Blog #8: The Paris Climate Accord Debate is Not What You Think It Is

The media has the Paris Climate Accord debate all wrong (whether intentionally or unintentionally) and so do its readers. The debate is not over whether or not climate change is real. Perhaps that is a rather minor debate going on, but there are plenty of people that believe in climate change yet oppose this deal.

Say for example that I work for a charity, and go door to door, asking for donations. I arrive at your door and ask for a donation, explaining that my charity is collecting money to feed the homeless. A few people would hand me a donation (these people would likely support the Paris Climate Accord). Others are more careful with their money. They would ask me for specifics on the charity to determine if their money will be used wisely. I would then have to explain that for every $10,000 raised, this charity can provide one meal to one homeless person. At this point it would be surprising if any of these remaining would donate to an incredibly inefficient charity.

To claim that the latter group don’t care about the homeless is absurd. They did not refuse to donate because they wish for the homeless to starve, or because they think homelessness is a hoax. They refused to because this charity is insanely inefficient and not worth a donation.

Now imagine if instead of working for a charity, I was a lobbyist. I influenced the “Help The Homeless Act,” which feeds the homeless. For every $10,000 taken via taxes, one meal will feed one homeless person. As a charity, each individual is free to choose whether to donate. However, this act will mandate an incredibly inefficient program.

If one were to stand against the “Help The Homeless Act,” would he/she be apathetic to the poor? The debate would be between those that are uninformed and those that are informed on the workings of the act. Whether or not we should help the poor is not part of this debate.

See the similarity?

This blog post is also on Medium.