Out: COVID lockdowns. In: Climate lockdowns – ‘There could be a ban on ‘nonessential travel’ with hefty fines’
An article this week at the Daily Caller poses an alarming possibility that you should probably consider carefully before writing it off as some sort of crazy conspiracy theory. The subject at hand is the large number of lockdowns imposed around the country (and the world, really) last year in response to the COVID pandemic. They first note all of the negative effects those policies had on society. These include the closures of schools and the tens of millions of children whose educations were negatively impacted, along with their social development skills. Suicide and drug abuse also spiked dramatically, including among children, along with adverse mental health impacts stemming from loneliness. And that doesn’t even begin to address the damage to the economy.
But the lack of activity produced another side-effect that some scientists and climate activists are now promoting. Carbon emissions dropped significantly in 2020 as a result of there being vastly fewer cars on the roads. Other climate-related benefits were claimed as well. With that in mind, the Daily Caller raises a troubling point. If the government can declare the outbreak of a new virus to be an “emergency” and impose lockdowns like that, what’s to stop them from declaring a “climate change emergency” (a phrase many liberals are using already) and mandating lockdowns to address that?
Under a potential climate lockdown, governments and public health bodies could exercise similar authority to enforce sweeping changes to environmental and energy policy. This could entail extreme energy-saving measures such as limits on private-vehicle use, consumption of animal products and fossil fuel drilling.
A study published in Nature Climate Change in March found that carbon emissions fell by around 2.6 billion metric tons in 2020. Researchers concluded a pandemic-scale lockdown once every two years would lead to an equivalent decline in emissions over the long-term.
“If climate activists were allowed, they would take us from COVID lockdowns straight into climate lockdowns,” said JunkScience.com founder Steve Milloy. “Now that they’ve seen arbitrary lockdowns successfully imposed under the guise of a “public health emergency,” they can’t wait for federal, state and local declarations of a climate emergency to achieve the same sort of dominance over us.”
Do you still think it sounds crazy? The government, particularly under Joe Biden, has already made use of executive orders and mandates to restrict human activity in ways that would never pass in Congress, all in the name of climate change. Pipeline projects have been canceled and drilling permits put on hold. States are already imposing bans on non-electric vehicles, despite the way that batteries in electric cars tend to go up in flames.
Now that liberals have seen how “well” these mandates have worked during the pandemic, is it really such a stretch to think that a lockdown could be imposed (once again crashing the economy) to drastically cut emissions while we await the widespread availability of “affordable” electric cars and charging stations? And even if it’s not something as drastic as a total lockdown, there could be a ban on “nonessential travel” with hefty fines for driving anywhere except to your job, the grocery store or the doctor’s office. From there you can easily imagine an order limiting the sale or purchase of red meats or other unapproved foods.
Beyond that, the possibilities showing up on liberal wishlists are nearly endless. Driving to vote may be declared an unnecessary consumption of fossil fuels, so all voting could be mandated to be done by mail. Home air conditioning could be deemed too much of a risk to the environment. (It’s already been suggested.) And all of this could be done without a single elected representative ever casting a vote. Since it’s an “emergency,” executive orders can handle the whole thing.
The uproar in response would rightly be deafening. And the liberals salivating over these dreams may be unable to convince the Democrats that the political price wouldn’t be too high. But don’t think for a moment that it’s not being considered. You know that it is.