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Truths about Paris

June 5, 2017

Trump lied about an MIT study, claiming the Paris Agreement would make merely a 0.2 degree Celsus difference in global warming. MIT has issued a correction:

The 0.2 degree-figure used in the talking point reflects the incremental impact of the Paris Agreement compared with the earlier Copenhagen agreement. If you instead compare the impact of the Paris Agreement to no climate policy, then the temperature reduction is much larger, on the order of 1 degree Celsius — 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit — by 2100. This would be a significant reduction in the global temperature rise, though much more is needed if the world is to achieve its goal of limiting warming to 2 degrees Celsius or less.

Kevin Drum points out that the US lags some other developed nations in reducing carbon emissions. (See graph, left, and note that the original in the linked article mislabels the Y axis.) Given any concern for our children’s future environment and a president who actually wanted to make America great, we would commit to lead. Addressing global warming isn’t hard. The only reason it gets significant opposition is, first, that it threatens the profits of the Koch brothers and others deeply vested in fossil fuels, and second, that opposing it has become a litmus test on the right. The Koch brothers have been quite successful in setting that agenda.

Michael Oppenheimer takes a sour look at the practical effects of US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement. As with all things future, we will see.

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