If power corrupts, as it is said, Americans are going to feel a jolt of degeneration when Joe Biden plugs back into the climate-change network. Rather than save the world from global warming, a President Biden would force Americans to spend more of their hard-earned dollars just to keep the wheels turning and the lights burning.
One pledge the presumptive Democratic president-elect has chiseled in stone is that when he first sets foot in the Oval Office, he would rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement, from which President Trump’s 2019 withdrawal became final on Election Day 2020: “Today, the Trump Administration officially left the Paris Climate Agreement,” Mr. Biden tweeted. “And in exactly 77 days, a Biden Administration will rejoin it.”
The oh-so progressive 2016 Paris pact obligates the 189 signatory nations to curtail their emission of heat-trapping carbon dioxide. The bulk of responsibility falls on developed nations, which have struggled to achieve their expected reductions by transitioning to expensive renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind and biofuels.
It was the heavy burden on the American economy compared to the easy terms given to industrial powerhouses like China and India that convinced Mr. Trump to bail. U.S. participation in the pact would cost the average family of four $20,000 and the national GDP $2.5 trillion by 2035, according to The Heritage Foundation. The resulting reduction in global temperatures: a nearly unmeasurable 0.015 degrees Celsius in 2100.
It’s unsurprising, then, that environmental extremists argue a Biden return to Paris won’t cut it. “Paris is a good starting point, but we need to go well beyond Paris now to achieve the reductions that are necessary,” climate activist and climatologist Michael Mann tells NBC News. That means reaching even deeper into American pockets.
A Biden administration would queue up a modified version of the $93 trillion Green New Deal that environmental firebrands like Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez favor. The Biden plan would build the nationwide infrastructure for “clean, American-made electricity to achieve a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035.” With it would come a transition to electric vehicles.
The Biden attack on clean fossil fuels means hundreds of thousands of plug-in cars and trucks would need to suck juice from the nation’s electric grid. Residents of places like California, where blackouts have already become commonplace, may need to learn the Venezuelan method of driving: one hand on the steering wheel and the other pushing the fuel-less car. Trendy electric vehicles loaded with a thousand-pound lithium-ion battery pack could cost owners sweat by the gallon.
Mr. Trump is fond of claiming he wants the cleanest air and cleanest water. Americans want those, too. They do not want, however, a return to the pre-industrial temperatures Mr. Biden would welcome if it were to reprise the Hobbesian “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short” life experience of the pre-industrial era. That would embody the antithesis of progress.