Tell the world it is all an act.
It’s a do or die moment for The Cause. Brexit has hit them hard, and the Trump factor threatens to wreck everything. The Paris agreement has stalled pathetically at 1.1% of all human emissions (they need 55% to come into force). They need a gamechanger or the illusion of one.
Next week expect a grand performance from US and China — or rather from two men who look solemn and can sign important looking carbon chastity vows on behalf of 1.8 billion people. Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping will say they have ratified the Paris agreement. Expect triumphant parades, and smiles, handshakes and talk of a historic moment. It’s all for show. China will agree to do nothing different until 2030 when its population growth peaks, and Obama can’t get the support of Congress.
But the gala performance may work if enough other countries fall for it — especially the stupidly obedient Anglosphere, and the trapped EU. India, Russia and Brazil will only buy into it they are fed enough pork. But the pork has to come from somewhere, and that’s us — The West. That’s who this show is for — western voters.
The Paris agreement has only won over 23 tin pot nations responsible for 1.1% of human emissions. They are doomed to failure without the US and China, which together control 38%. Once the largest two economies of the world are nominally, “technically”, signed — expect other countries to fall into line all over the world. That’s why it’s so important we make sure everyone knows that there is nothing real about this deal. The Chinese deal is symbolic, and an Obama deal has legal questions all over it.
In the real world, changing the planet’s weather costs a fortune. The US voters don’t care and won’t pay. The US Congress will never allow a meaningful economic hit to occur, so no real treaty, with real teeth, could get through.
China is a giant coal mine and CO2 pump
Australia is the largest exporter of coal in the world, but China digs up ten times as much as we export. In the run-up to Paris, China has built so many coal fired stations that as its economy falters it is even closing them but only because it has too many. It has so much coal power there is even discussion that it could sell the excess power to Germany because it can produce electricity so cheaply that even the transmission losses over such a distance don’t matter — electricity in Berlin is wildly expensive (thanks to their green obsession). The Chinese have been running full tilt to develop their manufacturing and electricity base — CO2 be damned. Last time there was a “historic” moment with Obama, China agreed to do nothing different til 2030. It was an unenforceable long term commitment with no consequences. Like all these international agreements, the net effect will be to produce more global CO2 as factories move to China where they produce four times as much CO2 as Western factories. But no one cares about actual CO2, just like they don’t care about real air pollution and the 5.5 million deaths from it. Xi Jinping wants the West to sign the Paris agreement — it will hobble the competition, plus China already profits from carbon penance even as it hopes to profit by selling coal fired electricity back to hobbled nations.
US Voters and the US congress won’t pay to change the weather
Anything Obama signs is a gambit of a President in his last days. The only way the US will ratify the Paris deal is through trickery and deceit. There is not the will or interest in the US to pay for climate change. Nearly one third of people in the US say “climate change a total hoax”. Only 3% of US people think the climate is the most important issue. Fully 61% in the US say climate debate is not over, and 57% don’t believe what UN scientists say. Even the term “Environmentalist” is becoming a dirty word.
No wonder Obama didn’t talk about the climate leading up to elections, he knew he couldn’t win a mandate for it, and the Congress wouldn’t agree. Instead he’s going through the rogue EPA, and using regulations rather than legislation. The Paris agreement was not called a “treaty” and had to be “non-binding” so it could avoid the bomb of getting Congressional approval. But the bomb still ticks.
Here is the language from Article Two, Section Two, Clause Two of the U. S. Constitution: “[The President] shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur.”
The article by Li Jing references this curious requirement: “There are still some uncertainties from the US side due to the complicated US system in ratifying such a treaty, but the announcement is still quite likely to be ready by Sept 2,” said a source, who declined to be named.
Skeptics can still do a lot to stop this trainwreck
One: Spread the word to newspaper editors, journalists and everyone that the Obama-Xi Jinping deal will be a symbolic sham. The Paris Agreement will never change the weather, but it could wreck western economies.
Two: Help US voters understand what a Hillary election means. For all his faults, Trump may trash the climate gravy train. But Hillary is promising to outdo Obama.
In Australia, treaty ratification does have to be reviewed by parliament but the final decision is the prerogative of the government, meaning Turnbull and Frydenberg may face an arm wrestle with their right-wing cabinet colleagues.
The official said Australia’s decision to accept the invitation of UN secretary general Ban Ki Moon to a special event for ratification on September 21 of this year was “under consideration”. (H/t Dennis A)
Tin-Pot time — Currently Paris ratification is only 0.04% of global CO2 emissions :
The ratified list: Barbados, Belize, Cameroon, North Korea, Fiji, Grenada, Guyana, Maldives, Mauritius, Nauru, Norway, Palau, Palestine, Peru, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Seychelles, Somalia and Tuvalu.
Note that Climate Analytics points out that the number was not set higher at 60% because then a block could have formed to stop it. The biggest emitters are: China, 20%; USA, 18%; EU, 12%; Russia, 7%; India, 4%; Japan, 4%. Think of it the other way, it’s a challenge to organize a block of 45% refuseniks — whatever China and the US do will make or break this. Presumably all the little countries can be bought off with UN pork or threats, and the world is waiting til the US election.