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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Thomas Friedman, "Paris Climate Accord Is a Big, Big Deal": A Nonbinding Agreement

In his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "Paris Climate Accord Is a Big, Big Deal," Thomas Friedman would have us know:

"Any global conference that includes so many countries can’t be expected to agree on much more than the lowest common denominator. But the fact that the lowest common denominator is now so high — a willingness by 188 countries to offer plans to steadily and verifiably reduce their carbon emissions — means we still have a chance to meet what scientists say is our key challenge: to avoid the worst impacts of global warming that we cannot possibly manage and to manage those impacts that we can no longer avoid. That is a big, big deal.

Many leaders had a hand in it, but it would not have happened without the diplomacy of President Obama and John Kerry."

Friedman fails to observe that as reported by John Cassidy in a New Yorker article entitled "A Skeptical Note on the Paris Climate Deal," the accord is not binding, countries can establish their own carbon emissions targets, and developing countries expect voluntary contributions of at least $100 billion per year from the West to achieve their goals.

A big, big deal? Good luck.

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