Climate Change Is the New COVID

Climate Change Is the New COVID
A small globe above a fire to illustrate global warming is seen during the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21/CMP11), in France, on Nov. 4, 2015. (Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images)
Jeffrey A. Tucker
7/20/2023
Updated:
7/24/2023
0:00
Commentary

Listening to NPR just now (why do I do this?), the lead item was about flooding in Kentucky. It seems that it rained a lot and some streets became impassable. Fascinating, right? But why is this bit of local news a top-of-the-hour blast from government radio?

You know why: The whole of mainstream press has shifted completely to climate change panic from COVID-19 panic. Everything qualifies as evidence of a new crisis—smoke in the air, rain on the ground, sun in the sky, sand in the wind, you name it. They’re trying to paint a picture of an earth and atmosphere that are crumbling because of our way of life.

It’s all happening right on schedule. It’s almost like Bill Gates himself—who pretended to be an expert in infectious disease—scripted it with his sudden knowledge of climate change. His 2021 book “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster” is almost a road map into how to keep the panic going and the state growing. And, sure enough, here we are, with nearly every headline in every major paper in the English-speaking world going on about how the world is baking because of fossil fuels and too much freedom.

Now, they have the COVID-19 template in place for lockdowns, travel restrictions, consumption limits, restrictionism, face coverings, essential and nonessential distinctions, media tools for tracking and tracing the danger, public service announcements made for your own good, and the forever urge to stay home and stay safe.

It’s truly beyond belief.

My favorite example so far is the ever-reliable regime rag The New York Times, which adapted the exact same template from COVID-19 to provide its ruling-class readers with up-to-date information on the “heat index”—complete with color coding—so that everyone can stay safe. You probably didn’t know that it gets hot in the summer. Now, you do!

A friend from Mexico called in very worried about me. He asked, “Hey, is everything OK?” Why? The media says that the United States is burning up in unprecedented heat. “Seems fine,” I said, and suddenly he realized that he was being trolled again in the exact same way they did with COVID-19.

Daily, we were told that people were collapsing in fits of disease and death, but we looked around and things seemed rather normal. Most hospitals were empty. So we’re invited to ask the great question: who to believe, the media or your own eyes?

The parallels here with COVID-19 are simply uncanny.

There’s extreme fear-mongering. No one likes bad weather, and everyone would like to live in California, where the weather is perfect, except that many cities there are completely unlivable. But hey, we deal with seasonality in the weather, just as we do with respiratory pathogens. There’s nothing particularly unusual about it. Unless the media screams and yells constantly that life as we know it is ending.

Now, it seems as if we go outside, we might burst into flames! That’s the messaging in any case.

There’s image manipulation. The orange crayons have all been switched out with red crayons, and whole swaths of the earth are being painted with them and blasted all over the TV, making it look as if we’re all being consumed by fire. You check more closely only to discover that the temperature is the same as it always has been, more or less, and then find out that they’re using not temperature, but a heat index that is hugely subject to manipulation.

Only a few years ago, citing the weather as evidence against global warming was seen as a philistine error. Don’t you know that there’s a massive difference between weather and climate? Oh, OK, we replied, feeling stupid. But, now, all the same people are citing the weather as evidence of climate change.

And catch the change from global warming (which can be measured, sort of) to climate change, which is absolutely undeniable. This is next-level trolling. Are you a climate-change denier? Ummm, how can anyone be that? Exactly, so you affirm that there’s a crisis? Not really. I just have my doubts about claims that I need to give up my freedom because the media and on-the-payroll scientists claim that I should.

It was exactly the same with COVID-19. Countless times, I was called a COVID denialist, which I wasn’t. I only doubted that the panic was justified. Then I was called a COVID minimizer. I never even understood what that was, so I had a hard time defending myself against the charge. In fact, the only way to stay out of trouble with these people is to sound like CNN and The New York Times all the time, just repeating the clichés and never thinking for yourself.

The next step is to trot out the experts. They used to be epidemiologists. Not even virologists or immunologists would do. Certainly, medical doctors had nothing to say. You had to have that exact specialty in order to have credibility. Now, it’s the climatologists. If you’re not that, you'd better shut up, because clearly you have no idea what you’re talking about.

The climatologists have models, just like the epidemiologists have models. People who have no idea how this racket works are encouraged to believe it. In the scientific world, everyone knows that you can show anything in a model-based multivariate analysis simply by changing the specifications and the range. Ta-da, you have a perfect prediction of disaster on the way. It’s happening again just as it happened three years ago, when they claimed that hundreds of millions were going to kick the bucket from one pathogen alone.

The sheer dogmatism of this crowd is awesome to behold. Real science is about uncertainty and working toward truer observations, not revealing the one truth to the world based on authority. But that’s what they do these days, every day. The science is settled! There is no longer any doubt! All scientists agree! It’s all absolutely beyond dispute! In essence, they’re trying to shut you up.

Another strange parallel between then and now is the globalism of it all. The papers on both sides of the Atlantic on the same day decided to make a huge whoop-de-do about the burning-up planet, complete with all of the same experts and color-coded maps. Are we really supposed to believe that this isn’t coordinated, not designed, not dictated by someone somewhere, and that we still don’t know who?

The tech censorship is already here, as Facebook throttles and bans all doubters as denialists and spreaders of disinformation. Google is also hopeless as it buries all dissent. I’m sure ChatGPT is in on it, too (“urgent action is needed to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change”). Finding anyone with a doubt is extremely difficult. Nearly every venue—and that certainly goes for YouTube—is on board with the whole thing.

I’m far from being an expert on this subject, and that’s OK. I know three things for sure.

No. 1 is that measurement is hard and subject to great manipulation.

No. 2 is that establishing cause and effect is even more difficult, so every claim that climate change is somehow mainly caused by human action should be checked and checked again. It’s the great challenge of science to discover causal relationships; it’s never enough to cite correlations.

No. 3 is that government is the most incompetent institution on Earth and never accepts responsibility for its foul-ups. It'll be the same if we put government in charge of fixing the climate. To me, the promise itself amounts to a joke.

Above all else, the top demand of the climate hysterics is that you give up living your best life in freedom and instead comply with the central plan. That’s exactly the same agenda in the case of COVID-19. As always, the real target is freedom itself.

Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.
Jeffrey A. Tucker is the founder and president of the Brownstone Institute, and the author of many thousands of articles in the scholarly and popular press, as well as 10 books in five languages, most recently “Liberty or Lockdown.” He is also the editor of The Best of Mises. He writes a daily column on economics for The Epoch Times and speaks widely on the topics of economics, technology, social philosophy, and culture.
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