Letter: Bad Deal Forced Trump’s Change on Climate
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Letter: Bad Deal Forced Trump’s Change on Climate

Chuck Berk argues that the withdrawal from the Paris climate accord was strictly about escaping a bad deal.

Cartoon by Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch
Cartoon by Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch

I read Harold Kirtz’s column about President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord (“Paris Decision Is Making America Irrelevant Again,” June 16) and previously read the Los Angeles Times editorial and excerpts from the New York Times, and I have seen and heard the hysteria on CNN, MSNBC and the mainstream media about the decision.

They all are universal in their emotional opinion that we will now destroy the planet and alienate the United States from the world community.

I’ve known Harold for a long time and like him, but here’s what I’d like Harold or someone to explain to me: If we had decided to stay in the accord, the best estimate, which President Barack Obama disclosed, is that with full compliance for 20 years we would have reduced global warming by 0.17 degree. To accomplish that, it is estimated that we would have lost 6.5 million industrial jobs, experienced a $3 trillion loss in GDP and experienced a reduction of $7,000 in average household income.

Meanwhile, China, the world’s worst polluter, would be allowed to double its coal production and increase its emissions for the next 13 years. And other major polluters, like India, would not participate unless they received billions of dollars of aid from developed countries. (Can you say U.S. taxpayers?)

The tax structure of the accord is meant to strangle U.S. GDP to benefit other countries at our expense.

As an analogy, what if I asked you to go on a stringent diet to lose weight, said you’d have to eat only very expensive foods while paying into a fund to provide other dieters’ food, and assured you that after 20 years, if you followed the diet completely, you would lose 0.17 pound.

Seem like a good deal to you?

Harold Kirtz is also concerned that not participating in the Paris accord will negatively affect the renewable energy business in the United States. Before Trump canceled the deal, China already was the world’s leading provider of renewable energy, with six of the top 10 suppliers of solar panels to the world.

As any businessman knows, if U.S. suppliers offer a better product at the same price as China or the same product at a lesser price, the business will flow to the U.S. producer, regardless of whether we are participants in the world climate accord.

This decision to cancel the Paris accord was not climate change denial; it was a response to a bad deal.

— Chuck Berk, Sandy Springs

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