CNN contributor Bakari Sellers recently opined that:

Climate change should be a definitive issue for Black voters, but it isn’t.

He went on to blame the whiteness of environmental activist groups. He has a point… sort of. A survey by The Atlantic found that people who identify as “progressive activist” (about eight percent of the electorate) are overwhelmingly college educated six-figure earners – and white. Climate change is an issue that seems tailor made for the well-to-do who don’t have much of immediate urgency to worry about.

There’s plenty of activism in the black community, but that activism tends to focus on issues of more direct and current relevance. Climate change, being more global and more long-term in nature, apparently doesn’t cut that mustard.

Endless media focus intended to convince us it’s an immediate threat hasn’t done much to change that.

Why might that be?

Perhaps it’s because people in that community realize that the remedies being advanced, to the exclusion of all other options, are certain to disproportionately harm black voters’ economic prospects. Sure, the adjuncts to these remedies are wealth redistributions meant to benefit blacks, but that’s just an insult: we’re going to harm you, but pay you for the harm we’re going to inflict.

They didn’t even have to deep-drill or look outside their usual opinion-makers to figure this out. President Obama himself told us all that:

Under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket. Coal-powered plants, you know, natural gas, you name it, whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, they would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers.

That was way back when he was running for his first term. It wasn’t an empty promise. But, in recent years, the fracking revolution has, despite his admonishment that “we can’t just drill our way to lower gas prices,” both lowered America’s carbon emissions and lowered gas prices (US average gas price was hovering around $4.00 per gallon at the time, it’s a buck cheaper today).

Climate change activists and the politicians that subscribe to their narrative promise to undo these gains, and make wholesale changes to the US energy economy that even non-rocket-scientists can easily figure will cost them more money. Elizabeth Warren has proclaimed that:

On my first day as president, I will sign an executive order that puts a total moratorium on all new fossil fuel leases for drilling offshore and on public lands. And I will ban fracking — everywhere.

You don’t have to be a roustabout or a roughneck to fear for your economic prospects under a Warren presidency. Or, by inference, under any of the Green New Deal signatories. Being told that climate change is going to hurt you is a bit of an ‘antiseptic’ experience – it’s not immediate or visceral, and even the barely-engaged are likely well aware of the long history of failed climate doom predictions. On the other hand, if you’re told your gas and electric prices are going to go up, or if you can figure it out from the broader rhetoric about addressing climate change by getting rid of oil and natural gas, no one should be surprised if you don’t hop on board that particular bandwagon. And, if you see those being loudest about impending climate change doom flying all over the world on private jets, buying coastal villas, and living a high-on-the-hog lifestyle that belies the proclaimed climate urgency, you may be disinclined to sign up for stuff that you know will make your life more expensive.

The wealthy, including the aforementioned eight percenters, are the ones who’ll be most able to afford the increased living costs associated with their climate change plans. They’re not as likely to be wearing extra layers at home on cold days just to keep the thermostat a few degrees lower, or to pay close attention to the price at the pumps. They won’t feel much pain from the impact decarbonization on living costs.

When these people ask the masses, including the minority groups that they lament aren’t on board with the climate movement, to pay for pain, they shouldn’t really be surprised that they won’t.

Peter Venetoklis

About Peter Venetoklis

I am twice-retired, a former rocket engineer and a former small business owner. At the very least, it makes for interesting party conversation. I'm also a life-long libertarian, I engage in an expanse of entertainments, and I squabble for sport.

Nowadays, I spend a good bit of my time arguing politics and editing this website.


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