King Obama strikes again – Obama Pursuing Climate Accord in Lieu of Treaty

king_obamaA reaction from Pat Michaels follows. From the NYT article: Obama Pursuing Climate Accord in Lieu of Treaty

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is working to forge a sweeping international climate change agreement to compel nations to cut their planet-warming fossil fuel emissions, but without ratification from Congress.

In preparation for this agreement, to be signed at a United Nations summit meeting in 2015 in Paris, the negotiators are meeting with diplomats from other countries to broker a deal to commit some of the world’s largest economies to enact laws to reduce their carbon pollution. But under the Constitution, a president may enter into a legally binding treaty only if it is approved by a two-thirds majority of the Senate.

To sidestep that requirement, President Obama’s climate negotiators are devising what they call a “politically binding” deal that would “name and shame” countries into cutting their emissions. The deal is likely to face strong objections from Republicans on Capitol Hill and from poor countries around the world, but negotiators say it may be the only realistic path.

“If you want a deal that includes all the major emitters, including the U.S., you cannot realistically pursue a legally binding treaty at this time,” said Paul Bledsoe, a top climate change official in the Clinton administration who works closely with the Obama White House on international climate change policy.

Lawmakers in both parties on Capitol Hill say there is no chance that the currently gridlocked Senate will ratify a climate change treaty in the near future, especially in a political environment where many Republican lawmakers remain skeptical of the established science of human-caused global warming.

Read full article here:

Former Virgina State Climatologist and Cato Institute Director of the Center for the Study of Science Dr. Pat Michaels reacts:

When it comes to climate change, President Obama surely thinks he is king, subject to absolutely no advice and consent from our elected representatives.

The President clearly believes that a 2007 Supreme Court decision on greenhouse gases empowers him to completely bypass the Senate, including signing on to what is clearly a new United Nations treaty effectively limiting our domestic greenhouse gas emissions, without the necessary two-thirds vote required by the Constitution. And, while the nations of the world will clearly ignore such a treaty, he will impose whatever regulations he sees fit without approval of Congress.  Sweeping regulation without legislative representation borders on tyranny, and it is doubtful that what he is proposing will ever stand a court challenge.


166 thoughts on “King Obama strikes again – Obama Pursuing Climate Accord in Lieu of Treaty

    • Right! Isn’t the White House supplied by coal-burning power plants? Shut them down during winter and let him feel the pain. EPA regs, you know.

      • Problem is, if you turn off the electricity to the White House over the winter, it’s only the support staff that will suffer…O will just visit the old homestead, in Hiwaii…

  1. Honestly, let him do it; I would love for him to. He is playing to the left-wing voters, and just as the Republicans have lost while pandering to the “Moral Majority”, the Dems will lose playing to the Watermelons. Not to mention that this is something the judicial branch would love to jump all over.
    This may sting now, but trust me, this will be a loser for them in the long run. He is forgetting that Americans do not like answering to an international authority, especially if they haven’t been asked first. If the frequently egalitarian Australians can kick the Carbon Tax, I have no doubt we can do likewise. He is testing the public and will lose on this.

    • I agree his hubris is setting him up for nemesis. But there’s more to this than meets the eye, I suspect. Remember that it was Green party votes that cost Gore the election in 2000. If the Green party ran again, it might have the same effect. Greens were frustrated by Obama’s relative inaction on this matter during his first term and a bit thereafter. They might have gone to bigshots in the Democratic party and threatened to run again unless Obama got serious about the issue.

    • Would anyone have standing to bring a court challenge? If Congress can’t sue (we’ll see how that works out eventually), and it’s a separation of powers type of case, is there actually any remedy?

      • Since this effort is being made entirely in the political sphere, there’s no constitutional issue to be raised. He’s saying that he’ll sign onto an international agreement basically as an individual and then try to use moral suasion to secure the necessary domestic legislation. At the point he tries to secure domestic compliance is where the separation of powers issues are likely to rise from the depths, especially if he tries to use the EPA to enforce the international limits. That would seem to be a clear case of usurping the treaty provisions of the US constitution.

  2. Obama’s next heist on the American People is “Climate Change” caused by his fruitless works of GeoEngineering technology and Weather Wars .

  3. It’s time for the gutless skeptics who turn color when the left-wing political ID of the climate change movement is mentioned to grow a spine. Babbling about spaghetti charts and “it’s about science” is going to land you and your children in an Obama reeducation camp. It’s a terror act but it is clarifying.

    • Peter,
      If you think even winning the “science” debate on this singular topic is going to stop a 50 year trend of redefining science for a political propaganda and social control purpose through largely leftist academics and education enclaves you are seriously deluded. Delingpole and Morano have the tone of the issue correct, Anthony Watts contributes but often hedges the core reality of climate agenda motives.
      I weary of the science “Vestal Virgins” on either side of course, they’re more successful for climate totalitarians since academia is another left-wing enclave like media (therefore having the most air time, authority based on numbers and the podium) but the would-be skeptic replacement models just aren’t in touch with reality. There is never going to be a “proof” either way and we now live in society that will take the word of “experts” if it fits their political outlook. If science dominated none of this would ever have happened. I’m not going to reject one set of robes and political mysticism for an alternative group of claiming chastity for “science”. Really?…..Spare me. Tactically, this has been a losing plan for 50 years. Billions absconded, massive political force garnered while the entire debate was forced on the terms climate statist’s demanded.

  4. Are we witnessing the end of the American Republic?
    Or just the end of the Constitution as the basic law of the United States?
    Or the final stage of the metamorphosis of the American presidency into the Imperial Presidency?

      • NOT gonna happen. Not that it shouldn’t mind you, but it won’t happen. Can you imagine what would happen if Republicans — the “old white man’s party” proceeds with impeaching the first black president?

    • The irony (of many) is that changing the Senate will only make the world and our declining democracy even more precarious. Just as George Bush passed massive appeasing legislation such as No-Child, Free Medicare Drugs and increased domestic pork spending. The new Senate will elevate climate RINO’s like McCain and Graham and actually will promote more of the same deal making. Sadly, Greenshirt policy is always triangulated which means the stake will not be driven into the heart of climate fraud policy for one thing.
      Truthfully, we never recovered from the FDR excesses and the WW2 central planning culture. Individual rights for most just are a secondary consideration in this global order. Climate totalitarianism is just a symptom of the broader decline. The Federal Reserve, global fiat monetary management, U.N. internationalism were much earlier designs of democratic decline. All fruit of the same poisoned tree as climate authoritarianism.

  5. The sworn duty of the President of the United States is to uphold the Constitution. There is no greater responsibility. The President has no responsibility to save the world. That is nowhere in his duties. His responsibility starts and ends with “We the People of the United States,” Impeachment is the legally required remedy for a President that is unwilling to uphold the US Constitution.

      • Impeachment will never happen… at least, conviction and removal from office won’t happen. The House might impeach the president but it would be pretty meaningless without the Senate to remove him. There is no way, barring the miraculous, republicans will win enough seats in the Senate to remove the President from office.

      • Impeachment would be political disaster for the GOP, even if the IRS emails were recovered with a direct link to Whitehouse orchestration and cheer-leading. Even if Benghazi is directly linked to covert terrorist funding. Even if gun running to drug cartels were shipped with the WH UPS account numbers.
        This is a post normal world you’re living in. 1950’s morality isn’t the way and you have to consider who controls most of the media operatives. This was all true in 1974 as well, it wouldn’t have happened to a democrat then or now.
        Winning the Senate could be a disaster for the “stupid party” that fully deserves that label.

      • Impeachment is not worth the problems this would cause throughout the U.S.
        Two more years of this seems like a long time right now but best in the end, IMO.

  6. AW wrote: Why, oh why? CO2 is our friend, it helps stabilize our climate and ecosystem.
    What then is this “Carbon Pollution”?
    cuz that’s the way it works
    … and it feeds tasty plants like hops and barley, that even tastier beverages. Beverages that have neat liitle gas bubbles, that fizz out, and then go on to fertilize more hops and keep us warm and sane.
    CO2 is our Friend.

  7. you cannot realistically pursue a legally binding treaty at this time
    correction: you cannot legally pursue a binding treaty at this time

  8. Greenhouse gas reduction is looking more and more like the unilateral disarmament of the 21st century, only it’s our economy instead of national defense that’s at risk.

  9. on a more realistic point to this thread.
    If the executive branch tries to impose an anti-carbon rule from a Paris Accord by regulation, any injured party has immediate grounds to seek emergency injunctive relief from a federal court. Not having obtained a 2/3 Senate ratification will result in granting said injunction.

    • You forgot that that Chief Justice Rodgers told the Solicitor General that if Obama would quit denying Obamacare was a tax and admit it is a tax, then it would be legal. The Obama Administration said it was a tax and then John Roberts voted with the leftists and Obamacare became a tax law and legal. He is as much in Obama’s back pocket as is Speaker of the House John Boehner. With Obama’s control of the Speaker and the Chief Justice and Harry Reid, no impeachment, cutting off funds, or anything else will happen. Sad for our country, but Obama will stay and prevail.

      • There’s another problem with declaring ObamaCare a tax. By the constitution ALL tax legislation must originate in the House. ObamaCare originated in the Senate.

      • MarkW,
        Actually, the Senate took an unrelated House bill on some obscure tax and subsidy and “amended” it by replacing the 2 or three pages of text with the 2000 pages of the ACA. So “technically” it originated in the House. It is still a pile of stuff which comes from the south end of a north bound bull, but the “origination clause” challenge won’t work.

    • You forgot the most important word, “IF”.
      If a judge would even hear the complain.
      If a judge would rule according to the law.
      If Mr. Obama would bother to obey the Judge’s ruling according to the law.

    • There already is a UN controled “climate fund” worth $100b of which until recently, 10% of the Australian “price on carbon” contributed.

  10. Rallying cry for the 2016 elections, thinks it will play well, the dems can run on their concern for the climate etc etc…all about 2016, nothing more

    • Yes, it’s about 2016–to ensure that the Green Party doesn’t run a candidate and split the leftist vote, as happened in 2000.

  11. John piccirilli
    August 26, 2014 at 8:38 pm
    Is it 2016 yet?

    We will probably get a choice between the Climate Change Party and the Prohibition Party. I don’t think I’d care to party with either.

  12. p.g.sharrow August 26, 2014 at 9:29 pm
    When the Great Deceiver loses popular support he will attempt to rule by decree. 7 years he will be on the world stage and then disappears. pg
    Beware. Obama is by world politics standards a young man. He is unlikely to fade away. Consider for example that at some point Ban Ki Moon will retire or otherwise be replaced. Obama has plenty of places he could show up in and continue to blunder from one international crisis to the other, seemingly oblivious to his own failures.

    • David: We (in the UK) said much the same about Blair. Fortunately it has not (yet) come to pass and the longer it takes the more the scales are falling from the eyes of his disciples. One can but hope that Obama will just fade away.

    • Under the by-laws of the UN, no one from one of nations with permanent seats on the security council can be Secretary General.
      Then again, we’ve already discovered that rules don’t apply to Obama.

    • I believe Anthony is taking a political position, based on science, in a political debate that is not based on science.
      Seems appropriate to me.

    • The climate debate has little to do with science. Our imperial president understands that – so too should we all.
      This move is what happens when the part of our nation’s founding documents that begin with “We the people…” are ignored.

      • That’s exactly correct dp, it’s time to throw over the nerd “it’s only/mostly a science dispute” that many skeptics religiously adhere to. It’s always been clueless but at a moment like this it’s very clear. They’re like the Roman Legion commanders shouting forward into the valley at Cannae. There’s a 50 year track record of losing ground by discounting political motives that actual drive the climate agenda.
        I refer to them as the Science Vestals, they have the potential to completely fail. The debate is too important to look at these people as leaders which they aren’t.

    • Hans,
      Exactly the delusional mantra of “it’s about science” that is completely false in regard to the climate war. The minute you accept this premise the high ground of the battle goes to the establishment which in this case is left-wing media and academia supporting its government counterparts.
      Like many lukewarmer skeptics Anthony fears the label often at the expense of the truth. AGW is a left-wing greenshirt movement at the core. Without that reality in the discussion there is no truth regarding “facts”.
      More truth, less worrying about politically correct protocols.

    • Hans,
      What is the scientific debate you refer to? A story on POTUS planning on signing a UN agreement is purely political, regardless of the subject matter.

  13. Hans Erren – unfortunately, climate change IS a POLITICAL debate, with negative consequences for the citizens.
    I’m glad this news is getting out now ahead of the 2014 elections in the U.S. All of the Democrats would just LOVE to campaign on climate change…[heh!]

    • Obama’s tactics and instincts are fairly opportunistic. He’s firing up his base while slitting the RINO’s from the reformers in the GOP. He’ll get more done with clowns like McCain and Graham in leadership positions then he is getting right now.
      The GOP and many “skeptics” share the same affliction. They play the game like losers.

  14. I’m pretty sure if the big zero comes knocking on Canada’s door, he will be given a response that has something to do with pounding, and something about sand.
    And Hans, there is no “scientific debate”. This isn’t about science anymore, if indeed it ever was. It’s ONLY about politics. Nobody with even the slightest awareness of Science would believe this whole CAGW thing.

  15. Anthony, just wanted to point out a typo in the title of this post. I believe you accidently missed the leading apostrophe and capitalized the k. I think it should be ‘king Obama. 😉

    • It’s standard usage that titles are capitalized when they precede the name of the title-holder. Lower case would be correct only in, “Obama, king of the wild frontier.”

    • I prefer the title; it puts this jerk from Capone organised crime central into perspective for me…

  16. They can make symbolic gestures till the cows come home, but until it is ratified by the Senate it is simply a far-left, feel-good, political gesture – not binding on anyone except the willing clowns.

    • Absolutely incorrect. The EPA has the power to write and enforce any regulation it wants with respect to CO2/AGW since CO2 has already been defined as a pollutant. Thus any UN agreement can be forced upon the American people against their will by the EPA. As long as the Dems control the senate, there will be NO WAY to rein in the EPA. Almost ALL Dems believe that AGW is the greatest threat that mankind has ever faced. Thus any agreement will have the full force of law, even if it needs to be enforced at gun-point.

  17. The “Glib-Lib-Rename-Game” in action. If the people get upset about you doing “X”, simply rename it to “Y”, and claim “See.. I’ve stopped doing ‘X’, I’m now doing ‘Y'”.
    No, it’s not government-mandated racial discrimination, it’s “affirmative action”.
    No, it’s not confiscation of property without due process, it’s “civil forfeiture”.
    No, these guys aren’t backdoor cabinet appointees, they’re “Czars”.
    No, it’s not a backdoor treaty, it’s an “accord”.

  18. The Administration’s long game is that it really doesn’t care if Demos lose the Senate. After all, cap and trade cost them the House in 2010. The President clearly feels that no one–including the Supreme Court–is going to stop him, thanks to the SCOTUS interpretation of the Clean Air Act in its 2007 decision Mass. v. EPA. And the thinking in Washington (if such a thing can be said to happen here) is that Hillary will win in 2016 and continue down the same road. According to their logic, who therefore needs the silly legislative branch, anyway?
    But this new UN proposal is a bridge too far. Some injured party is going to come forward and the courts will be compelled to put a stop to this nonsense. At Cato, the estimable Chip Knappenberger and I have worked for years putting together a record of federal filings on the abuse of science by the current Administration (the previous one was no prize, either) in anticipation of that coming day. Hopefully our long game will eventually beat theirs.

    • In fact, losing the Senate helps the long-game for Obama as the entire campaign of 2016 will be marketed about “do-nothings” ala Truman 48′. It also elevates RINO’s such as McCain and Graham both of whom are deal making disasters similar to George Bush Jr.
      The GOP consensus is that green issues must be triangulated for the general public. Hence it’s always a matter of social decline and only a question of degree. Obama fires up the base and the GOP remains spineless. Similar to many in the skeptic community.

  19. Will there be specific adverse consequences if the US does not abide by this agreement ? If the answer is “yes” , the semantic argument can be flushed down the drain and the “accord” will be found unconstitutional by the courts.

  20. The first paragraph of the NYT article uses the verb “compel”. According to, here are the definitions:
    verb (used with object), compelled, compelling.
    to force or drive, especially to a course of action:
    “His disregard of the rules compels us to dismiss him.”
    to secure or bring about by force.
    to force to submit; subdue.
    to overpower.
    Any of those would surely require the consent of the Senate via its treaty authority.

    • This reply is to Peter–While the Constitution requires Senate ratification to make a treaty binding on the country (and subsequent passage of US statutes to enact the terms of the treaty into law), Obama apparently plans to just have his minions write regulations that will accomplish the same thing. No, it is not legal, but he has done it before, and likely will do it again, unless he is vigorously challenged in the courts.

  21. President Obama will save the world from Climate Change but he cant save the Kurds ,the Jews and the Christians in Iraq and Syria.

    • True, but The One can only do so much between rounds of golf, so He has to pick and choose his battles ;o)

  22. … the established science of human-caused global warming.
    Proof positive that none of these people understands the meaning of “science.”

  23. For a good analogy to this, look no further than Mao’s ‘Great Leap Forward’ in 1958.
    Guaranteed economic disaster from similar minded idealists, determined to leave their mark on history.

  24. The rest of the world will be well aware that the US will not ratify this, just like Kyoto. An empty gesture.

  25. Interesting that he would be so hell
    bent on a non existent item, yet
    oblivious to very real ones …eg “Global

  26. How likely is it that other nations would agree to let the US “compel” them to do anything? Especially things that would damage their own economies?
    This agreement is an empty gesture made for internal US political reasons..

  27. From Federalist Paper 75 on the subject of treaties by Alexander Hamilton.
    “However proper or safe it may be in governments where the executive magistrate is an hereditary monarch, to commit to him the entire power of making treaties, it would be utterly unsafe and improper to intrust that power to an elective magistrate of four years’ duration.”
    Hamilton was prescient about future presidents making “utterly unsafe” decisions about treaties which is why the Constitution requires two-thirds vote to ratify.

  28. The emperor is wearing no clothes, which could make things rather chilly when CAGW doesn’t quite pan out as BHO’s science advisors are suggesting…
    Isn’t it ironic that the death of the US constitution coincides with the demise of the CAGW hypothesis?
    Obama could not have picked a worse time to impose $100’s of billions of CO2 rules and regulations on top of the $1.75 trillion/yr in business rules and regulation compliance costs that already exist. To make matters worse, US corporate taxes at 40% are already the highest in the industrialized world…
    I have a tremendous amount of respect for US businessmen that are able to turn a profit, despite all the damage the US government inflicts on them. I couldn’t put up with it and set up my business overseas…
    Obama calls US businessmen that move their operations overseas to avoid US anti-business legislation and taxes “traitors”…. I call it survival; like Burger King is trying to do now….
    It’ll be interesting to see how this unconstitutional power grab works out…

  29. Allen
    August 26, 2014 at 8:59 pm
    Bammy is legacy shopping, but not to worry; everything King Bammy touches turns into lead.
    I hope it will not turn into lead. Cow manure would be more adequate. It’s sustainable and you can heat with it when dry.

  30. Russia is a permanent member of the UN security council. It has a veto.
    It also has an economy that is largely dependent on fossil fuels. (As does China).
    So this is irrelevant.
    President Obama can play to his gallery all he wants and never threaten the US Constitution or economy.
    He knows this will never get through Paris.

  31. Anthony, I asked a day or so ago about the like ? dislike option and you replied that most people on the site did not like it. My opinion on the reply feature IT IS WAY WORSE! It is terrible , please go back to the original set-up, at least it gave people time to formulate an ( thought out) answer after thinking.

    • I agree.
      It’s hard to spot the order of ideas as they appear up and down the thread.
      But, your house – your rules, of course.

    • The Reply feature has an obvious downside. (If WP would prominently “highlight” comments that are new since one’s last visit that problem would be solved.) The upside is that it is easier to make sense of threads after they’ve cooled down, and it is easier to make comments. One needn’t copy the name and text of the commenter one is responding to down into one’s own comment, and put blockquotes around it. I think more people will post comments as a result.

      • PS: Another benefit: comments that go into moderation are less likely to get missed, because more people will scan backwards a bit from the last comment they read when they make a second visit to a thread.

      • But the three tiers and your out rule leaves “the last word” up to a game of sophist skills rather than the conclusion of a debate.

  32. The danger is that the rest of the world will sign on to the dismal Treaty of Paris (if they don’t do it a year earlier in Lima in the hope of catching everyone off guard), and then wait till an eventual “Democrat” majority in the Senate makes ratification possible.
    The essential step is to demand that an escape clause such as that in the Kyoto Protocol is included, allowing any nation to resile from the treaty on giving notice to the depositary state. Then, at least, the damage done by the treaty will be limited to the few remaining years before it becomes plain even to scientifically-illiterate governments that there is no need to do anything about CO2 except welcome it.

    • Very good about the escape clause. How could Democrats successfully (with the public) argue against a provision that is basically “precautionary”?
      Re: “an eventual “Democrat” majority in the Senate makes ratification possible.” It requires a 2/3 majority to approve a treaty. (Although a bare majority might approve something that isn’t called a treaty.)
      What I’m worried about is that China and India will be cozened into signing this agreement even though they will ignore its requirements and/or fudge their figures. (It’s a good thing that CO2-emissions-sensing satellite has gone up, as it will help detect such fudging.) I’ve suspected for years that something like this is in the works, based on warmists’ optimism about a 2015 treaty and about China’s supposed intentions to go green.

    • Christopher: I know that here in the UK we have a convention that one parliament cannot constrain the next (perhaps you could explain that one a bit more), but do they have the same thing in the US?

      • Actually, that is the reason almost every “balanced budget” plan fails in the US. The “planners” pretend to balance in ten years by putting off any REAL cuts until the 7th, 8th, or 9th years. The low information voters eat it up – “someone is finally doing something about the deficit!” they exclaim every time. The problem is budgeting is an annual thing so when time to make the cuts comes around, the new congress (who have grown to like the perks) decides they don’t want to be the stealer of the freebies and vote for their continued election. Thus one congress cannot bind the next, though the “entitlement” spending was set up with a poison pill attached – its spending is automatic year on year unless the congress affirmatively votes to remove said spending, thus making it immortal. No one wants to give the opposition the ability to say you stole grandma’s lunch even if there is a better way to get grandma that lunch.

    • Democrats already have a majority, though, as Roger notes, that is not sufficient, It is a pretty safe bet their majority will shrink, too, if not reverse, in the coming elections.

  33. Think on what Mr. Obama is doing to us and then reflect on:
    “The whole secret lies in confusing the enemy, so that he cannot fathom our real intent.”
    ― Sun Tzu, The Art of War
    Except possibly what Jennifer Marohasy is doing in Australia, and what has happened in Canada with their reform and move away from AGW fanaticism no western nation or organization has taken any meaningful steps back from climate madness. Mr. Obama does not care. He “knows” he is right. He does not need data or facts or ethics to sustain his beliefs.
    He knows how to control the public square in ways we have never seen in this nation’s history.

  34. Here is some video of Obama meeting with his advisors right before he decided to pursue the climate accord

  35. As Katherine @ August 27, 2014 at 12:06 am and michaelspj @ August 26, 2014 at 10:13 pm
    it’s all about the powers Congress has delegated to the Executive. They use the phrases such as “the Secretary will determine”. The Affordable Care Act is full of such phrases which is how those thousands of pages of “regs” arrived on your doorstop along with your latest health insurance bill. But consider Obama has virtually eliminated coal using the EPA and trashes the oil industry using Keystone. It’s no likely Obama needs Congress to do anything given the wordsmithing the Executive Branch has developed over the years using those broad delegations. Maybe Boehner sues? Laughable.
    So, what does Obama really mean regarding “politically binding”? It’s very simple. The Left needs their base to be “motivated”. It’s all just a variation of one of their main campaign themes. This one, if you’ve not noticed is “save the planet” which sometimes morphs to “save the planet for our children” and has a current morphing into “fight the war on women by saving the planet for our children”. Whatever it takes to movivate the base to get out and vote in 2016. This has worked in the past, is working today (and will surely “get out the vote” for them in the upcoming Presidential election cycle, full of “nonsense” phrases.

  36. “Name and Shame”? Did not work so well with Clinton and Kyoto. So the short answer is – just another impotent ‘feel good’ waste of time by Obama.

  37. Sweeping regulation without legislative representation borders on tyranny
    taxation without representation gave birth to the US. will regulation without legislative representation mark the end?

  38. The warmist mongrel doctors of spin have to call it carbon (could you imagine trying to vilify oxygen?).
    Because IF the greater herd of mug sheeple “look up” carbon dioxide in their;
    Funk and Wagnall’s OR Woodchuk Manual OR Doctor Nathaniel’s Spaniel Manual OR Coles Funny Picture Book OR Monty Python’s Big Red Papperbok, OR heaven forbid – a Dictionary or Colliers ( you are stupid but your kid doesn’t have to be) Cycopeedy at the local library or bookshop (or just plain Google it) they find out CO2 is actually an odourless, colourless, tasteless, heavier than air gas that is vital to life on earth –
    Whilst carbon is (obviously) black, icky and nasty….

  39. There was a time when you had pretensions to being a serious commenter. Too bad you gave up so quickly.

  40. The US and EU are in for a nasty surprise. The BRIC nations snubbed Obama in Copenhagen and he had to fly back to Washington early. Reportedly to beat the snow storm, but in reality because of the shellacking he took. He needed to save face.
    China has made their strategy plain for all to see. The US (and EU) must pay reparations to the rest of the world for the CO2 they emitted in building their industrial base, BEFORE there can be talk of the rest of the world reducing CO2.
    The EPA has backed the US into a corner on this because of their endangerment finding. The US cannot turn around now and say they haven’t harmed the rest of the world.
    China on the other hand is painting itself as the savior of the third world, in securing reparations from the US for the many, many years in which the US was by far the largest emitter of CO2.
    So, far from Obama looking like a savior, he is walking into a trap of his own making. The US will be on the hook for hundreds of billions in reparations, or there will be no Accord. The Chinese know full well that Obama wants this Accord as his legacy, and they know he will mortgage the US to the hilt to get it.
    It will be the US that is shamed into making payments, not the rest of the world. The less developed world will be only too happy to see it happen. What money that actually makes it to the poor will drive industrialization of the third world. the same way the West did it. By burning coal.

    • We will also burn coal…..if you think ideology will trump economics in the long game you are deluded.

  41. “The deal is likely to face strong objections from Republicans on Capitol Hill…”
    and well it should.
    It would also face strong objections from most of the US population if all of the facts were properly presented in the main stream media too.
    Fat chance of that happening.

  42. This is not unconstitutional
    You are confused. The Constitution is not a scientific topic. Whether an action is unconstitutional or not is not for us to determine. That is a matter for the courts.

    Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice
    7 Fight for reparations for climate debt owed by those responsible for climate change
    a. Rich, industrialized countries to deliver on their obligations for climate finance for peoples of South countries and other affected communities;

  44. We see this same kind of “name and shame” at state-level politics. Whenever the state wants to implement some sort of device the control over which is at least ostensibly under the control of the respective agencies, there will invariably be the state-sponsored shill at some podium somewhere pounding his shoe and screaming about “those non-compliant so-and-sos over at the _X_Y_Z_ agency.”
    Now our country will be called non-compliant by the UN, and invariably the press will describe it as “American corporations violating international law with their assault on the environment.”

  45. I think this whole episode has shown critical weaknesses in the US system. The president is improperly given powers to regulate, which opens up the possibility of despotism. Too much power lies in a single pair of hands. The power needs to be shifted back to the parliament, with the president only given the power to sign into law. The legislature should be able to replace the president at will on a simple majority no confidence vote. Such a move would make the president much more subservient to the people, with less inclination to veto the will of the people (through it’s parliament). In fact it may well be a good thing to strip the president of the power to veto altogether, like say the Governor General here in Australia.
    The parliamemt represents the people, the president does NOT! At best he represents about half of them.
    In my (outsider) opinion, the states should through a change to the constitution strip the president of the power of regulation, and place the public service under control of the parliament rather than the president as in westminster democracies. The public service must be in the service of the people, not a single person. The USA also needs a way to dissolve parliament on deadlocks that defund the government so that the people can elect a functional government. There seems to be too many ways to deadlock the US government.
    I think to some extent you have been fortunate before now, but this recent period has shown the weaknesses in the system, a system that seemingly cannot deal with a wayward executive branch.

    • Your understanding of the US government is flawed.
      The President does not have a Constitutional power to regulate. What regulatory power he has was (unconstitutionally) abdicated by Congress and left intact by a littany of nonsensical Supreme Court decisions. The system is troubled not by what you claim, rather, several decades of mounting encroachment by big government activists and partisan SCOTUS members that do indeed wear their party politics on their coat sleeves.
      Covering up the holes that allowed this progression is possible, but not easy given the large swath of the US population that has been indoctrinated into the pro big government mindset. Once it all comes crashing down, however, maybe they’ll stop listening to Hollywood celebrities and pay attention to reality.

    • While I have never lived in the US (or under the US Constitution) I am a UK lawyer interested and familiar with the Constitution at least on an academic plane – and of course George Washington himself accepted that the Constitution was not “free from imperfections”.
      As I see it, the current President is surely entitled to make whatever Executive Orders he considers fit within the powers delegated to him by Congress (also approved by SCOTUS if it decides to hear any ensuing federal case on appeal) – but all that is necessary is to have patience, and to wait until a new President is elected when (s)he can make new Executive Orders perhaps augmenting or simply reversing the former ones. In short, governance by Executive Order is only temporary – it takes congressional legislation, signed into law by the President, to have permanent legal effect.
      Do I have this correctly?

      • Mostly. However, congress, even in unanimity, cannot delegate any powers granted to it by the Constitution, to the president. Yet it still tries. As another poster indicated, it is not that the actions are unconstitutional, it is that no one will challenge them.

  46. President Obama has never understood the power of the office he holds, and he does more than squander it. He is breaking it, as surely as trying to slice through granite with a sword will break the sword.
    He’ll have set the Progressive movement back twenty years by the time his term is done. I think we owe him some debt of gratitude for that.

    • Obama will get more of what he wants from the RINO’s of the New GOP Senate then he is getting currently. In the same way the waning GWBush years really were the “good old days” for the American left.
      What’s clarifying is the split in the skeptic community, the “it’s about science” comfort zone is again disrupted by reality. It’s a massive exposure of course for the babbling left-wing academic community who try to maintain their illusions about being “scientists” with a compliant media utility. Still, skeptics need to clean their house at a moment like this.

  47. Even if it’s a non-binding thing, etc. etc., I worry that having beaten this path it will become well traveled and ultimately do real de facto harm, circumvent the constitution and make the ‘Houses’ less relevant. Where are the guts in Congress and the Senate? Shouldn’t this guy be impeached. I wasn’t as exercised about the peccadilloes of Clinton as many, but sidelining Congress and the Senate in such matters as this won’t wash off with Tide (I won’t leave a link!).

    • Careful what you wish for, the optics will change at once and the skeletons like John McCain and Lindsey Graham pop out of the closet ready to cut Cap and Tax deals and whatever else to appear to be “doing something”. It also helps Hillary or something even worse in 16′.
      As bad and evil the warming agenda is the skeptics have always been politically clueless in large measures.They’re the kids with ten pens in the front shirt pocket getting their money stolen from them at the cafeteria lunch line. These boards are filled with them and they have dominated the opposition for far too long. Morano and Delingpole are the skeptic advocates that should be supported and the pressure should be on the lame “science” authorities to fess up to their views, since they are accurate.
      From one group of skeptics to the other; “We told you so”.
      Warmists just aren’t encumbered by real “science” which is only something to be subjected to “word destruction” right out of an Orwellian distopia. The comfy world of spaghetti charts and the world within the error margins should always be secondary. That’s what this headline is telling you, accept it.

  48. Ah, what a typical NY Times article. Check these words carefully:
    ‘Lawmakers … on Capitol Hill say there is no chance that the currently gridlocked Senate will ratify a climate change treaty in the near future, especially in a political environment where many Republican lawmakers remain skeptical of the established science of human-caused global warming.’
    Last time I checked the Democrats were solidly in control of the Senate. The foregoing paragraph by the paper of record makes it sound like the Republicans are blocking passage. Of course supporters would need 67 votes to ratify a treaty (as well it should be). But, not too many years ago didn’t Obama have a 60 Democrat Senate at his beck and call? Me thinks they could’ve found a few Republicans (John McCain you know who you are) to go along. Is the NY Times unaware of the Byrd/Hagel Sense of the Senate resolution of the late 1990s; a resolution that stated the Senate should not authorize any Kyoto style climate treaties; a resolution that passed the Senate 97-0. I’d say the NY Times is well past its retirement age.

    • 53-45 isn’t really “solidly” in control, and yes, Republicans are the primary roadblock, though Democrats are leery as noted in recent news. There is a good chance that control will flip-flop, too, which I suspect will mean other problems for his excellency.

  49. This is a very coy move. BRIC might be very eager to sign on because it is based on political pressure rather than legally binding. They don’t give a hoot about peer pressure and any economy that goes along voluntarily will be less competitive economically. This would be especially appealing to China and Russia.

  50. Politics vs. policy. What do you think wins?
    Brilliant leaders are able to balance both, you need politics to win elections so you can affect policy. The hacks (Congress and White House) that America has been saddled with for decades now, only know and practice politics and “dealmaking”, they couldn’t manage a a grocery never mind develop coherent national policy.
    So now we have a “politically binding” deal vs. a legally binding treaty.
    Put in another way, we have a heap big pile of horse manure whose primary purpose is to get the Democratic base to vote.

  51. If they could only sign these treaties during a congressional recess like the now routine process of ramming through appointments. Give them some time to work on the problem, like court packing ideas of FDR.

  52. Other than appeasement and triangulation the “stupid party” doesn’t have a comprehensive green response. While it’s evil Obama’s plan makes tactical sense for the last two years of a GOP Senate.

  53. The Cato Institute? Give me a break. Total BS. As a lawyer this kind of BS disgusts me. The Constitution is quite clear about what it takes to have a treaty and to argue that the president can bind this country to a treaty without the consent of Congress is a total crock. Sometimes you guys are as bad as the alarmists with your alarmism.

    • My point is that he can’t. Wasn’t that clear enough?
      Also, the transparent ruse that it won’t need ratification because this will be a modification of the 1992 Framework Convention is a joke. The Kyoto Protocol was, and it needed ratification, which the Senate chose not to do.

  54. I was actually encouraged by the response to the NYT article for 2 reasons. One, many of the comments, I’d say about half, were negative, either to Obamas attempted overreach or to the whole concept of catastrophic global warming. Two, the NYT actually printed those comments, which wasn’t common even 5 years ago. The NYT has also recently run an article sympathetic to (if not actually supportive of his positions) John Christy.
    If even the ultra-liberal NYT is starting to open up a bit, I see reason for hope.

  55. amos:
    I’ve noticed that, too. In numerous national publications like newspapers and magazines, we see that most of the public’s comments are now skeptical of AGW. A few years ago, most were inclined to believe it.
    You can only cry “Wolf!!” for so long, before the public gets tired of hearing it. Where is the wolf?
    There is no wolf — and there never was.

  56. About a year and a half ago I wrote my 2 Senators (OR) asking why Lisa Jackson, as head of the EPA, was travelling to Paris to discuss international efforts on CO2 emission reductions. Having read the EPA’s charter, nothing in it justified such action on her part.
    I received a response from just one, and it completely avoided my questions.

  57. Why wouldn’t it withstand a court challenge?
    The Czar should have a good chance to pack the Court by 2017…

  58. Peter, you wrote: “There is nothing that binds the US in the President’s proposal.”
    Do you think Obama would agree with that statement? He is the one who has asserted the unilateral power to write regulations.

  59. The world leaders should devise a plan to increase carbon emissions in line with the fairy tale of endless economic growth. The truth is they don’t know what they are doing or why they are doing it. There’s no proof that more CO2 will have harmful effects and there’s no proof that they will reduce carbon emissions. The world leaders do not understand science or economics, so there is no chance of success.

  60. I have noted many comments in this thread that indicates a lot of people feel Obama will not be able to enforce any agreement that is made at the UN. The EPA currently has the authority to do practically anything it wants with respect to CO2/AGW regulation. Once the agreement between far left Progressive John Kerry and the UN, the Progressive run EPA under direction from Obama will be way more than happy to start enacting regulations to meet the UN agenda. With the Dems in control of the Senate, congress will be powerless to stop the EPA. Thus, the UN agenda will be enforced as law, even at gun-point if necessary.

  61. A simple solution would be: Amend the Clean Air Act (CAA) to remove the reference to “Green House Gases”. Instead, list Greenhouse Gases except for CO2. By not excluding CO2, the CAA gave the EPA the legal authority to claim CO2 was a “pollutant” and therefore to regulate it.

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