News & Politics

The COVID-19 Pandemic Is Giving Greens Some Dangerous Ideas About Imposing Climate Policy

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

The COVID-19 pandemic, with its lockdowns, behavior mandates, and other “mitigation” efforts that have virtually destroyed the economies of the West, has given climate-change fanatics some scathingly brilliant ideas.

PJM’s Jeff Reynolds wrote about the efforts of the radicals to create a climate crisis that definitely won’t go to waste. But with an army of hysterics ready to make the argument that COVID-type restrictions on the economy and on people are just the ticket to do battle with Mother Nature to keep the climate from changing, it’s time to sound the alarm about how activists want to use one crisis to address another.

“We have an incredible responsibility to actually converge the solutions – at least the financial solutions – to coronavirus to the financial solutions for climate,” said former UN Climate chief Christiana Figueres, “because what we cannot afford to do is to jump out of the frying pan of Covid and into the raging fire of climate change.”

The first step, as Ms. Figueres points out, is to get hysterical about climate change. Not letting the crisis go to waste means creating an immediate danger, as with the coronavirus. Once the crisis is identified and sold to the public, anything becomes possible — even multi-trillion-dollar bailouts for Democratic constituencies.


The pandemic has also generated a social crisis, with its effects being felt disproportionately by the poor and working class in virtually all countries. It has depressed further the already historically low fertility rate throughout much of the world, including in the two remaining superpowers, China and the U.S. Covid, suggests a recent study by Brookings, has accounted for a half million fewer births in America alone.

In the case of a “climate emergency,” the framing of government policy as a “solution” to climate change becomes not only necessary but imperative. That’s because we have to reduce the number of the biggest contributors to the planet warming up — human beings.

In a sense, the call for semi-permanent lockdowns reflects deep-seated ambitions long nurtured in the green movement. The idea of limiting family life has been central to the environmental movement for a generation, at least since the days of Paul Ehrlich’s Population Bomb (1968) , which suggested, among other proposals, adding sterilant into the water supply. This approach was amplified four years later by the corporate-sponsored Club of Rome report, which sought to reduce consumption, economic expansion, and population growth to stave off mass starvation and social chaos.

Creating a sense of imminent crisis – just as in the justification for lockdowns – has long been critical to the propagation of environmental gospel, as longtime green campaigner Michael Shellenberger amply demonstrates in his new book, Apocalypse Never. Many of the predictions made by Ehrlich and the Club of Rome proved to be at best exaggerations, as resources did not wear out as predicted and mass starvation has been reduced dramatically since the 1960s.

Julian Simon’s bet with Erlich — that five commodities would fall in price over 10 years where Ehrlich predicted they’d be scarce or prohibitively expensive — showed that environmental hysterics don’t understand economics and don’t care about the economic implications of their policy prescriptions.

Treating climate change like a public health emergency would normally seem to be a stretch. But it’s not so much the subject of the emergency as it is the extraordinary powers granted to governments that would bypass legislatures and put climate activists in charge. Getting rid of all this democracy stuff is paramount to their plans and always has been.

Biden has the power to resist the radicals. But so far, he’s shown he doesn’t have the desire. Biden, the “moderate” is trapped by his own radical party and could very well support ruinous policies by default.

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