We just can’t get enough of New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Her every utterance makes news, almost as often as our loquacious president of the United States.

The latest from AOC is her warning to the residents of Miami and the state of Florida writ large who are on the front lines of the imminent climate change catastrophe, as she describes.  While she and other political and culture figures keep sounding false alarms on climate, don’t count on any of them leading by example.

At an NAACP event on September 11th, of all dates, she said: “When it comes to climate change, what is not realistic is not responding …with a solution on the scale of the crisis. Because what is not realistic is Miami not existing in a few years.”

Assume for a moment that AOC’s prediction was real, that Miami will be flooded from rising oceans due to melted arctic glaciers from global warming from carbon emissions in “a few years.” Would her proposed Green New Deal prevent it? Could anything we do prevent it?

For the sake of their stated profession, has a single soft-ball “journalist” who agrees with AOC ever asked her to defend her claims about the imminent climate catastrophe for the planet?

Has anyone asked AOC if carbon emissions alone affect the planet’s temperature, or are there other factors, such as sunspot activity and ocean currents? I doubt even AOC would pretend we could impact sunspots and El Niño, but would curbing carbon emissions alone be enough?

If polar ice caps in Greenland and elsewhere are literally melting in such gargantuan amounts enough to soon flood Miami, as she claims, how would a change in temperature of two or three degrees alter that?

AOC and nearly every Democratic presidential candidate are demanding we change our lifestyles and conveniences by changing our diets and automobiles. They demand that we eliminate jobs in the energy sector, and pay more in taxes and energy costs. Yet rarely are any of them asked to provide scientific detail why any of this is warranted.

Not one of these public figures proposing to alter our lives and society is leading by example. They are driving large SUVs, flying in private jets, owning multiple homes, and dining in fancy restaurants. This was on flagrant display at the recent climate summit in Sicily, hosted by Google, and is true of every major politician demanding societal changes in the name of fighting the climate.

One of my favorite ongoing examples is presidential candidate Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City, who has been polling steadily near zero. He obsesses about climate change and demands policies ranging from banning red meat to retrofitting commercial buildings. But he won’t use the exercise equipment at Gracie Mansion in Manhattan which is the free home provided for the mayor. Instead, he is driven round-trip in his gas-guzzling platoon of SUVs over the East River to his favorite Brooklyn gym for his daily workout. He remains impervious to the hypocrisy of such a routine.

Fortunately, for now, most Americans are onto the act, and are not buying what climate alarmists are selling. Lots of people in the abstract believe in some man-made effect on the climate, but not enough to care in terms of changing their own habits and lifestyles, including the climate alarmists.

Last month a Gallup survey found just 3 percent of Americans believed “environment/pollution/climate change” was the most important problem facing the country; and this collective category came in 9th on the list of non-economic issues. With all three issues lumped together, “climate change” alone would rank further down the list of concerns.

If the existence of Miami were really in jeopardy in “a few years,” would not more Americans rank climate change the most important problem?

The 1 or 2 percent of Americans who view the climate as the most important issue facing the country were no doubt represented in the audience for the CNN “town hall” on climate change held recently. Several of the questioners were young and animated (rude, actually) about the issue. How many of them used mass transit, eschewed their high-energy computers or cell phones in the previous 24 hours, or spurned plastic bottled water and drank from the faucet?

Heather MacDonald of the Manhattan Institute recently said it well:

The cardinal rule when it comes to environmental virtue-signaling is that people give up what they’re willing to give up. Young people are no different. If being environmentally sound required sacrificing anything that a self-described environmental warrior actually valued, the conversation would quickly change to a different topic. One’s own habits are necessary; it’s everyone else’s that need to change.

Which brings us back to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. This human news magnet will no doubt continue her Chicken Little act on climate; whether it’s speaking at events, or sharing her thoughts of the moment on Instagram from her kitchen stove. Fortunately, it appears most Americans are more entertained rather than agreeing, much less acting on her vacuous admonitions.


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  • Peter Murphy

    Peter Murphy is Senior Fellow at CFACT. He has researched and advocated for a variety of policy issues, including education reform and fiscal policy, both in the non-profit sector and in government in the administration of former New York Governor George Pataki. He previously wrote and edited The Chalkboard weblog for the NY Charter Schools Association, and has been published in numerous media outlets, including The Hill, New York Post, Washington Times and the Wall Street Journal. Twitter: @PeterMurphy26 Website: https://www.petermurphylgs.com/