Profit, not people

The actions of Democrats like Ned Lamont are justifying today's Global Climate Strike


Youth For Climate”: Ukrainians Ilyess El Kortbi and Arina Bilai in front of the European Union council building. Credit: Thierry Monasse

The rush to give the war-profiteering Big Oil more windfall profits at the cost of state infrastructure continues, as Connecticut has joined Maryland and Georgia with a suspension of their state gas tax. This is the first state led by a Democratic governor—Ned Lamont—to do so, though more states are rushing forward with this reward-the-criminals policy. If states actually can afford to cut into their budgets, they could simply give residents a rebate check instead of giving the money to gas station owners and hoping they pass some off it on to customers.

From Jared Walczak, vice president of state projects at the Tax Foundation: “While part of the tax reduction will go to consumers, a substantial portion will benefit producers.”

The only sane policy to the oil spike is to encourage reduced use. Doing otherwise, as UN Secretary General António Guterres said recently, is “madness.”

Pakistani activists participate in the Global Climate Strike. Credit: Kamran Ali

In the New York Times, Farhad “Not Addicted to Twitter” Manjoo has the column, “We’re in a Fossil Fuel War. Biden Should Say So.Manjoo calls for the president to make the case that “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a war enabled and exacerbated by the world’s insatiable appetite for fossil fuels,” saying that “American politicians on the left sure seem incapable of drawing out this connection, don’t they?”

Reading that was a little strange, since that is very much what President Biden did in his speech on March 8th. And it’s the message that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has been pushing, as have Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), and Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), who last week announced, “We need to act on climate and electrify for peace.” And they’ve been joined in that message by leaders in House of Representatives like Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Fla.).

In fairness to Farhad, it is the case that for every smart policy and strong speech made by American politicians on the left, there’s a stupid policy and fossil-friendly speech.1 And it’s impressive how much of the policy incoherence and lack of message discipline is embodied by the pervasive fear of losing Sen. Joe Manchin’s good graces. In short, Democrats—and the groups who claim to represent the climate movement on Capitol Hill—have been bowing down to Manchin time and again for fear of losing the Senate majority.

I’m betting this is not only civilization-defeating behavior, but self-defeating politically, as the incoherence, weakness, and corruption of the Democratic Party in this existential fight against the criminal fossil-fuel industry will tip the balance toward losses at the ballot box in November. But I continue to root for the party’s climate hawks to prevail.

Consumer Reports has found that PFAS is pervasive in food wrappers, Kevin Loria writes. “CR tested multiple samples of 118 food packaging products and found evidence of PFAS in more than half of those tested, while almost a third had levels beyond a threshold supported by CR experts and others.”

As Canada warms, its lakes and ponds are starting to become overrun by freakishly large goldfish.

Four of the five protesters who blocked a coal train in New Hampshire were found guilty of criminal tresspass.

Activists in Ukunda, Kenya participate in the Global Climate Strike. Credit: Dorcas Wakio

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1. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm has been really leading the way lately on that front.

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