I’ve observed recently that the election of Trump has driven environmentalists out of their minds. But that happens to mentalists of every kind, not just the enviro-version of mentalists. For years people have asked me, “Why are environmentalists always harping about the end of the earth?” Basic answer: Because it makes them happy.
Think I exaggerate? Nothing used to send environmentalists into a rage faster than when I started pointing out, more than 20 years ago now, that most (not all) environmental trends in the U.S. had gotten dramatically better, and would continue to get better in the future. You’d think environmentalists would take Yes for an answer, but when you are an eschatological cult, a decline in sin and the reduction it the need for authoritarian priestly salvation ruins your reason for existence.
Now and then environmentalists, in a chastened mood, try to shed their Malthusian gloom, recognizing that it is debilitating. They go through the green version of a 12-step program. But like an AA dropout who succumbs when walking by a well-lit tavern, orthodox environmentalism repeatedly stumbles and goes on a bender.
This week’s bender can be seen from this splendid Tweet from Vox:
The only thing they are forgetting is the subhed: “Al Gore and Leo De Caprio Hardest Hit.”
If you want to reduce your personal carbon emissions, godspeed. It’s not that big a mystery how to do it: Fly less, drive less, and eat less meat. . .
Also, don’t have children. I’d say they have the core of a winning message here! Memo to Democrats: please, please run on this!
But here’s the punchline:
The obvious and most direct approach to addressing the role of individual choices in climate change is to tax the consumptive choices of the wealthy. For now, and for the foreseeable future, carbon emissions rise with wealth. Redistributing wealth down the income scale, ceteris paribus, reduces lifestyle emissions.
As with nearly every other leftist enthusiasm, it always gets around to what they really want: appropriating the wealth and income of others. Thomas Piketty, meet Thomas Malthus.
Shame I didn’t get the memo before dinner last night: