Although regressive in terms of policy, backing out of the Paris Climate Change Agreement is only saving Americans the embarrassment about their ignorance or hypocrisy about energy usage.

Facts: 1. Combined solar and wind production is still less than 2 percent of national energy usage, petroleum 36 percent.

2. In June 2016, Americans consumed more gasoline than ever. People are driving more in larger cars. Driving 100 miles round trip to a climate change demonstration is equivalent to the stored energy in 570 plastic bags that some have diligently tried to replace with reusable cloth bags.

One short unnecessary trip to the market burns more gasoline than 19 bags. One hour of lawn mowing is 60 bags. The same 100-mile trip burns more energy than saved by turning off a 60 watt bathroom light bulb for 114 days.

Then there are speedboats, ATVs, jet skis, sports events. All of these activities most Americans would hardly give up to meet carbon emission goals.

Of course, an increased federal gas tax would slow gasoline usage and possibly reduce the need for other federal taxes, as well. But what would happen to the economy? Consumer goods prices would skyrocket with soaring shipping costs.

Bottom line, in spite of “feels good” green economy gestures, American’s wasteful energy usage and the consumer economy are the greatest obstacles to reducing carbon emissions.

Art Mayers
Newcastle