If you’ve been taking the latest climate warnings from the White House seriously and literally, you believe the Earth is about to become either a ball of fire or an enormous ocean.
I humbly suggest a more likely possibility: You are being blitzed by a government snow job.
The claim that the end is near is the latest example of how the Biden administration is creating more problems for itself than it is solving. That the climate scare effort employs a whole-of-government approach doesn’t make it any more credible.
Quite the contrary. The sudden storm of dystopian scenarios churned out by the Department of Defense, Homeland Security, financial regulators and other administration mouthpieces is part of a desperate public-relations campaign to boost a sagging President Biden at home and on the global stage.
The aim is to scare Americans into supporting the left’s moribund Build Back Better monstrosity and convince world leaders the president is a committed climate soldier at a United Nations summit in Scotland next week.
So far, no luck on either front.
The Wall Street Journal, in its headline on the choreographed reports, declared Biden “Wants to Show World He’s Serious About Cutting Emissions Despite US Congress Pushback.”
But as The New York Times put it the same day, the president “has little progress to tout in Glasgow, where the administration had hoped to re-establish United States leadership on addressing warming.”
Beset by incompetence and Democrat divisions, Biden’s failed attempts to prove he’s green to the core are another example of his unsteady hand. Even Greta Thunberg, the dour teenager who is the high priestess of climate warmists, is mocking him.
“Build back better. Blah, blah, blah. Green economy. Blah, blah, blah. Net zero by 2050. Blah, blah, blah,” Thunberg said in September. “Words that sound great but so far have not led to action.”
Actually, we can be thankful Biden’s words have not led to more action. He canceled the Keystone XL pipeline among other moves and the mix of restrictions he is proposing, combined with tax hikes and added regulations, would make all energy use much more expensive for consumers and businesses. The scaled-down version under consideration is better only because it would do less harm.
Biden can blame himself for creating a political crisis where none existed. His decision to rejoin the Paris climate accord after President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 pact amounted to little more than virtue signaling on a grand scale.
America has made steady progress in cutting carbon emissions, reducing them by about 20 percent over 2005 levels, but Biden foolishly pledged to reduce them by 52 percent by 2030. To help meet that goal, the Journal reports, he will announce new rules focused on oil and gas production and more stringent emission standards.
With the price of gas soaring and inflation rising, taking actions that raise the cost of living is like, well, pouring gasoline on a fire.
The only thing consistent about the Biden White House is its inconsistency.
The president is in obvious decline, and the ship of state lacks a firm hand at the tiller with clear, realistic objectives. Time and again, he appears to be an enfeebled frontman for a staff-run White House.
The climate agenda displays the chaotic result. Biden started his 2020 campaign with a moderate approach, then ended up embracing the radical nostrums of the far left.
He wasted months of his presidency defending the extreme provisions in a $3.5 trillion Big Government boondoggle of social programs and climate mandates that were crafted in part by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and promoted by Sen. Bernie Sanders.
One provision calling for “clean electricity” was at the heart of objections by West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, one of two Dems blocking the legislation. The measure, priced at $150 billion, aimed to eliminate the use of coal and gas in fueling power plants, which would cost West Virginia thousands of jobs.
Sanders and Manchin have had a heated feud over it for months, with Biden reportedly joking that putting them in the same room could lead to “homicide.” Yet only in recent days did Biden finally concede defeat and urge Dems to focus on a smaller package without the clean electricity provision.
Meanwhile, a better infrastructure bill that passed the Senate with bipartisan support sits on the sidelines in the House. Speaker Nancy Pelosi, with Biden’s blessing, says it will not get a vote until the sweeping social policy and climate package does.
That decision illustrates the worst tendencies of the left, which routinely sacrifices achievable, popular progress on the altar of social transformation.
That conflict raised its head Friday in The Bronx during a speech by Vice President Kamala Harris. She was pushing the climate package when a heckler complained that nobody did anything to prevent the 13 drowning deaths in the city last month from Hurricane Ida floodwaters, including 11 who drowned in basement apartments. “It could have been prevented if we had the right infrastructure,” the heckler yelled.
Harris said she agreed, but when he interrupted again, she cut him off, saying she was there to “talk about the agenda.”
Ah, yes, the agenda, which too often has little to do with the practical problems people face in daily life. And so while working families drown in basement apartments because no mayor built better sewers, the White House is pushing measures to transform America but is in no hurry to build the sewers.
That disconnect is why so many Americans are suspicious about predictions of climate catastrophe. They routinely support expensive plans to further clean air and water, but balk at extreme makeovers promoted by people who never practice what they preach.
The Glasgow conference will no doubt confirm their cynicism. The elite event will feature fleets of carbon-spewing private planes and convoys of gas-guzzling, oversized autos, all in the name of saving the environment.
No doubt John Kerry will be there, stepping off his private jet to lecture the little people on why they must do as he says, not as he does.
We’ll know his ilk actually believe their apocalyptic warnings when they lead by example and make the personal sacrifices they want to impose on everyone else.
Jefferson still standing tall
Former New Yorker Rob Mahon writes from Florida, asking, “What’s going on in my hometown with removing the statue of Thomas Jefferson from City Hall?
“They can deny him his place of honor, but not his prescience, which is coming more and more to the fore:
“When the government fears the people, you have democracy . . . When the people fear the government, you have revolution.”
Totally Zucked up
Reader Jeff Hudson thinks the $419 million Mark Zuckerberg spent to help Dems win the election deserves more scrutiny, writing: “While he may not have broken laws, this is much more of an insurrection than Jan. 6th. Russia and others have been charged with trying to alter the election, but what Zuckerberg did is much more egregious.”
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