I'm going out on a limb. I'm about to make a bold prediction. Contrary to the prognostications of Beto O'Rourke, the world will not end in 12 years. At least not by climate change. There. I said it.
Now, it's possible that the Lord will choose to return in 12 years. But that's another story.
In the age of climate-change hysteria, the end-of-the-world clock is already ticking. And it's ticking fast.
"The scientists are unanimous on this. We have no more than 12 years to take incredibly bold action on this crisis," O'Rourke said. "Can we make it? I don't know. It's up to every one of us. Do you want to make it?"
Twelve years and counting to save the planet. Otherwise, we're doomed.
Now, to make full disclosure, I am the opposite of a climate change expert.
I've never read a whole book on the subject. I've read only a handful of relevant articles. And to my knowledge, I've only had one expert on my radio show who addressed the issue (and that's in more than 10 years of daily talk radio).
But I know enough to recognize hyperbole. I know enough to recognize appeals to mass hysteria. And this is certainly one of them.
I remember seeing a striking TV ad during one of Bill Clinton's presidential campaigns. There was an elderly couple whose house burned down because the fire department arrived too late.
Why? It was because of the evil policies the Republicans would introduce if elected. The fire department and the police would be understaffed. The cutbacks would be deadly. Literally.
If Bill Clinton were not elected president, old people would be burning to death.
Now it's even worse. The whole world will be destroyed if we don't act quickly. And that means we must elect Beto O'Rourke for president. He will save the planet.
To quote him again, science has made clear that "we should do nothing less than marshal every resource in the country to meet that challenge, to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, to get to net zero emissions, which means not only must we emit less greenhouse gasses, we must plant things that absorb greenhouse gasses and carbon and invest in the technology to allow us to claim some that are in the air now."
And we have 12 years to do it. Or else.
The scary thing is not that this new presidential candidate believes this timetable to be true.
It's that today's intellectual environment is such that he can say these things without being laughed to scorn. Worse still, he believes that this kind of rhetoric will help his campaign rather than hurt it. And he might well be right.
In other words, it isn't just a radical leftist like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who suggested that "it may not be ethical to have children, given the difficulties that climate change will likely cause in the years to come." (To quote her directly, "There's scientific consensus that the lives of children are going to be very difficult. And it does lead young people to have a legitimate question: Is it OK to still have children?")
Rather, as a recent headline announced, the "New 'Birthstrike' Movement Has Women Saying No to Kids Because of Climate Change."
Yes, "A number of women in recent years have found a way to reduce the average carbon footprint just by doing nothing.
"The research suggests not having kids is the most impactful thing we can do to decrease our carbon footprint, more and more women have begun questioning whether or not they should have children at all."
So, we save the human race by not having children. Brilliant.
This is even more shortsighted than China's one-child per-family policy.
Yet many believe that the end of the world is near—again, not based on biblical prophecy but on a climate change apocalypse. And the fear-based rhetoric of Ocasio-Cortez and O'Rourke will only fuel the fires into a burning frenzy.
And can you imagine what would happen if Nancy Pelosi had her way, and the voting age were dropped to 16?
I freely admit that Donald Trump has consistently used fear-based rhetoric in his presidential campaigning and presidential tenure. (In fact, politicians commonly do so on all sides of the aisle.)
And I acknowledge that there are environmental issues that deserve attention. The book of Revelation even addresses those who destroy the earth (Rev 11:18).
But this over-the-top, apocalyptic, climate change rhetoric deserves a skeptical response. The question is: Will it get the skeptical, critical response it deserves, or will the hysteria reach a fever pitch?
O'Rourke is betting on the latter.
I sure hope he's wrong.
That's because right now, climate-change hysteria is far more dangerous than climate change itself.
Dr. Michael Brown (www.askdrbrown.org) is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program. His latest book is Donald Trump Is Not My Savior. Connect with him on Facebook or Twitter, or YouTube.
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