‘Climate Change’ Heats Up Democrats, Chills Voters

Hillary and Bernie Debate Getty Joe Raedle
Getty/ Joe Raedle

The only hot thing that emerged from the Democrat debate is “climate change,” which is what we quaintly used to call “global warming.”

On a day when National Security Advisor Susan Rice partially blamed climate change for the conflict in Syria, Democrat presidential candidates lined up to warn about the international dangers of climate change.

“I believe that nuclear Iran remains the biggest threat, along with the threat of ISIL; climate change, of course, makes cascading threats even more…” former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley said when asked: “what is the greatest national security threat to the United States?”

After Hillary Clinton distracted watchers by mentioning loose nuclear weapons, Sen. Bernie Sanders returned to the theme. “The scientific community is telling us that if we do not address the global crisis of climate change, transform our energy system away from fossil fuel to sustainable energy, the planet that we’re going to be leaving our kids and our grandchildren may well not be habitable,” he said. “That is a major crisis.”

And perhaps realizing she’d missed the chance to talk up the biggest issue of the year, Clinton returned to climate change a few minutes later. “I have been on the forefront of dealing with climate change, starting in 2009, when President Obama and I crashed a meeting with the Chinese and got them to sign up to the first international agreement to combat climate change that they’d ever joined.”

So if you thought that the country’s biggest problem was that there are a record 94.6 million Americans not in the work force, silly you.

For the Democrat candidates, that lack of work is not a problem; it’s a plus. When people are working, they tend to make things. That causes emissions. They drive their cars to and from work. That causes emissions. They have money to spend on goods and services. That’s likely to cause even more emissions.

Climate change is the perfect political issue for the left. It can’t be solved in our lifetime (and how would we know, anyway, since the real damage isn’t supposed to occur for decades?) Perhaps more important, it gives the political class greater power over everybody’s life. It’s a perfect way for the federal government to gain more regulatory control over everyone.

When asked about foreign threats, Sen. Jim Webb had the only sensible answer on stage. Jordan Schachtel writes:

Webb stressed the necessity of combating China’s cyber intrusions. He blasted the Iran deal negotiated by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. He stood firmly with America’s allies in the Middle East. And he was the only man or woman on the stage who still held firm to the belief that America should be the leader of the free world, representing an era long gone from Democratic Party politics.

Climate change isn’t even on the minds of voters. While 35 percent say they’re most worried about “economic problems” and 12 percent say they’re most concerned with immigration, only 2 percent express concern about the “environment,” which would include “climate change.”

The big question is who gets to be in control. “Climate change” is a way for politicians to assert their primacy in society.

If that’s what voters want, they should select somebody from the Democratic debate. For the rest of us, if climate change is a problem, it’s one we can solve in the years ahead. Meanwhile, ISIS, jobs, managing the rise of China, these are problems we need to handle now. Climate can wait.


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