If President Joe Biden goes ahead and declares a “climate emergency” Wednesday, it’ll be one more sign he’s putting the extremist demands of his party’s base ahead of democracy, science and common sense.
The move would be pure politics: The only thing that’s changed on the environment front over the last week is the death of Democrats’ hopes to devote $300 billion in tax credits to green industries. Oh, and earlier the Supreme Court finally told the Environmental Protection Agency it couldn’t misread the clear letter of the law to impose costly anti-carbon-emissions mandates on the nation.
Neither the tax credits nor the EPA’s rules would have had much immediate impact on climate change (especially since China, India and the developing world continue to vastly increase their emissions). So the only new “emergency” is Democrats’ inability to get their way through normal democratic procedures — that is, winning the majorities in Congress needed to change US laws, by convincing a majority of Americans that drastic action is called for.
To be clear: The balance of evidence shows that climate change is real, and human activity contributes significantly to it. But the evidence also shows that it’s not remotely apocalyptic: Humanity will be in far better shape by the end of the century even if the world does nothing more to reduce carbon emissions.
Most of the media (and school curricula) push cataclysmic claims about climate change, so the public (especially younger people who’ve been propagandized their entire lives) routinely tells pollsters it’d like the government to act.
But that support turns to dust when it comes to most specific steps, which involve huge expenses for small gains: Witness the fury at $4+-a-gallon gas, a direct result of Biden’s (and Western governments’ generally) war on carbon fuels.
Declaring a “climate emergency” may let Biden impose a few more anti-carbon mandates and so show the Democratic base (especially younger folks, where he’s hemorrhaging support) that he’s “doing something.” But the results will only add to America’s energy woes.