A wise professor of mine once pointed out that if one wishes to make a treaty that is all smoke and mirrors and “feel good” but has no actual impact on the world, the thing to do is to get as many countries as possible to sign on to it, thereby diluting its effect.*
He was speaking in reference, of course, to the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928 (officially the General Treaty for Renunciation of War as an Instrument of National Policy) which purported to outlaw offensive war.
And we all know how well that worked out.
There are 63 total signatories to the Pact, which (amazingly enough) remains in effect to this day — or perhaps we should say “in ineffect”. This was never the intent of M. Briand, who simply wished for a friendly treaty of this sort between France and the United States. Mr. Kellogg, in his wisdom or (more likely) lack thereof, flogged the idea of making it a general treaty, and it was then off to the races. The League of Nations, already ineffectual (well, it was ineffectual from the day it started, but let’s be nice), had nothing to do with the treaty, sinking both the League and the treaty even farther into irrelevancy to the world at large.
And when I say “ineffect” regarding this treaty, remember that there have indeed been no offensive, declared wars waged between powers since 1945.** But there sure have been a lot of “police actions” and “interventions” and claims of national insult leading to invasion and occupation of another’s national territory (yes, I’m looking at YOU, Russia, and your sneaky military games in South Ossetia and the Crimea). Then there was the whole ten-year Iran-Iraq intramural back before Saddam, invaded Kuwait over the claim that Kuwait was a stolen province of Iraq, and that whole ball game in the sandbox started. And the list goes on, but always in self-defense and/or with pious pleas of “they started it!”
In fact, the only country in the world right now that seems to be bent on an eventual offensive war is North Korea, and even it (dubiously) claims provocation. But exporting of a revolution once it goes flat has always been a Commie specialty, so it comes as no particular surprise that the fat boy is being belligerent.
Interestingly enough, Kellogg-Briand was yet another “Pact of Paris”. But in this case there is no reason to disavow the treaty, since nobody pays any attention to it and dives through its huge loopholes on a regular basis. And, after all, it was properly ratified by the Senate.
Parenthetically, I imagine humanity will never stop fighting amongst itself until aliens show up and invade. Although even then I’d be skeptical.
As far as the Paris Accord is concerned, not only was it never brought to the Senate for ratification (which so few news outlets are pointing out, because it doesn’t fit their narrative), but it was nothing more than another “feel-good” pact among 130 nations, the major intent of which was to strike the world’s largest economy a crippling blow at the knees while everyone else sat back and laughed. The dirty secret is that there was no enforcement mechanism, no penalty for missing targets, the worst polluter and purportedly second largest economy in the world (China) did not have the same obligations as the United States, and the United States was already voluntarily reducing emissions due to fracking and the steady replacement of coal with natural gas for peak demand power generation.
And then there’s the MIT assessment that even if the Paris Accord was fully executed, it wouldn’t succeed in its stated goal of “keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius”. MIT’s assessment is that we’d be lucky if we didn’t get 3 degrees or higher even if Paris was fully implemented. I tend to trust MIT a lot more than I trust a bunch of diplomats who are probably diplomats because they flunked out of their science classes and couldn’t get into MIT.
Say what you will, President Trump was absolutely correct to pull the US out of this unconstitutionally-implemented, economically-damaging treaty. As Bjørn Lomborg,*** who is not even close to being an ideological brother to the conservative right, has said for many years, the solution to any warming problem is not to cripple economies by trying ineffectively to stop the warming, but to build stronger and richer economies in order to be able to react positively to changing climate and to any possible human or agricultural migration that might need to happen as a result. In a rich world, there is no reason for humans to suffer. In a world made bankrupt by ill-considered attempts to modify the climate rather than to simply get along with it, billions will suffer and die. I know which outcome I prefer.
And on top of that, if other experts are correct and we are in a blip of warming that is just a pause in the overall cooling that has been happening since things warmed up after the last Ice Age, to fight warming might actually be fighting the wrong battle. Any ham radio operator can tell you that this has been the worst solar cycle for radio in a long time. That means solar activity is at a deep minimum, and projections for Cycle 25 have been pretty depressing. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the big nuclear fusion furnace in the sky is the biggest controller of climate, and when it gets the sniffles, Earth catches a cold. But nobody in the “right-thinking” climate “science” community wants to admit that; they’d rather blame the industrial revolution and the CO2 it puts into the air, like the bunch of modern Luddites they are.
Got news for you: I remember Mount St. Helens and Mount Pinatubo. Both of those major eruptions pumped more junk into the air than (and I’m reaching a bit here, because I’m vaguely remembering what I read 20+ years ago) the entire output of mankind since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. There were notable cooling regimes after the eruptions, and I for one remember walking out in the grass at my university not long after Pinatubo, coming back with my shoes covered with black yutz, and realizing that it was because of volcanic ash from Pinatubo traveling around the planet and falling out of the air here in the US. Puny mankind’s got nothing on Mother Nature, the world’s biggest polluter. (Take that, Gaia worshipers.)
But I didn’t come here to laugh at climate science. I came here to laugh at diplomats and politicians and movie stars and rich progressives and idiots who flunked science in high school who think that an essentially non-binding treaty can trump (no pun intended) Mother Nature, and her buddy the Sun. To them I say, stop thinking with your emotions and start thinking with that mass of grey matter in your head.
If you have one.
Oh, and go read Niven/Pournell/Flynn, Fallen Angels, and Ringo, The Last Centurion, for a different view of what we might face in the future. You might learn something.
* The dilution of effect comes from the idea that the more signatories to the treaty, the more vague the treaty obligations must become in order to encourage the reticent to sign on. Thus the loopholes in Kellogg-Briand that one could drive a tank (or an armored division) through.
** And recall, WWII started in 1939 when Germany claimed Poland had violated Germany’s territorial sovereignty by sneaking across the frontier and killing German border guards — which of course was a false-flag job performed by Germans in Polish army uniforms, who’d violated Poland’s territorial sovereignty by crossing into Polish territory and then coming back to kill their own countrymen to create an excuse for an “aggrieved” Germany to invade Poland. Declarations of war followed from France and England due to mutual defense treaty obligations with Poland. Then Germany turned around and declared war on England and France.
*** Also, see Lomborg’s 2015 paper regarding the ineffectiveness of the Paris programme. This is the source of the graphic in my previous post.