The Case Against Sabotaging Biden’s Paris Agreement Plans

Eiffel tower, Paris. France

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

A few days ago WUWT published an article urging President Trump to kill the Paris Agreement by submitting it to the Senate. I disagree with this view. Quite apart from the risk the thing might actually be ratified, if enough RINOs cross the floor, an act of restraint which occurred in the final days of the Obama administration provides a reason to reconsider.

‘The Planet Could Become Ungovernable’: Climate Scientist James Hansen on Obama’s Environmental Record, Scientific Reticence, and His Climate Lawsuit Against the Federal Government

By David Wallace-Wells
JULY 12, 2017

James Hansen is the former head of climate research for NASA, the author of the legendary early “zero model” for climate change, and is now the lead scientific figure in a lawsuit being brought against the federal government alleging complicity on climate change, which Hansen and his fellow litigants argue is a violation of the equal protection clause — since the costs of change will fall unequally on future generations.*

Sounds like a political winner.
Yeah. So why can’t we get it done? I wrote a letter to Obama after he was elected in 2008, and tried to explain this.

What happened?
I couldn’t get John Holdren to deliver the letter — he was chosen to be the science adviser. He said he couldn’t do anything until he was confirmed. And finally, near the end of the Obama administration, I tried to get Obama to settle our lawsuit. Which would have made sense. Actually the judge in Oregon was puzzled as to why Obama was fighting us. Because Obama, when he talked about the planet, he sounded like us.

Then, as soon as Trump was elected, I said, this is now really a time the Obama administration should settle the case.

It would have been a sneaky way to lock in some climate policies …
So I sent an email to John Podesta, and surprisingly got a response almost immediately, asking me to use a different email address — I’d used the one that was hacked.

Wow.
And he did try to help. Eventually, though, Obama rejected the idea, because his lawyers preferred his plan, his Clean Power Plan, which is being challenged in various courts.

Read more: https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2017/07/scientist-jim-hansen-the-planet-could-become-ungovernable.html

Just as Obama showed restraint in the final days of his administration, and rejected James Hansen’s plan to bind Trump’s hands on climate policy, so I believe it would be wrong to prevent Biden from fulfilling his manifesto promise to restore the Paris agreement, if Biden is sworn in as the next President.

I detest the Paris Agreement. I cheered when Trump announced he was cancelling the agreement, I cheered when the USA officially left the Paris Agreement. I would have cheered if Trump had submitted the Paris Agreement to the Senate a few years ago, as a way of killing it off once and for all.

But submitting the Paris agreement to the Senate at this late stage would be seen by many as an act of political sabotage.

Two can play that game. A tit-for-tat escalation of Presidents sabotaging their successors could worsen the USA’s political tensions.

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December 15, 2020 at 01:06PM

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