The Beach Boys are a California band, aptly named.  Their music personifies the Golden State.  Now the state’s governor just declared going to the beach in Orange County a crime.

The longer this coronavirus lingers past the point of “flattening the curve” of infections, the more we learn about the penchant of certain elected officials to control the populace. It also may be no coincidence so many of those same politicians count themselves in the man-made global warming camp, which demands a high level of societal control to purportedly save the planet.

At this writing, fewer than 2,000 Californians have died from coronavirus, out of nearly 40 million residents. That is a death rate of five thousandths of one percent (0.005%). More than 6,300 state residents, triple that number, died of influenza or pneumonia in 2017.

Last week the temperature hit 100 degrees in places in southern California, and folks went to the beach. Governor Gavin Newsom was not pleased; now he’s retaliated. He reportedly planned a statewide beach closure but backed off after an outcry, then limited it to Orange County.

Gov. Newsom’s stated reason, of course, is to stop the spread of the coronavirus. With so few deaths, and new studies indicating millions of Californians already have been infected, I would love to know the scientific basis for the governor continuing to dictate people’s livelihoods, including their liberty to cool off at the beach.

As the pandemic emergency continues, even as the curve of cases has flattened, the inner-tyrannical selves of politicians has further surfaced. Gov. Newsom has plenty of company.

The governor of Maine, Janet Mills, re-imposed her lockdown order for another month, to May 31st. Maine has suffered the loss of just over 50 residents to coronavirus. Three times that number, 155 persons, died in car accidents in the state last year. Should Gov. Mills use her emergency powers to ban automobiles? Turns out, they are a bigger threat to her state’s residents than Covid-19.

Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey also has provided no date by which his restrictions will be lifted. Several weeks ago, the governor admitted in a television interview that he gave no thought to the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights when he crafted his executive orders to lockdown the state.

CFACT has previously provided other examples of governors wielding their emergency powers in capricious ways.

Millions of Americans have been willing to comply with lockdown orders during this public health emergency. But that willingness is slipping fast as infection rates slow, the economy tanks, unemployment increases and the effectiveness of lockdowns to combat the virus is increasingly questioned scientifically.  Studies are showing that millions of people may have been infected by coronavirus with mild or asymptomatic effects, especially in California. How else to explain so few Covid-19 deaths in that most populous state?

Gov. Newsom’s coronavirus power trip is a microcosm of his approach to building a green nirvana in California by “fighting” climate change. In fact, he’s accelerating this reordering of society by appointing a task force to re-open the economy and recommend more alarmist policies. Fittingly, the co-chair is Tom Steyer, the fossil fuel billionaire turned climate alarmist, and recent vanity candidate for president.

The coronavirus tactics of Governors Mills and Murphy are a glimpse of their larger examples as politicians imposing a green alarmist vision to reorder their states. This starts with the rollback of affordable energy to more boutique “renewable” energy sources. That will harm our lifestyle, increase taxes and the cost of living, affect where and how we work, and so much else.

The question must be asked of such politicians: if destroying fossil fuels could cool the planet by one degree in the next 30 years, how is that a worthy tradeoff? In fact, a cooler temperature is not assured, regardless. Even certified climate alarmists Michael Moore and Jeff Gibbs, in their new documentary film, affirmed the fallacy of renewable energy schemes.

Green policies ultimately are not about science and cooling the planet. They are about political control over people. They are about power trips. Wielding power is addictive, especially if you convince enough people you could heal Earth itself.  Such pretensions of omnipotence will continue unchecked until people push back.

Which brings us back to the beach. I hope southern Californians en masse push back by going to the beach and telling Gov. Newsom where to put his latest order.  Call his bluff.  Let’s see if the governor perversely backfills empty prison cells with defiant beachgoers since actual felons were set free.

Author

  • Peter Murphy, a CFACT analyst, 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 Gov. 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.