Only a few days after being sworn in as a member of Congress, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. summarized a 2018 U.N. report on climate change with a dire prediction. The frequently repeated line “we have only 12 years left” is now in the lexicon of almost every Democratic presidential candidate and environmental activist nationwide.
Only problem: it is not true. Science and logic say so, as do the authors of the report.
As The Associated Press reported last month: “There is no scientific consensus, much less unanimity, that the planet only has 12 years to fix the problem (of climate change). A report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, drawn from the work of hundreds of scientists, uses 2030 as a prominent benchmark because signatories to the Paris agreement have pledged emission cuts by then. But it’s not a last chance, hard deadline for action, as it has been interpreted in some quarters.”
Nevertheless, Ocasio-Cortez won’t let facts stand in the way of outrage. Paraphrasing the young self-described socialist representative herself: it is more important to be morally right than factually correct.
With time ticking away on the left’s doomsday clock (technically 11 years and 8 months left) Ocasio-Cortez and her radical environmental acolytes have authored the Green New Deal.
As any good politician knows, the only solution to a crisis is government. And when it comes to averting climate catastrophe by 2031, nothing less than single-payer health care, guaranteed income for those unwilling to work, and addressing racial and gender injustices will do the trick.
As The Associated Press reported last month: “There is no scientific consensus, much less unanimity, that the planet only has 12 years to fix the problem (of climate change). "
Maybe such a backlash is natural, as the U.N. report is indeed scary. Unless immediate, bold action is taken to end the use of fossil fuels and cut carbon dioxide emissions, the report says:
1) Entire nations like the Maldives could be underwater from rising sea levels.
2) Coastal flooding and crop failure will cause political chaos.
3) One-sixth of Bangladesh will be gone, displacing 25 percent of the nation’s population.
4) Shifting climate patterns will bring back Dust Bowl conditions to America’s heartland.
Preventing the results of climate change – starvation, misery, and chaos – within a decade can help explain support for the overreaching Green New Deal. Except these aforementioned predictions aren’t from the 2018 U.N. report. They are from a 1989 report issued by the same United Nations.
We have been down the “12 years left” road before.
Predicting the end of humankind is as old as time. The earliest Christians thought the end was near. Nostradamus is famous for nothing other than predicting the end, as too are some other religious groups.
But when it comes to climate change Armageddon, the preventative measures tend to centralize power in the hands of government leaders, stripping people of rights and property. The proposals are always rooted not in the environment, but in the economy.
A simple question for Ocasio-Cortez and other climate change zealots is this: what did the 1989 U.N. climate report get so wrong?
Conversely, what does the more recent but oddly similar 2018 report get right?
One may say the computer modeling (on which every climate change prediction is based) is more sophisticated today. But the 1989 report isn’t just a little wrong. Its inaccuracy is the size of the Maldives.
There are some facts about our planet’s climate we can all agree on. Sea levels are a few inches higher and temperatures are about 1 degree warmer since 1900.
The real climate change debate – the one radical environmentalists refuse to have – is twofold: to what extent does human activity contribute to climate change, and how much of our economy and freedoms need to be surrendered to government as a result?
Some amazing things have transpired since the 1989 report was written: hundreds of millions of people in Asia and Africa have moved out of extreme poverty. China, India and South Korea have become economic powerhouses. The Soviet Union collapsed, and the Internet was born.
There is no Dust Bowl sequel.
As Ocasio Cortez and the ever-growing number of Democratic presidential candidates crisscross the nation (using fossil fuels), let’s hope they stop using the “12 years left” unscientific hyperbole. The American people deserve a serious conversation about energy and environmental policy, not the repeated exaggerations of a political agenda.
Climate change scare tactics no longer work. In one generation they went from scary to outdated. Younger politicians like Ocasio-Cortez would do well to admit this.
We should also expect more from the U.N. scientists and their 30-year track record of rehashed climate predictions. Otherwise, their 2049 report is already written.