Monday, December 14, 2015

On Climate Deal Republicans Again Attack the President Past the Water's Edge

Politico chooses to take the glass half empty view of the President's new climate accord. 

"Barack Obama wants to be remembered as the president who saved the world from climate change. But the 195-nation accord aimed at curbing global warming may be the most fragile of his presidential achievements so far.

I think that the very fact that all these leaders of almost 200 countries agreed to such a historic environmental deal is worth celebrating to say nothing of getting China to agree to a limit on carbons. 

What Politico is alluding to when it says its 'fragile' that it depends a lot on this election for how meaningful it is. 

The reliance on presidential authorities means that while Obama can take much of the credit for the agreement, its ultimate success is in the hands of the next administration.

"The President is making promises he can’t keep, writing checks he can’t cash, and stepping over the middle class to take credit for an ‘agreement’ that is subject to being shredded in 13 months," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement.

Read more:

This was the same tactic McConnell and friends used after the President got the Iran deal. The GOP thinks nothing of trying to diminish the President internationally. Like Jon Stewart said, McConnell is not too nice a guy.

Here was a guy who was using the first responders as a political football and in 2009 cared not about the economic recovery but defeating President Obama. 

Well after this GOP primary the chances that there will be a Republican President to shred this deal is pretty remote. It's as if the President shouldn't conduct foreign policy if the GOP Congress doesn't agree with him. 

Krugman frames this deal a little more optimistically:

"Did the Paris climate accord save civilization? Maybe. That may not sound like a ringing endorsement, but it’s actually the best climate news we’ve had in a very long time. This agreement could still follow the path of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which seemed like a big deal but ended up being completely ineffectual. But there have been important changes in the world since then, which may finally have created the preconditions for action on global warming before it’s too late."

Save civilization? Now that's better framing.

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