CNN’s Presidential Climate Change Town Hall Was Insane
David Harsanyi
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Put it this way: the most benign climate-change plan proposed during CNN’s seven-hour Democratic Party presidential candidate town hall was more authoritarian than anything Donald Trump has ever suggested during his presidency. Democrats were not merely proposing massive societal upheaval but mass coercion.

CNN says it’s a “crisis,” though, so Democrats were free to offer one insane Nostradamus-like prediction after the next. Not only is every weather event now a manifestation of global warming, but Beto O’Rourke says our communities will soon be “uninhabitable,” and Pete Buttigieg says the challenge of warming is on par with World War II, a conflict that took more than 400,000 American lives and tens of millions of others.

None of this hysteria, as far as I can tell, was challenged during those seven hours.

As Joel Pollak notes, at this point climate change “is primarily experienced as a mass hysteria phenomenon,” a collective illusion of a massive threat. Just listen to audience members earnestly asking questions based on the risible premise that we’re on the brink of extinction. It’s really one of the tragedies of our age that so many anxious young people have been brainwashed into believing they live on the cusp of dystopia when, in fact, they’re in the middle of a golden age — an era with less war, sickness, poverty, and suffering than any in history.

When Joe Biden, the “moderate” front-runner, was asked by CNN’s Anderson Cooper if the Green New Deal — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s unifying climate plan that bans all fossil fuels, 99 percent of cars and planes, and meat within the next decade — “goes too far,” or whether it was “unrealistic, promising too much” (“promising,” of course, suggests that GND’s goals are desirable), he answered, “No, no it’s not.”

In fact, the Green New Deal — which also promises to “retrofit” every building in the entire country and provide government-guaranteed jobs, free higher education, and salubrious diets to all Americans — “deserves an enormous amount of credit,” said the front-running candidate of the nation’s serious party.

And though the most effective way to lower carbon emissions — the one that allows us to outpace signees of the vaunted Paris Accord — has been fracking, most Democrats, it seems, now oppose that as well.

Candidate Elizabeth Warren, who’s now adopted Jay Inslee’s plan to force every American to surrender fossil fuel and nuclear energy in 20 years, claims solar panels are the way forward. To put this in perspective, remember that natural gas makes up about 23 percent of our energy consumption while renewables make up about 11 percent. Only 8 percent of that 11 percent is solar energy — much of it both already subsidized and mandated by government.

Americans use about 19.96 million barrels of petroleum products per day. To replace it, we’d have to create millions of unproductive taxpayer-funded jobs, layer every inch of available land with solar panels and windmills, and then pray to Gaia that every day is simultaneously sunny and windy. All for the low cost of $93 trillion.

How? The “norms of democracy” crowd hasn’t yet chimed in on Sen. Kamala Harris’ contention that she would reach across the aisle and demand Republicans pass her plan; and then, if they didn’t, alter the entire U.S. economy via executive action and get rid of the Senate filibuster — which will now be within her power, I guess, since we’re in a crisis.

Then again, when you’re in a crisis, all kinds of ugly things seem reasonable. Take the anti-humanism that’s long been connected to environmentalism.

One town hall audience member asked the bureaucrat Julián Castro if our children should “continue the cycle of family.” Can you imagine being so taken in by a Malthusian panic that you’re seriously pondering whether perpetuating mankind is a good idea?

Abortion, of course, has been a part of environmentalist plans for a long time. When Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said she “thought that at the time Roe (v. Wade) was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of,” she was right.

It’s no accident that Al Gore argued that we “have to have ubiquitous availability of fertility management” in the developing world as a way of controlling population to stop climate change. The Sierra Club and other environmentalist groups have long warned us that too many babies in Africa and Asia will destroy the Earth. “The Population Bomb” is widely accepted by environmentalists, although its chief prophets have long been discredited.

“Human population growth has more than doubled in the past 50 years. The planet cannot sustain this growth,” one CNN audience member told Bernie Sanders, who agreed, promising to back more U.S. funding for abortions in the developing world. Sanders believes women in Asia and Africa should abort their babies to save the world while he shuttles between his main house and one of his two dachas.

Sanders opposes the two greatest antidotes to poverty and suffering: affordable energy and capitalism. And others are now following him.

You might not believe Democrats’ efforts are particularly dangerous, since they’re mostly unworkable. But sooner or later, converts to utopianism are going to start demanding that rhetoric, which is always ratcheting up to new apocalyptic heights, align with policy. That’s dangerous.

David Harsanyi is a Senior Editor at The Federalist. He is the author of First Freedom: A Ride Through America's Enduring History with the Gun, From the Revolution to Today. Follow him on Twitter.

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