Opening Weather.com to find my hometown’s weather report this past Friday came as an unpleasant surprise. Several apocalyptic articles attempting to scare readers (or, more appropriately, weather-report-seekers) of the dangers of pulling out of the Paris accord cluttered the website. Apparently, it is no longer possible to search the web for rain predictions without being force-fed politically charged opinions.
Articles entitled, “What Happens if the U.S. Backs Out of Paris Climate Agreement,” and “Still Don’t Care? Proof You Should,” littered the front page throughout Friday, and some opinion pieces are still being published on the subject. I just wanted to get my seven-day-forecast; turns out, I ended up feeling the need to fully research the claims being made about the President’s latest move.
Here’s what I found:
Among the many opinion-based articles which bash Trump for being a climate-monger, there are also actual reports that explain the justification for pulling out of the Paris Accord. The media has done a wonderful job of making these reports surprisingly well-hidden under the layers and layers of opinionated gab that’s been posted about greenhouse gasses.
It makes for a great headline and all, “U.S. takes the lead on saving the planet,” but it’s actually not a realistic goal to waste our already negative GDP on the whims of the earth. According to the Heritage Foundation, this plan will economically affect Americans directly every day as well as in the long run. President Obama had planned, under this accord, to more rigorously regulate all CO2-emitting fuels in order to reach a goal of 28 percent less emissions by 2025 rather than the predicted 26 percent. This tiny, two percent difference would negatively affect Americans’ energy costs daily.
Heritage reported that because of these regulations and money spent on the Paris accord, there will be “an overall shortfall of nearly 400,000 jobs, an average manufacturing shortfall of over 200,000 jobs, a total income loss of more than $20,000 for a family of four, an aggregate GDP loss of over $2.5 trillion, and increases in household electricity expenditures between 13 and 20 percent” by 2035. To read the full report, go here.
Not only does the agreement make almost no logical sense for our country’s economy, but the US has already done a large amount combatting the global climate scare. Last year alone, the US donated $651 billion to the Global Environment Facility Fund; that is the second highest donation out of all the fund’s donating countries, bested only by Japan. We have also contributed $500 million to the Paris accord’s project as it stands, and that’s more than most countries will ever contribute.
No matter how many articles headline that there are 147 participating countries in the Paris accord, only 43 have donated funds, the U.S. being one of them. President Trump explained this sentiment in his June 1 statement: “So we’re going to be paying billions and billions and billions of dollars, and we’re already way ahead of anybody else. Many of the other countries haven’t spent anything, and many of them will never pay one dime.”
I tend to agree with this sentiment, and I believe it’s time we focus on spending our money on other, more pressing domestic issues. Pulling out of the Paris accord does not mean the U.S. is completely done fending for the environment; this is a slight, well thought out deviation that allows America to focus on its domestic economy.
So after finding all this qualified information on my research binge, I realized it’s not the end of the world as we know it…and how ridiculous it is that a weather reporting website like Weather.com is slinging apocalyptic headlines based on feel-good opinions about climate change.
The reality is, the Paris accord is not the U.S.’s only path to reducing climate-change, and it’s just not feasible for the economy. Trump makes yet another decision based on the reality of American funds rather than on how prettily the media headlines will portray him; imagine that.