The Cavalcade of Cant - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
The Cavalcade of Cant

Protecting the country from non-existent threats while exposing it to real ones is likely to define the incoming administration. So it is appropriate that Hillary Clinton, in her opening remarks before the Senate on Tuesday, identified as an “unambiguous security threat” something that doesn’t even exist — catastrophic global warming.

A hectoring phrase like “unambiguous security threat” is supposed to dispel all doubts. Instead, it should create them, foreshadowing an administration that will treat the nation’s security and economy frivolously.

Fiddling around with the economy for the sake of nothing more than advancing chic conjecture is the last thing an America in recession needs. Yet the Obama administration has already signaled that it will saddle slumping businesses with a global warming tax and onerous regulations, whenever the chance to sign a Kyoto-style treaty presents itself, perhaps in Copenhagen soon.

In all the talk these days about scams and bogus claims at the expense of shareholders and taxpayers, why doesn’t the global warming activism of opportunistic CEOs and pols receive any scrutiny? It belongs to this age of fictions and dubious collusions between government and business.

The Democrats bemoan the alarmism that led America to war, yet practice it on global warming, with John Kerry recycling the Bush administration’s risks-of-inaction cliché. By now we should know that in American politics nothing is as risky as action.

According to Hillary’s testimony, climate change “threatens our very existence,” before she put forward another modest assertion: “But well before that point, it could well incite wars of an old kind over basic resources — like food, water, and arable land.”

It looks like Hillary is borrowing a page from her old friend, Timothy Wirth, the Clinton administration State Department official who once let the cat out of the bag by touting the ideological benefits of reckless alarmism: “What we’ve got to do in energy conservation is try to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, to have approached global warming as if it is real means energy conservation, so we will be doing the right thing anyway in terms of economic policy and environmental policy.”

In order to scam the nation into statism, liberals know that they cannot afford to hedge their rhetoric or be too circumspect in their assertions. Al Gore’s inconvenient half-baked opinion had to be called “An Inconvenient Truth,” lest anyone doubt the necessity of accepting a “truth.” Now Hillary and Kerry ratchet global warming theory’s status up even more, to that of “unambiguous security threat.”

At Davos a couple years back, Bill Clinton, yielding to no one in his capacity for concern, declared that global warming “is the only thing that I believe has the power to fundamentally end the march of civilization as we know it.”

If a threat to the future of civilization exists, it will come not from the environment but from environmentalists. An extortionist agenda that will bankrupt industries (as Obama glibly warned the coal industry in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle during the campaign) and creeping world government pose the gravest threats.

Hillary, Kerry, and Obama are acting like a committee of Greek Gods who will control the weather for the world. “President-elect Obama has said America must be a leader in developing and implementing a global and coordinated response to climate change,” Hillary said in her testimony.

Stocking his administration with global warming activists, Obama senses that this issue could give full range to his ambitions. It is certainly an issue which lends itself to the apocalyptic rhetoric that surrounds him — that he, as the liberal columnist Mark Morford once put it, could “actually help usher in a new way of being on the planet.”

While Hillary Clinton may not want to feed those ambitions, she does see global warming alarmism as a path to ideological ones. Christine Stewart, the former Canadian Minister of the Environment, would have understood Hillary’s game in calling global warming an “unambiguous security threat.”

“No matter if the science is phony, there are collateral environmental benefits,” Stewart has said. “Climate change [provides] the greatest chance to bring about justice and equality in the world.”

George Neumayr
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George Neumayr, a senior editor at The American Spectator, is author most recently of The Biden Deception: Moderate, Opportunist, or the Democrats' Crypto-Socialist?
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