Breitbart Business Digest: Earth Day Is Over. Let’s Talk About Inflation Day.

(Photo: iStock/Getty Images, BNN)
iStock/Getty Images, BNN

Earth Day’s Disreputable History

Forget about Earth Day. We need an Inflation Day.

Earth Day got its start back in 1970 as a campus protest movement. The date of April 22 was selected because it came after Spring Break but far enough ahead of final exams that students and college faculties could be encouraged to participate.

The first Earth Day was organized by a young man named Denis Hayes at the behest of Sen. Gaylord Nelson (D-WI), the former governor of Wisconsin who had defeated the Republican incumbent Alexander Wiley in the 1962 midterm election that saw Democrats pick up four Senate seats and keep control of the Senate. Nelson served three terms before being ousted in the 1980 election by a then-Congressman named Bob Kasten.

Earth Day protest on April 22, 1970 in New York City. (Santi Visalli/Getty Images)

New York Daily News front page April 23, 1970, following the first Earth day held on April 22, 1970. (NY Daily News via Getty Images)

Nelson has largely been forgotten. He was a critical figure in the early environmentalist movement, but his politics do not map neatly onto current partisan divides. He was a staunch proponent of small businesses, today a largely Republican stance. He is said to have talked President John F. Kennedy into making a national speaking tour on environmental issues in 1963. He was convinced that environmental issues were in large part driven by population growth.

“If you had to choose just one, it would have to be population,” Nelson said in a 2001 interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in answer to the question of what the biggest environmental problem of the day was. “The bigger the population gets, the more serious the problems become… We have to address the population issue. The United Nations, with the U.S. supporting it, took the position in Cairo in 1994 that every country was responsible for stabilizing its own population. It can be done.”

Like many early supporters of protection for the environment, Nelson was an immigration restrictionist.

“But in this country, it’s phony to say ‘I’m for the environment but not for limiting immigration.’ It’s just a fact that we can’t take all the people who want to come here. And you don’t have to be a racist to realize that. However, the subject has been driven out of public discussion because everybody is afraid of being called racist if they say they want any limits on immigration,” Nelson said in the 2001 interview.

That’s the sort of thing that would get you chased out of today’s Democratic Party. And prior to the rise of Donald Trump, it was shunned by the Republican establishment as well.

From Protest to Orthodoxy

By every imaginable measure, Earth Day has been a wild success. It was massively popular from the get go. It was marked on thousands of college campuses and in schools and communities across the U.S. By some estimates, 20 million people participated in the first Earth Day. These days it is part of the curriculum for almost every school age child in America, and most U.S. workplaces memorialize it.

It has gone global. The website claims it is “the largest secular day of protest in the world.” The only serious objections to that claim would revolve around the idea that it is a “secular” holiday and that it is a day of “protest.” For many years now, climate change alarmism has had a religious character. It’s an apocalyptic faith. What’s more, the central tenants of the faith have so hardened into an establishment orthodoxy that Earth Day cannot really be considered a day of protest. It is more a holy day of obligation in the current dispensation.

Environmental activists hold an Earth Day procession on April 22, 2024, in Washington, DC. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

An environmental activist performs a “sacred” dance for Mother Earth during Earth Day celebrations in Mexico City on April 21, 2024. (Daniel Cardenas/Anadolu via Getty Images)

Environmental activists take part in a “Funeral for Nature” procession in Bath, United Kingdom, on April 20, 2024, in the lead up to Earth Day. (Ben Birchall/PA Images via Getty Images)

A recent Gallup poll shows how successful Earth Day and its attendant liturgy has been in shaping public discourse. Sixty-two percent of the public say they are worried about climate change, with 42 percent saying they worry about it a great deal. Sixty-one percent say pollution from human activities are the main cause of climate change. Eighty-three percent of the public says they understand climate change.

Time to Start Marking Inflation Day

So, maybe it is time to declare mission accomplished on climate change and move on to more pressing issues—like inflation.

The same Gallup poll found that 79 percent of the public worries about inflation, with 55 percent saying they worry a great deal and another 24 percent saying they worry a fair amount. Just 37 percent say they worry a great deal about the quality of the environment, with another 31 percent saying they worry a fair amount. So, inflation dwarfs the environment when it comes to public concern.

In a bizarre turn, the establishment media often refers to inflation as if it were something akin to a natural phenomenon for which politicians are blameless, while climate change is treated as a pressing problem that needs to be addressed by policy. So, now inflation is weather and climate is policy. Perhaps if we started an Inflation Day movement, more attention could be drawn to the fact that rising price levels are the results of public policy choices.

President Joe Biden speaks during an Earth Day climate change virtual summit on April 22, 2021, in Washington, DC. (Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)

Today’s climate change alarmist agenda is a recipe for escalating prices. Restricting fossil fuel production, pushing expensive electric vehicles, limiting energy-consuming economic output, and lavishing “green” businesses with deficit funded subsidies and giveaways are inflationary policies. Sometimes this is even explicit, as when climate activists argue for various taxes to make energy consumption pricier. It’s not a coincidence that our most climate-radical president has overseen the worst inflation in four decades.

Bidenflation peaked in June 2022. So, it’s not too late to pick a date in June as Inflation Day, a national day of protest against Biden’s inflation.


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