The media is piling-on Vice President Mike Pence for saying something that most Americans already know: the left is obsessed with the concept of climate change. The Vice-President said recently in an interview that “For some reason or another, this issue of climate change has emerged as a paramount issue for the left in this country and around the world.” The Veep is right, the American left and global elites are obsessed with climate change, and they use it as a tool to advance their political agenda. Ultra-liberal MSNBC host Rachel Maddow mocked Pence by derisively lecturing that “with a looming catastrophe on the horizon, and in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence, Mike Pence doesn’t even know enough about the issue to understand why we’re having this fight.” The problem for Maddow is that leftist-socialists have been crying that the sky is falling when it comes to the climate since at least the 1960s.
While the hysteria has been called “climate change” for only about a decade, the concept has been around for more than 50 years. Liberals have oscillated, however, between whether we would burn or freeze to death. In the 1960s and 70s, climate alarmists said that we were facing an imminent ice age that would kill millions of people. In fact, University of California professor Kenneth E.F. Watt said in 1970 that “If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but 11 degrees colder by the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us in an ice age.” Obviously, 2000 came and went and no one froze to death, Britain is not an ice shelf, and the sea is not solid ice. Fast forward to the 1990s, when the Left decided that, while we may not freeze to death, we may well burn. In fact, the U.N., the pill-pusher of the Paris Climate Accord, made the headlines in the AP in 1989 with this warning “UN Official Predicts Disaster, Says Greenhouse Effect Could Wipe Some Nations Off Map.”
After the new Ice Age did not materialize, and after nations did not disappear because of global warming in the 1990s and early 2000s, the left shifted to the catch-all phrase of “climate change.” Climate change is such a nebulous concept that it can serve as shifting goalposts for the climate agenda. Global warming or cooling, they have the answer: stop driving, flying, or running the AC unless you are a liberal political elite. I do not deny that the climate changes, but the notion that human progress is the progenitor of climate shifts is far from conclusive.
All Americans should care about the environment and take steps to be good stewards of the world around us. This does not mean, however, that we need to turn-over our national sovereignty to the United Nations or shift jobs and resources to China because of an ill-conceived climate pact. I am a conservationist who cares about the environment, but I believe that environmental protection can be balanced with human flourishing and economic progress. This seems to be the position of the President and Vice-President as well.
Liberal outrage not withstanding, Mike Pence did not say anything outrageous. He was not implying that caring about the environment is not a good thing; he did accurately point-out, however, that the left uses climate-change as a hobby horse for higher taxes, less freedom, and more government control.