Letter: Trump makes U.S. a follower, not leader, on global energy policies

Letter: Trump makes U.S. a follower, not leader, on global energy policies

The Westerly Sun

In a classic Phil Gingerella letter, ‘Reminding us of Trump’s take on climate,’ in the Westerly Sun on Thursday, Aug. 3, Phil cites a doubtful study to support his opinion. The study begins with extreme assumptions and ends with questionable conclusions.

President Trump cited the same study when he announced our withdrawal from the Paris Accord. The study came from the National Economic Research Associates. I wonder if Phil knows that fact checkers often challenge the truthfulness of National Economic Research Associates? Predictably, Phil entertained himself with his tired eco-loon insult. If you believe in science, or have views with which Phil disagrees, you qualify for the insult.

As usual, Phil’s dazzling arguments misread events. Yes, President Trump withdrew from the Paris Accord agreement. (Though we cannot officially withdraw until after his first term, when he may no longer be president.) All the arguments Phil used in his letter are as irrelevant as Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw. The agreement was signed or ratified by 194 countries. Two countries never signed. We signed, but Trump withdrew. The United States and the two countries that did not sign, Syria and Nicaragua, represent less than 5 percent of the world population. 95 percent of the world has identified carbon emissions as a problem and acted to correct it. By withdrawing we have become irrelevant.

The agreement asks nations to set goals to reduce carbon emissions. It asks that they strive to meet the goals. China and India do use coal, but they are moving away from coal. They are moving to renewables faster than other countries. Germany now gets more than 80 percent of its electricity from wind and solar. These three, and other countries, devote much of their large scientific and engineering talent to renewable energy. The world embraces renewable energy because the cost is competitive with coal and gas.

The time for arguments is past. We will move with the world now as a follower just to stay competitive. It is a shame that our President lacks the vision to lead the world into the future. He walked away from our leadership role. His take on energy led us there. Where will his take on other issues lead us?

Joseph C. Sciarillo


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