Climate change isn’t just about the planet, writes environmental activist Leehi Yona, but is connected to an array of issues spanning from transgender justice to racism to immigration reform.
Writing in The Nation, Ms. Yona laments President Trump’s appointment of a string of “climate-change deniers” to key positions in his administration, his withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord and his “assault on public lands,” leading to her conclusion that “Trump’s policy is climate destruction.”
For Ms. Yona, a Canadian graduate student at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, climate change is not an isolated issue but rather one thread on an ideological loom, woven together with other progressive causes into a single cohesive fabric.
During the past summer, Yona writes, “I couldn’t even think about wildfires breaking across the continent without thinking about trans rights. I couldn’t think about Hurricane Irma without thinking about DACA.”
“Climate change isn’t just about the planet. It’s about justice: racial, social, socioeconomic, reproductive, and environmental,” she continues. “It’s about immigration reform, LGBTQIA+ rights, and religious freedom.”
“I find myself unable to think of climate change on its own,” Yona writes.
“I cannot consider Hurricane Harvey without my mind racing to the undocumented families who could not leave Houston because ICE maintained checkpoints and borders,” she adds. “I cannot think about climate change without thinking about Charlottesville, about the long legacy of racism, xenophobia, and fascism in this country, and how the communities most affected by Trump’s environmental rollbacks will be poor communities of color.”
“And yet—to know that your work is inextricably linked to other fights for equality, and then to see the flood of battles headed our way: How on Earth do we keep from drowning?” she asks.
While confessing that she isn’t very “hopeful” these days, Ms. Yona finds encouragement on hearing how “young generations are rising up to Donald Trump, to the deafness of politicians, and to the climate crisis.”
Ms. Yona’s essay offers a privileged window not only into the mentality of climate-change alarmists, but into the entire resistance movement that hopes to radically alter the values of American society. Her enumeration of causes supposedly linked to climate change reads like a wish-list of leftists who dream of refashioning the world in their own image.
Her very language suggests that the only real tie between climate change, immigration, transgender rights and social reform is in the common mentality that holds them together. This is why she “can’t think” of one without the others.
Above all, it reveals that climate change activism is ideology. It is one useful cog in the machinery of an anti-intellectual, globalist movement whose primary cultural expression is identity politics.
Sooner or later, however, people tend to tire of ideology bereft of common sense. Ideology is a luxury of the elite that most cannot afford.
Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter Follow @tdwilliamsrome