Mayors challenge Trump on Paris Climate Accord

Mayors challenge Trump on Paris Climate Accord
June 28 18:00 2017 Print This Article

President Donald Trump announced at the beginning of the month that the United States was withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord, which would have required American families and businesses to dramatically reduce carbon dioxide emissions. On June 2, 338 mayors representing 65 million people in 44 states pledged to follow the terms of the Paris agreement.

The mayors group announced on the website that they opposed the President’s decision to reject the climate treaty, which was never ratified by the Senate. They published the following statement: “We are increasing investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency. We will buy and create more demand for electric cars and trucks. We will increase our efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions, create a clean energy economy, and stand for environmental justice.   And if the President wants to break the promises made to our allies enshrined in the historic Paris Agreement, we’ll build and strengthen relationships around the world to protect the planet from devastating climate risks.”

The mayors’ statement raises many questions. First, treaties like the Paris Climate Accord require a 2/3 vote of the Senate to ratify. President Obama didn’t have the authority to promise America’s involvement. Second, how do cities create more demand for consumer products like electric cars? Finally, what gives cities the authority to engage in diplomacy with foreign countries?

A recent U.S. Conference of Mayors held in Miami Beach passed a resolution committing to generate 100% of energy through renewable sources, such as wind and solar. Cities are not in the electrical generating business. We get our electricity through the power grid, which is mostly supplied by coal, natural gas and nuclear generators. Neither wind not solar power are capable of feeding the power grid continuously, which means that the 100% renewable energy policy would lead to frequent blackouts.

Even if the participating cities only committed to powering government buildings with solar energy, it would raise the question of how much that would cost taxpayers. The United States Energy Information Agency states that coal electrical generation costs $78.10 per Megawatt-hour, compared to $139.50 for natural gas and $396.10 for solar. That does not even account for the cost of installing solar panels on the city government buildings.

Another complication for the mayors is addressing the negative environmental impact of wind and solar power. In a National Review piece entitled “Clean Energy’s Dirty Little Secret”, it is revealed that a lot of toxic metals are used in producing wind and solar power, including the compound cadmium telluride, lead, chromium, and neodymium, which is radioactive. The toxins can lead to damage in the kidneys, lungs, bones and various cancers.

The bigger issue is whether humans can actually control the climate. In recorded history, the Vikings once farmed Greenland during the Medieval Warming Period and North American rivers froze solid during the Little Ice Age, documented by Lowcountry Source here:

Our mayors should focus on improving the quality of life in their cities and leave national policy decisions to the President and Congress.