When President Trump announced his plan to pull the United States out of the Paris Climate Accords in June 2017, the howling cries from left-wing environmentalists could be heard across the globe.
From Canada to China and throughout Europe, the world denounced the president’s decision as reckless and in contradiction to “settled science.” Without the Paris Climate Accords, they argued, Earth would soon find itself cascading off the global warming cliff.
One year later, Earth is still here, as you may have noticed.
And the U.S. economy – due in large part to the Trump administration’s commitment to deregulation and energy dominance – has continued to grow at breakneck speed. On Friday the federal government announced our nation’s gross domestic product grew at an annualized rate of 4.1 percent in the second quarter of this year – the highest growth rate in four years.
On top of this good news, despite the warnings of gloom and doom from President Trump’s opponents, America is now the world leader in cutting carbon dioxide emissions. Yes, you read that right.
According to a June report by BP – measuring global carbon dioxide emissions from the use of oil, gas and coal – the United States reduced its carbon dioxide emissions by 41.8 million tons from 2016 to 2017, marking the third consecutive year Americans’ carbon dioxide emissions fell.
The United States’ carbon dioxide reduction is more than double the next closest nation included in the study, Ukraine. And the U.S. reductions are part of a larger, decade-long trend. From 2006 to 2016, BP reports the United States slashed its carbon dioxide emissions by about 12 percent.
The recent drop in U.S. carbon dioxide emissions is the result of increased consumption of natural gas relative to other forms of energy production, renewable energy and a more efficient use of electricity.
In the wake of America’s declining carbon dioxide emissions, the dire warnings issued by global warming alarmists have proven to be yet another example of environmentalists’ fear-mongering.
One of those alarmists was Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who called President Trump’s decision to exit the Paris Accords a “devastating failure of historic proportions.”
After world leaders from countries big and small also harshly criticized President Trump for choosing not to make Americans beholden to the United Nations, the leaders spent the rest of 2017 presiding over countries that emitted millions of tons of additional carbon dioxide – illustrating clearly the utter worthlessness of the Paris Accords.
China, for example, increased its carbon dioxide emissions by 119 million tons from 2016 to 2017 – more than any other country in the world – despite its alleged commitment to the Paris Accords. Spain added more than 18.7 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions. France’s carbon dioxide emissions increased by 5.5 million tons.
But it’s the Canadian government that might deserve the award for being the world’s biggest carbon dioxide hypocrite. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was critical of the Trump administration for its decision to leave the Paris Accords, saying in a statement that he was “deeply disappointed” by the “disheartening” decision.
“Canada is unwavering in our commitment to fight climate change and support clean economic growth,” Trudeau said. “Canadians know we need to take decisive and collective action to tackle the many harsh realities of our changing climate.”
So, after those bold words Canada cut its carbon dioxide emissions dramatically, right? Well, not exactly. In 2017 Canada emitted 17 million additional tons of carbon dioxide compared to its emissions in 2016.
Perhaps the reason Canada, China, France, Spain and dozens of other Paris signatories added carbon dioxide emissions – while at the same time chastising America for working toward energy independence – is because the leaders of those countries know what skeptics of global warming alarmism have known for decades: The world is much better off with affordable energy than it is trying to combat a problem many scientists say doesn’t exist.
Of course, Prime Minister Trudeau and the rest of the Paris cabal will never publicly admit it. It’s much easier to spend time in office boasting of their own virtue and lamenting the tragic individualism of the American way.
H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D., is senior fellow for climate and environment issues at The Heartland Institute.