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June 7, 2020, 6 a.m.

President Trump Was Right In Leaving the Paris Agreement

Short Link: http://www.jsmtech.org/paris-agreement
Read Time: 7 min

President Trump was right. The Paris climate agreement hurts the American economy, jobs, lives, and even funds corruption to try to solve a problem that it can't solve and doesn't entirely exist. But before I begin, I would like to go over two points of clarification. First, America has already formally begun the withdrawal process since last November and will finish around this November according to Forbes[1]. Second, I understand my arguments here are controversial and I understand that I am in the minority being in Massachusetts, but since I am a policy debater, all I ask is that we all keep an open mind, get rid of our initial beliefs, and just look at the facts and use logic to shore up the rest. On that note, I apologize if I don't cite all of my sources (due to time constraints), but I would be happy to do so if you would like more information. With those out of the way, there are really four main reasons why staying with the Paris agreement is a bad idea. First, there is no significant and systematic reason to do so, second, doing so will not solve the overall problem, and third, staying with the agreement will cause serious repercussions to America.


Starting with that first reason: there is actually no significant or systematic reason to do so.  There are three reasons for this. First, many people say that science is "settled" and that "all" scientists agree that human CO2 global warming is a problem. This is simply not the case. According to Forbes, in 2012, "since 1998, more than 31,000 American scientists from diverse climate-related disciplines, including more than 9,000 with Ph.D.s, have signed a public petition announcing their belief that ‘…there is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate.’ Included are atmospheric physicists, botanists, geologists, oceanographers, and meteorologists."[2] However, I'm not saying that the world doesn't heat up and cool down, and neither were the scientists, that takes me to my second reason why there is no significant reason which is that CO2 emissions might not even be the problem. We saw CO2 emissions rise after World War II, as global temperatures fell. This indicates that there must be other factors for global warmth and cool cycles, and there are. According to Forbes, "the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland recently revealed an inverse correlation between periodic changes in sunspot activity levels and quantities of cosmic rays entering Earth's atmosphere that trigger surface-cooling cloud formations."[3] This indicates that sunspots could cause the same harms that proponents of global warming are citing in CO2 and other gasses. Third, many argue that we need the agreement for clean energy but look at the solar industry. It's booming in America and even worldwide and is expected to grow even more -- none of that is attributed to the Paris agreement.


The second reason leaving the Paris agreement was a good thing, is that it really doesn't solve the problem that it tries to. According to the left-leaning Guardian, the Paris agreement actually contradicts itself. Its goal is to reach 2 °C, but if countries follow their set out targets under the agreement (which is very unlikely according to the Guardian), then we'll still be anywhere from 3 °C to 4.4 °C. This is assuming that the world continues to heat up and that these harms will actually happen. According to a study by the non-partisan Universal Ecological Fund, 75% out of the 184 countries are either partially or completely insufficient to reduce greenhouse gasses[4]. Additionally, a study by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that water levels will increase by 20 centimeters regardless of whether countries stick to the Paris Agreement or not[5]. Sure, one could argue that "we need to do something," but the argument to stay in the Paris Climate Agreement really falls apart after it not only does not fix the problem but also causes additional problems. And that takes us right to the next point.



Staying in the Paris agreement would cause America serious repercussions. The Paris climate agreement will cost hard-working American taxpayers for two reasons. The first reason for that is that just the energy regulations alone would have "destroy[ed] hundreds of thousands of jobs, harm[ed] American manufacturing, and destroy[ed] $2.5 trillion in gross domestic product by the year 2035" according to the right-leaning think tank the Heritage. The second reason it would cost America is that the Green Climate Fund set up as part of the Paris agreement is wrong on two levels. The first level is that America is practically paying other nations to join the agreement which is a waste of taxpayer money. President Obama pledged the United States would put in $4 trillion, and even sent over $1 billion without approval from congress. We'll get to why that matters in a bit. The second level the Green Climate Fund is bad is that the fund is prone to funding corruption. According to ClimateChangeNews.com, the top receivers in 2014 were "India, Indonesia, Brazil, Mexico, Vietnam, Egypt, South Korea, Kenya, Thailand and the Philippines. They fall between 25 and 43 on the watchdog Transparency International’s 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index (with 0 perceived as highly corrupt and 100 very clean)." There's no guarantee that these funds won't be used for other purposes, and we can't just trust it up to nations that are known for corruption. Until we can solve that problem, the Paris agreement is technically funding and encouraging billions in corruption. The impact of this first entire point is on why the Paris agreement will cause America significant repercussions is that taxpayer money is lost. Every dollar we spent on an expensive fund that is prone to corruption and gives handouts to other nations is every dollar we can't spend on Americans -- the ones funding this giant spending spree. This money could have gone towards reducing taxes or the national debt, or building and restoring our crumbling national infrastructure.  


At the end of the day, President Trump was right when he left the Paris agreement. There is no significant and systematic reason to stay with the Paris agreement which does not solve the problems it lays out and instead presents more major disadvantages than its supposed advantages. Leaving the Paris agreement was the right choice.


[1] https://www.npr.org/2019/11/04/773474657/u-s-formally-begins-to-leave-the-paris-climate-agreement 

[2] https://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2012/07/17/that-scientific-global-warming-consensus-not/#51c703da3bb3 


[4] https://grist.org/science/trumps-exit-might-not-be-the-paris-agreements-biggest-problem/ 

[5] https://grist.org/science/trumps-exit-might-not-be-the-paris-agreements-biggest-problem/ 



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