The mantra is driven by computer models that assume carbon dioxide drives climate change, temperature data “homogenized” by activist scientists, and billions of taxpayer dollars spent annually on biased climate “studies.”
It’s used to justify a war on coal, restrictions on drilling and driving, cap-tax-and-trade schemes, wind and solar mandates, subsidies as high as $45,000 per electric car, higher fuel and electricity prices, and racketeering laws to prosecute anyone who questions the catechism of climate cataclysm.
But even all these actions are insufficient, we’re now told. The 2015 Paris climate pact necessitates even stronger actions – “profound lifestyle changes,” according to a new European Commission report.
Even though carbon dioxide emissions have declined significantly overall and per unit of economic output, it’s not enough, European Union regulators claim. People must significantly reduce their energy consumption, “greenhouse gas” emissions, and living standards.
The document targets EU families, but its assertions apply with equal or greater force to Americans. Its prescriptions will likely be draconian.
However, they will certainly be embraced by the Obama Administration and any government under Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders – all of whom espouse climate chaos claims and prefer a heavy-handed bureaucratic state to seeking compromise and accommodation with a reluctant Congress.
Nearly two billion people still have extremely limited or zero access to electricity. Even environmentalists want to change that and improve those people’s living standards, health, and welfare – just not too much, as that would be unsustainable and harmful to the climate. Meanwhile, significantly reducing developed nation levels would be “environmental justice,” equitable, sustainable, and better for the climate.
The EU document did not specify the exact nature of these profound lifestyle changes. It merely said they would require a “wide societal debate.” Executive edicts are much more likely.
Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan says one approach could be eating less red meat. That would reduce cancer and heart attacks, he argues – and help prevent climate change, since cattle, pigs, and sheep emit carbon dioxide and methane, another supposedly “dangerous” greenhouse gas that constitutes an infinitesimal 0.0002% of Earth’s atmosphere (two cents out of $10,000).
As an alternative protein source, Annan paraphrases Marie Antoinette: Let them eat bugs. “Insects have a very good conversion rate from feed to meat,” he says. “They make up part of the diet of two billion people and are commonly eaten in many parts of the world.”
It’s difficult to imagine the next UN-IPCC climate conference serving roasted roaches, instead of the usual 5-star cuisine – in Lagos, Dhaka, or some other locale on the World’s Worst Cities list, instead of in Bali or Paris. Ditto for the White House or the EPA cafeteria.
The worlds’ ruling elites prefer to tell citizens to do as they say, not follow their example. One can easily picture an Eco-Hunger Games, where The Capital’s inhabitants live very well, while offering commoners out in The Districts savory recipes for boiled low-salt seaweed and solar-roasted locusts, accompanied by little cups of recycled “gray water” as a wholesome alternative to super-sized sodas.
Cowboy comedian Will Rogers used to say, “with Congress, every time they make a joke it’s a law. And every time they make a law it’s a joke.” But this is no laughing matter.
Those who seek to regulate our lives, livelihoods, and living standards want us to pay more for virtually everything, especially the energy that heats our homes, cooks our food, and powers the cars they don’t want us to drive. They prefer to blanket America with subsidized wind turbines and solar panels, and make reliable, affordable oil, gas, and coal off limits.
Thanks to hydraulic fracturing, U.S. oil and natural gas production has soared, numerous jobs have been created, foreign oil imports are down, and lower oil and natural gas prices have put an extra $1,200 a year in the average American family’s bank account.
Now Mr. Sanders is sponsoring a bill to keep America’s energy “in the ground.” Ms. Clinton would ban all resource extraction on federal lands and regulate “fracking” into oblivion. They will make sure we “run out” of hydrocarbon energy, by locking it up.
Climate alarmists are upset that average annual global temperatures have risen 1º C (1.8º F) since around 1850, when the Industrial Revolution began – and the five-century-long Little Ice Age ended. They claim that banning fossil fuels, slashing emissions of plant-fertilizing carbon dioxide, and shriveling modern economies and living standards will prevent a “disastrous” additional 0.5º C increase.
They never explain how plant, animal, and human lives are worse today than during the pre-industrial, Little Ice Age era – or why faster CO2-driven crop and forest growth is bad for a slightly warmer planet. They focus solely on alleged risks of using fossil fuels – and ignore their incredible blessings.
The stakes are high in these 2016 elections. Not only our energy, economic and employment future, not just our freedom of speech and association in the face of IRS, EPA, UN and leftist intimidation are at risk – but maybe also the right to enjoy a juicy steak, instead of a bug or slug.