In the last few weeks, it seems as if the entire intellectual and propaganda infrastructure of climate alarmism has crumpled, much as the appetite for aggressive — and mostly pointless — measures to deal with COVID-19 collapsed within a matter of days at the beginning of February.
On Feb. 20, the genocide Olympics mercifully closed. Fortunately, no one watched.
The games reached an average combined audience of 11.4 million people in primetime on NBC, the USA network and Peacock. That’s the lowest-ever American audience for any Olympics, down 42% from the Winter Games in 2018.
There are probably a few legitimate reasons for Americans’ awesome lack of interest. One of them is that the American public is fully aware that communist China is a regime built on slavery and genocide. That’s bad news for the climate crowd; they need the public to accept being dependent on China for most of the material used to make batteries and electric vehicles.
Last week, the U.S. Postal Service announced a contract to buy new mail trucks, 90% of which will be powered by gasoline. This is despite Team Biden’s strong and stated preference that those vehicles be electric. The postmaster general explained that the Postal Service needed the reliability and durability of gasoline-powered vehicles.
An investment fund heralded at last summer’s Glasgow climate festival and established specifically to invest in green whatever announced that a lack of investors would lead it to wind down in March.
In Europe this winter, natural gas has been selling for $30 per million BTUs, or about 5 times the price in America. This is mostly because the wind did not blow, and the sun did not shine as much as expected this summer, so natural gas was needed to generate electricity.
Obviously, natural gas that was burned this summer to make electricity was not available this winter to heat homes. Consequently, the price of both natural gas for heating and electricity has been at record highs this winter across the continent.
It is not going to get any better. The 2023 contracts for winter natural gas in Europe are running around $55. That’s about 10 times the price in the U.S. The good news is that 2023 contracts for electricity in the EU are running only about twice as much as those in the U.S.
All of this is, of course, before the consequences of the Russian invasion of Ukraine start to appear. It is safe to guess that those consequences will not include lower energy prices.
The mess in Europe was preventable. Germany and France could have kept their nuclear power plants running. Britain could have developed its own natural gas resources.
In a truly sad and self-destructive attempt to keep on message about climate change, a senescent and fading Secretary John Kerry was caught on camera last week lamenting that the invasion in Ukraine would have “massive emissions consequences” and that people would lose focus on the truly existential threat of climate change. He even closed with a hope that Russian President Vladimir Putin — the butcher of Ukraine — “will help us stay on track with respect to what we need to do for the climate.”
There is no way to parody such a statement, but it shows the underlying sentiment of these people. The existential threat is not bullets or bombs in Eastern Europe. It is climate change driven by your SUV or gas stove.
Those in charge in Europe and America understand entirely that their policy preferences — trading out affordable and reliable energy for energy sources that are expensive and not controlled by humans — will necessarily lead to higher prices. It is a feature, not a bug, of climate alarmism.
But they also know that the public will resist such policies once the costs and limits of alternative energy approaches become obvious, as they now have. Once the results of such policies have been seen and experienced, public opposition to such policies is inevitable.
No serious person has suggested that the energy scarcity faced by Europe or the rising prices for energy here in the United States can or should be solved by increasing reliance on alternative energy sources. When gasoline prices soared, Team Biden asked OPEC to pump more oil. When the situation in Europe got tight this winter, they worked to send liquefied natural gas to Europe, not solar panels, wind turbines or batteries.
Similarly, President Biden specifically excluded Rosneft and Gazprom (two Russian energy giants) from sanctions, mostly because the oil and natural gas they produce will eventually find their way into the marketplace, and sanctioning them would only increase prices. At his press conference on Thursday, he detoured out of his way to assure the American people that their energy prices would not increase because of the sanctions.
There is the rub for the national and international environmental folks. For their plans to get to net-zero by whenever, the cost of oil, gasoline and natural gas have to increase, probably dramatically. Their plans also require increased dependence on China.
American voters want none of that.
• Michael McKenna, a columnist for The Washington Times, is the co-host of “The Unregulated” podcast. He was most recently a deputy assistant to the president and deputy director of the Office of Legislative Affairs at the White House. He can be reached at email@example.com.