerates – insert my usual incantation here that I am not an Obama fan). So even though I agree with you, I’m not sure this particular event really reaches the level of the full involvement of Congress, particularly as a constitutional duty. There is nothing preventing them from taking the issue up anyway, should they feel it (or have felt it) to be of sufficient importance and issuing a letter (say to Obama and then Trump) strongly expressing the need to avoid signing any such agreement, toothless as it is.

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Res ipsa loquitur – The thing itself speaks
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