May 21, 2023 - 9:00 pm
For some, global warming alarmism is an excuse to oppose modern civilization.
For decades, environmentals have warned that a warming Earth caused by burning fossil fuels will trigger catastrophic climate change and produce a host of horrific consequences that threaten the very existence of life on the planet.
In 2008, Al Gore predicted the Arctic would be ice-free in 2013. In 2009, Prince Charles said there were only eight years left to save the world. In 1990, Mostafa Tolba, executive director of the U.N.’s Environment Programme, said, “We shall win — or lose — the climate struggle in the first years of the 1990s.” In 2007, Rajendra Pachauri, chief of the U.N. Climate Panel, warned, “If there is no action before 2012, that’s too late.”
Those predictions have not come to pass. But the doomsday scenarios continue apace. President Joe Biden said in 2021 that global warming is “an existential threat to human existence as we know it.”
But ending fossil fuel usage without reliable replacements could be described in a similar manner. Without our current energy infrastructure, many of today’s modern conveniences wouldn’t exist. That list includes air conditioning, cars, cellphones, computers, plastics, modern medicine and airplanes. Even forcing electric vehicles on American consumers won’t eliminate our dependence on fossil fuels, which power production facilities and charge vehicles overnight when the sun isn’t shining.
Scientists have been studying numerous ways to eliminate the downsides of burning carbon. One proposal involves capturing carbon from the air and storing it underground. You would think that green activists would see this as a huge win. At scale, this emerging technology would allow fossil fuels to continue powering modern society while reducing the “existential threat to human existence.” That is why the Biden administration is pursuing carbon capture projects around the country.
But these projects are facing increased resistance from a number of environmental groups. They’re stirring up local opposition that can delay specific projects.
“There is no environmental justice to be found in the injection of carbon under the ground,” Jane Patton, a campaign manager with the Center for International Environmental Law, told Politico.
What you’re seeing here is a trillion-dollar bait-and-switch. Alarmists have spent decades claiming that Western nations must reorient their entire economies to reduce greenhouse emissions. But it’s becoming clear — as radical greens oppose the mining and other projects necessary for a transition to renewables — that a certain segment of the environmental movement wants not only to eliminate fossil fuels, but to vastly restrict all energy production, regardless of the ruinous consequences.