Sunday, December 13, 2015

Paris Climate of Conformity

It pays to be skeptical of politicians who claim to be saving the planet. WSJ.  An excerpt. 


The moment to be wariest of political enthusiasms is precisely when elite opinion is all lined up on one side. . . if climate change really does imperil the Earth, and we doubt it does, nothing coming out of a gaggle of governments and the United Nations will save it. What will help is human invention and the entrepreneurial spirit. To the extent the Paris accord increases political control over human and natural resources, it will make the world poorer and technological progress less likely.

The climate confab’s self-described political success is rooted in a conceit and a bribe. The conceit is that the terms of the agreement will have some tangible impact on global temperatures. . . 

As for the bribe, rich countries in Paris bought the cooperation of the developing world by promising to send $100 billion a year in climate aid. So the governments of the West are now going to dun their taxpayers to transfer money to the clean and green governments run by the likes of Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe. We can’t wait to see New York’s Chuck Schumer make the case on the Senate floor for American aid to China so it can become more energy efficient and economically competitive.

Even if a Democratic Congress made these bribes politically possible, they would do little to ease the consequences of climate change. The world’s poor can best cope with climate harm if they are richer, which requires faster economic growth. Yet everything we know about economic development is that foreign aid retards growth when it expands the reach of Third World governments. . .


The grandiose claims of triumph in Paris represent the self-interest of a political elite that wants more control over the private economy in the U.S. and around the world. These are the last people who will save the planet.

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