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Point/Counterpoint: Was President Trump right to withdraw from the Paris climate accord?

By: Dave Gardner and David Pico
June 10, 2017 Updated: June 10, 2017 at 7:09 pm
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Dave Gardner

Dave Gardner

President Donald Trump's decision to renege on the Paris climate accord lets everyone down - U.S. citizens, the nations of the world and all our children.

It took the world a long time to take climate change seriously. It took the U.S. even longer. Getting 195 nations on board the Paris Agreement was a major milestone. The accord isn't enough to avoid significant climate disruption, but it is a step in that direction. Taking the next step is now a bigger leap.

Here, Trump cedes the very thing he wants - the U.S. being looked to as a leader. Failing to honor the accord, abdicating our responsibility, instead cements our place as a Third World country.

Around the world, many still prioritize economic growth ahead of ensuring a livable planet. Trump underscores that with every decision and pronouncement. His Paris announcement adds an exclamation point. This is not the path to a healthy economy. Healthy ecosystems are a fundamental requirement.

The atmosphere has no borders; it's shared by all. On a full planet, its care calls for collaboration. As we face the threat of a climate catastrophe, it's no time for petty competition. Many nations have embarrassed the U.S. by prioritizing the health of our atmosphere and climate ahead of their own "economic standing" in the world. We were finally on track to rectify that and do the right thing. Sadly, the U.S. has now lost that progress. In the process, we've shown that we don't honor our word.

Placing wealth and economic activity ahead of the health of our life-supporting ecosystems is a big problem. Nature bats last. We cannot have a healthy economy on a planet under siege. The path of climate disruption we're on will render the world unlivable. That is a very high price to pay for a high-paying job or maintaining billionaire status. That yacht won't look so good when there's no port to pull into and fill up. A higher-paying job is worthless if there's no food on supermarket shelves. As 2003 Goldman Prize winner Judy Bonds reminded us, "There are no jobs on a dead planet."

The world is proving we can significantly reduce carbon emissions without living in a cardboard box or starving. I won't offer the popular platitude that we can have a vigorous, growing economy without baking the planet if we just power it with noncarbon energy sources. It's not that simple.

But we can have a healthy economy, with needs met. Renewable energy plays a big part in a rational response to climate change. But we also need to conserve more, waste less and walk, bike and take public transit more. We also need fewer trophy mansions.

I wouldn't risk my kids' future just so I could live high on the hog. I'd rather be cautious, even if that means I can't be as materially rich. This is a great opportunity to slow down and get back to the things that really matter in life. The important things don't require burning massive amounts of fossil fuels. The three L's are where it's at: learning, love and laughter.

David Pico

David Pico 

President Donald Trump's withdrawal from the Paris accord is not only an escape from a devastating economic disaster, but it might be the greatest declaration for freedom in modern times.

If your goals are fairness and equality, you'll find none of it in the Paris Agreement signed by President Barack Obama.

Under the agreement, the U.S. pays $100 billion a year, much of it to Third World green-energy funds and global reparations, while China, India and Russia pay little to nothing.

The agreement has little to do with climate and all to do with economic restriction and redistribution. The accord is not meant to save the Earth but to crush freedom. It is a power-grab on an international level, a heavy shackle upon free people, and with nearly 200 countries in compliance, it is a step toward a one-world socialist government. Climate change is a vehicle for control.

Ideological subversion is a way to seize power through indoctrination and persuasion, until people willingly hand over their freedom. It has been perfected by dictatorships and is far more effective than military takeover. Climate change follows the pattern: a supposed problem is emphasized for 30 years, steeping an entire generation in propaganda. The problem is then pushed to crisis level, and government steps in to save us from ourselves.

Climate change is a diabolical "problem" to have. That the climate changes is inarguable. The very phrase is redundant; change is the definition of a climate. And like most leftist agendas, it appeals to good intentions. What's a more worthy cause than saving the planet?

It is also an everlasting problem, one that can be used as long as there is a climate, and one that only a global government order can hope to solve. Obama said, "Even if we meet every target, we will only get to part of where we need to go." And according to the science behind the Paris Agreement restrictions, the global temperature will lower by less than 1 degree by the year 2100.

Behind the climate crisis curtain, they are following the subversion script. Notable scientists, including Nobel laureates, are blackballed in favor of recognizable celebrities such as Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye, who between them haven't published scientific research in the past decade.

A politician suggesting that climate science is unequivocal, and that you need not understand the science but to just follow those who do, is in opposition to the scientific process and is a naked propagandist.

Warnings of the Statue of Liberty eventually being underwater demonstrate the deceitful visual persuasion that has led a large portion of supporters to reject any other possibilities. To raise a disagreement is to be shamed as a "denier." Suggesting knowledge of the full story is ignorant, considering both sides is narrow-minded, pointing out the failed climate model predictions is unreasonable.

It is an astonishing achievement of conditioned thought, many times irreversible. To the truly deaf, shouting doesn't help; it just annoys.

Climate change is indeed at a now-or-never crisis. The Paris accord was a big piece in a 30-year socialist puzzle, an alignment of world governments. Trump has axed the power-grab at the wrists and placed freedom back in our hands.


Dave Gardner directed the documentary "GrowthBusters: Hooked on Growth" and hosts the syndicated radio series/podcast "Conversation Earth." David Pico is a published author and entrepreneur. Both live in Colorado Springs.

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