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January 03rd 2017 print

Peter O'Brien

Trump’s Key Promise

Among his other campaign pledges, the president-elect vowed to scuttle US support for the Paris Climate Accord. Since then his comments have become somewhat milder, raising the suspicion that he might just be backing off his hard-line stance. If so, he should think again

paris 2015In October, 2009, Barack Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, ostensibly for what he had done in his first few months as President. In effect, the sum of his achievements, such as they were, had been to deliver a couple of speeches that appealed to the chairman of the Nobel committee, a former Norwegian Labor Party Prime Minister. In awarding the prize, his TelePrompted orations were described as “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”

This announcement was greeted by conservative commentators, I won’t say with disgust because the Nobel Peace Prize now has about as much status as the Australian of the Year, but, let’s say, with contempt. And events have proven the sceptics right. Obama the Impotent has been a monumental failure, particularly on the global stage. He bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia, ‘lost’ Libya, watched the rise of ISIS while doing nothing and, only last week, capped that dismal record with a shameful-but-predictable betrayal of Israel.

What prompted this thought about the departing president has been the equally premature elevation, by certain commentators – including some on this site — of Donald Trump to near sainthood, on the strength of his campaign promises and because he relegated Hilary Clinton to the dustbin of history (a worthy achievement certainly).  It seems that, like the law in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe, he has no kind of fault or flaw.  That would, indeed, make him unique.

Since his election Trump has been modifying his rhetoric on many fronts. That may be no more than a bid to project a more statesmanlike image. Let’s hope so, but there are worrying signs. He has already backtracked on his pre-election assertion that, had he been in charge of the Justice Department, Clinton would have been in jail by now.  He has now said of the Clintons, “they’re good people” and claims to wish no ill upon them. He might be serious; then again, he might not, as the twin investigations of Hillary’s emails and the Clinton Foundation‘s pay-to-play shenanigans are being independently investigated — twin probes over which the soon-to-be-president has no control whatsoever.

No president gets to implement his agenda in its entirety and we can certainly expect some backtracking and compromise.  Even with Republicans in control of both houses, Trump will not get his own way on everything.   The biggest mistake the Republicans made was to not embrace Trump with both arms once he baggedd the nomination. Now he owes them nothing. It will be an uneasy relationship between the White House and Congress.

But there is one promise he can honour — indeed, must honour — and it will be his first big test: dumping the Paris Climate Agreement.  This was a firm promise, it clearly accords with his oft-stated views on climate change, it would be strongly in the US national interest and it would be easy for him to accomplish given that most Republicans are climate sceptics.  Whatever modifications Trump has made to his rhetoric since his election, if he fails to walk away from the Paris Agreement he will reveal himself as just another main-chancer.  If he does keep his promise he will have justified his election on this basis alone.

There are, however, worrying signs, notably his response to a New York Times reporter that, “I am looking very closely at it. I have an open mind.” That might just be rhetoric, but it is deeply worrrying.  All his other actions suggest that he intends to implement policies clearly at odds with the CAGW playbook and it might be argued that Trump could get on with business and just ignore the toothless Paris agreement, leaving it to wither on the vine, at least in the US.

That would be a great shame. Alarmists are already drawing comfort from Trump’s oddly conciliatory words to the Times. Dumping the Paris agreement would send a very powerful message to the rent-seekers across the globe that it’s no longer business as usual.  Ideally it would empower other national governments to follow suit.   If there is ever going to be a circuit breaker that will bring sense to the ‘climate debate’, this would be it.  It would have global, not just US, ramifications.

Letting the agreement stand would be a symbolic victory for the alarmists, who we know from bitter experience can see a silver lining in any cloud. Sure, give credit where credit is due: Trump might not be the very naughty boy the Left luvvies would like to portray, but if he ignores his promise to scuttle the Paris pact the rest of us can be sure he’s not the Messiah either.

Have a Happy New Year!

Comments [15]

  1. Bill Martin says:

    Without a shadow of a doubt, reneging on the promise of scuttling the Paris Agreement would all but destroy Trump’s credibility even before it was established. It would qualify as the greatest con ever. Could he possibly be that dumb? Difficult to imagine, isn’t it?

  2. Keith Kennelly says:

    Forget Israel and the UN both are pretty irrelevant in the bigger picture.

    Obamas greatest despicable act is to attempt to restart the Cold War with Russian.

    Trump is a doer not a talker.

    The people he is appointing to all the US climate change agencies are climate realists. They’ll dismantle all the warmists structures that provide the research supporting the scam. Without that the climate scam withers. The Paris fantasy doesn’t need to be scuttled. The US not implementing it and squashing the climate scammers within the US bureaucracy and unfunding the climate scam academia is scuttling it.

  3. Ian MacDougall says:

    This Paris Climate Accord must be scuttled without delay! It will do terrible damage to the Coal Industry, and likely the Oil Industry as well!
    Worse still, I just can’t see how it can fail to give a boost to (choke! caaargh! splutter! hawk! spit!) renewables!
    Fossil carbon is innocent I tell you! Innocent! And Turnbull and his nobbled party are pushing a SCAM!
    I cannot emphasise this strongly enough, or repeat this often enough! And I’m in good company here at QO.
    As I said: I cannot emphasise this strongly enough, or repeat this often enough!
    I cannot emphasise this strongly enough, or repeat this often enough!
    Fossil carbon is innocent I tell you! Innocent!
    Renewables are poison. I repeat, poison! Poison, I tell you! Poison!
    Keep up the good work through 2017 and for as many years as we’ve got left: and I mean left, not the opposite of Right.

    • Jody says:

      If only it were as simple as the Coal and Renewables paradigm. Falling into two separate categories, as though it were a smorgasbord dish of choice, isn’t the issue. The issue is what is to become of developing nations who want to enjoy the standard of living the west has enjoyed for nearly a century; what right do we have to deny them this? If they want coal in India and we don’t provide it they’ll simply get it elsewhere.

      Then there’s the matter of unemployment and disruption to peoples’ lives caused by shutting down coal and power stations, just for starters. It’s like turning around the Titanic. Then there’s the additional energy costs from using unreliable renewables for business; BHP was told in SA to provide its own power source!! Dumb beyond belief.

      So, the issue is far, far more complex than do this or do that. Not for those in secure jobs living in the inner city, though.

      • Warty says:

        You may have noted the article in The Australian today (4th)’Energy bills soar in coal shift’ referring to the closing of the Halewood plant(in Victoria) and the Northern coal fired plant (South Australia) and the move to renewables. This is something the Greens do not like to mention. In truth they do not give two dingo’s droppings about the escalation of power costs, because they feel we should all sacrifice our standard of living for the sake of the environment.
        The good thing about Trump, and I know you are still sitting on the fence with regards to him, is that there is a reasonable chance of his blowing the Paris Climate Accord clean out of the water. The ‘progressives’ and their computer modelling would have had half the world’s land mass under water by now, had they not revised their modelling.
        My study of Geography at school and Science for that matter, was minimal, to put it mildly. So these issues have the potential to confuse me, were it not for my ability to easily detect a deposit or two of hot and steamies.

    • en passant says:

      Ian,
      I enjoyed you humour. You really are a funny fellow, aren’t you? Or are you just as ignorant and repetitive in 2017 as you were in 2016. I note you are still Ommm, Ommmming your myths and will fight with all your might to achieve your objective.

      Unfortunately, you have no idea what this objective is, as you refuse to share it with everyone else so maybe it is just the contrarian fight of being annoying that you seek to achieve. At least you are good at being annoying.

      If there is an objective (or Holy Grail) you seek, what is it?

      1. What is the ideal average global temperature? and
      2. What is the ideal concentration of CO2 all our mitigation efforts are designed to achieve?

      I know you have no idea, as it is the green kool-aid to which you are addicted, not reality, but surely if you do not know where you are going then, like the brainless Tinman in Wizard of Oz any road will take you there?

      Sounds about right … and you are keeping embarrassing company, accompanied by many scientifically illiterate politicians.

      Let me spoil the start to everyone’s year. I just paid my QUARTERLY all-electric home bill. It was $50. Then again, this is because I live in Asia, only 30km from a huge coal-oil-gas fired power station. My bill shocked me, until I realised it was only so big because we forgot to turn off the water heater for the two-months we were not living there.

      I have challenged Ian and every othet warmist wonk to list seven benefits of +2°C and in return I will list seven bad effects. I predict (with the help of a computer model) that Ian will obfuscate, but will NEVER accept the challenge and tell us the answer to warmisms woes.

      In short, Ian will just annoy us realists for 2017, because he can. Like a jellyfish, he does not need a sensible reason for chanting his mantra, because he is just Ian being Ian.

  4. Jody says:

    Watch this; there are some compelling arguments here!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-5fJ7sVd4c

  5. Warty says:

    Peter O’Brien’s mistake is to lump it all on Trump, debunking those who elevate him to the status of saint, but inadvertently falling into the same trap himself, by implying that Trump needs to do it all himself.
    His most impressive performance is already behind him, and in my mind it was not winning the Presidential Election, but rather the administrative appointees he has gathered around him. Yes, they are yet to be approved, but if you read up on each and every one, they are more than impressive.
    So, I am reassured just by his nominees, and they haven’t even started to boogey yet. So it is not whether or not Hillary is prosecuted for crimes against the state, even if that were a promise of sorts, and we all know that it is up to the FBI anyway, not Trump. In my mind he can be forgiven for having a wish list.
    As we move away from the rhetoric needed to win an election, and get down to business, some of the serious detail is beginning to emerge, and yes, climate change is one aspect, and he has one hell of a battle on his hands there, not simply because he and his administration need to undo at least eight years of systematic brainwashing, with the willing connivance of a limp-wristed MSM, but they need to deal with the EPA , the UN and the ‘international community (code for the EU). Certainly America tends to establish trends, but they don’t often have to undo such a mountain of PC/green/Marxist misinformation before they even start, hence draining the swamp. Some suggest this may take years, before it can be turned into arable land.
    There is no quick fix, Peter. From the moment he is President, he and his administration will need to hit the ground running, rather like WWII paratroopers landing in enemy territory. Your analysis is so full of negativity, it is almost as though you expect him to fail. I look at his administration and acknowledge the titanic struggle, but know that both America and the world are in for one enormous shake-up.

  6. en passant says:

    By replacing Obama and defeating Clinton he has already succeeded, even if he does nothing else.

    I have more than faith (a belief system based on …) as he has been through the mill and knows how to do what can be done and appear to do that which cannot …

    I just watched a Youtube of an interview with the former head of Homeland Security stating why the Trump Administration cannot:
    1. Build a wall as Israel did
    2. Deport illegal immigrants
    3. Vet muslim immigrants
    4. Restrict entry to the USA
    5. Close down or target radicalised muslims.

    After watching it I need dental treatment …

    • Philby says:

      I hope this Marxist keeps saying NO to President Elect Trump many more times as it will give the President great resolve to prove him wrong and sack the b*****d.

  7. Keith Kennelly says:

    The head of Obama’s Homeland Security?

    Really! What would you expect from someone appointed by a ‘Yes we can’t’ bigmouth, do nothing, undermining mongrel.

  8. Davidovich says:

    With the exception of Tillerson, all of Trump’s appointees in climate related areas have runs on the board wrt scepticism. Tillerson, as head of Exxon, had to defend his company which was being sued for denying climate change hysteria and so his support for the Paris Agreement at the time may have been pure pragmatism. Let’s wait and see what Trump actually does before judging what the MSM reports him as saying.

  9. Peter Brewster says:

    Please don’t try & scuttle Trump before he starts

    It makes me sick