The Most Teachable ‘Earth Day’ Ever

On this, the 50th birthday of “Earth Day,” it is fitting that much of the world remains in lockdown, racked with terrible economic anxiety and possibly facing a worldwide depression. The day has become a celebration for the political Left, those seeking slower economic growth — even “degrowth” — if a much larger regulatory state, as well as for their cousins seeking to “Smash Capitalism”, end humans’ “parasitoid relationship with the Earth,” and so forth. 

Climate has consumed the environmental movement, and so Earth Day became about the climate agenda. Earth Day is therefore inherently political — one cannot “politicize” it,  the climate agenda is inescapably a list of demands for imposition of tax and other policies through the political process.

OK. The plan used to be to obtain these things through the political process. Now the climate industry seeks to impose its demands through the courts, recognizing — most recently after the  “Green New Deal” bombed on release — that those demands will never be obtained through regular order. More on a stunning campaign on that front, soon. 

For now, true, there’s bit of fun to be had with a long-in-the-tooth Earth Day movement’s inability, in these times, to gather together and sign petitions promoting the most inane fear-mongering, or litter all manner of public spaces. 

But today presents a terrific opportunity to educate on themes specific to the moment — from the agenda demanding “wrenching transformation” based on dodgy computer-modeled projections, to the greens’ celebrating the economic downturn as a dress rehearsal, confessing it’s what they want, forever, and want to use the awesome power of the state to force it into reality.

The New York Times gleefully finds silver linings, such as that the virus has caused traffic and pollution to plummet. “Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., tweeted – then quickly deleted – a celebration of the news that U.S. equity markets crashed on Monday, with oil prices turning negative for the first time in history.

But the provision and consumption of affordable, reliable energy runs together with economic activity — meaning also jobs, health and dignity, and the wealth that must be attained and maintained for societies to agree to an ever larger, ever more stringent environmental regulatory state. The agenda demanded with increasing and disturbing giddiness comes at the cost of this. Indeed, it means much, much worse. 

This is an economy with employment rates on track to contract by about 40% on an annualized basis. But the headlines now ask, “Could coronavirus beat the Green Deal in Slowing Climate Change?”

“It’s a good start” seems to be the conclusion about the current economic devastation. From E&E News we see a practical acknowledgement: 

“A growing number of prognosticators expect that global carbon dioxide emissions could fall 5% this year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, amounting to the largest annual reduction on record. But climate researchers say there is little reason for celebration, for people or the planet [because]…Mostly, the emissions projections show just how much work the world needs to do to green the economy.”

We even have activist-officials bemoaning/confessing that if economic recovery becomes a priority the climate agenda will take a back seat. Which is a bit of a U-turn, what? Political leaders, who for years have assured us almost in unison that the way to prosperity was the climate agenda, now confess that “green” projects must be delayed due to the coronavirus response. 

Why, is there something they weren’t telling us?

The invaluable GWPF newsletter the past few days has covered these timelier issues. One item circulated this week noted, “an austere future where their parents are out of work and their prospects for their own futures look bleak. This is basically the same as #netzero or the Green New Deal of course, but a global depression won’t save the planet in the process. Hence why some climate fanatics are OK with lockdown and economic ruin as long as it morphs long term into Green austerity.”

This is either/or. Remember that when U.S. politicians insist they favor massive infrastructure spending, and rejoining the Paris climate treaty. We know you can’t do both. Ask them, which will it be?

In the Good News department, just yesterday the DC Superior Court granted motions for costs and attorneys fees to critics (including the National Academy of Sciences) wrongly sued for defamation, having criticized a Stanford researcher’s implausible claim that renewables (including hydro, btw, which the greens generally will not allow) could meet U.S. energy needs 25 years from now. 

The defendants had pointed out that, as a writer for MIT Technology Review put it — are you seated? — the researcher’s “modeling errors and implausible assumptions could distort public policy and spending decisions.” Now, where have we heard about that recently?

The coronavirus has led to more candor about the green/climate agenda than we have become accustomed to, and other parallels including economic devastation and those modeling perils becoming more apparent by the day. Seizing it, today is time to also acknowledge that, this year more than ever, it is time to consign the Earth Day agenda to the dustbin. 

Wealthier is healthier. Wealthier is cleaner. Wealthier is greener. What’s going on now, and where the climate movement want to take us, is the wrong prescription for human health and the environment.

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