Other than that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?

Not a few green activists and media-types can avoid pointing out how much “cleaner” is the environment (“the play”) since the economy has gone into a worldwide depression because millions of people have lost their jobs and/or remain idle at home.

The coronavirus has brought rampant death worldwide combined with now 26 million jobless Americans (and millions more globally). But, we’re being told by many, it’s splendid the environment is better!

Here are samples of this callous, out-of-touch thinking, all of which from people who appear to remain gainfully employed.

Christopher Jones of the “CoolClimate Network” at UC Berkley said, “If we can think about how to prepare for climate change like a pandemic, maybe there will be a positive outcome to all of this.”

Excuse me, but there is no “positive outcome” lurking. There is a massive, well-funded cottage industry of organizations like the CoolClimate Network, which for decades have been thinking about “how to prepare for climate change.” We don’t need a pandemic as a reminder.

Victoria Rochard, head of “Thought Leadership” at SAP, noted the clearer skies in Asia.  In an article in Forbes headlined, “Every Day Earth Day: A Silver Lining in the Pandemic…,” she wrote, “Despite the hardship COVID-19 has created, people are finding comfort in the view of the [Himalayan] mountain range, previously denied to them.” [An aside: Steve Forbes, call your office; with such drivel, what has happened to Forbes media?]

Isn’t it lovely? People who have lost their jobs and livelihoods, along with losing friends and family members to coronavirus, can get a better view of the Himalayas. In Italy, a nation that has suffered the worst, those in Venice can now see fish swimming in the canals.

Monica Medina and Miro Korenha, founders of Our Daily Planet, wrote, “In the midst of the economic and health tragedy posed by the coronavirus pandemic, there is an unexpected bright side: the marked improvement in our environment as a result of the massive slowdown.”

How reassuring. Human misery and tragedy has a bright side: environmental “improvement.”Green alarmism obtuse as ever 1

Sarah McFarlane, reporter for the Wall Street Journal, wrote, “One hopeful development from the coronavirus pandemic: Global air quality is improving dramatically as the outbreak sends many countries into lockdown, climate scientists say.”

She also reported that green groups including Greenpeace and the World Resources Institute are “seizing the crisis as an opportunity to press governments” to impose a green agenda on the teetering private sector.

There are countless more examples of this colossal lack of empathy from green alarmists ready to exploit human suffering, so let’s conclude with Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, often featured on CFACT. She is delighted over the collapsing oil industry in America, even though thousands of workers are in jeopardy. Along with many in Congress, she wants to exploit the pandemic to impose a green political agenda.

“You absolutely love to see it,” she tweeted, referring to the oil collapse. “This along with record low-interest rates means it’s the right time for a worker-led, mass investment in green infrastructure to save our planet.”

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez grew up middle class in prosperous Westchester County, New York. Affordable and viable oil and gasoline remains integral to that living standard throughout America. She deleted her tweet.

Green extremism has long included viewpoints that too many people occupy the Earth and capitalist-style economic growth harms the planet; i.e., people and prosperity are zero-sum with environmental nirvana.  But, America has demonstrated in the last half century since the first “Earth Day” that higher living standards, increased population and robust commerce have coincided with a cleaner environment.

What good is a cleaner, “carbon-free” environment if tens of millions of people lose their livelihoods they spent decades building? Is waiting in a bread line or for an unemployment check more acceptable because satellite photos show clearer skies?

The 26 million jobless Americans along with millions more in economic lockdown would surely tolerate the very congenial air quality we had two months ago in order to reclaim their lives. More so, anyone would forgo a nicer view of a mountain range to have a friend, colleague or loved one spared from coronavirus death.

Maybe it’s news when satellite photos show a clearer atmosphere during a tragic pandemic, but let’s not contend there is an environmental “silver lining” or “bright side.” There is no “hopeful development” with the environment when the cost is the death of scores of thousands of people and economic suffering of millions more.


  • CFACT Ed

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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/