While climate change is a political loser, as we noted in the May 18 Australian election when the Liberal-National Coalition, stressing economic growth, tax cuts and support for Australia’s energy producers, united conservatives and tossed out the opposition center-left Labor Party, climate change activists are now resorting to a change in semantics to try and curry favor.
Defined as the study of meanings, some on the radical political left are now opting to replace what they called “global warming,” which they changed to “climate change” because the public was neither awed nor alarmed, to “climate emergency.”
Which is factitious — artificial at the get-go — because — other than that which exists in their minds — there is no climate emergency.
Nor is there a climate disaster, or a climate tragedy or a — shutter, shutter, shutter and shake — climate catastrophe.
Although there are those, as there always are who will disagree because they know they are always right, there is no climate emergency.
But, says Bjorn Lomborg, president of the nonprofit think tank Copenhagen Consensus Center, focusing on economic costs and benefits, The Guardian newspaper in London, and Democrat presidential candidates (at today’s count) Beto O’Rourke and Kamala Harris and, not to be left out, New York Democrat socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, are using the new terminology.
Obviously based on the theory that “What I say is true because it is I who say it,” they are the vanguard of others who will fall in line.
They are mad that the public hasn’t bought what they’ve been trying to sell: “global warming,” then “climate change,” which is now transformed to “climate emergency.”
So we have something in common with Australians who voted to turn the climate activists out of office.
Just as we have a great deal in common with voters from Alberta, Canada, to voters in Finland and France who have shown increasing displeasure with expensive energy policies imposed by politicians, says professor H. Sterling Burnett, a senior fellow on energy and the environment at the nonpartisan, nonprofit Heartland Institute, “in an insane effort to purportedly fight human caused climate change.”
Citing a recent United Nations climate science panel report, Mr. Lomborg says if we do absolutely nothing the impact of rising temperatures will be the equivalent to a reduction in incomes of between 0.2% and 2% in the 2070s, which “is equivalent to the impact of a single economic recession over the next half century. To put this in context,” he points out that “humanity has managed to get though three global recessions in the last 40 years.”
The U.N. panel, he continues, says that for most sectors “the impact of climate change will be small relative to the impacts of other drivers” such as change in population, age, income, technology, relative prices, lifestyle, regulation and governance.
So foreseeable demographic changes (a growing older population) “and other challenges are going to have a much bigger impact on us than climate change.”
Listing previous predictions that turned out to be false, he says in the early 1970s the Club of Rome think tank said we would run out of food, oil and other resources and runaway pollution would kill us. So we had to reduce consumption and have few or no children.
In the late 1970s, the U.N.’s Environmental Program warned greed and indifference was jeopardizing our future existence and half of all cancers were caused by environmental pollutants. “The correct amount,” says Mr. Lomborg, “is more likely 2%.”
In 1982, the U.N. Environmental Program warned that environmental hazards would end in disasters “just as great as an outbreak of nuclear war.”
President Jimmy Carter’s Global 2000 report said the quality of life on Earth would be terrible by the year 2000.
“All of these doomsday narratives had a kernel of truth,” says Mr. Lomborg. “They emphasized new and old threats like air pollution, acid rain and global warming. But although their catastrophe scenarios sold the message, their predictions and prescriptions were absurdly off.
“Just the same thing is happening today,” he continues.
So radical leftist politicians are substituting “climate emergency” for everything else they couldn’t sell. Why not?
Underlining climate activists embellish because they know their proposed fixes are incredibly expensive — the annual cost of the climate promises in the New Green Deal could cost more than $6,400 per person — and a new survey, says Mr. Lomborg, shows “nearly seven in 10 Americans would vote against spending just $120 each per year to combat climate change,” the emphasis is skewed.
Bruce Thornton, Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, says, “Persuading free citizens with arguments based on fact, or with appeals to their interests, is difficult when your crisis is nothing more than a politicized hypothesis based on appeals to authority, rigged computer simulations, and apocalyptic predictions laced with insults to the skeptics’ intelligence and morals.”
Mr. Lomborg adds that screaming about climate emergencies may get people to stop focusing on health care or education and scare them into paying more to climate, “but we would end up spending trillions of dollars on policies that will actually do very little good for the climate.”
Thus despite the militant activists we don’t have a climate emergency.