By William Happer
The United States should withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement. For too long, well-meaning policymakers have been misled by propaganda, masquerading as science, that more atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) will harm the planet. Paris represents the culmination of this campaign. The pact extends into perpetuity, its very terms dispensing with the value of the supposedly previous “seat at the table.” For this and many other reasons, the time to withdraw is now.
Real pollutants from fossil fuel combustion, such as oxides of sulfur, nitrogen and fly ash, are rightly controlled, and by cost-effective technology. But more CO2 is not a pollutant but is a benefit to humanity. The “social cost of carbon,” aka CO2, is negative. It is immoral to prevent developing countries from using reliable, inexpensive fossil fuels to escape centuries of poverty.
Most developing countries have offered no plans to limit CO2 emissions any time soon, rhetoric about Paris’ universal inclusivity notwithstanding. Without their cooperation, stabilizing atmospheric levels of CO2 is not possible, nor would this stop climate change if it could be done. Climate has been changing since the Earth was formed — some 4.5 billion years ago — according to geological evidence. Climate changes on every time scale — decades, centuries, millennia and even longer periods.
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