It is preposterous to me that many of my peers are so afraid of climate change that they say they can hardly think about it. I think what they should really be afraid of is government overreach caused by such exaggeration over the effects of climate change.
Back in the 1960s, some scientists believed that by 1975, the human race would perish through famine caused by climate change. Funny thing, the human race is now 7.5 billion strong. Fast-forward 10 years to the 1970s, and scientists were claiming that the world was entering a new ice age, or, in other words, that we were imperiled by global freezing.
Now it is 2019 (about the same time scientists had predicted the world would be frozen over), and many of my peers, as well as plenty of adults, believe that the world is going to end due to global warming, and there is nothing we can do to stop it.
The hysteria over climate change has gone so far that many students my age are striking — skipping school every Friday to protest global warming. And they’re demanding that Washington, D.C., fix it.
Washington has many, many things that it needs to fix, and many responsibilities and duties to uphold. Global warming, however, is not one of them. Studies show that if the U.S. fully implemented the Green New Deal, the temperature of Earth would decrease by no more than 0.097 degrees Fahrenheit over a span of 30 years.
But the price of electricity would increase by almost 10 times its current amount. The price of gasoline would increase astronomically, so that drivers would have no choice but to drive Priuses and Teslas.
Further, it is estimated that in the state of Texas alone, such regulations would cause the loss of over a million jobs. And that’s just in Texas; across the United States, the numbers would be devastating and the effects on our economy and society possibly irreversible.
None of this sounds like freedom to me, and that is because it is not freedom; it is government control. It is government control over the single black mother who now won’t be able to afford her electricity. It is government control over the Hispanic immigrant who, because the construction machines he operates are not “eco-friendly,” will lose his job and not be able to put food on the table for his family. This is not the American way. It doesn’t make sense to implement regulations that do not solve the problem and yet adversely affect the American people so greatly.
The government wants control. And its excuse is the thin veil of only wanting the best for people and the Earth. But the result of ceding so much control to government that we will have no choice in what job we have, no choice in what car we drive, and no choice in the price we pay for our electricity.
That’s not freedom. And frankly, the possibility of such government overreach scares me a lot more than global warming, which seems to be just another ridiculous scientific prediction. Yes, we need to be good stewards of the Earth. We need to take care of our natural resources, because they are the only ones we have. But the government cannot do it for us, and if it tries, it will only wreak havoc.
The good news is we are taking care of our environment; America’s air and water are cleaner than ever, even as our economy has expanded and our population has increased. My peers should take note, so that in 20 year or 30 years or 50 years, we’ll still enjoy the freedoms that set America apart.
This commentary originally appeared in RealClearPolitics on September 24, 2019.