Two decades and still they don’t get it

It’s been twenty years since the US senate effectively rejected the demands of the Kyoto Protocol by the slim margin of 95-0. Amid the wailing and insults that followed, nobody stopped to consider that the proposals “would seriously harm the economy of the United States” and that getting the Americans on board ought to have been a top priority for anyone interested in getting it ratified. Alas, back then everyone thought they could shame and bully the Americans into hobbling their own economy in order to virtue-signal in front of third-world kleptocrats. Turned out they couldn’t.

It seems the lesson is taking some time to learn:

Six world leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the Paris accord, the world’s first comprehensive deal aimed at reducing greenhouse emissions.

However, the US has refused to recommit to the agreement, saying it will make a decision next week.

As I said back in 2005 on my old blog:

In a democracy such as the US, it is not possible to browbeat a president into doing something which is deeply unpopoular with the general population. In tin-pot countries such as Azerbaijan, Congo, Djibouti, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Russia, and Syria, the president can ratify anything he likes, because if he bothers with elections at all, they are mere formalities which simply prove that the incumbent should be in office for life. In short, if the world wants the US to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, they are going to have to make a decent case and sell it to the general population of the United States. (In Europe this has not been necessary, as thanks to the EU, sweeping decisions are made at a lofty and detached level guarded by a phalanx of bureaucratic jargon and overpaid consultants, meaning there is no longer a requirement to gain approval from the ignorant masses.) And in so far as the world has tried to sell Kyoto to the US population, they have failed miserably. Beyond repeating the mantra that the US is the “biggest polluter” and is responsible for the impending armageddon – and hence they must sacrifice their standard of living for the good of mankind – not the world, the UN, or anybody else has made a case at all. When the Yanks question the presented evidence, be it of the problem itself or the suitability of the Kyoto Protocol to address it, they are met not with reasoned argument but by howls of derision, insult, and abuse. This tactic of trying to browbeat the American public into sacrificing anything, as history would have told them, has not worked despite four years of the world’s great and good trying.

Tell me, dear readers, what has changed?

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the discussion on climate change had been “very unsatisfactory”, adding “we have a situation of six against one”.

Poor old Merkel is used to strutting around Europe bullying lesser countries into doing Germany’s bidding, but now she’s come across a country that can’t be shoved around her powers of diplomacy and persuasion are found wanting. The very fact that she’s talking about numerical advantages shows she doesn’t quite understand the power dynamic at play here, and that America’s economic interests are not subject to majority votes cast by a bunch of foreigners who largely detest them.

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14 thoughts on “Two decades and still they don’t get it

  1. The decision to elect Trump is looking more and more like a very wise one.

    Unless and until he declares all-put war on Russia, this will remain true for eternity.

  2. The jawdropping thing for me is that Merkel is improving in the polls pre-September.

  3. The jawdropping thing for me is that Merkel is improving in the polls pre-September.

    Oh, this doesn’t surprise me at all. The thing to remember is that people are very different from one another, and the Germans appear to be rather satisfied with Merkel. I have a German mate (living abroad) who tears his hair out at the stupidity of his countrymen, but this appears to be what they want and the situation they wish to live under. Good luck to them, I say.

  4. The other members of the G7 look like a bunch of Mean Girls who won’t let the newbie into the clique without submission. Good luck with that I sincerely hope. It would be awful if Ivanka manages to twist daddy’s arm into agreeing a compromise solution.

  5. Big in the press here today in Spain:

    Merkel saying the EU can no longer absolutely trust the UK and USA as allies.

    All depends on where you want to go, doesn’t it dear Angela. And the distrust will merely make it mutual.

  6. Maybe Merkel means she’ll get more effective advice on how to handle Middle Eastern “activists” from Russia than from the US or UK. Which might well be true, though I think it pretty likely that that is her intention.

  7. I very much hope that Merkel’s including UK in her rant suggests that Theresa May seemed to be ‘unsound’ on Paris as well as Donald Trump.

    However, Merkel is more probably cross about being told to stop freeloading on US protection. Amusingly, her response is to tell her countrymen that they are going to have to … stop freeloading on US protection. When will she work out that she is actually in violent agreement with Pres Trump?

  8. Maybe the Pope’s personal plea to Trump on climate change will influence his decision, it seems that’s more important than the Christians plight in the Mideast these days.

  9. Maybe Mutti will get the point, at some point. Having an army of a couple of hippies in a campervan does not give you a majority vote in the US.

  10. I have a German mate (living abroad)….

    Once they get out of their rabbit coop, Germans becomes the opposite of their normal controlled existence. I used to know a couple of them living respectively in Thailand and China and both spoke always annoyingly of the moments they had to get back to their home country. They were always relaxed, tolerant, curious and enjoyed life in a way they could not in Germany, so they told me.

  11. Citizens of the European Union of Socialist States might care to wonder, if we’re not friends with the US, who are we friends with?

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