If you've been listening to the podcasts these last two weeks, you know I'm finishing up a series on climate science. I have one more left in the series that I'll be releasing tomorrow talking about what I believe actually drives the climate system here on Earth. Here's a hint... It's a big, giant fireball that that provides 99% of all heat on our planet.
This entire series was inspired by the UN's climate conference in Paris. Well, that conference finally reached an "agreement." Notice how all the language about the conference refers to an agreement and not a treaty? That's on purpose. The US delegation lead by Sec. of State John Kerry and, of course, President Barak Obama demanded that the document signed by 186 nations not be called a treaty. They made that demand because they are intentionally trying to subvert the supreme law they both took an oath to support and defend, the Constitution of the United States of America.
If the Paris conference had produced a "treaty," the Constitution would have required the advice and consent of the United States Senate. There's no way 2/3s of the Senate would have approved this deal, even if the Democrats still held a majority. The President knew this. Passage of a climate deal of some kind is about more than saving the Earth. It's about saving Barak Obama's Legacy! So, he had to have a deal and that means he couldn't allow Congress to get involved even if the Constitution demanded Congress be involved. This isn't the first time our President has used wordplay to subvert the spirit, if not the letter of the Constitution. That's probably going to be the topic of the podcast I do on Thursday.
It will be very interesting to see what the President can get away with in his effort to enforce this international agreement. I expect him to issue executive orders through the EPA to shut down coal fired power stations even more than he has done already. I don't expect the EPA to follow its own guidelines before implementing those new regulations and restrictions. After all, we are running out of time - not to save the planet, but to save Obama's Legacy.
The biggest tragedy is that none of this really matters to the climate. There is no evidence that cutting back on carbon dioxide based power generation will affect temperatures beyond the margin of error. That means that what ever effect it does have will be less than the error we make in measuring global temperatures. Economically, it will be a human catastrophe. Remember that the average life span and the global per capita GDP have both risen exponentially since the 1800s. People all over the planet are living longer with more goods and services available to them. The average American lives better today than royalty did 150 years ago. The main reason for that is electricity. 3/4s of all electric power is generated by burning coal. Nothing else is as inexpensive or efficient. Nothing else brings hope and power and comfort to so many as coal. But, to preserve President Obama's legacy, all of that must end. That's how you end up on the right side of history.