You don’t have to believe the world is going to end in 12 years to care about the environment.
Environmental activist groups like “Extinction Rebellion” mean well.
They glue themselves to famous works of art, shut down major roadways — to the fury of late-to-work commuters everywhere — and otherwise attempt to make nuisances of themselves in order to draw attention to their cause.
Their cause, as they believe, is life or death. The stakes are so high, and the cause so just, as to justify morally objectionable, if not illegal, acts. Let’s hope industrial glue and die-ins are as far as these impassioned actors are willing to go.
Like the courageous conservationist heroes of the past, who chained themselves to trees and heavy equipment to forestall logging in the Great Redwood forests of the Pacific Northwest, today’s hardcore members of environmental activism groups are deeply committed.
Many long-time environmentalists wonder if groups like Extinction Rebellion are hurting the cause more than helping it.
You don’t have to believe the world is going to end in 12 years to examine the environmental evidence collected by scientists around the world for decades and give human beings low marks on responsible stewardship of the earth.
Climate doomsayers may guilt their fellow far-left progressives into foregoing the plastic dinnerware with their next restaurant delivery order, but the antics of groups like this are pushing moderates, independents, and conservatives — who were starting to come around — further from the message.
It isn’t lost on most conservatives that most of the people warning the loudest about climate change, global warming, and rising sea levels are still buying oceanfront property on Martha’s Vineyard with the millions they earn jet-setting around the globe giving lectures on carbon offset credits.
Climate change doomsayers are still saving for retirement, sending their kids to college, paying their mortgages, investing for the future, and, in short, hedging their bets about the end of the world. Until this group is issuing dire warnings from inside a bunker — or ark, as the case may be —it is too easy to dismiss them.
They say the world is in danger of ending, but they don’t act like it.
Reducing environmental science, conservationism, and saving the whales — who still need saving — to one big doomsday cult isn’t a viable long-term strategy.
Alarmists have been raising that particular alarm — about catastrophic threats to the climate, the planet, and our entire civilization— for decades. From the nuclear fallout drills of the Cuban Missile Crisis to the acid rain and ozone holes of the 1990s, the imminent death of every species on the planet has been greatly exaggerated.
The doomsday cult-like arguments of groups like Extinction Rebellion have given wealthy corporate interests an excellent straw man in their fight against more responsible energy choices, better regulations, and sustainable environmental practices.
Lumping practical and necessary environmental and regulatory changes and improvements into a bid to avert the end of the world leaves out necessary steps in a very important process.
Arguing — truthfully — that they can’t do everything climate doomsayers want, companies and lawmakers can justify doing nothing at all.
Giving in to every demand of climate doomsaying groups would result in the deaths of millions of people on the lowest rungs of the socio-economic ladder worldwide, who would freeze and starve to death.
The biggest environmental offenders in the business know this only too well.
A sea-change on everything from energy policy to the U.S. Constitution — overnight — is not going to happen.
Better environmental regulations, on the other hand, are not only possible but laughably practical with bipartisan support and wide popular appeal.
Environmental regulations aren’t a bad thing. On the contrary. Environmental laws are the good guys. We have environmental regulations for the same reason we have child labor laws: Because we need them.
In pre-regulatory, post-Industrial American cities, as elsewhere, the air was unbreathable, leaving a black sooty coating on skin, hair, and clothes after only minutes of exposure.
The streets were frequently impassable, flowing night and day with unspeakable refuse and filth.
The water was undrinkable, with companies — from tanneries to chemical manufacturers — dumping their foul offal in whatever major waterway was most convenient, i.e. cheapest.
Convincing a majority of the world’s population that the world is going to end in 12 years isn’t feasible. Certainly not at a time when inflation is biting, a recession is looming, and any changes to U.S. energy infrastructure, whatever Democrats say, are going to be expensive, long-term, and might not show results for decades.
Convincing a majority of voters of the need for better environmental regulations is shockingly easy by comparison. No extremism required.
(contributing writer, Brooke Bell)