As the debate over climate change heats up, politicians and some scientists are issuing warnings with increasing urgency. While they claim that they are trying to save the world from a climate disaster, others attribute the apocalyptic like warnings to a longing for political power, and a frustration at a public that is not inclined to give it to them.
In June, Rep Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, D-N.Y., declared that she believes the world will end in 12 years due to climate change if the issue is not addressed. She likened the fight against climate change to World War II.
Last February, Cortez introduced the Green New Deal, which calls for a massive, 10-year, Soviet-style mobilization. It would take all gas-engine cars off the road and upgrade or replace every home and commercial building in the United States. Her Deal ranks among a number of auspicious proposals aimed at combating climate change.
The socialist program is supported by many Democratic presidential candidates, including Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
In July 2019, an opinion piece published by BBC News outdid Cortez’s prediction of 12 years, suggesting that the world only has 18 months to act before a climate disaster.
“The climate math is brutally clear,” the article quoted Hans Joachim Schellhuber, the founder and director of the Postdam Climate Institute, as saying. “While the world can’t be healed within the next few years, it may be fatally wounded by negligence until 2020.”
Britain’s Prince Charles has also promoted the idea that the world has only 18 months to stop climate change.
“I am firmly of the view that the next 18 months will decide our ability to keep climate change to survivable levels and to restore nature to the equilibrium we need for our survival,” the Prince said at a reception for commonwealth foreign ministers, according to BBC.
- Sterling Burnett, Ph.D, a senior fellow in environmental policy at the Heartland Institute and managing editor of Environmental and Climate News at the Institute, told the Epoch Times that he believes a desire for political power is behind the predictions.
“This is a huge way for them to control the economy and impose socialism,” Burnett said. “And I think they see these as the waning days. If they can’t get action now, they don’t know if they will ever get action.”
In an article for the Daily Caller, Burnett points to surveys that reveal a discrepancy between the percentage of people who believe climate change is a problem and what people are willing to do to prevent it.
For example Burnett cites a poll done by the Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation, in which 60 percent of respondents believe the world has fewer than ten years to prevent the worst effects of climate change. However, Burnett wrote, “51 percent of those surveyed would be ‘somewhat’ or ‘strongly’ opposed to paying a $2 monthly tax on U.S. residential electric bills to pay for the fight against climate change, and 61 percent would reject a 10 Cents per gallon increase in the gasoline tax to fight climate change.”
“They’re getting desperate because they want control and they don’t know how long they will be in power,” Burnett said. He pointed to the recent British elections, where the liberal labor party suffered large losses.
“I think they see the window closing for climate legislation. Years have gone by, the world has not ended. If you look at history, they’ve been saying these things since the 70s, but in the 70s it was global cooling. They keep making these predictions, where certain things are supposed to happen if we don’t act by a certain date, and the date comes, and they just re-set the date.”
A main argument made by skeptics of the seriousness of climate change is that an open scientific debate has never been held on the matter.
That seemed like it might change in 2017, when former administrator of the E.P.A. Scott Pruitt floated the idea of holding a public, possibly live debate on climate science, using a military style red team, blue team format.
The idea was shelved, reportedly because Trump administration officials deemed it to be too politically risky.