Paris can wait: It was a bad deal

According to one report commissioned by the American Council for Capital Formation with support from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for 21st Century Energy, “the Paris climate accord could cost the U.S. economy $3 trillion and 6.5 million industrial sector jobs by 2040…”

One might argue that this is a matter of life or death, so the sacrifice is justified if it saves humanity. Here’s where the deal really falls apart. According to another study, the Paris deal would shave about 0.2 degrees off warming by 2100. You heard me right. Assuming everything works perfectly according to plan, we could plausibly be trading 6.5 million jobs for a 0.2-degree payoff.

But remember, there is no enforcement mechanism. These pledges are not binding. So even if you assume the best case scenario regarding predictive models, there’s no guarantee other countries will follow through.

“Tiny, tiny, amount,” Trump said—speaking of the amount of warming that would be mitigated. He has a point: Even if we assume global warming is a serious problem, is the payoff worth the tradeoff in terms of lost jobs and higher energy costs? This is a legitimate public policy debate.

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