JOEL KOTKIN: At The Mercy Of The Climate Jihadists:
Years ago, I heard the Jewish comedian Jackie Mason performing in Beverly Hills, riffing on the primary motivation of wealthy liberals. They do things, he suggested, not because they actually accomplished anything, but because “I have to look at myself in the mirror.”
Mason was prophetic, particularly regarding here in California, where progressive politics – outside of promoting race and gender grievances – has boiled down to a single-minded attachment to slowing climate change.
To satisfy the gentry’s urgent need to feel noble and better than others, we are embarked on an ever-more extreme jihad to battle global warming, with the state, pursuant to an executive order from Gov. Jerry Brown, committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 – and 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 – versus the previous mandate of reaching 1990 levels by 2020. It seems clear that we are about to wage a war of increasing intensity on climate change, surely not at the expense of depriving Google executives and other oligarchs their private jets, but certainly down to the last affordable single-family house or decent factory job. . . .
Yet such problems do not seem to impinge much on Sacramento’s political class. Any group willing, as is most egregiously the case with the Latino caucus, to wage war on their own people, are not going to worry too much about such subtleties.
So then, who wins? It’s certainly not the environment, but some of the oligarchs in Silicon Valley may benefit as they have been feeding at the renewable-energy trough at the expense of less-well-off ratepayers. Then there’s the whole bureaucracy, and their academic allies, who can enjoy profitable employment by dreaming up new ways to make life in California more expensive and difficult for average citizens – envisioning schemes that the taxpayers have to finance. And, certainly, the climate change agenda could benefit multifamily housing builders, who will seek to force often-unwilling Californians into residences in which most would rather not spend their lives.
Yes. I’ll believe it’s a crisis when the people who keep telling me it’s a crisis start acting like it’s a crisis — instead of just filling their pockets, and their egos, at the expense of others.