This is an opinion piece.
As exhausting as the Chinese virus’s domination of the news cycle has been, it was nice not having to contend with standard media alarmism over issues such as climate change. But careful not to let a crisis go to waste, it was only a matter of time before political agendas, no matter how unrelated, infected the pandemic response.
Wednesday was the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, but even before that, more and more headlines began touting reduced pollution due to economic shutdowns. Which, if true, is a fine thing to point out and makes for a decent, silver-liningish story during a world crisis. But the implications haven’t stopped there.
For some, it’s proof that through dramatic action, we could help slow the climate “crisis,” and the devastating economic and social fallout would be worth it — a prime example of how government overreach now could bite us back during an inevitable democrat presidency.
The humanity as virus metaphor once relegated to eco-fascists on the fringe of the green movement is now all but implicit in every mainstream climate change argument. If humans themselves aren’t the virus, then the systems that have allowed them to flourish, such as capitalism, are.
At an Earth Day fundraising event, former vice president and democrat presidential hopeful Joe Biden said the coronavirus outbreak was a “wake up call” for action on climate change.
“COVID is shining a bright light on the structural racism that plagues our laws, our institutions and our culture,” he said. “And it’s a wake up call, a wake up call to action to climate change overall and to climate justice.”
While this may sound like more gibberish from a man in clear mental decline, it was enough to get famous climate alarmist Al Gore’s endorsement.
“If you care about the climate crisis, if you want to start solving the climate crisis, this is not rocket science,” Gore said of his endorsement.
How bad does something have to be for it to be a crisis? And do you doubt some people, like Biden and Gore, would use the shutdown method at will to combat climate change if they could? Good luck getting the worst polluters like China to go along with that.
“Our response to this health crisis will shape the climate crisis for decades to come,” Meehan Crist wrote in a recent New York Times piece.
With daily innovations and the world’s best minds working together, we stand a good chance of getting through this pandemic in great shape. A lot of things will and should change. With better technology, we can reduce pollution and waste, as we must. According to an analysis by UK-based website Carbon Brief, we could see the largest annual drop in carbon dioxide emissions due to the shutdown. But much to the chagrin of climate activists, the temporary drop in pollution we’re seeing now most likely wouldn’t be enough to make a difference even if economies stopped for a month or two each year.
“Even this would not come close to bringing the 1.5 [degree celsius] global temperature limit within reach,” the website stated. “To put it another way, atmospheric carbon levels are expected to increase again this year, even if CO2 emissions cuts are greater still.”
If we can’t trust the “experts” or their projection models when it comes to the best pandemic response, then at the very least we should be skeptical of opinions based on politics and models of a vastly more complex system like the climate.
Daniel Tayloris a staff writer for The Reporter. His email is email@example.com.