Condemnation Pours on the President’s Ruffian Head
Boy are the global cool kids mad at the president. In an excellent column for the American Enterprise Institute, Marc Thiessen rounds up some of the outrage:
The left-wing Guardian newspaper said the president’s decision to withdraw from the global climate treaty signed by his Democratic predecessor represents “a blunt rebuff to European hopes” and has turned America into “the ultimate rogue state.” Britain’s Independent declared: “It is not even isolationism, it is in-your-face truculence.” The president of France called the decision “disturbing and unacceptable.” The US National Environmental Trust declared: “This is no way to conduct policy. It looks like amateur hour at the White House.”
But wait, this is not commentary on President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accords. Rather, it is abuse poured out on George Bush who withdrew the United States from the Kyoto Climate Treaty that Bill Clinton had signed but never submitted to the Senate.
The heated rhetoric probably added half a degree to average global temperature. But an interesting thing happened on the way to climate Armageddon. The US reduced its carbon emissions at a rate faster than the European stone throwers. New technologies, more efficient power generation, and particularly the rise of hydraulic fracturing to produce abundant, clean burning natural gas, made American industry greener than the economies in Europe.
It’s likely the same pattern will hold true again. But the outrage likely isn’t even based on environmental concerns. It is pride and anger that the United States under Republican presidents is disinclined to join global charades that sap our sovereignty and autonomy. There were similar howls of outrage when President Bush declined to submit the US to the International Criminal Court.
Democrat presidents like to shackle the US in global entanglements. Republican presidents are more skeptical and prefer to run government at home under our constitutional system. And that suits many of us just fine.