Posted tagged ‘Paris climate change agreement’

Time for a Terrorism Accord, Not a Climate Accord

June 4, 2017

Time for a Terrorism Accord, Not a Climate Accord, PJ MediaRoger L Simon, June 3, 2017

(Another pleasing idea that won’t likely be tried and, if tried, won’t work. “America First” can work and, if given a chance, should. The Supreme Court is about to consider President Trump’s “Muslim ban” executive order. Perhaps recent events in Europe and England will push enough justices to reinstate it.That will at least be a step in the right direction. Please see also, Supreme Court Expedites Trump’s Petition on Executive Order Case. — DM)

[T]he recent Paris climate accord is not only based on bad or “cooked” Climategate science, it is a deliberate conscious/unconscious deflection from the genuine “present danger” in front of us.  It is no more than obfuscation allowing moral narcissists to feel good about themselves, virtue signaling about an environmental armageddon that hasn’t happened and may never happen while, in real life, people are actually murdered on London bridges and in Cairo churches.

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Yes, there’s a threat to civilization and it’s not global warming, manmade or otherwise.  And anyone who isn’t comatose should know what it is.

Islam, like cancer, needs a cure. And we all have to participate in the search for one before it’s too late.

Yes, this is about Islam, not “radical” Islam or some other off-shoot, real or imagined, because the tenets that have inspired the non-stop spate of terrorism across the world in recent years are spelled out clearly in sections of the Koran and the Hadith and other holy works of Islam. They provide justification for ISIS and a hundred other groups that may or may not replace them, now and in the future. This cannot continue — unless we really do want to destroy ourselves.

To be clear, this is not about bad people (many Muslims are fine human beings), but about a malignant ideology from the seventh century that must be expunged for the survival of all.

But the majority of Western leaders don’t want to know that.  In fact, I’d wager that most have not even bothered to educate themselves in any serious way about Islam nearly sixteen years after 9/11 and with all the constant carnage that has gone on since and has been increasing significantly, not just in London and Manchester but virtually everywhere.

These Westerners are not only willfully blind, they are suicidal.  But we cannot let them commit suicide for the rest of us.  They have to go.

Similarly, the recent Paris climate accord is not only based on bad or “cooked” Climategate science, it is a deliberate conscious/unconscious deflection from the genuine “present danger” in front of us.  It is no more than obfuscation allowing moral narcissists to feel good about themselves, virtue signaling about an environmental armageddon that hasn’t happened and may never happen while, in real life, people are actually murdered on London bridges and in Cairo churches.

What we need now is an international terrorism accord — and, unlike the climate accord, a binding one — that would commit the world, including the Muslim nations themselves, to the complete reformation of Islam that is the necessary basis for an end to this terrorism.

President Trump made a good start in Riyadh in his address to the Sunni leaders, but we must go much further.  It is correct that the Islamic world should be the ones to change their religion, but the rest of us on the planet are too affected by the results to stand by and wait.  From the horrifying (London this weekend) to the daily (the constant of indignity of being scanned at airports, concerts, museums, etc.), we are all victims of Islamic ideology.  We have a right, indeed an obligation, to participate in and demand its change. Otherwise, it will only get worse.

Since Trump had the courage to open the discussion in Saudi Arabia, he should attempt to expand the dialogue and create this global accord. Egypt’s el-Sisi would be a good partner because he already had the guts to criticize his own religion.  All should be invited, even those who would never come (like the mullahs).  All must confront the question of why Islam, unique among the world’s religions today, has so much violence committed in its name. What is it about Islam that attracts this?  What therefore has to be changed, both in behavior and ideology?

The event should be public, with Islam ultimately made to pledge itself to human rights as accepted by the West — equal rights for women and homosexuals, separation of church (mosque) and state, no discrimination based on race or religion (why no churches allowed in Saudi Arabia?), etc. — not the absurd Orwellian version of human rights promulgated the UN Human Rights Council.

This demand should be made to all quarters of the Islamic world with economic punishment applied if necessary.  The time for diplomatic politesse is long over. Islam must be forced to join modernity. Reactionary multiculturalists among us must be ignored, along with their hypocritical (and nonsensical) belief that all religions are equal.  To do otherwise would be to treat Muslim people like children.  And that is what the West has been doing for some time — with atrocious results for all.

The president keeps a solemn promise to put America first

June 2, 2017

The president keeps a solemn promise to put America first, Washington Times, Wesley Pruden, June 1, 2017

President Donald Trump arrives in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Thursday, June 1, 2017, to speak about the US role in the Paris climate change accord. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Whatever new agreement Mr. Trump can make will be a treaty, and must, as the Constitution makes clear, be ratified by the Senate. Barack Obama, the famous professor of constitutional law, wouldn’t do that because he knew that the Paris agreement would never have made it through the Senate. Climate does change sometimes. Thursday was a sunny day in Washington.

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Uncle Sugar doesn’t live here any more, and he didn’t leave a forwarding address. This is the message, spoken loud and clear by Donald Trump Thursday in the White House Rose Garden, and it’s just now getting through to the easy riders out there.

“As of today,” he said, “the United States will cease all implementation of the non-binding Paris accord and the draconian financial and economic burdens the agreement imposes on our country. We’re getting out but we’ll start to negotiate and we will see if we can make a deal that’s fair. And if we can, that’s great. And if we can’t, that’s fine.”

This was exactly what the 196 signers needed to hear, and the president told them without heat, bombast or blather. Just the facts, ma’am, and that means Madame Merkel. Before all the news from Washington was in, Madame Merkel, with France and Italy tagging along in the lady’s considerable wake, said in haughty voice that the Paris accord “will not be renegotiated.” So the lady says, subject to invoking the feminine privilege of changing her mind.

The president thus makes good on one of his most important campaign promises, mocking the holy writ of global warming, or “climate change” as it’s called now because the globe refuses to warm as promised and all the dead polar bears are still not dead and the ocean that was supposed to have inundated the financial district of lower Manhattan by now, has still not obeyed Al Gore.

The president sounds like the reasonable one now. “In order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris accord for an entirely new transaction on terms that are fair to the United States.” He identified several sectors of the American economy that would lose jobs and paychecks if the United States stays in the accord — 2.7 million jobs by 2025. Fair is fair, after all, even for Uncle Sugar.

This puts a large dent in Barack Obama’s legacy, about which he can’t stop talking. He was first in line to cavil Thursday, presumably caviling from his walled mansion behind a moat of security a quarter of a mile long, where he leads what he imagines the U.S. Government in more or less permanent exile, or at least until he gets bored with exile and goes home, like presidents before him, and comes to term with the fact that his day is done.

“The nations that remain in the Paris Agreement will be the nations that reap the benefits in jobs and industries created,” he said, trying to remember how to affect a presidential tone. “I believe the United States of America should be at the front of the pack. But even in the absence of American leadership, even as this administration joins a small handful of nations that reject the future, I’m confident that our states, cities and businesses will step up and do even more to lead the way, and help protect for future generations the one planet we’ve got.” This was a stunning exercise in disrespect for the one president we currently have, and for the office as well.

Pittsburgh and Peoria with a foreign policy. Who knew? But several cities with Democratic administrations have vowed to remain in the Paris accord, as if they could. Several tycoons of finance and industry seem to regard their companies as sovereign, too, and were quick to take the president to task. It seems not to have occurred to these cities and tycoons that if they want to clean up their act and eliminate pollution, nobody, least of all Donald Trump, will stop them.

Mr. Trump’s critics are eager now to play holier than thou — even the pope, who had said earlier that if Mr. Trump withdrew from Paris the Vatican would take it as “a slap in the face.” Leonardo DiCaprio was disappointed, too, because he had earlier urged Mr. Trump to “make the moral position.” Moral tutelage from the Vatican and Hollywood on the very same day. Religiosity reigns, if only for the day.

But back where it counts, the president’s decision won praise from Republicans in Congress. “I applaud President Trump and his administration for dealing with yet another blow to the Obama administration’s assault on domestic energy production and jobs,” said Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Republican majority leader. Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming, chairman of the Senate Committee on the Environment, observed that “the Paris climate agreement set unworkable targets that put America at a competitive disadvantage.”

Whatever new agreement Mr. Trump can make will be a treaty, and must, as the Constitution makes clear, be ratified by the Senate. Barack Obama, the famous professor of constitutional law, wouldn’t do that because he knew that the Paris agreement would never have made it through the Senate. Climate does change sometimes. Thursday was a sunny day in Washington.

Post “Fact-Checkers” Swing and Miss at Trump’s Paris Accord Speech

June 2, 2017

Post “Fact-Checkers” Swing and Miss at Trump’s Paris Accord Speech, Power LinePaul Mirengoff, June 2, 2017

By now, most people understand that “fact-checkers” for organs like the Washington Post are just liberals trying to package their talking points under a byline they hope will bolster their waning credibility. That’s certainly the case with this Washington Post “fact check” (by Glenn Kessler and Michelle Ye Hee Lee) of President Trump’s explanation for withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement.

This howler appears in the second paragraph:

Trump also suggested that the United States was treated unfairly under the agreement. But each of the nations signing the agreement agreed to help lower emissions, based on plans they submitted. So the U.S. target was set by the Obama administration.

Q.E.D. But for which side of the debate?

In the online version I’m working from, the “fact-checkers” don’t bother to link to the text of Trump’s speech. Apparently, they would prefer not to be fact-checked.

If one bothers to read the text, one finds that Trump didn’t say the process that produced the agreement — e.g., the way the targets were set — is unfair. He said: “the Paris Accord is very unfair, at the highest level, to the United States.” In other words, the outcome — in particular, the targets — is unfair.

Thus, the fact-checkers have assumed that targets set by Obama are, by definition, fair to the United States. That’s what they used to call “begging the question.”

It would be hard for the “fact-checkers” to go downhill from there, but they make a good run at it. Trump cited a study finding that full implementation and compliance with the agreement would produce only a “tiny, tiny” 0.2 degree reduction in global temperature by 2100. The fact-checkers deny that a 0.2 degree reduction is “tiny, tiny” and say that the author of the study disagrees with Trump’s characterization.

Do we really need fact-checkers to tell us what is, and is not, “tiny, tiny”?

The Post’s “fact-checkers” take a rather different approach when it comes to assessing the magnitude of lost economic growth. Citing a study, Trump said the agreement would cost the economy nearly $3 trillion in lost gross domestic product by 2040. The fact-checkers say “that number must be viewed in context over more than two decades, so ‘$3 trillion’ amounts to a reduction of 6 percent.”

A 6 percent loss of GDP isn’t “tiny, tiny.” It seems significant to me. Others may view things differently, but that’s a matter of opinion, not fact. Trump hasn’t said anything here that constitutes factual error.

Much of the criticism leveled by the Post’s “fact-checkers” is based on the fact that the nations aren’t bound by the key elements of the Paris agreement. Thus, they note that Trump could change Obama’s commitments because it is “technically allowed under the accord.” (Emphasis added).

But in evaluating whether to stay in the deal, Trump has the right to take it seriously. What’s the point of being a party to an agreement that any party can blow off?

The point, from the climate activist perspective, may be to provide a vehicle for challenging decisions like Trump’s roll back of the Clean Power Plan. Trump alluded to this prospect, which has been raised by the White House Counsel, in his speech.

According to the Post’s fact-checkers, State Department lawyers strongly deny that the Paris accords could be used this way. I suspect they are either disingenuous, insufficiently creative, or oblivious. Anyway, Trump is entitled to rely on the view of his White House Counsel.

In the end, I come away from the Post’s “fact-check” believing that, (1) if fully implemented and complied with, the Paris agreement will have only a negligible impact on the earth’s temperature and (2) even if the U.S. remained in the deal, it would not be fully implemented and complied with.

I also coming away believing that, with the possible exception of taking the Paris accord too seriously, Trump’s speech contains no error of fact.

Paris: Trump Blocks First of Obama’s ‘Three Authoritarianisms’

June 2, 2017

Paris: Trump Blocks First of Obama’s ‘Three Authoritarianisms’, PJ MediaRoger L. Simon, June 1, 2017

Sometimes — maybe almost always — the world seems to run on Freudian projection. One of the salient recent examples is Barack Obama’s supporters — and Obama himself, literally and by implication — calling Donald Trump “authoritarian.”

But in non-projected reality, during his administration, Obama is the one who imposed what we might deem — in appropriately Maoist parlance — the “Three Authoritarianisms.” They were the Paris climate accord, the Iran deal, and US intelligence agencies being used to surveil American citizens.

All three of these “authoritarianisms” were entirely ex-Constitutional.  The first two were in essence treaties on which Congress (and by extension the American people) never got to vote or, for that matter, discuss in any serious way.  The Paris accord probably would have failed. As for the Iran deal, we still don’t know the full contents and therefore debating it is somewhat moot. We have, however, seen its consequences — corpses littered all across Syria, not to mention untold millions of refugees.

Admittedly, too, the third of “Three Authoritarianisms” is still, shall we say, occluded.  We don’t know the extent of this surveillance and may never. But this too is typical authoritarian behavior.

Even a cursory look at history reveals that totalitarianism does not always come with the obvious iron fist of a Comrade Stalin.  Sometimes it arrives in a subtler manner, as it did in the Obama administration when the then president’s amanuensis/lackey Ben Rhodes was so naive or arrogant (or both) as to brag to a New York Times writer how he duped young and uneducated reporters into parroting what the administration wanted them to say about the Iran deal.  The KGB couldn’t have done it better.

In the cases of Paris and Iran, it’s clear the (totalitarian) decision to avoid Congress was deliberate.  But now Trump has put a crimp in the former by pulling out of the Paris climate ( global warming) accord. The international chorus of hissy fits was so instantaneous and predictable — no more eminent scientist than actor Mark Ruffalo has declared “Trump will have the death of whole nations on his hands” — one must ask the obligatory question: Was it ever really about climate or was it, in the immortal words of  H. L. Mencken, “about the money“?

I learned firsthand just how much it was the latter when covering COP15 — the UN climate conference in Copenhagen at the tail end of 2009.  That the event occurred in near-blizzard conditions with temperatures hovering close to single digits was the least of it.  As we all know, that’s weather, not climate. Right?

Naturally, most of the conference was deadly dull — except for watching junketing U.S. politicians scarfing down modernist Danish jewelry in the Marriott gift shop. But during one of the tedious panel discussions, I found myself sitting next to the representative of one of the Pacific islands said to be on the edge of being submerged.  A pleasant fellow, I engaged him in conversation, attempting to commiserate with him about the fate of his homeland. The diplomat started laughing. “Don’t you believe in global warming?” I asked.  “It’s nonsense,” he said.  He went to explain that his island was just fine.  They had some bad weather and had put up sandbags, but now they were gone.  So I then asked why he had come all the way from the South Pacific to Denmark and he looked at me in astonishment. “For the money,” he said, continuing to stare at me as if I were some kind of cretin who had wangled a press pass. (Okay, I wouldn’t have been the first.)

Look, I know that’s entirely anecdotal but it is funny to think about and somehow meshes with the absurd amounts of money the accord would presumably have forced the American taxpayer to cough up in return for, at best, a puny amount of cooling.  No one explained how that would be consequential and perhaps that’s the point.  It would have exposed the whole thing as a sham.

Of course, the folks who take global warming at face value like that other eminent scientist, the newly minted French president Macron, probably believed in imminent catastrophe even before they saw Al Gore’s famous movie warning of a global armageddon that was supposed to have occurred five years ago.  To have altered their opinions since in any way would have been to much of an effort, like trying to read a scientific paper by MIT’s Richard Lindzen. Science is, after all, complicated and never settled.  Worse yet, it takes background to understand it.  Far better to accept the conventional wisdom and not be ostracized.

Anyway, Trump is to be congratulated for resisting all these would-be bureaucratic totalitarians and walking out on this absurd accord before it bankrupted us. I am reminded of a trip I took to then still fully Communist China in 1979 when signs urging the populace to “Resist the Gang of Four!” (Mao’s wife and her Cultural Revolution colleagues) were everywhere. In that spirit I say “Resist the Three Authoritarianisms!”  One (hopefully) down.  Two to go.

PS:  You will note I did not include the Affordable Care Act in my list of authoritarianisms.  It was, after all, enacted by our representatives  in Congress, even if most of them didn’t read it. So you can’t call it strictly totalitarian.  You can just call it stupid.

Obama lashes at Trump as climate legacy slips away

June 1, 2017

Obama lashes at Trump as climate legacy slips away, Washington TimesStephen Dinan, June 1, 2016

(Of dear. Woe is me Obama. Dirty rat President Trump has rejected President Reject Obama’s legacy of leading the world from behind and does what’s best for America. Tsk. Tsk. — – DM)

Former US President waves before he is awarded the German Media Prize 2016 in Baden-Baden, Germany, Thursday, May 25, 2017.(AP Photo/Michael Probst)

A frustrated former President Obama chided President Trump Thursday for canceling U.S. involvement in the Paris climate agreement, and insisted the rest of the world is still headed toward lower greenhouse gas emissions even without American leadership.

Even as Mr. Trump was still speaking in the White House Rose Garden, announcing his decision, Mr. Obama issued a statement accusing his successor of isolating the U.S. by joining “a small handful of nations that reject the future.”

Mr. Trump announced he was withdrawing from the deal but said he would try to negotiate a better agreement that’s more fair to the U.S. His decision, in one swoop, eviscerated Mr. Obama’s top foreign policy accomplishment from his eight years in office.

Mr. Obama, who has been more forthright than previous presidents in criticizing his successor, issued a statement saying the new president was botching America’s leadership role.

But the former president said even without the U.S. government, businesses and other countries won’t back away.

“Simply put, the private sector already chose a low-carbon future. And for the nations that committed themselves to that future, the Paris Agreement opened the floodgates for businesses, scientists, and engineers to unleash high-tech, low-carbon investment and innovation on an unprecedented scale,” Mr. Obama said.

Mr. Obama negotiated the deal in 2015 and officially committed the U.S. last year.

He promised that by 2025 the U.S. would achieve a reduction of greenhouse gases between 26 percent and 28 percent below the 2005 level.

Though the agreement had many of the features of an international treaty, the former president declined to submit it to the Senate for ratification, where it would have almost certainly been defeated either by vote or by inaction.

Obama backers tried to argue the deal wasn’t binding and that the U.S. could ignore its goals without penalty, though legal analysts warned that remaining part of the deal could create avenues for environmentalists to go to court to force compliance.

Don’t Stop With Paris

May 31, 2017

Don’t Stop With Paris, PJ MediaAndrew C. McCarthy, May 31, 2017

(President Nixon entered into the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, purporting to nullify the constitutional requirement of Senate ratification of treaties before they can go into effect. He had no authority to do so and President Trump, perhaps with the backing of Congress should he deem it appropriate, should declare the “Law of Treaties” null and void, retroactively. — DM)

FILE – In this Oct. 13, 1973 file photo, then-vice presidential nominee Gerald R. Ford, right, listens as President Richard Nixon, accompanied by Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, speaks in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington.

President Richard M. Nixon signed a monstrosity known as the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. Think of it as “the treaty on treaties” — even though you probably thought we already had an American law of treaties.

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.”

In other words, the Constitution notwithstanding, once a presidential administration signs or otherwise signals assent to the terms of an international agreement, the United States must consider itself bound – even though the Senate has not approved it, even though it has not been ratified.

Think, moreover, of how badly the treaty on treaties betrays our constitutional system, which is based on representative government that is accountable to the people. The Constitution’s treaty process is designed to be a presumption against international entanglements. Unless two-thirds of senators are convinced than an agreement between or among countries is truly in the national interests of the United States — not of some “progressive” conception of global stability, but of our people’s interests — the agreement will not be ratified, and therefore should be deemed null and void.

President Trump should not stop at Paris. While he’s at it, he should affirmatively withdraw the United States from the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. We don’t need an international convention on that. We have a Constitution that renders multilateral boondoggles unbinding in the absence of super-majority Senate consent. Want to put “America first”? Then it is past time to reify our sovereignty and the rule of law — our law.

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It is welcome news that President Trump will pull the United States out of the Paris climate agreement. The pact promises to damage the economy while surrendering American sovereignty over climate policy to yet another international, largely anti-American enterprise.

It is unwelcome news, nevertheless, that so much was riding on the president’s decision to withdraw the assent of his predecessor, Barack Obama — America’s first post-American president.

In reality, Trump’s decision is monumental only because America, in the Obama mold, has become post-constitutional.

The Paris climate agreement is a treaty. We are not talking here about a bob-and-weave farce like the Iran nuclear deal. That arrangement, the “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action,” was shrewdly packaged as an “unsigned understanding” — concurrently spun, depending on its apologists’ need of the moment, as a non-treaty (in order to evade the Constitution’s requirements), or as a binding international commitment (in order to intimidate the new American administration into retaining it).

The climate agreement, to the contrary, is a formal international agreement. Indeed, backers claim this “Convention” entered into force — i.e., became internationally binding — upon the adoption of “instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession” by a mere 55 of the 197 parties.

For all these global governance pretensions, though, why should we care? Why should the Paris agreement affect Americans?

Yes, President Obama gave his assent to the agreement in his characteristically cagey manner: He waited until late 2016 to “adopt” the convention — when there would be no practical opportunity to seek Senate approval before he left office. But Senate consent is still required, by a two-thirds’ supermajority, before a treaty is binding on the United States.

At least that’s what the Constitution says.

But it is not what post-American, transnational progressives say.

They note that in 1970, President Richard M. Nixon signed a monstrosity known as the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. Think of it as “the treaty on treaties” — even though you probably thought we already had an American law of treaties.

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.”

In other words, the Constitution notwithstanding, once a presidential administration signs or otherwise signals assent to the terms of an international agreement, the United States must consider itself bound – even though the Senate has not approved it, even though it has not been ratified.

If a subsequent president wants to get the United States out from under this counter-constitutional strait-jacket, it is not enough merely to refrain from submitting the treaty to the Senate. The later president must take an affirmative action that withdraws the prior president’s assent. That is why Trump cannot not just ignore the Paris agreement; he needs to openly and notoriously pull out of it.

Want to know how far gone we are? The treaty on treaties has never been ratified by the United States.

So why do we care about it? Because Nixon signed it. Could the reasoning here be more circular? The Constitution requires a signed treaty to be ratified before it becomes binding, yet we consider ourselves bound by signed but unratified treaties because a signed but unratified treaty says so.

How does that square with the Constitution? Wrong question. The right one, apparently, is: Who needs the Constitution when you have the State Department? That bastion of transnational progressives advises that, despite the lack of ratification under our Constitution, “many” of the treaty on treaties’ provisions are binding as — what else? — “customary international law.”

President Trump is taking a significant step in removing the United States from the Paris agreement. But the step should not be significant, or politically fraught, at all. President Obama’s eleventh-hour consent to the agreement’s terms should have been nothing more consequential than symbolic pom-pom waving at his fellow climate alarmists. It should have had no legal ramifications.

Think, moreover, of how badly the treaty on treaties betrays our constitutional system, which is based on representative government that is accountable to the people. The Constitution’s treaty process is designed to be a presumption against international entanglements. Unless two-thirds of senators are convinced than an agreement between or among countries is truly in the national interests of the United States — not of some “progressive” conception of global stability, but of our people’s interests — the agreement will not be ratified, and therefore should be deemed null and void.

Yet, the treaty on treaties enables senators to ignore their constituents’ interests without accountability. Senators from Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere are not forced to cast a vote on whether international climate standards, and the unaccountable bureaucrats behind them, should strangle their states. They get to say, “Don’t look at me. The issue has already been decided by the president, so our only remaining choice is to ‘save the planet’ by implementing these painful global mandates.”

President Trump should not stop at Paris. While he’s at it, he should affirmatively withdraw the United States from the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. We don’t need an international convention on that. We have a Constitution that renders multilateral boondoggles unbinding in the absence of super-majority Senate consent. Want to put “America first”? Then it is past time to reify our sovereignty and the rule of law — our law.

Donald Trump Will Exit Paris Climate Change Agreement

May 31, 2017

Donald Trump Will Exit Paris Climate Change Agreement, BreitbartCharlie Spiering, May 31, 2017

(Maybe the reports are accurate, maybe they aren’t. We should know soon. — DM)

© AFP SAUL LOEB

President Donald Trump has decided to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, according to a report fromAxios reporter Jonathan Swanciting two sources with knowledge of the decision.

The news was confirmed by several mainstream media outlets.

The decision wreaks havoc on former President Barack Obama’s legacy as president, despite pleas from world leaders for the United States to show leadership on climate change and remain in the agreement

Trump’s decision fulfills a key campaign promise to supporters of his run for president, widely supported by Republican members of congress who felt that the treaty unfairly jeopardized the American economy.

Opponents of the climate deal were concerned after White House economic advisor Gary Cohn told reporters that the president was “evolving on the issue” during his trip overseas.

His daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner reportedly channelled support for the deal behind the scenes at the White House, encouraging climate change activists that Trump might change his mind. Trump’s Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the former Exxon CEO, also supported remaining in the treaty.

On May 9th, Obama defended his climate change legacy, calling the agreement “the one that will define the contours of this century more dramatically perhaps than any other.” In October 2016, Obama described the deal as “the best possible shot to save the one planet we’ve got.”

New York and Washington elites agreed, downplaying the future of coal as an energy source and urging more federal subsidies for wind and solar investments.

Trump’s EPA Secretary Scott Pruitt and White House senior advisor Stephen K. Bannon urged the president to keep his campaign promise to kill the agreement and put American energy and job growth first.

How Team Trump plans to kill Obama’s Paris climate deal by declaring it a treaty

April 27, 2017

How Team Trump plans to kill Obama’s Paris climate deal by declaring it a treaty, Washington timesStephen Dinan, April 26, 2017

President Barack Obama meets with President-elect Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

A briefing paper circulated among Republican senators this week said the deal should have been sent to Capitol Hill by Mr. Obama, but he “knew that Congress would never approve such a flawed deal, so he refused to seek the Senate’s advice and consent.”

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As President Trump’s top advisers prepare to hash out a final policy on the Paris climate agreement dumped onto their laps by President Obama, another option has hit the table: Declare the deal a treaty and send it to the Senate to be killed.

The treaty option could emerge as the middle ground in the increasingly tense battle between “remainers” on the one hand, who say the president should abide by Mr. Obama’s global warming deal, and the Paris agreement’s detractors, who say Mr. Trump would be breaking a key campaign promise if he doesn’t withdraw from the pact.

Mr. Trump’s principal advisers are slated to meet Thursday to hash out a final set of recommendations for the president, with several deadlines looming next month.

At an initial meeting of top staffers Tuesday, several memos and letters that were circulated laid out the options, including the treaty proposal put forth by Christopher C. Horner and Marlo Lewis Jr., senior fellows at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Under their vision, Mr. Trump could toss out Mr. Obama’s decision that the Paris accord was an executive agreement, declare it a treaty and send it to the Senate, where it would need a two-thirds vote for ratification.

Given Republican control of the chamber, the agreement’s opponents say senators would either shelve the deal or outright defeat it. Either option would derail the deal, the memo suggested.

“That option affirms that we are a nation of laws, not men and, importantly, discourages both our negotiating partners and future U.S. officials against attempting to circumvent our system,” the memo says.

A briefing paper circulated among Republican senators this week said the deal should have been sent to Capitol Hill by Mr. Obama, but he “knew that Congress would never approve such a flawed deal, so he refused to seek the Senate’s advice and consent.”

Supporters of the Paris accord have their own memo drafted by lawyers in the State Department. That memo says that by sending the agreement to the Senate, the president would be giving up important powers and leave Mr. Trump and his successors open to congressional meddling.

“Because the large majority of international agreements concluded by the United States are concluded as executive agreements, this could have far-reaching implications for our conduct of foreign affairs,” the State Department document says.

The Paris agreement is the main international vehicle for trying to combat climate change. Mr. Obama committed the U.S. to the deal in 2015 but never submitted it for ratification, saying it was an extension of a U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, which the Senate ratified in 1992.

The State Department memo says there are few risks to remaining part of the Paris deal. It says the “legal obligations are relatively few and are generally process-oriented [and] discretionary in their application or repeat existing obligations already contained in the Framework Convention.”

Michael McKenna, a Republican energy strategist, said anything short of withdrawal would leave the U.S. open to legal challenges, with judges potentially attempting to enforce strict climate limits based on the commitments.

“The president is being asked to travel a path that leads him — ultimately — to continue the Obama administration policies on climate change,” said Mr. McKenna, who has authored his own memo calling for withdrawal.

He blamed Obama administration “holdovers” at the State Department for trying to preserve their former boss’ plans.

Mr. Obama committed the U.S. to cutting greenhouse gas emissions at least 26 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. The former president tried to enforce the commitment through a series of executive and administration actions, imposing tight limits on power plants and auto emissions.

Federal courts have halted some of those plans, and Mr. Trump and Congress have nixed others, easing the pressure on American industry. During the campaign, Mr. Trump also pledged to cancel the Paris deal.

As a decision nears, the sides among Mr. Trump’s top advisers have become clear.

Energy Secretary Rick Perry on Tuesday appeared to join the remainers, though he said the deal should be renegotiated.

“I’m not going to tell the president of the United States to walk away from the Paris accord,” Mr. Perry said at a conference sponsored by Bloomberg. “I will say that we need to renegotiate it.”

Mr. Perry said other countries are breaking their self-imposed commitments, giving the U.S. an opportunity to insist on changes.

Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson is a remainer, as are perhaps Mr. Trump’s closest advisers, son-in-law Jared Kushner and daughter Ivanka Trump. The White House general counsel’s office also appears to be leaning toward remain, sources familiar with the negotiations said.

Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt is pushing for withdrawal, and he is joined by U.N. Ambassador Nikki R. Haley, analysts said. Top presidential strategist Stephen K. Bannon is also a withdrawal advocate.

Exxon Mobil Corp. has written a letter urging the administration to stick with the Paris agreement, and the National Mining Association said this week, after its leaders met with Mr. Pruitt, that it will push for withdrawal, Politico reported.

The next test for the Paris accord will be in the middle of May, when finance ministers of the Group of Seven major economies meet in Italy. The heads of state meet at the end of the month.

The leaders are hoping for a communique reaffirming the Paris agreement, while opponents within the U.S. are hoping to prevent that, saying it would tie Mr. Trump’s hands going forward.

Climate “Science” Rocked by Another Scandal

February 5, 2017

Climate “Science” Rocked by Another Scandal, Power LineJohn Hinderaker, February 5, 2017

A just-retired scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has blown the whistle on a scandal of epic proportions involving fake news ginned up by climate “scientists.” Dr. John Bates, who until the end of 2016 was one of NOAA’s top scientists, told the story to the Daily Mail:

The Mail on Sunday today reveals astonishing evidence that the organisation that is the world’s leading source of climate data rushed to publish a landmark paper that exaggerated global warming and was timed to influence the historic Paris Agreement on climate change.

A high-level whistleblower has told this newspaper that America’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) breached its own rules on scientific integrity when it published the sensational but flawed report, aimed at making the maximum possible impact on world leaders including Barack Obama and David Cameron at the UN climate conference in Paris in 2015.

The report claimed that the ‘pause’ or ‘slowdown’ in global warming in the period since 1998 – revealed by UN scientists in 2013 – never existed, and that world temperatures had been rising faster than scientists expected. Launched by NOAA with a public relations fanfare, it was splashed across the world’s media, and cited repeatedly by politicians and policy makers.

But the whistleblower, Dr John Bates, a top NOAA scientist with an impeccable reputation, has shown The Mail on Sunday irrefutable evidence that the paper was based on misleading, ‘unverified’ data.

NOAA violated its own rules by publishing the report without subjecting it to required verification procedures–procedures that were designed by Dr. Bates himself.

His vehement objections to the publication of the faulty data were overridden by his NOAA superiors in what he describes as a ‘blatant attempt to intensify the impact’ of what became known as the Pausebuster paper.

Of all the “fake news” stories that emerged in the last two years, this is undoubtedly the most important. More:

NOAA’s 2015 ‘Pausebuster’ paper was based on two new temperature sets of data – one containing measurements of temperatures at the planet’s surface on land, the other at the surface of the seas.

Both datasets were flawed. This newspaper has learnt that NOAA has now decided that the sea dataset will have to be replaced and substantially revised just 18 months after it was issued, because it used unreliable methods which overstated the speed of warming. The revised data will show both lower temperatures and a slower rate in the recent warming trend.

The land temperature dataset used by the study was afflicted by devastating bugs in its software that rendered its findings ‘unstable’.

This is just one of the tricks the NOAA “scientists” employed to exaggerate warming:

The sea dataset used by Thomas Karl and his colleagues – known as Extended Reconstructed Sea Surface Temperatures version 4, or ERSSTv4, tripled the warming trend over the sea during the years 2000 to 2014 from just 0.036C per decade – as stated in version 3 – to 0.099C per decade. Individual measurements in some parts of the globe had increased by about 0.1C and this resulted in the dramatic increase of the overall global trend published by the Pausebuster paper. But Dr Bates said this increase in temperatures was achieved by dubious means. Its key error was an upwards ‘adjustment’ of readings from fixed and floating buoys, which are generally reliable, to bring them into line with readings from a much more doubtful source – water taken in by ships. This, Dr Bates explained, has long been known to be questionable: ships are themselves sources of heat, readings will vary from ship to ship, and the depth of water intake will vary according to how heavily a ship is laden – so affecting temperature readings.

Dr Bates said: ‘They had good data from buoys. And they threw it out and “corrected” it by using the bad data from ships. You never change good data to agree with bad, but that’s what they did – so as to make it look as if the sea was warmer.’

The Earth’s surface temperature record has been so hopelessly corrupted by “adjustments” made for political purposes by NOAA and other agencies that it likely can never be accurately reconstructed. This is a great loss to science. The Mail story suggests that evidence may have been destroyed to cover the tracks of NOAA’s activists:

Then came the final bombshell. Dr Bates said: ‘I learned that the computer used to process the software had suffered a complete failure.’

The reason for the failure is unknown, but it means the Pausebuster paper can never be replicated or verified by other scientists.

Sounds like they borrowed the computer from the IRS.

NOAA is a rogue, politicized agency, like so many others. It has defied a Congressional committee’s subpoena, and apparently lied to the committee:

NOAA not only failed, but it effectively mounted a cover-up when challenged over its data. After the paper was published, the US House of Representatives Science Committee launched an inquiry into its Pausebuster claims. NOAA refused to comply with subpoenas demanding internal emails from the committee chairman, the Texas Republican Lamar Smith, and falsely claimed that no one had raised concerns about the paper internally.

Heads need to roll. Donald Trump has his work cut out for him, to put it mildly.