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Saturday, 3 June 2017

Paris, People, Planet & Profit

I'm in doubt how to view Trump’s rejection of the 2015 Paris Climate Accord. On a rational level, everyone claims his decision is stupid. Emotionally, however, Trump’s “stupidity” has angered and unified other countries. I don't believe in Trump’s arguments of protecting American jobs. Neither do American companies as they will be cut out of the huge climate investments.

I believe in climate change. It has been around for nearly 4 billion years, before mankind existed. I do not believe in man-made climate change. There is, however, little doubt that humans contribute to one of the 8 known causes for climate change: #4 greenhouse gases. We do not contribute to, control, or even understand most of the other 7 causes for climate change.

Our increased emissions have already delayed the start of a new glacial period (Ice Age, global cooling) and have extended the current interglacial period, a.k.a. global warming (eg, my 23 March 2016 blog, Bloomberg 2016, NYT 2003).

The human fear of Change, including climate change, is paralysing our thinking. The notion that we can “stop” climate change is preposterous. We do know that we can somehow “flip” climate change. Hence, the real economic, political and scientific debate should be the question what is better for humans: global cooling or warming?

Both scenarios are unappealing. Global warming may cause global floodings and endanger the megacities that we have built near oceans. Global cooling may cause shortages of water supply and also endanger global populations. In both scenarios, massive human migration would commence. Some countries are not big enough to accommodate internal migration. Migration would cause invasion of adjacent countries and armed conflicts.

In all fairness, this migration has already started since the 21st century. Climate change is hitting agriculture in Africa and Asia. Hence, urbanisation in Africa and Asia is accelerating (UN 2014). Globalization has created immense wealth with poor distribution and increased inequality. Hence, human migration is accelerating, from (1) mid/south America to North America and (2) Africa and Asia to Europe. From climate change to economic change to human change.

Without creating jobs in regions suffering from climate change and globalization, economic mass migration cannot be stopped. Renegotiating the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change is not as “stupid” as it may appear. Incorporating international trade and migration might be ambitious. A decade ago, the same was said about the Paris Agreement.

The “stupidity” of America First is in ignoring what's coming, and in believing that Change can be stopped. Climate change doesn't stop at American borders. Globalization has accelerated inequality in America and beyond. The laws of physics (or Nature) require that imbalances need to be repaired (eg, Capillary action). Migration is the human way of solving inequality imbalances.

“Saving our planet, lifting people out of poverty, advancing economic growth... these are one and the same fight.” 2011 UN quote by Ban Ki-moon

Paris (2017) by The Chainsmokers - artists, FB, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

If we go down then we go down together
They'll say you could do anything
They'll say that I was clever
If we go down then we go down together
We'll get away with everything
Let's show them we are better