Evidence is growing that climate alarmists — those peddling the delusion that human-caused climate change is destroying the Earth — are growing ever more desperate.
Barely a day goes by without some so-called expert or group of experts proclaiming the world only has one year, two years, 10 years and so on to substantially reduce fossil-fuel consumption, or else it will be too late to prevent multitudes of cascading global disasters that make the biblical plagues of Egypt pale by comparison.
Yet, evidence shows people aren’t buying into the climate delusion. This has alarmists acting like used car salespersons, using ever direr and shriller language to get people to buy their “product,” which is ever more intrusive control over their lives.
For instance, one Breitbart article notes, “Climate change alarmists are pushing for a change in vocabulary to scare people into taking global warming more seriously, starting with terms like “global meltdown” and “climate collapse.” Writing for AdAge (tellingly, an advertising journal), Aaron Hall argues that in order to get people to “take action” against climate change, “rebranding” is crucial, since “people … need to be shocked into the notion that the world as we know it is ending.”
The push for “rebranding” comes as the United Nations reports governments around the world are failing to meet their greenhouse gas reduction commitments. The United Nation’s 2019 Emissions Gap report says global greenhouse gas emissions have grown 1.5 percent every year over the past decade, despite governments’ repeated promises to implement policies to reduce emissions to prevent Earth’s temperature from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The United Nations says to keep temperatures within supposedly safe limits, governments must cut global emissions by a minimum of 7.6 percent each year between 2020 and 2030.
The problem for climate-delusion pushers is this: While public opinion surveys taken in recent years usually show at least a slight majority of those surveyed are “moderately,” “very,” or “extremely” certain humans are causing climate change and are worried about it, the polls also consistently show the public isn’t willing to sacrifice very much to prevent it.
In an August survey conducted by The Washington Post/Kaiser Family Foundation, for example, more than 60 percent of survey respondents said they believed the world had fewer than 10 years to prevent the worst effects of climate change (with most of those respondents claiming the world has two years or fewer to act).
Despite this, 51 percent of those surveyed would be “somewhat” or “strongly” opposed to paying a $2 monthly tax on U.S. residential electric bills to pay for the fight against climate change, and 61 percent would reject a 10 cents per gallon increase in the gasoline tax to fight climate change.
More recently, a November survey of 1,000 likely voters conducted by The Heartland Institute and Rasmussen Reports found slightly less than half of those surveyed believed “Human Activity” is the primary cause of climate change. Even one in three Democrats surveyed rejected the idea humans are causing a climate crisis.
Interestingly, even though 63 percent of those surveyed said they believed it was very or somewhat likely climate change “will be catastrophic for humans, plants, and animals,” relatively few of them were willing to call for dramatic action to prevent it. For instance, only 34 percent of those who believed climate change was primarily caused by humans said federal or state governments should limit air travel to help prevent it, and just 24 percent said governments should require people to limit their consumption of meat to fight climate change.
The public has also backed up its words with actions. When governments in France and Chile pushed energy price increases to limit emissions to fight climate change, people rioted in the streets, eventually forcing their governments to back off proposed fossil fuel price hikes. Elsewhere, voters have replaced government leaders or parties pushing policies to meet their country’s emission reduction targets under the Paris climate agreement with people vowing to rescind energy taxes and focus instead on making energy cheaper and more abundant.
A majority of the public seems to have rejected the climate delusion because they’ve reasonably concluded that, although humans may be affecting the climate, the world isn’t going to end, and proposals to fight climate change will cause them far more pain and suffering than climate change itself.
This situation has alarmists casting aspersions and looking for scarier “messaging,” as if selling climate change is a marketing campaign rather than a matter of science, freedom, and prosperity.
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H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D. is a senior fellow on energy and the environment at The Heartland Institute, a nonpartisan, nonprofit research center headquartered in Arlington Heights, Illinois.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.