Environmental extremism is putting pressure on President Joe Biden to take drastic steps to tackle climate change.
It continues to place the ideology of environmental extremism above all other aspects, including economic growth, individual freedom, and the well-being of low-income Americans.
This worldview ignores critical concessions. Environmental interest places it above even the fundamental principles that have served as the U.S. foundation. Moreover, this extreme environmental movement has entered almost every subject area imaginable.
There are environmental problems that definitely need to be addressed. But responsive environmental policy does not address these issues in a vacuum without considering other key concerns. Yet this extreme move.
The following examples highlight how environmental extremism crashes public policy:
For environmental extremists, it is more important for the government to force radical changes in the way we generate electricity and fuel our vehicles than have reliable and affordable energy or remove barriers to innovation.
It doesn’t matter how unrealistic their goals are or the fact that climate change efforts will not have a meaningful impact on global temperatures.
This virtue signal can make the extremists feel better about themselves. But it will certainly not make low-income households feel better when they are disproportionately affected by high energy prices. Nor does it feel better for Americans to pay more than their hard-earned money for less reliable energy.
Food and Agriculture
Some extremists prioritize their environmental agenda to efficiently produce safe and affordable food for Americans. Some want to develop a national food policy rather than just address specific environmental issues. This is another way of saying a federally centralized approach to dictate food and agricultural production, distribution, and consumption.
One of the main objectives of this envisaged national food and agriculture policy will be to advance environmental targets. What is overlooked in this movement is affordable food and consumer choice.
The 2015 Nutrition Principles process is instructive to see how to apply such a philosophy in practice. The Advisory Committee on Effective Dietary Guidelines decided that it would consider non-nutritional issues such as climate change and sustainability and not focus solely on nutritional health when developing its recommendations for the Ministry of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services. Americans – that’s the purpose of the guide. Ultimately, agencies have denied this excess.
Housing, Land Use and Transportation
The extreme environmental agenda has long been entrenched in urban politics through “smart growth”, a pretty name given to an unpleasant central planning philosophy.
Some of the key components of this philosophy are to restrict development through land use regulations that raise housing prices, and to limit car use by promoting higher-intensity development and transition. The ability of Americans to welcome their own homes and live wherever they want is ignored.
Environmental extremists are now pushing Janet Yellen, the candidate for Treasury Secretary for President Joe Biden, to take drastic steps to address climate change, such as forcing oil and gas companies to sell fossil fuel assets.
It is another effort to establish a government mandate for environmental, social and governance risks to play a primary role in banking and investment. These efforts are a backdoor way to try and achieve environmental goals, as well as to try and radically change the purpose of American businesses and, as a result, the entire economy.
Environmental policy should be discussed openly and transparently. Using every conceivable issue as an excuse to push an environmental agenda is not only transparent, but also minimizes other critical concerns, from higher prices of basic necessities to ensuring a stable food supply. There should be a proactive environmental policy agenda that does not ignore the costs and compromises of achieving positive environmental results.
Liberals like to claim a monopoly on caring for the environment. But no one, left or right, has such a monopoly. Placing the environment above individual rights and freedom, and even humanity itself, as some extremists do, may make some feel better about their commitment to the environment, but they do so at the expense of the welfare of the American people.