AMAC Exclusive – By David P. Deavel
Yesterday was the 54th annual “World Earth Day.” Did you celebrate it? No? Ah, well, you must hate the earth. Or so today’s environmental left will tell you. To go against their plans is to court being treated as a climate criminal. But their plans, the full extent of which are now being said out loud and enacted in more places, are bad for America and the world. The reality is that those denigrated by the environmentalists are likely doing more for the environment than those who are so upset about it.
The slur on those of us non-celebrants is that we are “climate change deniers.” Yes, it’s true that nobody really denies the climate changes. But in the parlance of the left, this is a term of art applied to anybody who doubts the apocalyptic tales being shouted out by important climate scientists such as Swedish high school dropout Greta Thunberg or former bartender and current Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D, Tik Tok), who declared in a 2019 interview, “The world is gonna end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change and your biggest issue is how are we gonna pay for it?”
Now, that the world “will end” is itself pretty laughable. How hot exactly does she think it’s going to get? And why does she keep traveling? Like all climate change celebrities, AOC never turns down a chance to burn some jet fuel nor does she stop making those social media videos that themselves have a carbon footprint. But the “how are we gonna pay for it” is the tip-off about what else “deniers” are denying. AOC was hawking the Green New Deal or, as a great many wags referred to it, the Green Nude Eel. This was another legislative spending extravaganza that would do very little to change the climate, even under the apocalyptic prophets’ own assumptions, but would certainly enrich a great many politically connected “green” companies and make our lives miserable.
In January of this year, John Kerry, fresh from having burned up thousands of gallons of jet fuel while traveling in his private jet (one of four hundred that arrived) to Davos for the World Economic Forum, talked about what was necessary to avert a Global Warmageddon: “So, how do we get there? Well, the lesson I’ve learned in the last years and I learned it as secretary [of State] and I’ve learned it since, reinforced in spades, is: money, money, money, money, money, money, money. And I’m sorry to say that.”
We deniers don’t just deny that the sky is falling; we deny the power of these would-be green Atlases to hold it up with these piles of cash going to Democratic cronies and with new regulations making it harder for Americans to drive cars, have gas stoves, live in their own houses, and even choose their own foods.
Choose their own foods? Surely the environmentalists aren’t trying to limit our foods!
They are. (And don’t call me Shirley.) This week New York Mayor Eric Adams “announced a plan to begin tracking the carbon footprint created by household food consumption as well as a new target for New York City agencies to reduce their food-based emissions by 33% by the year 2023.” (A pretty ambitious goal, given that a third of the year is already gone.) His target is, of course, meat and dairy: “City officials said New Yorkers can help the planet by eating more fruits, vegetables, grains, and beans.”
Ask not what your city can do for you; ask rather whether you have eaten enough kale.
It might be easy to laugh at the poor New Yorkers who haven’t moved to Florida yet and have to put up with this new indignity, but there is something deeply disturbing about all this “tracking” of people’s private habits. Yet it’s not nearly as disturbing as what’s being planned for the world. At stake is not just beef and dairy. At Townhall this week, Katie Pavlich reported on a since-deleted tweet from AFP News that introduced a video with these words: “Rice is to blame for around 10 percent of global emissions of methane, a gas that over two decades, traps about 80 times as much heat as carbon dioxide. Scientists say that if the world wants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, rice cannot be ignored.”
Pavlich noted, that according to National Geographic, rice is a staple for 3.5 billion people.
And this is the main problem with the modern environmental movement. Ultimately, the carbon they want to get rid of seems to be. . .people themselves. This has never exactly been a hidden part of the environmental movement. While AOC was giving her twelve-years warning in 2019, presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was telling us what exactly would be necessary to stop the doomsday clock in a town hall style meeting: abortion and population control.
One wonders what else will be deemed necessary. Particularly chilling is the fact that Eric Adams’s climate tracking will include “lesser known contributors [to carbon emissions] like health care.” Who will decide when Grandma’s CPAP machine or Grandpa’s oxygen machine has used too much energy?
The modern environmental movement’s danger to human beings has already arrived. As Pavlich noted, Sri Lanka adopted the recommendations of environmental activists to ban chemical fertilizer imports. Though the ban only lasted six months, it caused massive damage to the country’s agricultural sector, cutting rice harvests in half and leaving the country dependent on foreign aid to feed its people.
And even in places where there is still enough to eat, the movement has caused a mental health crisis among the young, who have bought into the doomsday narratives. 2021 polling shows a large percentage of America’s Gen-Z is suffering from “eco-anxiety” that manifests in “serious anxiety symptoms and disorders.” Dr. Catriona Davis-McCabe, president of the Australian Psychological Society, told the left-wing Guardian newspaper that down under, “Where climate anxiety used to be something only a small group of patients were worried about, it is now one of the most common issues psychologists are discussing with young people.”
There is no doubt that there are environmental dangers in our world. But the real danger is from those promoting these horrific policies that are dangerous not only to our freedom but also to our very health and lives. Young people are particularly vulnerable to this because they know very little about how long these doomsday predictions have been made. Economist Mark Perry has collected eighteen of the predictions made in 1970 around the original Earth Day. They are all spectacularly wrong. The death of all freshwater fish, the dying off of eighty percent of animal species—it was all wrong. Though many figures predicted mass starvations around the globe, the only ones that happened were due to socialism.
Here’s the biggest kicker. Believing all of this apocalyptic rhetoric doesn’t merely get people to support bad and dangerous legislation. It also makes them less likely to do anything in their own lives either. A 2018 study by a team from the University of Michigan tracked 400 individuals over a year, asking them periodically about their beliefs about the environment and their behaviors. Those who doubted “the scientific consensus” on climate change, lead researcher Michael Beers wrote, “were most likely to report engaging in individual-level, pro-environmental behaviors.” Meanwhile, those who believed the apocalyptic narrative most and reported being worried about it “were most supportive of government climate policies, but least likely to report individual-level actions.”
“Deniers,” in other words, end up being the true environmentalists. That shouldn’t be a surprise. If we thought things were as bad as the climate cultists at the original Earth Day said and their descendants say they are, there would be little point to acting for the earth.
But there’s a deeper point here. Most of us deniers take care of the earth not because of the vain belief that we can control the climate, but because we believe that we are stewards of God’s creation, of which we are a part. We understand that the world isn’t perfect; proper care of the planet involves trade-offs. And most importantly, we understand that proper care will not happen if we get rid of the caretakers.