Crosstalk: May 31, 2017
Dr. E. Calvin Beisner is the founder and national spokesman for The Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation. Dr. Beisner has taught theology, apologetics, ethics, church history, economics, and other disciplines. He has written four books on population, resources, economics, and the environment; eight other books, contributions to over 30 books; and hundreds of articles. He has testified as an expert witness on the ethics and economics of climate policy before congressional committees and lectured for churches, schools, colleges seminaries and conferences around North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia.
What has caused President Trump to second-guess himself and waver on the Paris climate agreement? Dr. Beisner noted that there's a lot of disagreement within the Trump administration over this. He feels the person best qualified to judge this issue is Scott Pruitt, the Environmental Protection Agency Administrator.
Pruitt believes it would be to America's benefit to exit the Paris climate treaty.
According to Dr. Beisner, Pruitt says this because the actual impact on global temperature of full treaty implementation would be negligible. That translates to 3 tenths of a degree Fahrenheit reduction in global temperature by the year 2100. The cost of implementing the treaty to the world would run about 70 to 140 trillion dollars with no beneficial impact on any ecosystem or on human well-being.
Dr. Beisner believes the main proponent within the administration of staying in the agreement is probably Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. His justification is that it leaves us a 'place at the table' for future negotiations. Dr. Beisner feels we have a place at the table already because the U.S. is a member of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change. However, staying in the agreement would mean that we're not allowed to reduce our commitment to restricting carbon dioxide emissions; we can only change our nationally determined contribution upward and not downward. The result is that under former President Obama's commitment, we're required to make significant reductions in such emissions by the year 2025 that will cost hundreds of billions of dollars, thousands of jobs, and higher utility rates. On the other hand, nations such as China, India and Russia make no commitment to any reductions before the year 2030.
President Trump's daughter, Ivanka, and her husband Jared Kushner, both seem to want the U.S. to remain inside the Paris agreement. Are their motives based upon scientific, economic or ethical considerations, or is this just about gaining attention on the world stage?
When you review this edition of Crosstalk, Dr. Beisner mentions other possible options the president can take, and Crosstalk callers present their input.
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