Tag archives: climate change

Despite War, Progressive Priorities Remain Unchanged

by Joseph Backholm

March 18, 2022

Emergency situations often have the effect of rearranging our priorities. When horrible things happen—even if they happen in faraway places and don’t personally affect us—they can remind us of what is most important. Weeks into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, however, it does not appear that the Left is spending much time engaging in self-reflection.

Modern progressivism is built on the belief that psychological safety is a fundamental right. As a result, it has sought to leverage the power of the government to protect people from ideas, people, or situations that would make them unhappy or uncomfortable. This is why, in the minds of many progressives, the possibility of people being called the “wrong” pronouns, for example, merits government intervention in the form of restrictive speech codes.

Ironically, the result of these ideological commitments is that the most prosperous, comfortable, and privileged people in human history are also some of the most ungrateful. One might think a war outbreak would provide some helpful—if not sobering—perspective. Families being torn apart could even make us grateful for our lesser problems, and images of real violence might motivate us to permanently abandon the silly suggestion that peaceful speech that expresses an unwanted or unpopular opinion is violence.

Sadly, this does not appear to be the case.

Only hours after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the head of British Intelligence took to Twitter to say, “With the tragedy and destruction unfolding so distressingly in Ukraine, we should remember the values and hard won freedoms that distinguish us from Putin, none more than LGBT+ rights.” It seems strange to be thinking about progressive gender ideology hours after a war breaks out. But evidently, virtue signaling was at the top of the to-do list for Britain’s top spy. Perhaps he was concerned the visibility of real victims might diminish the victim status of others?

That’s exactly what should happen.

A few days later, President Biden used the State of the Union to make sure people knew he had not forgotten the importance of identity politics. He lamented the “onslaught” of “anti-transgender” laws, referring to legislation in many states that would prevent the chemical and surgical castration of children who experience gender dysphoria.

Two days later, Vice President Kamala Harris likewise took a moment to show her support for the Equality Act, tweeting, “Let’s send the Equality Act to President Biden’s desk. We must increase protections for LGBTQ+ Americans across the country. The onslaught of state bills targeting transgender Americans and their families is wrong.” The Equality Act would, among other things, make sure men are allowed to participate in programs and opportunities previously reserved for women; anyone who dissents from these policies would be ineligible for government contracts or education funding.  

About the same time, CBS News ran a story expressing sadness that “Transgender acceptance in Ukraine is not widespread” and shared the concerns that a Ukrainian man who identifies as a woman would not be able to leave the country because men are being asked to stay and fight. For progressives in the media and those serving in Western governments, the point is clear: They will not let a war distract them from what they deem to be more important matters.

Still, the sexual revolution is not the only cause the war in Ukraine threatens to distract from. Their environmental agenda remain top of mind as well.

John Kerry, the former senator and secretary of state who currently serves as President Biden’s Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, expressed his hopes that Russia, despite their invasion of Ukraine, would “stay on track” with their commitments to combating climate change. Likewise, The Atlantic ran an article lamenting the environmental damage that would result from a nuclear war. 

These priorities are not merely academic. In fact, concerns over environmental impact appear to be driving the Biden administration’s reluctance to stop purchasing Russian energy. Officials don’t want to increase domestic production now for the same reasons they reduced domestic production in the first place. They believe reducing emissions is worth the cost, even if it is a human cost. As a result, they would rather send money to Russia during their invasion of Ukraine than abandon their emissions goals.

This tells us a lot about their worldview. Progressives aren’t going to let a war disrupt their efforts to help men pretend that they are women because they see the issues as similarly important. Likewise, they aren’t going to stop sending Russia money if it means increasing energy production because they see reducing carbon as a way of saving a life.

The universal condemnation of the Russian invasion shows us that there is still some moral common ground in the United States, but the Left’s continued prioritization of their policy agenda, even in the midst of a war, is revealing. If war does not inspire self-reflection, nothing will.

Climate Talks Blow More Hot Air

by Tony Perkins

December 3, 2009

In December, more than 170 countries are meeting in Copenhagen to talk about a world treaty to cut greenhouse gasses. (A conference, ironically, thats estimated to create 40,584 tons of carbon emissionsroughly the same amount that the entire country of Morocco generated in 2006). Liberals are hoping to put the environment on the front burner before Denmarkbut that might be difficult considering the political climate in America.

A recent Pew poll found that Americans dont think global warming is a serious problem. The number that do fell sharplyfrom 44% last year to 35% now. Others are skeptical that climate change was even a problem to begin with! That percent is bound to double or triple after scientists at the University of East Anglia admitted to throwing away raw temperature data to support their claim for global warming. According to the U.K. Times, The CRU is the worlds leading center for reconstructing past climate and temperatures. Climate change skeptics have long been keen to examine exactly how its data were compiled. That is now impossible. This news, combined with ClimateGate and Americans doubts, should be more than enough to put off any international agreements on global warming indefinitely. President Obama has agreed to make the trip to the conference to lobby for cutting emissions by 17% in 2020. Given the revelations of disagreement in the scientific community and the growing skepticism in the public, the President should back away from a treaty that will cut U.S. jobs and raise energy costs for families.

His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales: Making the World Safe for Hypocrisy

by Robert Morrison

June 2, 2009

His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales thinks you should curb your lifestyle. Britons, Europeans, Americans, according to the latest internet video message from this eminent royal personage, are endangering the planet with our penchant for high living.

It’s not just our caviar, our pate de foie gras, our champagne and oysters, not just our castles and hunting preserves, not just our private yachts and private jets, nor even our stables of race horses—it’s us. There are simply too many of us. And, worse, we persist in having more of us. Children. Horrors!

His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales thinks you should think twice about how your very being is threatening the Amazon Rain Forest and bringing about “climate change.” (Climate change is the latest evolution in the thinking of the right thinking elites about what they don’t like about us.) It used to be called Global Warming. But that’s so nineties, when it was actually warming. When too many reputable scientists raised their minority voices about warming, they sure felt the heat. Now, it’s always Climate Change. If you don’t think the climate is changing, just step outside, you denier.

It’s not only His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales who is concerned. Sir David Attenborough is also worried. For American readers, Sir David is a cross between Dan Rather and Carl Sagan. He’s a really big wig. He’s the man who brought color television to Britain. (Was that a good thing?) Sir David has used color TV to bring to his adoring audiences nothing less than Planet Earth. Every bug and beetle, every bird and butterfly has been beautifully captured on film and delivered to the masses by Sir David. But now, he’s having second, and even third, thoughts. He wants the British to have fewer John and Jane Bulls. He thinks Britain’s population explosion is “frightening.” He’s signed on to every population control outfit he can find. Most visitors to modern Britain are struck by the large and growing number of non-British people there are in Old Blighty.

Not Sir David. Away with them all. He and the Queen of Hearts would have made quite the pair: “Off with their heads.”That’ll stop them multiplying.

I have some personal history with His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. Several decades back, I was assigned to be part of a Coast Guard honor guard that was also a body guard for His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. On a royal visit to San Francisco, His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales was threatened by the IRA underground operating out of Berkeley. They were going to blow him up.

For weeks, we Coasties were trained by detectives from Britain’s very professional police, Scotland Yard. They planned every move, every step His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales would take. They never referred to him as “he.” Never as “The Prince.”

It was always “His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales.” That unvarying usage was unnerving. Almost as if they were from the other side of Churchill’s famous Iron Curtain.

When the eventful day came, we lined up at Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco. When the chartered jet of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales landed, it seemed to us it was ten minutes ahead of shedyool. Not so. The jet taxied at a leisurely pace more than two miles to the end of the runway. Then, it turned and processed back to the point of disembarkation.

Outside the cockpit of the jet we saw two flags fluttering-the Union Jack and the Royal Standard of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. I’d seen official limousines in Washington and New York with such flags, but this was unique. Since the jet could not fly with those flags flapping in the breeze, the entire purpose of the ten-minute maneuver to the end of the runway was to position those flags. What a stately procession it was. More than thirty years later, I vividly recall the impression the entrance of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales made on me. That was what it was intended to do.

Imagine the last three decades of royal progresses, royal “walkabouts,” royal safaris, all taken in royal jets, with royal standards fluttering. Envision those jets taxiing to the ends of all those runways, just so they can affix the flags that make such impressions on the happy natives.

Isn’t it marvelous that none of those jets used any jet fuel at all? Think how many royals earth could accommodate if there none of us here! Their carbon footprint could be as big as Gulliver’s if there were none of us Lilliputians mucking up the planet. But who would there be to shield His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales with our own bodies? And who would there be to cheer His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales? The more I think of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, the more I think Diana should have kissed a different frog.