Each is leading a loud radical uprising that endangers their respective mother ships.
In Greta’s case the boisterous Action Now movement (as I call it) is on track to wreck the UN’s elaborate climate action process, come November. In Bernie’s case, his equally loud following, the new socialists if you like, are likely to wreck the Democrats chance of winning the Presidency, also in November. This is true even if Biden gets the nod.
November is therefore looking like a month of reckoning. A great way to end what promises to be a very loud year. Trump wins and the Paris Accord collapses.
On the Bernie front, a lot of pundits are speculating about what caused the Biden surge? His big win in South Carolina? Too small. The other candidates dropping out and endorsing him? Too late.
I think the surge came right out of Bernie’s mouth. In the week or so before Super Tuesday he got cocky. He started bragging about all the grand things he would do, including the grand taxes to pay for them. I can imagine working people thinking “Health insurance is killing me already and I’m going to pay for somebody else’s?” and “I’m going to pay for somebody else’s kid to go to college?”
So now we have Bernie versus Biden, bashing away at each other until July, after which one of them gets just three months to fight Trump. This is not a prescription for victory.
The very next day, Super Wednesday in Europe if you like, the EU Commission announced its proposed new climate change law. The law is sweeping, including hefty taxes on products imported from countries the EU deems to be lagging in climate action. This nuttiness would no doubt ramp up a global climate based trade war.
For reasons I do not understand they invited Greta to address them, so she promptly told them off, as usual. The EU is setting crazy climate goals for 2030 and 2050, but Greta wants Action Now.
This clash is going to come to a head in November at the UN’s annual climate action summit in Glasgow. The Action Now radicals paralyzed last year’s summit in Madrid and they are likely to do worse this year. Many more Action Now marches are to come between now and then.
Note that these two loud wrecks in progress are intertwined. The Dems have made climate action a very big deal, so Bernie and Biden may try to outdo each other in grand schemes, with grand price tags. The U.S. Action Now people are voters after all, or some are anyway. Trump will then just smile and say “Keep your money. There is no emergency.”
And the U.S. election comes the day before the Glasgow climate summit starts. If Trump wins the other major economies are far less likely to opt for immediately expensive actions, which will enrage the Action Now radicals even more.
In sum, Bernie and Greta each think that disruption is the way to make progress in their respective political realms. Both call for social revolution. They are both wrong and happily it is not going to happen.
More deeply, we seem to have a generation of loud radical youth on our hands. It is good to have these from time to time, to shake things up a bit. I was part of the one in the 60s. But do not take the noise too seriously as little will come of it. We are not on the verge of social revolution.