First, a bit of background. The headline of a November 14, 2014 story by Fox News' Megan Gannon says, "US-China climate accord gives hope for global agreement." She introduces the story this way:
"The United States and China surprised climate-policy watchers this week by announcing a rare accord to cut carbon pollution. As details of the agreement are released, experts are hopeful that cooperation between the world's two biggest economies, and two biggest carbon emitters, bodes well for an as-yet elusive global climate pact.
"For many years, the reluctance of the U.S. and China to make strong commitments has been an oft-used excuse by other countries to not take action," said Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Project on ClimateChange Communication.
"In fact, many in the U.S. Congress have resisted taking action because they argued that China wasn't acting," Leiserowitz told Live Science in an email. "And many Chinese leaders have long used the same argument about the United States to avoid making their own commitments. This very public and early agreement by the two largest national emitters in the world should help break the long-standing logjam in the international negotiations."
"On the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetingin Beijing,U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping announced their goals to cut emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), the main culprit behind human-caused global warming."
A few days later, Steve Cohen of Columbia University's Earth Institute wrote about "the importance of the U.S. - China climate accord for the Huffington Post, explaining:
"Last week, the United States pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 26% from 2005 levels before 2025, and China agreed to stop growing its carbon emissions by 2030. Since we do not have a world government and are unlikely to get one anytime soon, we are dependent on the actions of sovereign nations if we are to mitigate global warming. Setting aspirational goals like this is an important move by these two powerful nations, and is a significant and meaningful act. Of course, no one can guarantee that either China or the U.S. will actually meet specific targets. Such assurances are always suspect since, in the end, powerful nations always retain a measure of control over their own destiny. Self-interest always guides the leaders of China and the U.S. and they have clearly decided that a slow transition away from fossil fuels is in their national interest. It is their sense of shared or mutual self-interest that led to this agreement and provides confidence that it will be implemented.
"It appears that the futile quest for some kind of binding international treaty on climate change may finally be coming to an end. Energy is simply too central to national economic life for a nation to agree to reductions in greenhouse gases until the costs of using renewable energy are lower than those incurred through the use of fossil fuels. The negotiations planned for late 2015 in Paris seem to have abandoned the goal of reaching a binding set of global emission reductions . . . ."
Now that several weeks have passed us by, it seems it's time to take a sober look at the U.S.-China climate accord. Thankfully, Fred Singer, professor emeritus at the University of Virginia whose specialty is atmospheric and space physics did that in a detailed article posted on Monday, December 8, 2014 at the American Thinker. Dr. Singer was also founding director of the U.S. Weather Satellite Service, among other significant positions. According to Singer:
"The world is fascinated by the November 12 climate agreement between President Obama and Chinese President Xi. Has China finally decided to “fight climate change”? My personal opinion is that China is taking advantage of White House science ignorance and anxiety about future climate change, hoping thereby to gain commercial and strategic advantages against the United States.
"The bilateral US-China Climate Agreement, inked in Beijing on Nov 12, makes virtually no demands on the Chinese. It simply states that at or about the year 2030, they will start to reduce their emissions of CO2; in the meantime, they can emit as much as they want. So they have 15 more years to add more coal-fired power plants to any extent they wish. It is very likely that by 2030, China’s population will have stopped growing and a large part will be living in urban apartment blocks, having bought all of the gadgets they need: TVs, refrigerators, computers, etc. -- and that their demand for electric power will have saturated.
"On the other hand, the US commitment is rather severe: an actual reduction of 26-28% in CO2 emissions by 2025, just 10 years away. This goal can only be achieved by the substitution of natural gas for coal-fired power plants, and the eventual replacement of much of natural gas with unreliable and uneconomic “renewables,” such as wind and solar. As Obama promised in 2008, electricity costs will “sky-rocket.”
"Indeed, this seems to be the US plan -- as spelled out by the EPA, under the direction of the White House. All the China agreement really does is to make Obama look good to his Green constituency, besides providing a convenient “club” to use for his “war on coal.” The expected effect on the global climate is zero, zilch, nada."From the Chinese point of view, this is an ideal arrangement, and has both commercial and strategic benefits. It makes energy more expensive in the United States and Europe; it cripples the industrial base of the Western World. And hand-in-hand with economic strength goes military strength."
Other topics Dr. Singer discusses in the article includes explaining that climate science is not yet settled; the "inscrutable Chinese;" and, whether there will be another Kyoto protocol. The entire article is here.
More information about global warming can be found at the Science and Environmental Policy Project, Dr. Roy Spencer's Global Warming blog, Dr. Judith Curry's Climate, etc., and Marc Morano's Climate Depot. These are just a few of numerous websites that honestly present the skeptical view of global warming.
You can find an extensive list of Dr. Singer's articles and blog posts at American Thinker.