This short post is to pass on to readers some facts about the ballyhooed “climate deal” signed by President Obama with China’s leader. This is a good example of how the media can be manipulated to make a big deal out of nothing to try and make Obama look like he actually accomplished something useful. The first link gives an establishment view of the “deal,” but the second link clearly indicates that nothing meaningful was accomplished in this “deal.”
The second link notes that the “deal” …”isn’t really an agreement,” and that “It’s not legally binding, and the details are vague.” I doubt the new GOP Congress will appropriate a single dollar to implement this “joint announcement” as it is also called. Apparently, the Obama administration, rejected badly by US voters in the recent US election, is trying desperately to give the impression that it is still relevant or taken seriously on international matters.
When you look at the vague terms of this agreement, you can see that it has no merit at all. Obama agreed the US would do something about emissions by 2025 and the Chinese agreed to (maybe, hypothetically) start thinking about doing something about limiting emissions in 2030. Any president in the next decade could just as easily renounce this agreement, which the US Senate has not ratified at all.
What is worrisome is how weak Obama is in representing US interests. His agreement says the US will “reduce carbon emissions by up to 28% over 20 years beginning in 2005″ while “China agreed to begin reducing its emissions by 2030 or sooner” (emphasis added in quotes). So this agreement is retroactive to 2005? This agreement would have the US cut its carbon emissions by 2025 while China doesn’t even “begin” to cut its emissions until 2030–5 years after the US finishes cutting its emissions. This agreement is so pathetically one-sided in favor of China that it broadcasts to the world that Obama is either an exceptional weakling as a negotiator or that he simply “surrendered” to China’s leader behind closed doors. This is worrisome because, given Obama’s very weak leadership on this agreement, we can expect some really bad deals for the USA whenever Obama negotiates with other nations on trade deals, military matters, etc. This bodes for some very bad times for the USA in the last two years of Obama’s wounded presidency.
Thankfully, Congress can gut this agreement and future presidents can alter it or simply ignore it. Since the agreement would require the USA to lose jobs that depend on carbon-emitting industries, the deal will likely be ignored by Congress and future administrations. Notice the vagueness of this agreement. The USA could cut its emissions by “up to 28.” In other words, a cut of 0.00001% actually meets the deal’s terms because it is within the range of “up to” a certain target. The media didn’t bother to explain the weak math behind this agreement. I think China couldn’t care less about this agreement because it doesn’t commit them to do anything for 16 years. In 16 years, they will likely change their minds and forget the agreement was ever signed.
This “deal” means virtually nothing. What is very worrisome is Obama’s weakness as a negotiator. His weakness as a negotiator may truly endanger the USA if he negotiates any real treaties or agreements in the next two years that matter to American or western national security.