CRF Blog

It Is Engineers, Not Politicians, Who Can Solve Climate Change

by Bill Hayes

Writing for The Walrus, Jon Evans argues that It Is Engineers, Not Politicians, Who Can Solve Climate Change.

When Trump … announced America’s exit from the Paris climate agreement, the world erupted with fury and despair. Commentators called the decision “abhorrent,” “apocalyptic,” an event that “edged the world closer to climate disaster.” France’s Emmanuel Macron—who mockingly asked Trump to “Make Our Planet Great Again”—not only announced that he will push his country to go beyond its emissions commitments under the 2015 agreement, but has offered his country as a “second homeland” for American climate scientists. Desperate times, desperate measures.

Weep not for the Paris agreement. It is not going to save us, but then, there was never any hope that it would. All it does is affirm a goal, while saying exactly nothing about how to achieve it. It doesn’t require its signatories to commit to any specific targets. Its predecessor, the Kyoto Protocol, included theoretically binding commitments by wealthy nations to reduce their emissions of six major greenhouse gases by an average of 5.2 percent between 1990 and 2012, but those commitments were unenforceable, and while Kyoto held sway, global emissions rose by 40 percent. The Paris agreement is an even more toothless successor to Kyoto’s failure. [more]