I’ve heard many shocking statements and watched many acts of outlandish behavior in my time as an elected official, activist and commentator, but the Left’s recent actions during the COVID-19 pandemic rank among the worst that I have ever witnessed.
It is truly hard to believe — with more than 26 million people out of work, families struggling to make ends meet and thousands of small businesses closing — radical environmentalists, liberal politicians and the left-wing media are celebrating America’s industrial and manufacturing slowdown that is resulting in massive unemployment. As cities and towns across the nation work to curtail the spread of the coronavirus, the “Green” Left says look to a “silver lining” of clearer skies and waterways.
Liberals and environmental activists are high-fiving each other over how skies are a bit clearer due to millions of fewer cars on the roads, industrial operations slowed or shuttered and workers idled. CNN recently touted the coronavirus pandemic as helping “humanity buy some time against global warming.” Scientific American Magazine declared in an article Wednesday that “The Green New Deal Is More Relevant Than Ever.”
Green New Deal co-sponsors Sen. Ed Markey and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are using the pandemic as an opportunity to “bury” the oil industry and push the Green New Deal. “We’ve had enough. Let’s bury the fossil fuel industry once and for all,” Markey tweeted yesterday. Ocasio-Cortez posted on Twitter, “you love to see it” when oil markets crashed, putting many good paying jobs and businesses in danger. She then deleted the tweet and later chimed in: “Fossil fuels are in long-term structural decline. This along w/ low interest rates means it‘s the right time to create millions of jobs transitioning to renewable and clean energy.”
Democratic South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn, the third ranking Democrat in the House, openly admitted how Democrats want to use billions in COVD-19 rescue funds to “restructure things to fit our vision.”
Make no mistake about the COVID-19 outbreak. Progressives are very happy with millions of people out of work and heavy industry stalled. Take the words of Oxford professor Peter Frankopan — “Pandemics are terrifying but they can make the world better” and “…the world’s lungs are already breathing more easily thanks to the collapse of industrial production.”
The Heartland Institute released a report exposing just how out-of-touch the radical Left is with reality. The report uncovers the Left’s agenda in this time of crisis. Clearly their goal is to capitalize on the pandemic by promoting the trillion-dollar Green New Deal and other green policies that would further sink our economy.
Steve Milloy of the Heartland Institute notes how the radical Left is doubling down on the pandemic panic, “… the alarmists aren’t taking displacement by coronavirus lying down. In fact, many climate alarmists are trying to use coronavirus as a means of advancing their agenda.”
A quick look at prominent progressive groups on Twitter supports this claim. Democrat Socialists of America tweeted – “The coronavirus pandemic makes what we’ve already known clear: we need a Green New Deal to stop climate change.” Democracy for America agrees. It posted social media content saying passage of a stimulus package to get Americans back to work proves it’s “absolute fiction” to believe America cannot afford the Green New Deal. And a “Sunrise Movement” tweet said, “In times of peril, we need bold solutions to fix big problems and that’s what the Green New Deal is.”
It’s a known fact that America and other industrialized nations can lower carbon emissions and still generate massive growth. Dozens of the world’s largest companies have reduced carbon emissions by 12 percent, and major oil companies report their methane emissions have declined by 40 percent while oil production is steadily increasing. Free market innovation is what we need, not job crippling policies – or pandemics.
We are not through this pandemic by any means, but model projections for COVID-19 related fatalities are dropping and the Trump administration is taking decisive steps to protect Americans. In this time of crisis, politicization by the Left must stop. Environmental activists and politicians who attempt to leverage the COVID-19 pandemic as a way to enact their liberal agenda should be called out and their efforts must fail. And the liberal press should stop fueling these efforts by ignoring such distractions and instead focus coverage on real, substantive ways to responsibly end this pandemic and get America working again.
Ken Blackwell is on the Boards of Directors of the Club For Growth and National Taxpayers Union. He is a member of the National Leadership Council of the Save Our Country Coalition.