Top tech CEOs sign letter urging US to stay in Paris Agreement

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

In June 2017, the US joined Nicaragua and Syria as the only nations not part of the Paris Agreement. Donald Trump said at the time that withdrawing was to “protect America and its citizens.” He added that it's "very unfair, at the highest level, to the United States," and would impose "draconian financial and economic burdens."

A few days after Trump announced the withdrawal, top tech firms signed an open letter pledging to support the accord. Now, the CEOs of companies including Apple, Adobe, Google, HP, Microsoft, and Tesla have signed another open letter—United For The Paris Agreement—which calls on the US not to leave the agreement.

"There has been progress, but not enough," states the letter. "This moment calls for greater, more accelerated action than we've seen. It calls for the strong policy framework the Paris Agreement provides, one that allows the US the freedom to choose our own path to emissions reductions."

Two big names conspicuously absent from the letter are Facebook and Amazon. In Greenpeace’s 2017 “Clicking Clean” report, which rates companies on how environmentally friendly they are, Facebook scored an A grade in all but one category, where it received a B. Amazon, on the other hand, was awarded an F, D, two Cs, and a B. And in September, more than 900 of the retail giant’s employees protested its failure to take action in the fight against climate change.

It’s unlikely that the letter will change the government’s stance on the Paris accord, but it’s clear where the majority of tech firms stand on the issue.

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RabidMnky

TS Rookie
God, I hope not. The Paris agreement is a waste of paper. Ironically, an agreement made to nominally address the issue of climate change arguably made it worse by wasting the paper it was printed on. Good trees died for that nonsense.

More relevantly for this particular article, I'll give a damn what tech CEOs have to say about climate change the exact instant that they all give up all of their mcmansions, private jets, yachts, and luxury vehicles.
 

Ciskar

TS Rookie
God, I hope not. The Paris agreement is a waste of paper. Ironically, an agreement made to nominally address the issue of climate change arguably made it worse by wasting the paper it was printed on. Good trees died for that nonsense.

More relevantly for this particular article, I'll give a damn what tech CEOs have to say about climate change the exact instant that they all give up all of their mcmansions, private jets, yachts, and luxury vehicles.
Wonder which is the worst. This "waste of paper" or the firestorms in California? Burnt forests, plantations and houses made of . . . ? Wood! natural wooden houses that have to be replaced with what . . . ? What else but wood? Bit of a difficult roundabout argument that is not scientifically proven. Oh yes, then you have places like New Orleans where Katrina destroyed houses made of wood. And there were other hurricanes having wrought similar destruction in towns and cities.

1.5C only? Really? Here in South Africa a record day temperature of 54C (fifty four degrees Celsius) was recorded at Vioolsdrif last Friday. Highest temperatures in that semi-desert area usually run in the lower forties. Central South Africa is now regularly on fire warnings, even in winter! And we now have more, what we call tornado's (hurricanes) and of much higher power devastating the lower east coast of Africa.

But the States is your oyster.

I don't think connecting these dots is that difficult.
 

Theinsanegamer

TS Evangelist
Hmmm...a bunch of multi millionalre Silicon valleys bros encouraging the US to hamstring its own economy for "muh emmisions" while they continue living lives of luxury, waste, and consumption. Why should we listen to them exactly?

None of these enviro-bros want to address the real issues here: China and india. Unless both of them go green HARD in the next five years, it doesnt matter, in the slightest, what the USA does. The USA was one of the few western countries that CUT CO2 emissions per capita, yet we get hate from eco groups.

go fight the REAL targets before coming after us. And dont forget Africa, whose populations are still massively growing year on year and is beginning to westernize, complete with massive emission increases.
 
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quadibloc

TS Addict
None of these enviro-bros want to address the real issues here: China and india.
The climate treaties, of course, don't demand that the world's poor countries shoulder a large share of the burden of cutting carbon emissions. That's left to the rich countries. India and China are countries with a considerable amount of poverty.

This is not to say that mainland China should have been exempted. After all, it needlessly maintains military forces, the only purpose of which is to maintain the rule of the Communist tyranny that oppresses the Uighurs, that has kidnapped Kovrig and Spavor, and so on. Political realism, though, says we can't do much about that.

Of course, given that the United States is all that stands between humanity and global tyranny by the likes of Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin, to "hamstring the U.S. economy" on which America's military might rests is indeed a bad idea. What can we do then?

We can take carbon emissions seriously and yet have a vibrant economy and a strong defense.

Stop generating electricity with coal or any other fossil fuels. Where hydroelectric sites are not available, there is a proven carbon-free way to generate electricity that is not dependent on the sun shining or the wind blowing. Nuclear power, including breeder reactors and reprocessing so as to conserve uranium resources.

Electric car batteries still aren't competitive with gas tanks. However, there is a solution; unlike ethyl alcohol, the production of methyl alcohol does not directly conflict with food production. So it is a carbon-neutral fuel that can be used in internal-combustion engines. Also, to minimize the need to use cars, adequate trolley bus service is to be instituted or restored in all major cities so that normally people will not use cars to commute to work.

These actions may cost some money, but as there is non-zero unemployment in the United States, they won't prevent its existing industrial activities from being carried on at full blast. Some restructuring of the international trade system may be required to prevent an increased level of employment from resulting in a trade imbalance.
 
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DasPooch

TS Rookie
Wonder which is the worst. This "waste of paper" or the firestorms in California? Burnt forests, plantations and houses made of . . . ? Wood! natural wooden houses that have to be replaced with what . . . ? What else but wood? Bit of a difficult roundabout argument that is not scientifically proven. Oh yes, then you have places like New Orleans where Katrina destroyed houses made of wood. And there were other hurricanes having wrought similar destruction in towns and cities.

1.5C only? Really? Here in South Africa a record day temperature of 54C (fifty four degrees Celsius) was recorded at Vioolsdrif last Friday. Highest temperatures in that semi-desert area usually run in the lower forties. Central South Africa is now regularly on fire warnings, even in winter! And we now have more, what we call tornado's (hurricanes) and of much higher power devastating the lower east coast of Africa.

But the States is your oyster.

I don't think connecting these dots is that difficult.
First off, we have fewer hurricanes hitting north America in the last 10+ years, not more. Climate scientists have actually admitted that they don't understand why (lol go figure)

Second, this agreement is indeed a waste of paper. It accomplishes nothing, while allowing the two worst polluting nations (China and India) to get off without any restrictions or punishment. It's a farce for political grandstanding.
 
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Ciskar

TS Rookie
First the good news.
Thank you for taking a different and positive tack to the issue. It never ceases to amaze me how people can think that cynicism, sneering and finger pointing will solve the problem. Sounds more like abdication to me. Rome burns, Nero fiddles.

The bad news.
You say;
"The climate treaties, of course, don't demand that the world's poor countries shoulder a large share of the burden of cutting carbon emissions."

Now there's a funny thought. The States, Europe, India and China in the Northern Hemisphere are the biggest industrialized generators of carbon emissions and the poor countries much share the burden of cutting those. The States are also the biggest users of paper. Poor trees. How does losing your house and your country - literally - like the Maldives and the Philippines, caused by sea level rise - caused by global warming (not climate change), strike you as bearing that burden?

We are already living in our own filth and you propose making that permanent through the use of nuclear power and its radio-active waste. Renewables are difficult to be sure, but I am not convinced they're beyond the pale. If you can think it you can do it. But we humans have the habit of closing the door after the horse has bolted. We will very suddenly become convinced of those once there is no other option. Nice example of crisis management.

Nobody, excepting the scientists, are very sure or convinced for or against global warming. What strikes me as very odd is that since we are unsure we would rather do nothing. Usually, in that position, I make work to ensure the prevention of disaster or, at best dealing with it to minimize damage. Loading the dice in my favour as it were. Better. Planned management.
 

Evernessince

地獄らしい人間動物園
Hmmm...a bunch of multi millionalre Silicon valleys bros encouraging the US to hamstring its own economy for "muh emmisions" while they continue living lives of luxury, waste, and consumption. Why should we listen to them exactly?

None of these enviro-bros want to address the real issues here: China and india. Unless both of them go green HARD in the next five years, it doesnt matter, in the slightest, what the USA does. The USA was one of the few western countries that CUT CO2 emissions per capita, yet we get hate from eco groups.

go fight the REAL targets before coming after us. And dont forget Africa, whose populations are still massively growing year on year and is beginning to westernize, complete with massive emission increases.
Cutting carbon emissions is a boost to the economy, not a detriment. Just look at the wind industry as an example. Windmills made of American steel being built and maintained by American ironworkers. Compare that to your average fossil fuel, whose collection is largely being automated much like coal has. Alternatives like solar produce a lot of high paying jobs.
 

wiyosaya

TS Evangelist
First off, we have fewer hurricanes hitting north America in the last 10+ years, not more. Climate scientists have actually admitted that they don't understand why (lol go figure)
That is the nature of integrity in science. Admitting that they do not know why is not the same thing as lacking integrity and categorically denying that climate change is happening. Hurricanes are only one part of climate. There are other drivers and driven elements. Here are other factors - https://phys.org/tags/greenland ice sheet/ for your edification.

And if you are really brave, spend an hour and fifty-three minutes edifying yourself about the science behind the term "climate change" with this https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/earth/decoding-weather-machine.html

Hmmm...a bunch of multi millionalre Silicon valleys bros encouraging the US to hamstring its own economy for "muh emmisions" while they continue living lives of luxury, waste, and consumption. Why should we listen to them exactly?

None of these enviro-bros want to address the real issues here: China and india. Unless both of them go green HARD in the next five years, it doesnt matter, in the slightest, what the USA does. The USA was one of the few western countries that CUT CO2 emissions per capita, yet we get hate from eco groups.

go fight the REAL targets before coming after us. And dont forget Africa, whose populations are still massively growing year on year and is beginning to westernize, complete with massive emission increases.
So, because someone else is doing it, blame it on them as the exclusive purveyors of pollution because it will cost too much to clean up our own mess?

Honestly, your opinion does not surprise me in the least. I guess you are happy with the prospect of dirty air, water, and pretty much everything else - because every country is doing it, too? I mean, what the hey, because they are doing it, we should all do it too. Makes perfect sense to me.

I bet you will be happy to know that the current administration's EPA is weakening all kinds of rules that may very well bring us back to the days of rampant smog https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smog and who knows what else.

I guess that instead of the US being a leader in the clean environment arena, you are OK with the US just throwing everything under the bus and joining the ranks of all the other shithole countries in the world. Make America a Garbage dump Again! Perfect!
 

Evernessince

地獄らしい人間動物園
So, because someone else is doing it, blame it on them as the exclusive purveyors of pollution because it will cost too much to clean up our own mess?

Honestly, your opinion does not surprise me in the least. I guess you are happy with the prospect of dirty air, water, and pretty much everything else - because every country is doing it, too? I mean, what the hey, because they are doing it, we should all do it too. Makes perfect sense to me.

I bet you will be happy to know that the current administration's EPA is weakening all kinds of rules that may very well bring us back to the days of rampant smog https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smog and who knows what else.

I guess that instead of the US being a leader in the clean environment arena, you are OK with the US just throwing everything under the bus and joining the ranks of all the other shithole countries in the world. Make America a Garbage dump Again! Perfect!
Reminds me of an old saying I heard 10 or so years ago.

"Just because someone decides to do things the easy way should not stop you from doing things the right way"

It's a reminder that there will always be other examples of people getting lazy or cutting corners. Using the worst examples for an excuse only serves the mindset that in fact no parties mentioned actually care enough to improve things. People who take pride in their country and their work would not compare themselves or their actions to the lowest common denominator. That's defeatism in it's finest form.
 
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KingAlistair

TS Rookie
When I was born in the 80s, there was only a bit more than 4 billion people. Now there are almost 8 billion people on the planet, in less than 40 years. A billion more every 12 years. The number one cause of CO2 emissions today and for the future is too many people being born. And if you look at the 10 countries with the largest populations, the ONLY country with a lower birthrate is the United States, and the ONLY country with large net migration into the country is the United States. And the country with the lowest population density is the United States.

Let's take a look at these: India, China, Nigeria, Pakistan, Indonesia, Ethiopia, DR Congo, United States, Egypt, Tanzania. Aren't you excited to immigrate to any of these places? No? The democracies are: India, Indonesia, and the United States only. So there is only 1 wealthy democracy among them all. I hope it kind of shows how rare it is to have any wealth or freedom in the world, and how precious those are.

Environmentalists are political radicals generally and they don't care about the environment. If they did, we'd be hearing about a global "Paris Agreement" to control world wide birthrates. The reason we are not, is because they are all lying and don't care about the paper they are signing. The reason the U.S. is the only country that generally doesn't sign these sorts of things is they are the one that actually take the law somewhat seriously, and think that their words actually mean something.

My country Canada has been signing these things for years, not that it has ever meant anything except empty virtue signalling. A basic understanding of math made it clear that every time we'd just ignore it and not meet any of our targets, but at least we can feel good knowing we are more hypocritical than the United States. We have 3x higher immigration rates than the United States, but somehow we're going to stop increasing our emissions in total while increasing our population like the rest of those countries.

Utopian-ism is a bit of a disease of the mind. It doesn't admit any contradictions. You have to pick and choose sometimes. If you are genuinely worried about rising CO2 emissions, then you have to push for lower birth rates before anything else. There is no magic to keep wealth and population and low emissions. The fact that the entire world gets together and lies and signs fake agreements doesn't give me much hope that we can ever address CO2 emissions. If you can't even talk about something honestly, you can't fix it.
 

KingAlistair

TS Rookie
When you study climate change, one of the first things you do is study the IPCC's scenarios and they all involve demographics mainly as the primary driver of climate change. If we followed a scientific approach then, you'd think that at every global warming get together, birth control and rampant overpopulation would be the primary matter under discussion. It doesn't require any Utopian economy or technology to reduce the world population through avoiding excessive fertility, but they don't like that subject, because the only country with a low fertility level among the 10 countries most contributing to global population growth, is the United States. However the United States is the only wealthy country among the top 10, so they do love bashing the U.S. over its wealth and pretending that there is a magical way to keep your wealth and cut greenhouse gases also.
 

IAMTHESTIG

TS Evangelist
Total BS... it won't help anyway. We all know corruption and greed drive business and government, which are the ones who "research" and create the technology to produce and store energy. Public perception has too much politics which muddies the waters.

The left makes up lies and cherry-picks statistical data to try and sell their agenda and the right won't believe anything even when the evidence right in front of them staring them in the face. As the saying goes, there are two sides to every story and the truth is somewhere in the middle - and that pretty much sums up politics.

Regardless of whether or not you believe "climate change" is real, what is obvious is the pollution that we create is bad for our health, and that reducing or eliminating pollution and waste should be priority; but clearly it isn't. Because of this we as a society are ruining the true effort to solve the issue and if everyone could get on the same page we could then make real progress. We need to stop fighting each other and start searching for the truth and keep politics and votes out of it.
 

Markoni35

TS Maniac
This is all BS. Scientists have discovered global warming on... wait for it... MARS. Yes, planet Mars, not chocolate snack. Temperatures on Mars are steadily rising. Must be because of all those cows and coal power plants on Mars. Not to mention the cars.

Every week, every month, we get more and more proofs that global warming is a natural thing. Which some very clever dirty bastards are using to collect CO2 tax, because we're allegedly guilty.

They even have demonstrations and protests against climate change. Isn't that funny? Who are they protesting against. Our nearest star? The Sun must be very upset about that.
 

Danny101

TS Guru
Just because it's popular, doesn't make it true. While everyone is arguing about global warming, places like Flint, Michigan was getting polluted with lead. If we can't deal with the real, then therefore how can we deal with the possible?
 

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