Former Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel’s famous axiom is that a crisis is a terrible thing to waste. It’s an even a worse thing to manufacture.
Although Joe Biden obviously disagrees. Creating an unwarranted sense of drama and urgency around climate change is central to his approach — to catalyze action unsupported by the facts or common sense.
In announcing his climate and energy team the other day, the president-elect declared climate change a crisis requiring a “unified national response.” Going even further, he called it “an existential threat of our time,” a frankly preposterous claim if taken literally, or even seriously.
To maintain that increasing global temperatures are a threat to human existence itself entails Âbelieving that human beings — an endlessly adaptive species that has drastically increased its own life span over the last century — will be snuffed out if the planet gets a few degrees hotter.
If the worst comes, and sea levels rise significantly, we won’t move away from the coasts and find better ways to control flooding. If summers get much hotter in places unaccustomed to it, we won’t invest more in air conditioning. If droughts markedly Âincrease, we won’t husband our water resources more intelligently. If some areas become uninhabitable, we won’t leave for more hospitable climes.
No, a humanity that is wealthier and more technologically proficient than ever will be content to expose itself to the worst depredations of nature that it has done so much to master over the last millennium.
As Thomas Sowell said in 2004, “There’s something Eric Hoffer said: ‘Intellectuals cannot operate at room temperature.’ There always has to be a crisis–some terrible reason why their superior wisdom and virtue must be imposed on the unthinking masses. It doesn’t matter what the crisis is. A hundred years ago it was eugenics. At the time of the first Earth Day a generation ago, the big scare was global cooling, a big ice age. They go from one to the other. It meets their psychological needs and gives them a reason for exercising their power.”
Although today, 50 years after “Earth Day,” the left’s obsession with global warming is beginning to feel like a bad third season Star Trek rerun you’ve seen waaaay too many times: We’ve had FDR’s original New Deal (which itself was staffed with lots of WWI retreads under the motto of “we planned in war”), then LBJ’s Great Society, his Texas-sized version of the New Deal, then Obama’s “New, New Deal,” (which was dubbed the “Green New Deal” in some quarters in 2009), then AOC’s stillborn Green New Deal last year, which promised to ban “farting cows and airplanes,” and pretty much everything else, and now Biden’s version of the Green Nude Eel.
Also 50 years on, to paraphrase Kathy Shaidle on Trump as Hitler, I’m already on (at least) my fourth apocalypse:
Of course, as Nick Gillespie of Reason noted earlier this year, Joe Biden’s $2 Trillion Green New Deal Is Just a Worn-Out Democratic Jobs Program:
h/t Ed Driscoll