George Will: Climate Fine-Tuners Reach Another False ‘Turning Point’
Any agreement about anything involving nearly 200 nations will necessarily be primarily aspirational, exhorting voluntary compliance with inconsequential expectations — to "report" on this and "monitor" that. A single word change that brought the agreement to fruition: It replaced a command (nations "shall" do so and so) with an entreaty (nations "should" do so and so).
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, one of whose invaluable functions is to be a wet blanket about moveable feasts such as the Paris conference, says:
“Before (the president’s) international partners pop the champagne, they should remember that this is an unattainable deal based on a (U.S.) domestic energy plan that is likely illegal, that half the states have sued to halt, and that Congress has already voted to reject.”
The Paris agreement probably occasions slight excitement among the planet’s billion people who lack electricity, and the hundreds of millions in need of potable water.
Historians, write Walter Russell Mead and Jamie Horgan of The American Interest, are likely to say that the Paris agreement ended climate change the way the 1928 Kellogg-Briand Treaty ended war.
But as the ink dries on the Paris gesture of right-mindedness, let us praise the energy source most responsible for the surge of human betterment that began with the harnessing of fossil fuels around 1800.
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