On Sunday, 2020 presidential hopeful Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) again revealed her tyrannical desire to use government to “change human behaviors” on climate change. Since Harris has endorsed the shoddy and absurd Green New Deal concocted by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), this is a truly radical declaration.
“It is a fact that we can change human behaviors without much change to our lifestyle and we can save the future generations of our country and this world,” Harris said in a video first published by The Hill. She argued that government is the problem — and the solution.
“There has been a failure to do that because this administration and the people who are part of it are in the pockets of big oil and are denying what we know is a reality around greenhouse gas emissions and what we need to do to curb those, what we need to do to focus on the fact that water is a precious resource,” Harris said, citing the climate change theories that warn of dire destruction based on climate models that fail to predict the future.
Indeed, climate alarmists predicted that the Maldives would sink beneath the waves by 2018 thanks to rising sea levels from carbon emissions. The Maldives is still above water, 30 years after it was predicted to sink.
While it stands to reason that greenhouse gases might increase global temperatures, it is right to be skeptical of the dire claims of alarmists who have failed to predict the future again and again.
Yet Kamala Harris also suggested that climate change plans like the Green New Deal can bring economic growth.
“We can be smarter about a policy that also is about creating jobs to invest in renewable energy. Some good work is happening in this state,” the 2020 candidate said. “Solar!” an audience member shouted.
“Solar, wind turbine, all of that. We need a new president,” Harris concluded.
Contrary to the hopes of climate alarmists, however, solar and wind power are not able to meet America’s energy needs. When it comes to renewables, nuclear provides the best bang for the buck, but many environmentalists are irrationally afraid of nuclear power. Indeed, in the now-redacted “Frequently Asked Questions” on the Green New Deal, Ocasio-Cortez made it clear that nuclear is not part of her solution to climate change.
Americans need a great deal more nuance on this issue. The Left warns that the earth is ending, and so government must “change human behaviors” immediately. The Right rightly expresses skepticism about the climate alarmism but does not present a more nuanced response. Moving toward renewable energy is an admirable goal, but often the environmentalists’ pushes amount to little more than propping up a Green Industrial Complex, rather than presenting real solutions.
As it stands, oil and gas are extremely reliable engines of energy production and wealth creation. Nuclear power could replace them to some degree. Realistically, until a breakthrough in renewable energy presents a path to replace oil and gas completely — and with more energy output — it will not be easy or desirable to eradicate them completely. Using the long arm of the state to force people to do so is an exercise in tyranny until an adequate alternative emerges.
The Green New Deal sets a goal to have 100 percent renewable energy in 10 years. That may be a positive goal, but it is entirely unrealistic and would effectively tank the United States economy, increasing poverty for all people.
Rather than reconsidering the best path toward renewable energy, Kamala Harris shoots down attacks on the Green New Deal with the statement that government “can change human behaviors” on climate change.
Yes, the government “can change human behaviors.” Programs like the Green New Deal can push America back into the Stone Age. That doesn’t mean such proposals should be done. Only a tyrant thinks drastic solutions to unclear problems that would result in an expansion of poverty should be pushed down the throats of an unwilling populace in the name of “changing human behaviors.”
"It is a fact that we can change human behaviors without much change to our lifestyle and we can save the future generations of our country and this world."
Sen. Kamala Harris, who is vying for the 2020 Democratic nomination, campaigned in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. pic.twitter.com/OvHVJ4BM8X
— The Hill (@thehill) March 10, 2019
Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.