Tuesday, May 24, 2022
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America’s climate of hypocrisy

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ACTIONS speak louder than words, so the maxim goes. I am reminded of this saying often, especially when I hear politicians and the press feigning concern about so-called global warm … er, climate change.  

These weather worrywarts are constantly preaching that we must lower greenhouse gas emissions in order to save the planet. Yet, time and time again, their temperature tantrums are followed by the same behaviours that they are demanding you and I must not take part in.  

I recently overheard employees from another office in the building where I work speaking about a fundraising event they are hosting for one of New York City’s climate candidates.  

This activist’s platform states that ‘we need to get to net zero emissions by 2050’. As they exited the building, the climate couple I had overheard climbed into an Uber – a giant, carbon-emitting SUV. If they were really so concerned about the environment (or with keeping up their charade), they could have at least chosen the ‘green’ option that Uber offers.     

In 2008, US President Barack Obama famously claimed that the rise of the oceans would slow under his leadership. Then, in a Tweet from 2013, he confessed that ‘sea levels are rising due to #climate change, potentially threatening US cities. We have to #ActOnClimate’.  

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, and despite Obama’s best efforts, sea levels rose along the mid-Atlantic coastline by more than eight inches between 1960 and 2020. 

In 2019, in the face of these rising waters and his own warnings, Obama bet 12million dollars against global warming by buying a seaside mansion on Martha’s Vineyard, the upmarket holiday island in Massachusetts near Cape Cod. If Obama isn’t concerned, why should we be?     

In 2019, John Kerry, climate czar during the Obama presidency, flew in a private jet to Iceland to receive an award for the work he has done on climate change. Private jets, it has been estimated, emit around 40 times as much carbon dioxide per passenger as commercial flights.  

In defence of his hypocritical behaviour, Kerry said: ‘If you offset your carbon, it’s the only choice for somebody like me who is travelling the world to win this battle.’  

If carbon dioxide really is one of the main culprits causing global warming, then flying all over the world in order to fight climate change is akin to trying to put out a fire with a flamethrower.  

I am not a meteorologist, so I don’t claim to know what is really going on with the climate. But one thing I am certain of is this: If one tells me that he believes in climate change, then proceeds to drive off in an SUV or purchase a home on the ocean or fly in a private plane, then I don’t believe that he believes in climate change.  

As the French Catholic Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat said: ‘Your example, even more than your words, will be an eloquent lesson to the world.’ 

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Thomas Lane
Thomas Lane
Thomas Lane is a writer who lives and works in New York City.

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