Trump's Paris Climate Plans Will Hurt Everyone

  • Calvin Wolf
  • Jun 1, 2017 12:29PM

Global warming is a contentious issue on par with abortion, same-sex marriage, and school vouchers. Although it may not seem particularly touchy on the surface, any debate about environmental regulations will quickly bring about yelling and screaming between liberals and conservatives. While it may not inflame religious passions or be an issue targeted around children, the climate change debate focuses on something equally as polarizing: Money.

Liberals believe that human activity since the late 1800s has caused the earth’s average temperature to rise due to the greenhouse effect. Basically, all the industrialization we have enjoyed over the last 150 years has pumped large amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, where they now reflect sunlight back onto us. As temperatures rise, a host of negative things happen, ranging from rising sea levels (due to melting polar ice caps) to more heat waves to longer-lasting droughts. Across the board, global warming is thought to contribute to more extreme weather, ranging from wetter blizzards in the winter to more hurricanes during the summer.

Conservatives say that we shouldn’t rush to blame industrialization for “global warming.”  Although conservatives are not unified on whether global warming is occurring at all, with some acknowledging that temperatures are indeed rising, most tend to believe that liberal angst is a gross overreaction. Some say that climate change is simply occurring naturally, as it has always done throughout earth’s history. Others say that liberals are fearmongering with tales of coastal cities being flooded and droughts and famines ravishing the land. 

Any time it snows, of course, you have plenty of conservatives making cracks about global warming, which infuriates liberals. The science is complex, which makes it easy for any cold front to make common citizens have doubts about the severity of global warming. And the fact that there are still extreme winter conditions, such as the 2015 polar vortex that landed on the U.S. east coast, raises further doubts in the minds of moderates and independents.

But, with 97 percent of scientists in agreement that global warming is occurring and is caused by humans, you can bet your bottom dollar that there’s a problem brewing. Ice caps are melting, wet places are getting wetter, and dry places are getting drier. It is predicted that crop yields will suffer, which is bad news considering that our global population is expected to grow. By the year 2100, it is believed that global warming will have drastic effects, including a sea level rise of one to four feet and frequent heat waves across the American West and Southwest.

Combating this likely outcome will require lots of government regulation of industry, which means money. Regulated industries will likely lose money, and will either go out of business or only survive through government subsidies. Either way, taxpayers will feel the pinch.  Politically, the biggest boogeyman in the argument over environmental regulation has been jobs.  Republicans have long declared that environmentalism has increased unemployment by causing businesses to lay off workers due to higher costs of production.

If you have to pay to produce cleanly, you can’t keep on as many workers.