Withdrawing from the Paris Agreement on Climate Change (now with 196 nations on board) is a perverse version of “American exceptionalism.” That we are aligning ourselves with Nicaragua and Syria, is not true. Nicaragua did not sign the agreement largely because they feel the agreement is not an adequate solution to global warming. Syria is not involved, because of civil war and travel sanctions imposed on its leaders. However, the U.S., a primary architect of the agreement, withdrew for largely political reasons. Yes, we are exceptional, i.e., in a category unto ourselves.
The alleged net loss of U.S. jobs, caused by the Paris Agreement, is fictional. Of course, jobs in fossil fuels will probably decline; however, that will happen anyway, due to economics – and we should help those impacted. Renewable energy resources, especially solar and wind, have become cost competitive when compared with fossil fuels. Huge numbers of new jobs will result, if we can avoid more unwise political decisions. Witness the 1,100-acre solar farm now being constructed in Alabama’s Chambers County, largely at the behest of Walmart, which “has a goal to be supplied by 100 percent renewable energy.” (Recall that retired Walmart CEO Rob Walton, founder Sam Walton’s son, is a leader in the Climate Leadership Council, an organization of well know Republicans who are concerned about the present human- caused climate change.)
Renewable energy is here and growing. Alabama and the U.S. should aggressively join in.