Climate Change vs. “The Economy”

On 2/3/2021, the website Human Events published an article with the headline “Joe Biden Thinks He’s Tackling Climate Change, But He’s Really Sacking the U.S. Economy.” The article in question was written by David Krayden, who I had never heard of, but I must admit, I find the premise of the article rather odd for Human Events. Isn’t Human Events a populist website? You know, the “the economy should work for us and not the other way around” people? I can think of no better example of harm coming from “working for the economy” than Climate Change — yet that’s the very thing Human Events defends the current economy on.

The article itself is total garbage. Here’s his attempt to debunk John Kerry’s statement that people who previously worked in oil, gas, or coal could work in other industries:

Kerry’s comments were hideously malign, and yet, at the same time, quite emblematic of the climate change scam that’s in the making, with John Kerry presiding as the Global Warming Grand Poobah. After all, here is a man of considerable means (acquired through marriage), who continues to be a titanic hypocrite when it comes to managing his own carbon footprint — Kerry maintains a private jet like anyone with a lifestyle of the rich and famous. Last year alone, that Gulfstream GIV-SP jet produced 116 metric tons of carbon. (Doesn’t this remind you of all of those coronavirus lockdowns where the hardship was to be endured by the masses, but not by the liberal elites dining at the tony French Laundry restaurant?)

Is Kerry a hypocrite regarding his use of private jets? Sure, but that doesn’t make anything he’s saying about Climate Change incorrect. (For the record, the main reason people like Kerry use private jets is just to avoid the harassment that comes with being a controversial figure in public — Kerry might be a bit of a hypocrite, but it’s not as if taking a normal flight would be easy for someone like him.) This is just an ad hominem attack on Kerry, meaning even if it is true it’s entirely irrelevant to what Kerry is saying.

But Krayden does try to give some figures to disprove what Kerry claimed is possible:

But a good liberal like Kerry should know he’s in trouble when a fact check by the Washington Post blew his fictional job fair out of the water. In the next decade, the Washington Post reports, “Wind turbine jobs are projected to go up by 4,300, from 7,000 to 11,300 in 10 years. The solar installer jobs are projected to go up 6,100, from 12,000 to 18,100. That’s a total increase of just 10,400 jobs — leaving 20,000 coal workers still toiling in the mines.”

Wait a minute, where is The Washington Post getting these numbers? Well, these are how those jobs are projected to grow under the current system that Kerry wishes to change. Basically, this article is going after John Kerry for needing to make changes to the system in order to get the results he desires — you’d think he worked in government or something.

However, just like everything the populist-right talks about, they somehow tie this back to China:

So if climate change is the culprit for every Act of God, will President Biden’s plan for Americans to live in caves and shut off the heat actually work? Not without China’s cooperation, where 29% of greenhouse gasses are emitted. Without addressing that reality, we’ll continue to spend untold trillions, lose the energy independence that we gained under former President Donald Trump, and sit in the dark, while China continues to play by its own rules — just as it has throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

For those wondering, his source for his “energy independence” claim is a Fox News article from 12/22/2017 where Energy Secretary Rick Perry just says we are. (Exactly what counts as “energy independent” and if Trump succeeded in that is actually rather up for debate — and I do not have the time nor knowledge to properly take a side on this issue.)

For that matter, China has taken steps to reduce its carbon footprint in the past — hence why it signed onto the Paris Climate Accords. The reason why China has the largest amount of greenhouse gas emissions in the world is because it’s the largest developed country in the world. China actually only emits the 51st highest amount of carbon-per-capita. (In fact, despite only having a third of China’s population the US only emits half of what China does.) And that’s ignoring that many environmentalists hate the double standard regarding China — in fact, John Kerry specifically refused to vote for the Koyoto Protocols back in the 1990s because the rules did not apply to China.

Speaking of China, after they followed the recommendations of the Paris Climate Accords, they had a massive job boom. Because it turns out when you specifically go out of your way to make something a new staple of your nation, it creates a lot of jobs in the process.

However, none of that matters to the China hawks, who view China as the cause of literally every evil in the world regardless of how much sense it makes. (Hence why they’ve spent the last year desperately trying to connect the Chinese government of COVID-19 meaning we have to change all our trade relationships forever— while also telling us the virus is not a big deal and we should all just reopen.) When it comes to climate change, the arguments are usually about as nuanced as Trump’s famous 11/6/2012 tweet on the subject:

The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.

Of course, this is utter nonsense. Of all the nations that have been talking about “the concept of global warming” most of Europe was talking about it long before China was. But that doesn’t matter, these people just want to blame everything wrong in the world on China.

Krayden himself warns that “So much will be lost for nothing except America’s further prostration to China,” but this comment shows he has no idea how renewable energy works. Tell me, who owns the wind, the sun, and anything else that would be used in the creation of renewable energy?

But Krayden has to paint this scary picture of Biden using energy from China because it’s the only way he could defend the energy industry. (Just like, we are told, how Joe Biden is both an anti-oil extremist and in the pockets of an oil company.) The arguments do not have to make any sense, instead, they have to present a vision of the future that is scary above all else.

Will there be negative impacts from Biden’s policies regarding the job market — sure. However, the coal industry has been losing jobs since around the 1920s, and most of those jobs are lost as a result of automation and not some “war on coal” done by the Democrats. Obama, between championing “clean coal” technology (which does not exist) and giving coal industries across the world generous substudies did more to help the coal industry than Trump ever could.

As it stands, while we do have to be careful while enacting policy, the main purpose of those like Krayden is concern trolling, which is basically just a way to waste your time — so, I guess in my case he accomplished his mission.

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