Word has come down from the top that it is now mandatory to refer to climate change as an “emergency”.
Democrats and climate activists are urging President Biden to declare a literal emergency to unlock powers so he can enact new measures without congressional approval.
“Congressional action on the climate crisis has stalled,” Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon and other Democratic senators wrote to Biden. “Consequently, we urge you to put us on an emergency basis and aggressively use your executive powers to address the climate crisis.”
That 51 senators oppose the legislation in Jeff Merkley’s favor may be disappointing for Jeff Merkley, but it is no guarantee of unilateral presidential rule.
While Biden has refrained from making such a declaration — at least for now — he used the word “emergency” in a speech announcing the new executive actions and called climate change “an existential threat to our nation.” ” declared.
The latest scaremongering rhetoric is fueled by a heat wave in Europe and here at home that is being hailed as such.
London broke records, but after a few days of remarkably high temperatures, highs over the next two weeks are forecast to stay mostly in the 70s — hot by the city’s standards, but not catastrophic.
If heat waves become more frequent, as expected, the countries of Western Europe will have to fully embrace air conditioning, our best defense against extreme heat.
As for high temperatures across the U.S., as noted by Roger Pelke Jr. of the University of Colorado Boulder, the 1920s and 1930s had worse heat waves.
This is not to say that climate change is not real and to some extent anthropogenic, but it is not a reason to suspend all rational thought.
It’s one thing to invoke emergency presidential powers to respond to a terrorist attack or a pandemic. It’s another job because the temperature in Boston is over 90 degrees.
Climate is not just an immediate threat that demands and is sensitive to immediate action. Global warming is a long-fuse phenomenon that has been steadily increasing over time – global temperatures have risen by 1.1 degrees Celsius since the late 19th century – and will soon be unaffected by radical measures.
Nor is it an “existential threat” to America that an advanced 21st-century society that – unlike Western Europe – is already heavily air-conditioned, cannot deal with excess heat during the summer, or for that matter For, more negative weather events, is worth laughing.
America is a rich, innovative and continental nation where settlement patterns have changed massively over time and will continue to do so, regardless of temperature trends. We will be better able to adapt to and mitigate the harmful effects of climate change than any other society in the world.
President Biden has been given optimistic riffs about all that America can achieve. He believes that it is worth anything – except to avoid hot climates.
He should have more confidence in his country’s resources and its constitutional system.
Rich Lowry is editor-in-chief of National Review.