Policies imposed by politicians to address purported man-made global warming are worse than fruitless; they are increasingly counter-productive and harmful to ordinary citizens.

From the raging wildfires in California, to natural gas shortages in New York, to the “yellow vest” riots in France – they all have a common theme. It is politicians imposing policies supposedly to combat “climate change” that are having the opposite effect of harming the environment and hurting people economically.

Similarly, the recent riots in Chile and Ecuador over rising fuel and transportation costs portend the explosive societal economic impact of climate policies.

California increasingly looks like failed state governed by a political class in full embrace of global warming ideology. First-term Gov. Gavin Newsom, a climate alarmist, succeeded eight years of Gov. Jerry Brown, a godfather of climate extremism.

Their policies to fight climate change have left the state reaping a whirlwind of out-of-control wildfires, the highest energy costs in the country (e.g., a gallon of gas exceeds $4.00, more than 50 percent higher than the national average), a costly waste of a bullet train to nowhere, and inadequate reservoir capacity to withstand droughts. Even the rampant homeless crisis in the state’s major urban areas can be traced in part to the refusal to allow new development.

California’s largest utility, Pacific Gas & Electric, cannot keep the lights on, with current massive blackouts due to inadequate maintenance of its power grid and reliance on unrealistic renewable energy mandates imposed by the state. The refusal of these same pols to allow for thinning of overgrown state forest lands, especially surrounding power lines, is a leading cause of the fires that are now overrunning residential neighborhoods and wineries.

Again, it is state government climate policy that is responsible for these fiascos, not “corporate greed” at PG&E and “climate change,” as asserted by Gov. Newsom in his attempt to pass the buck. PG&E is under complete regulatory control of the Newsom administration – the utility cannot so much as cough, much less profit, without permission from the state Public Utilities Commission.

Across the country, New York State is not far behind the uber-environmental political class in California. Gov. Andrew Cuomo continues his refusal to permit new pipeline infrastructure to transport natural gas from out-of-state to serve the populous downstate New York City metropolitan region. This has stunted economic development.

The complaints of lack of energy by residents and businesses put the governor in a familiar buck-passing refrain when he blamed National Grid and Consolidated Edison, two major utilities, for the growing energy shortage.

New York City and State governments also approved their own Green New Deals, which will exacerbate the energy crisis on a statewide basis. The state plan provides sweeping regulatory power to a council of appointed bureaucrats to impose renewable energy quotas on utilities and energy companies. As in California, fuel prices will inexorably rise on homeowners and businesses, as shortages will burgeon.

All this, while New York ‘s massive shale formations remain off-limits by Gov. Cuomo, which could otherwise produce cheap natural gas and catapult the state’s economy.

Americans are not yet rioting in the streets over these costly and counterproductive policies. Rather, low-level protests are demanding more of the same climate policy lunacy, without understanding the baleful effect of such policies staring them in the face.

Several times in recent weeks, for example, actress Jane Fonda—perhaps pining for her glory days protesting with the North Vietnamese enemy—has been repeatedly arrested in Washington, D.C. as part of a pathetic protest demonstration to demand that politicians do more to fight climate change. Ms. Fonda, who claims to be a climate scientist, either is oblivious to the failed climate policies on display in her home state of California, or indifferent since her own wealthy lifestyle can survive the resultant higher energy costs and threats to basic standards of living.

How long before harmful climate-change policies provoke protest in America?

The “yellow vest” riots in France last summer were the result of higher energy taxes imposed by the government in the name of fighting climate change. Recent riots in October in Ecuador and Chile similarly have come from higher fuel costs and increasing metro fares compounding their economic problems.

If more states or the federal government adopt climate change policies like California and New York, will the streets in many U.S. cities end up looking like Chile, Ecuador and France?

We are glimpsing the future, and it is not a warming climate. It is a world overheating from man-made riots due to the harmful impact of climate-change policies on the non-wealthy populace.

COP 24: CFACT with the gilets jaune 2

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  • CFACT, founded in 1985 by Craig Rucker and the late (truly great) David Rothbard, examines the relationship between human freedom, and issues of energy, environment, climate, economics, civil rights and more.