Today is the big day. Soon the President will decide whether the U.S. continues our commitment to the international coalition to address the changing climate. I must admit this situation has led me to conclude that I do not have full understanding of how our government works. The notion that the president makes the decision on whether the country commits or withdraws from collective actions to reduce the impact of humans on the atmosphere was somehow contrary to my understanding of how things were done.
I assumed treaties were like other decisions impacting the direction of the country and originated in the legislative branch. The notion that interested parties petition the President in private to make such a decision for the country seems strange in multiple ways. The President does not have the background to make such a final decision. This would be the case with most Presidents, but certainly with this one. At least when the legislative branch commits to a course of action for the country more of the inputs are out in the open and there is more give and take. If there is a scientific case to be made that rejects the impact of humans on climate I would like to review the best evidence for this position.
I suppose I react to this issue in a different way than many others because the policy adopted should not to me be a matter of differing values. Since scientists have concluded that human behavior is causing the deterioration of our atmosphere and there are and are going to be long-term negative consequences of such deterioration, it seems wise that this country as the leading polluter and the aspiring world leader should commit to remedial action. I suppose as a policy decision we could decide to ignore the inconvenient truth and continue ignoring the problem. I have ethical, moral, and economic objections to such a course of action. In general, adopting short-term and self-serving goals is not the way you promote yourself as a leader if being recognized as a leader is your goal.