President Trump's speech Thursday was extraordinarily important and powerful.
He set the stage for a new, practical common-sense approach to a better environment with a better economy. He also re-established the sound principle that an American president's first obligation is to the American people and the American nation. Finally, he brilliantly concluded his analysis with an emphasis on renegotiation.
As someone who taught environmental studies, participated in the second
Earth Day back in 1971, and coauthored a proposal for a pro-environment conservatism with Dr. Terry Maple, I am delighted that President Trump is courageous enough to reject the social pressure, the worldwide chant of elitists, and the pleas of foreign leaders eager to preserve an anti-American treaty.
My opposition to the international swamp (a system even more destructive and dangerous than the Washington swamp) goes back a long way.
The original Kyoto Protocol (engineered by then-Vice President Al Gore and the environmental extremists) was so anti-American, the United States Senate voted 99-0 against its implementation. Even then-Senator John Kerry voted no.
The international swamp loves gigantic, expensive meetings in interesting cities. The preparatory bureaucrats and interest groups meet for months. The meetings provide them with a great excuse to stay in luxury hotels, dine at gourmet restaurants, and to share in a delicious sense that they, as the “moral elite,” have an international mechanism to force “ignorant voters” to do things to which they would otherwise never voluntarily consent. In short, these are gatherings of the people whom Nassim Taleb correctly calls the Intellectual Yet Idiot.
The most consistent pattern in these international agreements is their anti-Americanism.
American liberals flock to these venues. The Left’s erroneous guilt about American success makes them eager to give away American money as a misguided atonement.
The Chinese, Indians, and others are not stupid. If American liberals want to pay them billions in 'guilt money,' they will take it.
If American liberals want to cut economic deals at environmental meetings that cripple American workers and aid foreign economies, they are happy to play along.
This liberal passion for international agreements reflects their desire to circumvent the will of the American people and the American Congress.
Their agenda includes a lot of expensive, destructive things that they know they could never convince the Congress or the American people to accept. So, their model instead relies on international agreements that can be used to force the Congress and the American people to involuntarily agree to the Left’s goals.
The other reason American liberals love these international meetings is that they provide them with an opportunity to leave America to go rub elbows with fellow liberals from other countries. They can gather over drinks and mutually reassure each other how superior, wise, and virtuous they are compared to the folks back home.
President Trump prefers to listen to the American people and look at the facts rather than decide what’s best for them based on foreign popularity.
To that end, on Thursday, the White House released a series of background facts supporting the President Trump’s decision on economic grounds. Consider some of them:
· According to a study by NERA Consulting, meeting the Obama administration’s requirements in the Paris Accord would cost the U.S. economy nearly $3 trillion over the next several decades.
· By 2040, our economy would lose 6.5 million industrial sector jobs – including 3.1 million manufacturing sector jobs.
· It would effectively decapitate our coal industry, which now supplies about one-third of our electric power.
The Paris Accord was also bad for American taxpayers. To quote the White House again:
· The agreement funds a U.N. Climate slush fund underwritten by American taxpayers.
· President Obama committed $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund -- which is about 30 percent of the initial funding – without authorization from Congress.
· With $20 trillion in debt, the U.S. taxpayers should not be paying to subsidize other countries’ energy needs.
One last thing I would like to make clear though is that my opposition to the Paris Accord has nothing to do with President Trump's decision.
Back in December 2015, I wrote a newsletter entitled "The Paris Delusion.” At that time, I asserted:
"One thing is certain about the Paris climate summit this week: nothing that happens there will affect the climate. Wishes don’t power the global economy; fossil fuels do. And developing countries will not (and should not) condemn billions of their own citizens to poverty just to indulge the fantasies of international elites.
"All of which makes President Obama’s trip there, a city struck by terrorists, a profane distraction from the threats we face, by a president trying harder and harder to hide from reality."
This was a bad deal, and President Trump was right to reject it.
Some Europeans are defiantly saying they will not renegotiate the accord.
Many Democrats will spend the next few weeks screaming instead of thinking.
Both the Europeans and the Democrats will have to decide if the environment is important enough to them to work on a new, more pro-American agreement.
Let the negotiations begin.
Newt Gingrich is a Fox News contributor. A Republican, he was speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 1995 to 1999. Follow him on Twitter @NewtGingrich. His latest book is "Understanding Trump."