Statements of intention are important, of course, preliminary to action, but once some time has elapsed, what people do is much more important. Writing in USA Today, Jon Gabriel argues that, by that principle, the United States cares much more about the environment than other members of the “international community”:
China was praised for signing on to the Paris Climate Agreement and in Argentina reaffirmed its commitment to controlling greenhouse gas emissions. Last year, however, China increased those emissions by 1.7 percent.
India, the fourth largest source for CO2, saw their emissions grow by 4.6 percent in 2017. Luckily for them, they too were praised for signing that “nonbinding communiqué.”
Overall, the European Union raised their CO2 output by 1.5 percent.
France, home of the Paris Agreement, is leading the diplomatic effort to save the planet. They increased their greenhouse gas emissions by 3.6 percent. …
From 2016 to 2017, U.S. greenhouse gas emissions decreased by 2.7 percent. Emissions from large power plants declined 4.5 percent since 2016, and nearly 20 percent since 2011. All without signing a piece of paper in Paris or Buenos Aires.
As Glenn Reynolds adds, “it’s almost as if” the environmentalists (who opposed fracking, a leading contributor to U.S. improvements) are “more interested in submission to a transnational bureaucracy than in results.” Americans should choose to continue with freedom, reason, and actual progress instead.