The Post-Paris China Syndrome

Guest post by David Middleton

I’m beginning to think that President Trump’s wise decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord has induced a new strain of Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS): The Post-Paris China Syndrome (PPCS) Two Real Clear Energy articles are the perfect examples of PPCS:

Which Top 3 Polluter Dominates Wind And Solar?

By Zainab Calcuttawala – Jun 12, 2017, 12:40 PM CDT

China, the United States, and India are the most prolific greenhouse gas emitters in the world – in that order. To prevent the earth’s temperatures from rising by 2 degrees Celsius, those three key players will need to begin adopting renewables en masse.

Longtime followers of energy sector news will remember a time just a few years ago when China could now be considered a viable leader for the anti-climate change movement due to its voracious coal diet.
But the nation’s coal consumption has been in free fall since 2013…

[…]

Firstly, I think there was a typo in this sentence:

Longtime followers of energy sector news will remember a time just a few years ago when China could now not be considered a viable leader for the anti-climate change movement due to its voracious coal diet.

I corrected it in red font.  Correction notwithstanding, the only way in which Red China will be a “viable leader for the anti-climate change movement,” is as a profit center.  The ChiCom’s will be more than happy to sell all the solar panels that the rest of the world desires to purchase.

Secondly, “anti-climate change movement”… WTF?  That’s as idiotic as an “anti-plate tectonics party” or an “anti-entropy entourage.”

Thirdly, Red China’s “coal consumption has been in free fall since 2013″…

*Free fall*… AEUHHH????

According to the 2017 BP Statistical Review of World Energy, Red China’s coal consumption has declined slightly since 2013… However, “free fall” doesn’t appear to be an apt description.  The ChiCom coal diet remains more voracious than the rest of the world combined.

China_v_World_Coal

Annual Coal Consumption in million tonnes of oil equivalent (MTOE). China 1,888 Rest of World 1,844 Source: 2017 BP Statistical Review of World Energy http://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/energy-economics/statistical-review-of-world-energy.html

Now back to Ms. Calcuttawala’s article:

The National Geographic reports a 35 GW increase in solar power capacity – equivalent to Germany’s entire power supply – in just 2016.

Well… The National Geographic got the 35 GW right; however, according to the 2017 BP Statistical Review of World Energy, Germany had over 41 GW of solar capacity at the end of 2016 and generated over 648 TWh of electricity in 2016.  If Red China’s 35 GW of solar power capacity operated at a 100% capacity factor, it wouldn’t even generate half of Germany’s entire power supply in 2016.  I am assuming that Ms. Calcuttawala means generation, not capacity, by the phrase “power supply.”

Now back to Ms. Calcuttawala for her utterly shocking (NOT!) conclusion:

China’s communist regime controls domestic wealth and resources, so any nationwide campaign to go green must be recognized and sanctioned by Beijing.

Evaluating the U.S.’ Dedication to planet Earth is a little trickier though.

[…]

Federalism sees the virtue in allowing states and cities to be laboratories of democracy. Leading the development of international green policy, however, requires strong political will at the federal level – which the U.S. lacks.

OilPrice.com

If only this nation was a Marxist dictatorship, like Red China, we would gladly “make the United States the cleanest Third World country on Earth” (h/t Dr. Roy Spencer) in a  Quixotic global anti-climate change movement.  After slaying climate change, we could then lead the world in a crusade (or jihad, if you prefer) against plate tectonics and entropy!

The second article was not quite so much a target-rich environment for ridicule; but it did include one very large target:

How Trump’s COP21 Promise Became China’s Opportunity

By Rob Edens
June 13, 2017

The world was waiting with baited breath to see what Donald Trump would do with the Paris climate agreement, but the reasons that ultimately drove him to abandon it are overwhelmingly domestic. As a candidate, his energy platform centered on the ideas that emissions reductions efforts hurt the American economy, “kill jobs”, and weaken the country’s energy security. After months of deliberation, the now-president decided there is no way to reconcile those “America First” policies with climate commitments that dictate terms to the US energy industry.

It must have come as a surprise, then, when fossil fuel companies came together to lobby the Trump White House not to tear up the pact. A pro-Paris alliance that included Cheniere Energy, Exxon Mobil, and even coal companies like Cloud Peak and Peabody pleaded with the Trump administration in support of the agreement before he decided to withdraw.

[…]

Pleaded?  No.  Some companies did state that they thought it would be good for business to “keep a seat at the table” because they were concerned that the G-7 Climate Bullymight isolate the United States and harm U.S. coal, petroleum and natural gas exports.  This turned out to be an even more mythical fear than CAGW.

Now, on to the very large target:

With the US out of the Paris Accords, developing nations are set to lose the billions Washington would have contributed to the Green Climate Fund. With that windfall now off the table, these countries will probably expand their reliance on their natural resources (such as coal), hoping to obtain the Western technology to develop it – currently, only the U.S., Canada and Norway have large-scale CCS projects in operation.

[…]

Real Clear Energy

Mr. Edens then babbles a bit about coal mining companies not being able to export carbon sequestration technology to Third World hellholes… (Maybe the article was more target-rich than I originally thought.)

So… Red China now has an opportunity to what?  Pick up the tab for “the billions Washington would have contributed to the Green Climate Fund”?  I doubt it.

The ChiCom’s were probably banking on the United States borrowing more money from them, to give to Third World tin horn dictators, so they could buy Red Chinese solar panels, wind turbines and thermal power plants.

This brings us to a lucid article by former Iraq WMD inspector Scott Ritter:

An Indispensable Truth

June 2017 Scott Ritter

President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement on climate change, and his earlier failure, during last month’s Nato summit in Brussels, to reaffirm the collective security arrangements set forth in Article 5 of the alliance’s charter, have given the world a first real taste of America’s new isolationism. While the US’ position as the world’s “indispensable nation” has been in decline for decades, Trump’s actions, a clear manifestation of his policy of “America First,” underline the uncomfortable reality that the world remains incapable of providing any viable option to American leadership.

[…]

As currently configured, both Nato and the Paris Agreement place the US at an economic disadvantage to those with whom they are in supposed agreement — Europe in Nato, India and China in the Paris Agreement. In both cases, American leadership is being paid for by the American taxpayer, and is as such unsustainable, given the political realities of Trump’s presidency, under which the notion of exceptionalism has been superseded by a more transactional concept of fairness, not least in the view of those who elected him.

From Trump’s perspective, Article 5 cannot be blindly endorsed without recognition among Nato members of their funding commitments under Article 3. In the context of the Paris Agreement, Trump believes that greenhouse emission controls must be more equitably spread out among the world’s economies in a manner that does not unduly disadvantage the US.

Trump’s actions have, in fact, reinforced the notion of the US was the world’s “indispensable nation.” The idea of Germany, France, the UK and other Nato members trying to fund a collective defense capability without the US is laughable — the economic costs would be orders of magnitude greater than the 2% GDP being demanded by Trump, while the political cost would be unbearable. Likewise, America’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement will require the rest of the world to either fix it, or watch it dissolve.

The US has, both in terms of its military and economic capabilities, since been in gradual decline since the end of the Cold War. But this decline has not been accompanied by any parallel ascendancy of note on the part of the rest of the world, either individually or collectively. America remains indispensable on the world stage, largely because there is no one ready, willing or able to stand in its place. The international community has been confronted with the reality of Trump’s negotiating strategy, founded as it is on the notion that one should never enter into a negotiation one is not willing to walk away from. Trump has walked away. How the rest of the world responds will offer a true measure of the current state of American exceptionalism, and American indispensability.

Scott Ritter is a former US Marine Corps intelligence officer whose service over a 20-plus-year career included tours of duty in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control agreements, serving on the staff of US General Norman Schwarzkopf during the Gulf War, and later as a chief weapons inspector with the UN in Iraq from 1991-98.

Energy Intelligence

This passage bears repeating:

The international community has been confronted with the reality of Trump’s negotiating strategy, founded as it is on the notion that one should never enter into a negotiation one is not willing to walk away from. Trump has walked away. How the rest of the world responds will offer a true measure of the current state of American exceptionalism, and American indispensability.

“One should never enter into a negotiation one is not willing to walk away from.”  This is the heart of “the art of the deal.”  (From 2009-2016, the U.S. government operated antithetically to this principle.)

President Reagan walked away from Reykjavik and won the Cold War.  President Trump walked away from Paris and will win the war against the Warmunists (anti-climate change movement) because he believes in American exceptionalism and understands that we still are the only indispensable nation.

Ref.: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/06/13/the-post-paris-china-syndrome/

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