Note to Climate Change Reporters and Activists: You’re not Helping!

Do we really need reporters or climate activists like Greta Thunberg, to lecture us on climate change? Afterall, reporters and climate change activists are not experts, nor are they scientists. They simply preach the gospel of what they read and hear about and then attempt to scare us into action. They don’t have degrees in science or related fields and simply offer their opinions. And you know what they say about opinions? Climate change is real, but the solutions are many years away, so we will need to adapt, until then.

What I find particularly interesting is that whenever climate change activists, address the topic, they say things like, we have to take immediate action, we need to make drastic changes in the way we live our lives. But they’re always very vague. They never say things like, in order to save the planet, we need to give up our cars and cancel our flights to Disneyland or Europe. There are obvious reasons for that. They already know the answers, and don’t want to face the harsh reality. So instead, they desecrate artwork and block traffic, as if that’s going to change people’s minds. Let’s be clear on a few things.

We’re not giving up our automobiles, although we will all eventually be driving EVs or hydrogen powered cars. We’re not giving up our flights to Orlando to visit the world’s most famous mouse. And we’re not giving up our trips to any other destinations only accessible by airplane. I suppose we could take a ship ride, across the Atlantic Ocean but the week-long journey, produces far greater emissions than a six-hour plane ride. You also need a week to cross the ocean in a ship. If you prefer a cleaner footprint and want to sail, we’re talking about two to four weeks, depending on the boat. And it requires some sailing and navigation skills.

We’re not bicycling to work. Perhaps it’s a possible if you live in LA or Miami, within a mile or two of the office, but it’s impractical for most of us in the northern part of the U.S. In New York City for example, the outer boroughs are a great distance from midtown Manhattan and the ride can be extremely dangerous. New York City is not a bike friendly city even though our city government hopes it eventually will be, but hope is not a plan. And despite this warm winter, it’s normally impractical to bike miles to work in sub-freezing temperature and snow. The number of bicycling fatalities continues to climb, as more e-bikes hit the streets. But the number one reason why bicycling is a poor alternative, is because the smell of sweaty body odor with a Starbuck’s latte at 8:30AM is quite unappealing.

New York City subway ridership will never return to pre-pandemic levels because after being away for months and now years, people have realized how horrible and uncivilized it is. No longer do many commuters want to ride the rat infested, crime ridden NYC subway. Hence, ridership is still down 40-50%, causing the MTA to change train scheduling. It would require a trillion dollars to bring it up to the standards of other systems around the world and less liberal DA’s willing to lock up people who commit felonies. In addition, there are a number of neighborhoods in the five boroughs that aren’t close to the subway, adding 20-30 minutes to their commute each way, negatively impacting quality of life.

The answer to climate change ultimately lies in the eventual and inevitable transition to renewable energy and other technologies. But that’s decades away. Scientists and engineers will eventually discover ways of removing harmful CO2 and other pollutants from the air. But until then, hundreds of millions of people will require oil and natural gas to heat their homes, cook their food and drive their cars. President Biden admitted as much in his state of the union address.

The pompous arrogance that some climate activists, including Thunberg and other scientists display when stating they have the answer to saving our planet, is quite unbelievable. There’s almost a G-d like, omnipotent quality to the message stating that if you do this, the planet will be saved. If not, all will be lost. That message then turns into one of castigation of western societies, and Capitalism in general, claiming that we’re the cause of the strife of other less developed countries because of our conspicuous consumption.

I don’t accept that, and that messaging won’t help solve the problem. Capitalism has done far more to raise the world from the ravages of poverty than any prior economic system. Reporters and activists like Thunberg merely alienate those who already reject the science and who have no intention of changing their lifestyles. If we’re to solve this problem and change people’s hearts and minds, it will have to be accomplished without the accusatory tone, and with the provision of details of how to accomplish it. Switching to electric stoves is not in fact a drastic change. Practical change is what’s required.

The problem is, they don’t have the details because they’re not scientists, and because they know so little about public policy. Closing oil refineries and or coal mines for example, means some people might freeze to death in their homes. Or that people who live a distance from their job, won’t be able to get there because they can’t afford an electric or a new, efficient automobile. This is a huge issue and will take years to resolve but doesn’t appear to come into play as they make demands for ending the use of fossil fuels.

Albert Einstein intelligently and insightfully, turned down the Presidency of Israel, a largely ceremonial position, when the offer was made by then Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, stating, “I lack both the natural aptitude and the experience to deal properly with people.” The same can be said of the reporters and activists who believe that by badgering us, governments and businesses, they will drive change. Change will come in a natural progression and not because of anything they say or write. It will come in spite of them, not because of them.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s