France to End Fossil Fueled Cars By 2040 – I Bet My Hoverboard They Won’t

It’s 2017.

According to the 1989 classic, Back to the Future II, we should have flying cars by now – or at least hoverboards. And don’t forget power laces, which should be equipped on every pair of Nikes.

To borrow from another sci-fi classic, Star Trek, we should be emerging from the Eugenics Wars of the 1990s, and working closer toward speed of light travel.

According to a 2007 NBC News Report, we should all have an implant with health, financial, and identifying information stored conveniently under our skin.

Of course, pondering the future can be humorous or invoke a sense of wonder. What is important to remember, however, is that we have no idea what the future can bring. One should confront the prospect of the future with humility at how little we control events. We simply lack the foresight to see over the horizon and project what is going to happen. Humans aren’t predictable machines, and forces that drive history do not fit into some unified theory of everything.

France, of course, has never had a problem relying on the ultimate wisdom of humanity. The French have a long history of crafting policy on nothing more than good intentions and well wishes, dating back as far as the French Revolution. Bless their hearts, no amount of blood-soaked guillotines will ever change their minds.

So it’s no surprise that France announced this week that the country will completely eliminate fossil fuels by 2040. 

“We are announcing an end to the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2040,” [Ecology Minister Nicolas] Hulot said, calling it a “veritable revolution”. 

That’s an awfully impressive goal. How will they achieve it? Well, those details haven’t really been hashed out yet.

Cyrille Cormier of Greenpeace France, a supporter of the measure but critic of the lack of concrete measures, admitted, “We still do not know how we will achieve these objectives and respect these ambitious promises.”

Minister Hulot gave only two hints on how France would meet the 2040 goal. First, by simply prohibiting French automakers from manufacturing gasoline or diesel vehicles by 2040.

(Such quick-fix measures are always a favorite of the Left. Do people not have health insurance? Simply pass a law requiring everyone to buy it! Are workers getting paid too little? Raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour!)

Hulot acknowledged that reaching the goal would be “tough”, particularly for automakers, but said that French carmakers Peugeot-Citroen and Renault were well equipped to make the switch.”

That’s easily said by a government minister in 2017 and not, say, the CEO of Renault in 2036. Moreover, with the unexpected fracking boom consumers in America and Europe still overwhelmingly prefer vehicles that run on gasoline or diesel.

Motorists still continue to opt overwhelmingly for petrol and diesel models, usually substantially cheaper. In 2016, hybrid and electric cars accounted for only 3.6 percent of new cars registered in Western Europe, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA),” the Yahoo report says.

The only other measure Hulot indicated may help achieve the 2040 goal is to pay low-income households for their old fossil fuel vehicles, and require them to buy a new and improved electric one. This would essentially amount to a French version of Obama’s Cash for Clunkers program, which was notable for hurting both the environment and the economy at the same time

The fact of the matter is that this announcement, like much of the rhetoric we hear from the environmental left in America and Europe, is simply an empty gesture. It’s a promise based on the Paris Climate Accord, which was yet another toothless measure. Such grand announcements are more about virtue signaling to the rest of the world rather than crafting serious policy.

If France and other countries manage to find a viable alternative to fossil fuel automobiles by 2040, then good for them. But I’m willing to bet they won’t.

I’ll wager my jet pack to your hover boots. We should have both by 2040.

A Few Logical Questions About Climate Change

In the wake of President Trump’s long awaited decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate nontreaty (at least according to the Obama Administration), the liberal left has broken out into hysteria on the assumption that the slowdown in the rise of the sea levels that was brought about by the election of Barack Obama has been reversed by President Trump. Reports of the Earth’s demise due to the US exit from the “executive agreement” are likely to be greatly exaggerated.

The full text of the president’s speech seems to indicate that he is not opposed to a climate treaty in principle, but is chiefly opposed to the cost in American jobs and productivity through the agreement’s call for strict regulations on the United States, but more permissive approach to other countries.

In fact, Mr. Trump called upon climate activists to negotiate a new deal that he would be willing to sign and presumably submit to the Republican-controlled Senate for formal ratification. “I’m willing to immediately work with Democratic leaders to either negotiate our way back into Paris, under the terms that are fair to the United States and its workers, or to negotiate a new deal that protects our country and its taxpayers,” Trump said.

If President Trump is truly skeptical of the danger of climate change, then it seems unlikely that any deal that he could negotiate would be fair to the United States and its taxpayers. If climate change is a hoax, as the president has been known to charge, then any deal would not be beneficial to the American workers that President Trump represents. As a service to the president, I would like to present a logical framework for determining whether a future deal would be fair to the United States… or is necessary at all.

Is climate change real? The first point to consider is whether climate change is actually happening. I will concede that it is. In fact, as the NASA website notes, “Earth’s climate is always changing. There have been times when Earth’s climate has been warmer than it is now. There have been times when it has been cooler. These times can last thousands or millions of years.”

Is the world climate actually warming? This is a more difficult question to answer. There is debate on whether warming is still occurring. In November 2016, Dr. David Whitehouse wrote on the Global Warming Policy Forum, “Satellite data indicates a large fall in the temperature of the lower Troposphere back to pre-El Nino levels. This decrease has reinstated the so-called ‘pause’ in lower atmosphere temperature.”

If the assumptions that the world is still warming are wrong, it would help to explain why predictions by the global warming alarmists have been so far off the mark. Reason pointed out last year that James Hansen predicted in 1986 that global temperatures would rise by two degrees in 20 years. The actual increase in that time was 0.2 degrees. Hansen’s predictions were off by a factor of 10.

In 1988, Hansen forecast that global temperatures would rise by 3 to 9 degrees Fahrenheit from the year 2025 to 2050 causing sea levels to rise by one to four feet. By 2007, the estimates had been reduced to “8 to 16 inches above 1990 levels by 2090.” Most of the long-term predictions about warming seem to have fallen short.

Is warming caused by human activity? It seems likely that at least some warming is the result of human activity, but warming that occurred prior to the industrialization of the late 20th century cannot be legitimately blamed on human production of carbon dioxide since humans were not big emitters of CO2 in the early 1900s. Patrick Michaels, a climate scientist at the Cato Institute, estimates that about half of the 0.9 degrees in warming since the Industrial Revolution can be attributed to humans.

Is warming a bad thing? If the Earth warms, some parts of the globe will suffer, but other parts will benefit. A warmer Earth could mean longer growing seasons, lower energy costs and fewer cold-related deaths for much of the world. Loss of land from rising sea levels may well be offset by bountiful crops from areas where agriculture is not currently efficient.

A common claim is that climate change causes more severe weather and worse storms than in the past. However, data from Munich Re, the world’s largest reinsurer, do not support claims that climate change has led to more losses from severe weather. The trend has been mostly flat for the past 25 years even as warming supposedly reached critical levels.

Can we stop warming if it is catastrophic? It is an unknown whether global warming can be stopped, but it is generally acknowledged even among environmentalists that the Paris agreement would not do it. Bjorn Lomborg estimates that the Paris promises would reduce warming by only 0.05 degrees Celsius over doing nothing. This is a miniscule gain at an enormous price.

Even if we can stop climate change, there are other indirect costs to be considered. Third world nations that are in the process of industrializing may pay the biggest price. Citizens of these nations may lose the opportunity to lift themselves out of poverty because fears of climate change stop development and economic growth. Given that many of the dire forecasts of the alarmists have not come to pass, the cure for climate change may be as bad as the disease.

A better solution is to allow businesses to adapt to the changing climate. Technological innovation is reducing emissions as well as helping people to become more prosperous. Oil companies are now predicting that world consumption of oil will peak and begin to decline in the next few decades even without a top-down mandate from the United Nations. If we want to enter into a treaty to protect the

If we want to enter into a treaty to protect the climate, then negotiate one that will actually acomplish its goal. And actually send it to the Senate for ratification.

President Trump can take comfort from history as well. When President Bush decided to withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol in 2001. The left predicted disaster then as well. Fifteen years later, however, we are still waiting on the apocalypse.

Disney’s CEO Fiddles With Political Opinions While The Company’s Theme Parks Attendance Numbers Burn

Like apparently everyone else on earth, Disney CEO Robert Iger saw fit to weigh in on President Trump’s removing the United States from the useless Paris Climate Change Accord:

Perhaps Iger should focus less on asinine political pouting and spend more of his time figuring out why attendance is down worldwide at Disney’s theme parks.

In a rare slowdown in one of the hottest areas of the entertainment business, attendance declined at 13 of 14 Disney theme parks around the world in 2016 compared with 2015, according to an independent report released on Thursday. Higher prices, intended in part to ease crowding at certain parks, were a major contributor, analysts said.

[…]

The biggest declines occurred overseas. At Disneyland Paris, attendance plunged 14 percent, to 9.8 million, as tourism across Europe continued to be affected by terrorism fears. Bad weather was also a factor. Hong Kong Disneyland had a 10 percent drop, to 6.1 million, amid a continued decline in tourism from mainland China. Disney recently unveiled $1.4 billion in upgrades in Hong Kong.

But Disney’s North American parks had more modest declines. Attendance at the Magic Kingdom totaled roughly 20.4 million, down 0.5 percent; Disneyland’s estimated total was 17.9 million, down 2 percent.

Universal has shown an increase in attendance over the same time period, but even in a down year, Disney’s numbers dwarf theirs.

Now, it’s worth noting that Disney doesn’t disclose its attendance numbers, and these figures are estimates from a trade group. They also don’t take into account recent upgrades like the Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission Breakout attraction at Disneyland in California, which boasted 300 minute wait times on its opening weekend and the Pandora: The World of Avatar land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Florida, whose attractions has 200 and 250 minute wait times when it opened.

(Future upgrades will boost attendance as well. Star Wars Land, when it opens at both American parks in 2019, will surely show an increase in numbers.)

It’s also worth considering that lower attendance doesn’t equal less profit. Disney still reported a profit over that time period thanks to its ticket pricing structure, as well as hotel and resort pricing.

What’s the point, you ask? It’s simple: lowering attendance numbers should be cause for concern, regardless of profits (though selfishly, as a Disney addict whose family visits Walt Disney World at least once a year, I like the thought of shorter lines). Bob Iger should focus more time on growing every area of the company he leads and less time on political opinions that don’t really matter to most people.

Harvard Professor Claims The International Community Created the United States

This may be the hottest of all hot takes courtesy of Joyce Chaplin, a Harvard professor.

The men who sat in a room in 1776 and wrote “the unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America” would beg to differ. The Treaty of Paris recognized the United States, but it did not create the United States. That is History 101, which I am sure Professor Chaplin would agree with if she was not run over with Trump Derangement Syndrome.

This really is a stupid take by an otherwise smart person who cannot see beyond her own partisanship right now.

BREAKING: Trump Address on Paris Accord, Renegotiate a Fair Deal

President Trump addressed the nation from the White House Rose Garden today at 3:30 p.m. to announce the nation’s exit from the Paris Climate Accord.

“Therefore, in order to fulfill my solemn duty…the United States will withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord,” Trump said, “but begin negotiations to reenter that Paris Accord or an entirely new transaction that’s fair…”

The main reasons the president gave for exiting the agreement were:

  • It’s economically unfair to American workers
  • It redistributes wealth from the U.S. to other countries
  • It would not have a meaningful effect on global temperatures
  • It infringes on American sovereignty
  • It imposes unacceptable legal risks to the U.S.

Trump stated that the U.S. would immediately end the implementation of the nationally determined contribution and the Green Climate Fund. He said that compliance would ultimately cost our economy over $3 trillion in GDP.

“The bottom line is that the Paris Accord is very unfair, at the highest level, to the United States,” Trump said. “This agreement is less about the climate, and more about other countries gaining a financial advantage against the United States.”

Trump said he is willing to “immediately work with Democratic leaders” to negotiate re-entry into Paris, or to a new deal.

“It is time to exit the Paris Accord,” Trump summed up. But he reiterated his, and America’s commitment to being an environmental leader. He did not refute or address any of the claims of Climate Change proponents, instead sticking to economic, competitive and basic fairness as the basis of his decision.

The president openly challenged other nations–if they want America to be part of a global effort to combat global warming–to pay their fair share and do their fair part, and he challenged Democrats to work with him to ensure American workers and families are treated fairly.

Trump To Withdraw From Paris Climate Agreement

After weeks of seeming indecision, there are now reports that President Trump has made up his mind on whether to withdraw from the global climate treaty. The president has put off a decision on whether the US should reject the agreement for several weeks, but CNN, citing two US officials, reports that an announcement that the US will withdraw from the treaty will be made this week.

“I’m hearing from a lot of people both ways,” Trump said, but added that an announcement would be made “very soon.”

The United States “joined” the Paris agreement on September 3, 2016, but the Senate never formally ratified the treaty. White House advisor to Barack Obama, Brian Deese, told the Washington Times that the pact was an “executive agreement” that did not require ratification by the Senate.

“That’s a process that is quite well-established in our existing legal system and in the context of international agreements and international arrangements,” Mr. Deese said in August 2016. “There is a category of them that are treaties that require advice and consent from the Senate, but there’s a broad category of executive agreements where the executive can enter into those agreements without that advice and consent.”

USA Today notes that currently only two nations out of 197 are not party to the climate treaty. Syria and Nicaragua are the other two nations that do not honor the treaty. 147 countries have formally ratified the agreement. The agreement requires countries to make “nationally determined contributions” and “strive to formulate and communicate long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies.”

Donald Trump has long been skeptical of the claim that climate change presents a danger to the world. In 2012, Trump tweeted, “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” Trump later called the tweet a joke. During the campaign, Trump promised to cancel US participation in the climate agreement.

CNN did caution that the decision on the Paris agreement was not final and that the president was still hearing from advocates on both sides of the issue. In April, Trump made a dramatic reversal on withdrawing the US from NAFTA after signaling his intent to leave the trade pact.

The Paris agreement is unpopular among Republicans with 56 percent favoring withdrawal according to a recent POLITICO/Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health poll. Sixty-two percent of the public as a whole supports remaining a party to the agreement.

With a campaign promise on the line and a majority of his base in favor of leaving the pact, the course for Trump, the climate skeptic, seems obvious. Why he’s drawing out the decision-making process is the real covfefe.

President Trump Does Something Brave and Makes the Right Decision

It is not very brave these days to stand up and denounce President Trump. Hollywood and the media will turn you into a hero. But it is a brave thing to stand up to the zeitgeist and culture of fear and bullying the left and media have instilled on the issue of climate change. But President Trump is doing just that. He is defying the left, the media, his children, and many world leaders.

In short, he is leading. President Trump is withdrawing the United States from the Paris Climate Accord.

It is the right decision for a number of reasons.

First, the Paris Accord is being treated by many as a treaty with treaty obligations, but President Obama never submitted it to Congress for passage.

Second, though President Trump could have left it in place and done nothing, his successor could have easily revived it if left in place.

Third, the structure and implementation of the Paris Accord set a terrible precedent. President Obama worked for what amounts to a global agreement with voluntary measures, but those measures would impact the American economy. But, despite that impact, President Obama did not present the Paris Accord to Congress for ratification or debate.

I do believe the climate is changing. I do believe humans play some role in it. But I also think the certainty with which much of the left clings regarding climate change is more by faith than fact. For years the left has preached climate doom and gloom and they have never been right. They have warned of global cooling and now of global warming.

Their only solution in all cases is a command and control economy. Many of them have started profiting from the scare tactics of climate change and others have financial investments that would profit from carbon trading and other schemes. They drive around in SUV’s and fly private planes while telling the rest of us to cut back. For a group of people convinced we’re all going to die, they sure don’t act like they really believe it.

I simply do not think climate change is an issue worth caring much about and trust that humanity will find ways to adapt to a climate that would change whether or not we were on the planet.

But fundamentally, regardless of my views, I think any President of any party trying to bind this nation to a global agreement that will deeply affect our economy must do so only with the consent of the Senate through its constitutional obligation to approve treaties.

Ted Cruz Calls on President Trump to Withdraw From the Paris Climate Accord

Over at CNN, Ted Cruz has an excellent must read in which he calls for President Trump to walk away from the Paris Climate Accord on climate change.

The Paris Agreement would also handicap America in the global race for new sources of energy. Russia has committed financial and military assets to the Arctic to stake its claim to the region’s vast deepwater mineral, oil and gas deposits. China is also exploring and trading for Arctic oil and gas. Meanwhile, American liquefied natural gas struggles with logistical costs that weaken its competitiveness.

By allowing our rivals to increase their cooperation and strategic leverage around the world — pressuring our allies and partners, harming domestic job creators and materially reducing our prestige and influence in the process — the agreement would damage America’s national security as much as our economic security. The emission cuts that the US would have to make today, and the resultant costs for our own energy firms, would weaken our ability to battle our rivals on an equal footing in the drive for untapped energy sources.

He also notes the agreement would have a negligible impact on temperature.

What’s more, from my vantage point, the Paris Accord is dangerous because of the precedent it sets. It would allow the President to fundamentally alter our economy without congressional approval. Yes, Presidents enter executive agreements all the time for cooperation. But the outcome of the Paris agreement on climate change would have direct economic consequences and congress was not consulted.

As long as President Trump remains in the agreement, a future President to re-activiate it even if President Trump did nothing. Withdrawal is the only safe act.