Alarmists: No ‘Climate Justice’ Without Defunding the Police

The United Nations is to vote later this week for a climate treaty "on steroids" - stronger, more all-encompassing and more legally binding than the ailing Paris accord.
AP/Francois Mori

Climate alarmists have upped the ante once more, insisting global warming is directly tied to law enforcement and therefore “climate justice” cannot be achieved without defunding the police.

“It’s impossible to disentangle the various threads of environmental racism and its ties with policing,” writes Brian Kahn, managing editor of Earther. “The history of redlining and police-enforced segregation has led to massive hotter neighborhoods and more people with chronic health problems tied to air pollution.”

“Despite that, large parts of the climate movement have so far remained silent about the current wave of protests and the role of policing in climate policy,” Kahn laments. “But without defunding the police, let alone more direct ideas of abolishing them altogether, there can never really be climate justice.”

As astonishing as this claim may seem to readers unfamiliar with the new logic of the Left, it is not without precedents.

When President Trump announced in 2017 that he was pulling the United States out of the Paris climate accord, several journals and news outlets rushed to accuse him of “environmental racism.”

Blavity, a website that caters to people of color, said that Mr. Trump’s decision would “worsen environmental racism,” insisting that climate change is “inherently a black issue and not just a ‘human issue.’”

Essence magazine said that when Trump announced the United States would withdraw from the Paris climate accord he continued “his war on people of color in America.”

The Atlantic went so far as to suggest that environmental racism is “the new Jim Crow,” referring to laws that segregated blacks and whites in their use of public schools, public places, transportation, restrooms, and restaurants.

Since it may not be evident how an unwillingness to bind America to a certain level of carbon dioxide emissions constitutes racism, these same outlets helpfully connected the dots, explaining how neglect of environmental concerns constitutes an attack on blacks.

“If Climate Change persist (sic), and the world’s average temperature rises more than two degrees Celsius,” Blavity writer Dominic A. Williams argued, “it would mean widespread extinctions, changing weather patterns, droughts, strong storms, rising sea levels and consequently the disappearance of coastal cities, and a plethora of not yet realized consequences.”

These man-made disasters, Williams contended, will disproportionately affect people of color.

Environmental Racism, he wrote, “can be described as a lack of access to healthy environments and disproportionate exposure to pollutants. This means that predominantly black neighborhoods are more likely to suffer from polluted air and water than white neighborhoods.”

As Breitbart News noted at the time, the Paris climate accord has nothing whatsoever to do with “polluted air and water” and only seeks to regulate the emissions of carbon dioxide, a colorless, odorless, non-toxic gas that is a part of a healthy environment. In the entire 27-page text, the word “pollution” never even appears.

The language of “environmental racism” has more recently been adopted by members of the “Squad.” In April, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) blamed “environmental racism” for the higher rates of coronavirus infections and deaths among minorities.

For her part, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has demanded that future coronavirus relief measures be “drafted with a lens of reparations” to atone for “environmental racism” that is causing the virus to disproportionately affect minority communities.

In his article last week, Brian Kahn proposes that defunding the police would have the added benefit of diverting funds to climate-friendly cause.

“A number of groups have been calling for a divest-invest strategy where cities pull money from the police and put it into community programs that actually make those places better (groups are advancing a similar policy for fossil fuels),” Kahn writes. “In the context of climate change, that could include everything from improving access to healthcare, transit, and open streets.”

How access to healthcare, transit, and open streets will keep atmospheric temperatures from rising is unclear, since there seems to be no causal relation among them, but the main point seems to be uniting the climate change movement with the defund the police movement.

“Windmills may slow the globe from heating, and seawalls may keep at least some neighborhoods dry when the next storm hits,” Kahn states. “If the same violent policing system exists, however, there will still be only more danger for the very people climate change will hit the hardest.”

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