Today is Earth Day, ostensibly a symbolic holiday to give our planet the day off. It’s also the day when 167 confirmed countries have said they will sign the climate accord reached at the Paris Climate Talks last December. But the goal of averting warming by 2.0 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels, or 1.5 degrees if that wasn’t attainable, is voluntary for the largest carbon dioxide emitters. More troubling, it also allocates $100 billion in aid to developing countries, which critics argue was the U.N.’s goal all along.
Even Christiana Figueres, the former executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention of Climate Change, admitted that reordering the world’s “economic development model” of the past 150 years was her most important task. She has also praised communism, and specifically China, as the most efficient way to fight global warming, saying “democracy is a poor political system for fighting global warming.”
The accord is also proving difficult to swallow by even its most ardent supporters, as many think it gives a free pass to emit a fixed amount. The signatories will meet at the United Nations’ headquarters in New York City to sign the agreement, even though its predecessor, the Kyoto Protocol, was by all accounts an abject failure. Secretary of State John Kerry will be there to represent the United States, and not President Obama, which is surprising given his second-term push to pass the global warming agreement, cementing his climate legacy once and for all.
Even former NASA climatologist and green activist James Hansen, considered the godfather of the global warming movement, called the accord a “fraud.” Speaking to the Guardian, he said: “It’s just bulls*** for them to say: ‘We’ll have a 2C warming target and then try to do a little better every five years.’ It’s just worthless words. There is no action, just promises. As long as fossil fuels appear to be the cheapest fuels out there, they will be continued to be burned.”
Part of the problem is that the accord is not legally binding with the two biggest emitters, China and the U.S., and voluntary by most of the other signatories. The other problem is that even if every single country stopped using all fossil fuels, warming would continue unabated as the planet gets further removed from the Little Ice Age, which ended around 1850.
Most experts say if any warming is averted, it would be so minuscule as to be undetectable by humans or even the most accurate measuring devices. Climate scientist Chip Knappenberger told the Daily Caller that there are two very good reasons Mr. Obama should withdraw his pledge to cut emissions 26 to 28 percent by 2025. “The first is that I don’t believe that human-caused climate change is a “problem” that rises to a level which requires solutions which may jeopardize future well-being through energy restrictions/price increases.”