The belief in man-created climate change is easily correlated with political ideology and party affiliation as many polls indicate. This alone indicates that we are not following the science as much as we are following the desires and beliefs of our peer groups. However sophisticated and detailed the models become, they are ultimately speculative regardless. One cannot believe the scare mongering headlines produced by lazy journalists who do not know how to read original sources of research, nor can we trust elected officials slaves to their political ideology. Unfortunately, we cannot even trust today’s environmentalists who should be the “go to” people on this subject.
It was not always like this. The environmentalist of the past was quite adept at their task. They led the fight for clean air and clean water, two major legislative success stories that, again unfortunately, grew into behemoth regulations at the hands of bureaucrats justifying their jobs. Today, they define “navigable waters” as runoff from a parking lot. There were other successes. For example, they drew attention to the depletion of the earth’s ozone layer and the economy responded by eliminating CFC gases. The banning of lead in gasoline and reducing almost to the point of elimination of acid rain is another success story for environmentalists.
Their problem today as concerns climate change is not only the militant positioning, but their insistence upon an austere lifestyle at the expense of practical solutions that can be readily attained. A perfect example is the Green New Deal which is nothing but a grand fantasy worthy of scorn and ridicule. Instead of complaining about farting cows, perhaps they should propose going after the low hanging fruit when it comes to solutions.
For example, one report estimates that about 33% of the food produced in the world is wasted. Most of that waste comes from developing countries at the producer end. Simply, they lack the transportation infrastructure to bring food to market and they lack the refrigeration to keep food from rotting. Developed countries account for the remainder of the waste at the consumer level- we buy more than we eat and toss the remainder.
The United States is one of the most efficient producer of agricultural products. Emissions created by beef production (cow farts notwithstanding) are the lowest in the world. Yet, our counterparts on the Left and their environmentalist allies would prefer we alter our diet immensely by essentially banning beef products. The more logical solution- the low hanging fruit- would be to export our technology to enhance efficiency, decrease emissions, and better feed the world.
But, that is not the solution where environmentalists begin. Instead, we should eat less or preferably no meat, avoid butter and don’t forget sugar. Depending on the guru one consults, we should also forego carbohydrates. The publication Lancet released a report by environmental experts suggesting a global diet that could sustain 10 billion humans without starvation. This is the Utopia our environmentalists envision: 10 billion humans eating the same thing every day.
In other areas, we see changes being made. Electric cars are becoming more common and more efficient without affecting human mobility while decreasing carbon emissions and local air pollution. Not good enough for today’s environmentalists. They prefer one walks, cycles, or uses public transportation, preferably high speed rail which has proven to be an expensive boondoggle wherever attempted.
Today’s environmentalist has adopted an “us versus them” strategy, instead of one of building consensus across political affiliations, cultures and nations. This is why today’s environmental movement is less science and more ideology. Instead, they insist that businesses in general and oil companies in particular are the enemy. Close behind are the “richest 1%,” then greedy capitalists. They assume that no one in these groups gives a rat’s ass about the environment, or that they have no children. This antagonism has always been a subtopic of the environmental movement, but only recently broke along party lines. The rise of Al Gore who largely got his facts and predictions woefully wrong is partly responsible for this.
It has been taken to extremes in some countries. For example, in Great Britain there is something known as the Extinction Rebellion. The following is part of their manifesto:
You see, the climate’s breakdown is a symptom of a toxic system of that has infected the ways we relate to each other as humans and to all life. This was exacerbated when European ‘civilisation’ was spread around the globe through cruelty and violence (especially) over the last 600 years of colonialism, although the roots of the infections go much further back.
As Europeans spread their toxicity around the world, they brought torture, genocide, carnage and suffering to the ends of the earth. Their cultural myths justified the horrors, such as the idea that indigenous people were animals (not humans), and therefore God had given us dominion over them. This was used to justify a multi-continent-wide genocide of tens of millions of people. The coming of the scientific era saw this intensify, as the world around us was increasingly seen as ‘dead’ matter — just sitting there waiting for us to exploit it and use it up. We’re now using it up faster than ever.
The problem is not caused by the effects of scientific advancement; it is toxic European culture that is the root cause of today’s climate change “crisis.” And these groups, like the environmentalists in the United States, shamefully use children as props. Young people were used against Diane Feinstein to gain support for the Green New Deal. Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old founder of Youth Strike for Climate, was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize and is idolized around the world by environmentalists. Whereas children are incapable about making decisions about when to have sex, at which age to drive, at which age to purchase a gun, buy a pack of cigarettes or a six pack of beer, they become experts when it comes to the climate, a subject they know nothing about except the pablum thrown down their immature throats by the environmentalists.
Consider also two relatively simple and easy solutions to decreasing carbon emissions which today’s environmentalist summarily dismisses and rails against: nuclear power and genetically modified foods. As for the former, nuclear power emits absolutely ZERO carbon gases and genetically modified food reduces the need for fertilizers and pesticides, yet both are considered as bad as the imaginary detonation of the Earth into a fireball in 12 years.
The environmentalist looks at what can be done for the planet and ignores the people inhabiting that planet. Their solutions put at risk centuries of scientific progress which has decreased world poverty and raised the standard of living of millions. If there is a need to reduce carbon emissions, then the solutions will not come from environmentalists, law-makers, or international agreements. The solutions will come from businesses- the very entities environmentalists view with scorn.
Already, companies like IKEA and Unilever are taking the lead. Even companies environmentalists love to hate- Walmart and Nestle- are leading the innovation charge. Shipping is not a sexy subject when it comes to carbon emissions; it is just not as “important” as banning plastic straws. Yet, Maersk, the world’s largest shipping company, is committed to developing low emission transportation by 2030. They did so not because some environmentalists camped outside their headquarters or they were boycotted, or any other such nonsense.
Not a single one of these companies is an agent of the Left. They are voluntarily seeking ways to create wealth that benefit their clients and the planet. The Right should be highlighting their efforts and their technological innovation which in no way upsets the lifestyle we have become accustomed to, and by supporting their efforts and exporting our technology instead of insisting on a pre-Colombian anti-technology agenda proposed by the Left.
Finally, it cannot be overlooked that today’s environmentalist has more in common with Che Gueverra and Karl Marx than they do with any environmentalist of the past. Part of this is sadly attributable to the Leftward bent of higher education and some attributable to the gullibility of today’s youth.
Instead, it is capitalism that will solve the “problem” of climate change, to which is exists in the first place. In the 1990’s while US car manufacturers were arguing against fuel efficiency standards, Toyota was churning out cars of the future. The Prius was originally marketed as an eco-friendly vehicle and its sales lagged. When rebranded as the high-tech car of the future, it became the car everyone wanted to be seen driving.
The lesson is instructive. A “sustainable” future needs to be sold on the benefits to people and it needs to be developed by people who care about those benefits. Ultimately, it is those developers who gain the most benefit who will be the innovators of technology. In other words, capitalism will address the issue of climate change and carbon emissions better, more sustainable and with benefit to a greater number of people than anything the environmental Marxists can ever imagine.