Is Climate Change the Big Distraction? - The issue sidetracks the public from focusing on human population growth

By Brenda Walker
Volume 30, Number 1 (Fall 2019)
Issue theme: "John Tanton: His Life and Legacy (1934-2019)"

A recent Google search for Climate Change racked up 1.1 billion results, showing the issue’s massive presence in the public square. The topic has been a Democrat talking point for years and is currently a necessary item for D-side presidential candidates to include in their pitch to voters. The issue offers the big government control of the populace that Dem pols find irresistible, plus lots of money rolling around that can be repurposed for causes the lefties really want, like pushing for open borders.

Climate the issue is particularly appealing to leftish celebrities who desperately want to appear caring about some important topic beyond their next multi-million-dollar record or film role. A-listers from Hollywood routinely charter personal jets to attend conferences on global warming out of the kindness of their hearts, signaling “Look at virtuous me!”

It does seem an important part of a star’s portfolio to pursue some interest of social good. We are apparently supposed to think they are not callous money-grubbers but instead are fine human beings dedicated to creating a better world for all.

Film star and climate activist Leonardo DiCaprio became a poster boy for celebrity hypocrisy in 2015 when it was reported he had taken six private jet flights in just six weeks. Nevertheless, he continues to speak out about the climate, showing up for the Google Camp event at the end of July, attended by entertainment celebs, billionaires, and Prince Harry.

Interestingly, in August we learned that the Obamas were purchasing a Martha’s Vineyard estate located on 29 beachfront acres with a luxurious seven-bedroom house. Pictures show a home just a short walk from the Atlantic Ocean. Sea level is right out the front door.

But wait! Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (aka AOC) warned last winter that“The world is gonna end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change” — didn’t President and Mrs. Obama understand how unsafe oceanfront property will be as a result? Apparently not, since the property was estimated to cost around $15 million, and the Obamas showed no fear of a climate catastrophe destroying their substantial purchase.

Seriously, if there were a real danger to the Obama home and family, don’t you think a former science advisor would have contacted them with a flood warning?

Similarly, the Hollywood glitterati from Barbara Streisand to Steven Spielberg who populate the exclusive Malibu beach have shown no interest in heading for the hills to escape a rising ocean.

The liberal climate saint Al Gore predicted in his 2006 film “An Inconvenient Truth” that global warming would cause a sea level rise of 20 feet “in the near future” that would flood major cities, causing millions to become refugees.

In 2008, Al Gore predicted the North Pole would be completely free of ice in five years. But today, the polar region remains the same frozen place as ever, with no mass meltdown flooding the world’s shores.

Gore’s doomsday chatter has managed to terrify millions of children about their fate on Planet Earth, but it has had no effect on elite beach dwellers on either coast.

Speaking of scared kids, Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish girl, arrived in the United States in August after sailing across the Atlantic to avoid carbon emissions from a passenger jet. She proceeded to scold America for inaction on the climate situation, demanding, “You have a moral responsibility” to lead — even though Americans as a whole are not convinced there is a crisis that must be fixed.

Thunberg’s arrival kicked off a frenzy of lefty activism. She appeared before Congress to testify about the Left’s fervent belief, declaring, “I want you to unite behind the science. And then I want you to take real action.”

She also met with Barack Obama, and photos show a friendly fist bump. He remarked, “You and me, we’re a team.” But did she warn him about the threat of the rising ocean sweeping away his new house on Martha’s Vineyard? It appears not.

Children are the perfect advocates for the fake issue: their immature brains emphasize emotion rather than reason, and they have been convinced they have only 12 years to live before catastrophe strikes. The issue widens the normal split between kiddies and adults, shown by Thunberg handing out leaflets in Sweden reading, “I am doing this because you adults are sh!tting on my future.”

Can we arrest Al Gore for child abuse?

Thunberg’s visit coincided with world demonstra-tions against climate change on September 20. On that day, kids around the world were encouraged to skip school to participate in climate activism, and millions did.

Bernie Sanders declared on the day preceding the protest that the United States should welcome climate refugees even though there would be “millions and millions” of them. Does Bernie think the U.S. won’t have our own citizen victims of the climate crush who need help? Democrats certainly are unclear on the responsibility of the American government toward its own people!

The Democrat Party loves the kid activism because the dedicated munchkins can be moved seamlessly into leftist voters and advocates in a few years.

And Democrats have big hopes for their climate-clinger ideology.Saikat Chakrabarti, former chief of staff to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, admitted, “The interesting thing about the Green New Deal-do- is it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all. We really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing.”

Another sign that climate change is an issue of liberals: on September 5, CNN hosted a seven-hour (!) town hall on the subject, where 2020 Democrat presidential candidates could pledge their allegiance to the faith and outline their big-spending solutions. Bernie Sanders said, “We are fighting for the survival of the Planet Earth,” and Elizabeth Warren warned, “Life on earth is at risk,” because all contenders had to overstate their concern in order to appear the most virtuous.

Even so, viewers of the CNN debate (around 1.1 million) were fewer than half the number watching Fox News, which broadcast its regular programming.

There is a pattern to be discerned here — climate change propaganda is aimed at the regular people, the hard-working citizens, some number of whom might accept more government restrictions on anything that spews various pollutants into the air or otherwise threatens the all-important climate.

Doomster liberals have an easy task here — it costs them nothing to claim the sky is falling, and their shrieks might attract the attention of voters to the Democrat cause.

On the other hand, there are naysayers to the big climate hullabaloo. writer James Delingpole observed in 2016, “Climate change is the biggest scam in the history of the world — a $1.5 trillion-a-year conspiracy against the taxpayer, every cent, penny, and centime of which ends in the pockets of the wrong kind of people, none of which goes towards a cause remotely worth funding, all of it a complete and utter waste.”

Radio talker Rush Limbaugh commented on August 23 about the Obamas’ new property, noting, “Obama buying his home on the beach in Martha’s Vineyard is the greatest evidence yet that he and a whole bunch of Democrats know that climate change is an entirely made-up hoax. If he really believed all this in the pit of his stomach, the bottom of his heart, he wouldn’t be buying something that’s gonna be underwater in 10 years.”

On September 10, Limbaugh reflected on another news item: “This is a sad, sad story. Arctic tour ship, 16 climate change warriors on board got stuck in ice. How often does this happen to these people? They go down to South America looking for evidence of global warming, climate change, they get stuck in ice, and a fossil-fuel-driven icebreaker has to go rescue them.”

So climate change is a fake issue, at least in the volume advertised by its most enthusiastic promoters. It’s quite possible that there is warming to a degree, because the climate does evolve over time. For example, the Medieval Warm Period, lasting from around 950 to 1250 AD in the North Atlantic region, was followed by the Little Ice Age, spanning the years from 1300 to 1850, though experts differ on exact times.

The Medieval Warm Period was a time of increasing food production, and as a result, Europe’s peasant population grew from 40 million to 60 million. It is remembered as an optimistic time, symbolized for many by monumental cathedrals of great architectural beauty.

Later on, during the Little Ice Age, life got harder as the climate cooled. The year 1816 is known as the “Year Without a Summer” following the eruption of Mount Tambora in 1815, which exacerbated the existing cold of the period. Crops failed in 1816 in some regions, causing the worst famine of the nineteenth century. So one bad volcano explosion can play havoc with the planet’s climate.

In the present day, there are real threats to the health of Planet Earth, like the swirls of plastic poisoning the great oceans.

But arguably the big gorilla lurking in the background is the massive human population growth on Earth which fuels and exacerbates all the environmental problems we have.

Indeed, climate change as it is imagined by the Left is a symptom, not a cause. It’s like being anti-sniffles without discussing the invasive germs that result in colds.

The source issue, the one that truly requires attention, is world population growth. Mature environmentalists can recall the very first Earth Day in 1970, where concerned people could draw attention to our planetary home and the protection it requires from its inhabitants.

In that year, the world’s population was 3.7 billion; today, in late 2019, the number has exploded to well over 7.7 billion persons, more than doubling in just 49 years. The environmental movement has failed to make world population growth a top issue, even though it absolutely should be.

Billions of additional humans look like a good thing to business elites, who like the presence of more shoppers. In fact, the economy depends a lot on population growth, more than is admitted by professional number crunchers. Older people tend to have enough stuff already, so the business community wants more young consumers, even if they have to be imported.

However, the population-growth-forever model has big problems, and you can look to California to see them, in part because 27 percent of state residents are foreign-born. The state’s severe drought from 2011 to 2017 was a brutal reminder that nature still rules, and states that are part desert shouldn’t engage in endless growth: most residents had to observe water consumption limits, which meant shorter showers and investing in efficient plumbing devices. At the extreme, some residents in Porterville, California, ran out of water and needed to have it trucked in. California’s growing number of residents, long on the brink of 40 million persons, illustrates that overpopulation and a limited water supply are not a good fit.

Another symptom of worsening crowdedness is the increasing traffic that millions of Americans suffer on their weekday commutes. An August study from the Texas A&M Transportation Institute shows that more drivers are clogging up the roads, one result of many people being employed, or as the report says, “The economy-congestion linkage is as dependable as gravity.”

Average commute times have increased to almost 27 minutes one way from about 24 minutes in 2001, which adds up in human stress at the time lost. California remains the champ in long commutes, and is home to three of the top five cities with the worst traffic in the country. The Sacramento Bee reported on local commuters like  Tunisha Grant, who commutes from Elk Grove to West Sacramento, and who remarked, “It has gotten a lot worse. When I first started you could probably get to work in 20 minutes. Now it’s 30, 40 or 50.”

The traffic slowdown is an unpleasant aspect of overpopulation, but we’re focusing on environmental effect here, and the Texas report notes that sitting in traffic wastes roughly 3.3 billion gallons of fuel annually.

The environment is threatened most by too many humans using up resources. We should remember that fact when foreigners say they only come “for a better life,” which means their aim is to get more stuff — a bigger car, a fancier television, more money generally for increased acquisitions. A constantly expanding population is all good for the business elites, who get more shoppers and cheaper labor via mass immigration. There’s not much benefit for average citizens, who face water rationing, torturous commutes, and standing room only on public transit.

There are big problems that need attention on Planet Earth, and they begin with the exploding number of humans. Political correctness has made overpopulation a verboten topic just when it needs to be faced.

Africa continues to be a major danger, producing millions it cannot support. For example, the average Mali woman has six babies; in Niger the average is seven offspring. The resulting lack of opportunity at home is one reason why 1.8 million Africans illegally entered Europe in 2015. The population of the continent is estimated to be around 1.2 billion today, but may reach over four billion by 2100, according to some predictions. Unimaginable — that number was the whole world’s population in 1974.

The climate change scam appears to be a successful ruse by elites, judging by the world turnout of millions of frenzied kids for the big protest in late September — and a reminder of why children are not allowed to vote.


Hopefully, thoughtful environmentalists will speak up against the climate change fraud and redirect energy toward real issues, because the Earth could use some real friends these days.

About the author

Brenda Walker is publisher of the websites and
A resident of the San Francisco Bay area, she is a frequent contributor to The Social Contract.