Climate Change: Is it Really About the Climate?


Bartholomew Murphy, Columnist

We hear it all the time.


“Ocean levels are rising!”


“Temperatures are getting higher!”


“The icecaps are melting!”


Often in the discussion about climate change, the framing is a binary choice. One can either go all-in and become a paper straw-using slacktivist, or go the other way and become a “science denier.” There is one question, however: Where are these science deniers? There are hundreds of celebrities and politicians on their private jets lecturing the rest of the country on how they are responsible for rising oceans, but almost no one saying that the planet isn’t changing at all. Rather, the debate is if humans really are causing climate change or not, and to what extent. Yet, the label “science denier” is ever more prevalent. Why? Because the climate alarmism movement has been co-opted to be an instrument of political control, secretly abandoning conservationist original noble goal. 


How can one come to this conclusion? Take note of the inconsistencies of their lamentations. Greta Thunberg, the (definitely not artificially) rising teenage climate activist from Sweden, went to the United Nations on September 23rd, 2019 to scold Western leaders on how “You are failing us. But the young people are starting to understand your betrayal.” Notably, she stared down President Trump as he nonchalantly strolled in front of a camera at the summit. Also notably, she did not share the same resentfulness towards Xi Jinping or Narandra Modi, the leaders of China and India. China and India, the countries with the two largest populations in the world, both numbering at over a billion, and some of the weakest environmental policies to boot. Yet not once from Greta, or the media that fawns over her, did we hear a criticism of China, India, or any other overpopulated country, the real culprits behind global pollution.


The discrepancy is obvious. However, Greta Thunberg was named Time Magazine’s 2019 Person of the Year anyway. How can such an oversight occur? It was intentional. The current figureheads of the climate alarmism movement don’t actually have saving the planet as a goal, but rather saving the planet is a convenient vehicle for furthering their political agendas. Make no mistake, many of these activists hold socially radical views when it comes to other issues. For one, many want to dismantle the nuclear family, which upholds a society that they deem systematically racist and sexist. A great way, then, to end the family, and therefore fundamentally change the system, is to find another reason, easily sold to normal people, to not start a family. If you were 100% certain that having kids was contributing to the destruction of the only planet that had life on it, would you have kids? 


Likewise, people become 100% certain of something when all forms of media they watch reinforce the same worldview, which is what is happening today. Besides the nominal opposition from stations such as Fox News, any consumer of media is going to be subject to the same opinion 90% of the time, which is a great way to change someone’s mind, to put it lightly. Greta’s face is now painted onto buildings. She is worshipped by the Church of Sweden. The mainstream media refuses to cover her if it isn’t overt praise. A 2017 Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy study also shows the overwhelming bias the media has when it comes to other issues. News stations’ coverage of President Trump’s first 100 days in office were examined.  Researchers found that CNN and NBC’s coverage was 93% negative, CBS’s coverage was 91%, the New York Times 87%, the Washington Post 83%, and the Wall Street Journal 70%. Keep in mind that Harvard is no conservative bastion. It is clear that the media holds strong opinions besides the climate. Therefore, it makes sense that the media is also cashing in on this opportunity.


Another failure to make sense is seen by another socially radical view that climate activists hold, which is their eager support for mass migration. Whatever your view may be on immigration, it cannot be denied that mass immigration hurts the environment. How so? When people are urged not to have children, it is because theoretically, having a child creates another consumer of product, which will inevitably produce waste or carbon emissions. The addition of one person to the population means one more of these consumer units. Also, according to The Guardian, The average American is responsible for 19.8 tonnes per person. In contrast, Kenya, serving as an example of a third world country, has its average citizen consuming only .3 tonnes per capita. This can be explained by an abundant access to wasteful products here in America that aren’t present in Kenya. Which brings up the question, wouldn’t immigration to America add to the number of waste producers in America, just as having children would? And if so, why aren’t environmental groups immigration hawks? In fact, some organizations used to be. 


The Sierra Club has long been at the forefront of the fight for conservationism. And they took it seriously. They understood the effects that a rising population would have on the environment. In 1989, the club stated: “Immigration to the U.S. should be no greater than that which will permit the achievement of population stabilization in the U.S.” At around the same time, a billionaire California investor named David Gelbaum was hard at work to ensure that illegal immigrants could use American healthcare and public services, and that citizenship screening would be prohibited. In 1994, Proposition 187, known as the Save Our State Initiative, was put on the California ballot and voted in favor of, by 58.93%. The day after the law passed, a legal challenge was placed, and a federal court shut it down. During the entire process, David Gelbaum heavily funded the opposition to Proposition 187, and funded the fateful legal challenge as well.


So when David Gelbaum approached the Sierra Club during the 90s, the time for their sensible immigration policy was up. In return for over $200 million dollars in investments, the Sierra Club suddenly echoed the same views on immigration we hear today. For example, they came in support of Barack Obama’s amnesty for illegal immigrants in 2013. In what way was this conservationism? We also hear a relatively new talking point, which is that pollution disproportionately affects minorities. Elizabeth Warren and Tom Steyer, two Democrat presidential candidates, have both brought this up on the debate stage. They call it “environmental racism.” It makes no sense to distract from the message of saving the climate with racial theory like this, unless the racial theory was the issue they wanted to address from the start. In this way, anything else related to the climate that social radicals speak of can potentially be denounced as not genuine, because what other talking points are they using as a vehicle to push an entirely different agenda?