National Review editor Rich Lowry penned an oped for Real Clear Politics that calls out the Paris climate agreement for exactly what it is: a useless PR stunt.
The fact is that Paris is very meta. The agreement is about the agreement, never mind what’s in it or what its true legal force is — namely, nil. Paris is a legally binding agreement not to have legally binding limits on emissions. It might be the most worthless piece of paper since the Kellogg-Briand Pact outlawed war — about a decade prior to the outbreak of World War II.
Politico reported that the talks were almost derailed at the last minute by the accidental insertion of the word “shall” deep in the text, which, by implying a legal obligation, was to be avoided at all costs (the U.S. Senate would never give its assent to a legally binding treaty). The U.S. scrambled to change the offending word to “should.”
Phew! That could have been a disaster.
Even if you believe the extremely dubious proposition that somehow the climate “consensus” perfectly understands perhaps the most complicated system on the planet, and can forecast with certitude and in detail what the global temperature will be a century from now, Paris is a charade. The best estimates are that, accepting the premises of the consensus, the deal will reduce warming 0.0 to 0.2 degrees Celsius.
… If this is the best hope of the climate alarmists, their global campaign will be a welcome fizzle. All things considered, it probably is best that they occupy themselves with grand meetings and with the exertions attendant to believing their own PR. Otherwise they could do real damage.
Lowry is absolutely right. The Paris climate conference was nothing but a feel-good meeting and political cover for leaders who feel obligated to “do something” about climate change. Nothing actually got accomplished, but nobody’s feelings got hurt either.
And in the eyes of the Obama White House, that’s a major victory!