We Will Always Have Paris

Tour Eiffel Paris France

The President’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accord has caused international hyperventilation, and a minor rift in the Greve family. We all agree on three propositions:

  1. The U.S. should never agree to an international instrument that is called an “accord”: too French.
  2. A je suis d’accord that purports to save the planet by saying, vee all civilized nations may do what we may want to do by, say, 2030 or maybe later and if we don’t you can’t make us; and which then admits that even full compliance with its targets won’t make one whit of difference to the climate, is obviously silly.
  3. It’s not silly if you think that the point is to empower U.S. constituencies that insist on turning energy into a luxury good. That’s what this is about. BAD. Mais non. Covfefe.

Our family agreement ends there. My beloved wife, far more experienced in international affairs than I am, says that we should have stayed in. It’s a religion to the Europeans, she says; it doesn’t really make a difference; and the way to appease them is to send some fifteen-year-old to the international confabs. Treating the whole thing as the joke that it is, while reminding the Europeans that they have real, carbon-powered enemies that only we are willing to defeat might persuade Mrs. Merkel & Co to actually take care of their own destiny. (Although when German leaders talk that way in a Munich beer hall, you have to hope they don’t mean it.)

I believe, with Saints Paul and Barack Obama, that the time has come to put away childish things. On this issue, it looks like the candy-colored clown we call the President is the only adult in town.