No wonder Americans are doing little on climate change – most can’t afford to care
Americans’ fear of climate change hasn’t yet driven them into the arms of ‘green’ initiatives, a recent poll shows. But the average person has enough concerns without doomsday tales about melting glaciers and sad polar bears.
Despite increasingly devastating hurricanes, deadly wildfires and other natural disasters, the threat of climate change has not noticeably moved the needle on Americans’ fear levels, according to a poll by the Washington Post and ABC News.
While a majority of US adults believe that climate change is a serious issue, the percentage – 67% – who agree with the statement has remained all but static since 2007. This is despite conscious efforts to politicize the issue, with the Biden administration being the most recent group tasked with loading Americans up with guilt over their supposed lack of concern for Mother Earth.
But while those two-thirds of Americans may believe their planet is in peril when asked such questions directly, many of them are dealing with life-or-death issues of their own – whether it’s trying to scrape together money for medical bills or mortgage payments – that supersede concern for the rainforest or thawing permafrost.
While the Post was quick to blame Trump-influenced Republicans for Americans’ stubborn failure to obsess over global warming, their poll respondents included more independent voters than members of either party, suggesting the politicizing of the planet – along with the politicization of everything else that has taken place under the eyes of the past four administrations – is backfiring. No one wants to be lectured by a hypocrite in an expensive suit who flies around the world in private jets denouncing populations for not caring about the Earth enough.
When the rich and powerful gather at back-patting rituals like the COP26 climate conference, flying their not-exactly-sustainable private jets to Glasgow to glad-hand with other fashionably-concerned political types, they may wonder why the hoi polloi aren’t joining glorified theatrical troupes like the lavishly-funded Extinction Rebellion and gluing themselves to subway trains. But while many would like to adopt what they are told are green practices, like buying an electric car or cutting meat out of their diet, just as many lack the time or mental energy to do their research on sustainable options – or the money to implement them.
Even those with a little extra cash to make planet-friendly choices like buying organic or driving a hybrid often find themselves uninformed or even misinformed about the various forms of renewable energy. They are just as likely to jump out of the frying pan (gas-powered cars) into the fire (electric cars whose lithium ion batteries are made with unsustainable minerals like cobalt), or to replace the meat they previously ate with highly-processed abominations that may taste similar to the meat they miss, but are in fact just as unhealthy – if not more so.
Among those who’ve been on the fence about whether the government should take action on the climate, drivers experiencing sticker-shock at the pump are much more likely to be pushed to the ‘dark side’. They may even begin wondering if well-heeled climate activist types at events like COP26 are merely trying to scavenge whatever’s left on the corpse of Western capitalism. Should they try to speak up, however, they will invariably be harangued as climate change deniers, thus cementing their status as an enemy of the green juggernaut those same climate heavies are preparing to unleash across the West.
With most countries devastated by their governments’ ill-advised response to the Covid-19 pandemic, many will accept whatever carrot is dangled in front of them, no matter how much further austerity it may foist on their already-struggling populations. Further throwing one’s constituents under the bus is certainly easier than facing the massive debts these governments have run up in the name of protecting their citizens against Covid.
The proponents of this new environmental police state have admitted that virus lockdowns were the forerunner for a green version – “climate lockdowns” – to be rolled in and out as necessary, though they had to walk back an especially incriminating headline demanding “global lockdown every few years” in order to “meet Paris CO2 goals.” The World Economic Forum, headed by real life Bond villain Klaus Schwab, congratulated itself in February over how lockdowns were “quietly improving cities” around the world while the man himself hinted the world would never go back to “normal” – not under his watch at least.
Now that Americans thrown out of work by the sudden draconian crackdowns imposed to fight the virus have had to come out of hiding and actually look for work again, they’re finding the prices of everyday goods less and less affordable as ‘Bidenomics’ takes hold and kicks off an era of inflation, empty shelves and general chaos, all because the president (and his predecessor) believed the country could just print money indefinitely.
Looking at the credibility bonfire that was COP26, it should be obvious who benefits from the climate-related pearl clutching that has become so popular among the world’s elites. The fossil fuel companies themselves, and those with shares in such companies, will continue raking it in – perhaps having to plant a few trees here and there to offset their carbon sins, but hardly inconvenienced enough to ditch the oil and gas the wealthy want to keep for themselves.
Far from sustainable, the hordes of private jets that descended on Glasgow earlier this month beat out any previous climate summit in terms of emissions created, totaling approximately 102,500 tons of carbon dioxide. According to sustainability consultant Arup, that figure represents the average emissions of 10,000 British households – annually. All to watch climate posturers run their mouths about how Something Must Be Done, Greta Thunberg reprising her “blah blah blah” routine, and the other tiresome cliches that have become the bread and butter of the climate circle-jerk.
If the US really wanted to reduce its emissions without antagonizing its citizens further, the administration could start with downsizing the military, which emits more carbon than scores of other countries combined. If the Defense Department was a standalone country, it would be the 55th largest emitter of carbon worldwide. And while the Pentagon has vowed to get its house in order, one would be a fool to trust the same agency that has never even undergone a successful audit in the history of its existence. It’s an idea that invites mockery – what will they do, slap solar panels on their Humvees? Drop reusable bombs? Be fed rations of bugs?
But as far as realistic goals, the vast majority of American people would likely approve of the supposedly revolutionary idea of ending the wars, shutting down some of the hundreds of bases around the world that serve next to no purpose and giving the savings to the American people as a “peace dividend” as floated by some of 2020’s more interesting presidential candidates.
It’s far from the only potential solution, but it’s a place to start, and having the blood-funnel of the ruling class removed from one’s neck (and bank account) is the first step toward fixing the problem. WaPo will never admit this, but a government can only keep its constituents in a state of pure terror for so long before they become accustomed to that fear. First came climate change, then came the pandemic, and the ruling class has relatively few tricks to pull out its sleeve. Watch for a War of the Worlds-style fake alien invasion if this latest scheme doesn’t work out…
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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.