State-controlled CO2-approved Christmas trees? Don’t laugh…
The renewable energy movement insists that Americans must drastically reduce carbon dioxide emissions, propounding grandiose “New Deal” solutions that employ government to compel a shift in manufacturing industries.
Meanwhile, in revolt against COVID isolation, Americans are celebrating Christmas in 2020 “with bells on.” Will the Biden administration one day legislate whether Americans can display a live Christmas tree versus an artificial one, based on carbon footprint as part of its green new deal? Or maybe ban decorative trees altogether?
If proponents of eco-change are serious, America’s Christmas is difficult to ignore. COVID has inspired a record celebration of Yuletide festivities: some $2 billion will be spent on Christmas trees this year. Of those, 81% will be artificial; 19% real. Eighty percent of the world’s artificial Christmas trees are manufactured in China, employing PVC plastic, “… which can contain especially harmful chemicals, like arsenic, lead, and phthalates, which are recognized endocrine disruptors.”
Americans spent $6 billion on Christmas decorations (including tree lights) in 2011; the estimated 105,000,000 households that celebrate Christmas with holiday lights burn more electricity than many countries combined burn in a year. Nearly 11 million artificial trees were purchased in the United States in 2012 alone; there also were 24.5 million farm-grown trees.
Clearly Americans prefer artificial trees, but these create toxins, are shipped from China, and cannot be recycled — just like solar panels! Why do renewable-energy advocates seek to coerce Americans to convert their necessities — home electricity, travel to work, etc. — into a dependency on toxic manufactured products (mostly foreign), but not curtail arguably frivolous carbon-spending on Christmas trees, decorations, lighting, and related shipping costs?
There are other recreational causes of end-of-the-world climate destruction that go unconsidered by their leftwing users: cell phones, computers (desktop and laptop), video games, flatscreen TVs, cellphones, and an endless flood of Chinese goods that are neither recyclable nor recycled. What then of lawn mowing (and related gasoline, machinery, chemicals, etc.), fireworks displays, annual parades, air travel for vacations, owning second homes, skiing trips, waterslides, amusement parks, golf courses (from 18 holes to miniature), or driving “for the view”?
This myriad of potential avenues to rescue America’s tormented children from the menace of climate change has not been unseen by the climate change warriors — it has been deliberately ignored. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) pontificates against cow farts, but still snags that convenient drive-thru burger from the mega-franchise that distributes feedlot meat. Says AOC: “…it’s hard for the Republicans to refute the actual policy on its substance. They resort to mythologizing it on a ludicrous level.” Her “actual policy” utterly lacks common sense, yet and she and her ilk double down with a second farce: carbon credits.
Witness Bernie Sanders, who turned his pollution sin into virtue-signalling when responding to criticism of the millions of dollars he spent on luxury private jet charter services:
In March, Sanders, Vermont’s senior senator, became the first Democratic presidential candidate to promise to purchase offsets to effectively wipe out his campaign’s carbon production from travel. A Warren aide told The Hill in October that her campaign also purchases offsets for carbon emissions. The two senators used the Vermont-based NativeEnergy for their carbon offset needs…. enough for the two campaigns to offset a combined 3,815 tons of carbon emissions…. 3,815 tons of carbon emissions is the equivalent of burning 2,102 tons of coal, or consuming 429,000 gallons of gasoline, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
A glance at NativeEnergy’s website reveals that Bernie and Liz exchanged 3,815 tons of carbon emissions by buying indulgences used to fund projects like “regenerative wool for climate change” in Argentina, clean water in Haiti and Ethiopia, or various landfill, wind turbine, or methane projects. How is world climate-change forestalled if rich Bernies can simply buy all the pollution they wish, blotting out the toxic log in their own eyes while demanding blue-collar workers and retirees must pay higher rates in net metering, or for cars or gasoline, just to eke a week-by-week living? Isn’t this the ultimate in moral hazard?
This scandal is writ large in Vermont, where progressives ignored the regressive aspects of net-metering and Electric Vehicle (EV) subsidies, employed COVID to implement an aggressive “Global Warming Solutions Act” that delegates unprecedented carte blanche powers to state agencies to meet arbitrary “carbon emission targets,” and strive to impose a gasoline tax through the Transportation Climate Initiative. All of these compromise established businesses while favoring alternative corporate interests; all create inequities; all focus on carbon while ignoring ancillary pollution; none support long-term economic health.
An interesting 2020 documentary on netflix (“Kiss the Ground,” featuring Woody Harrelson) explains that healthy soils sequester huge amounts of carbon while yielding a host of other win-win benefits. Imagine government programs that favored small farms and home gardening. Instead, the “Green New Steal” subsidizes fossil-fuel based industrial corn, wheat, and soybean production (and desertification) on millions of acres of prime farmland; solar panels manufactured with fossil fuels in China that can’t be recycled; Japanese electric cars; regenerative wool in Argentina.
Logically, if Americans were serious about climate/ecosystem impact, carbon dioxide would not be singled out over toxic pollutants; environmental costs of manufacturing would be weighed for solar panels, EV’s, and other technologies; and prejudices against energy and goods consumption would discourage wasteful, toxic, recreational consumption rather than burden the basic necessities of the working class to travel, or light and heat their homes.
These “let-them-eat-renewable-cake” blatherings by unvirtuous virtue-signallers reveal an elitist disconnect from the economic reality facing America’s middle class. Also lacking is an introspective awareness of each person’s individual responsibility to reflect upon the amount, efficiency, and purpose of their consumption (of carbon, electricity, gasoline, goods), unrestricted by incompetent or corrupt state constraints. That is, if Americans are going to cut back on Christmas trees (or golf, or second homes) it will be by their own free choice!
This carbon-tracing baloney is a ruse: there is no free lunch! The “emperor-with-no-clothes” illusion that Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren somehow reduced global warming and global (non-carbon) pollution is created by the smoke-and-mirror facade of carbon credits. In fact — as with solar panels and EVs — they increased both carbon and carcinogenic pollution. (Worse: jets lack emissions reduction technology).
Bernie Sanders supposedly “paid” for his luxury jets’ CO2, but he paid zero for the toxins they emitted. Yet he, Elizabeth Warren and AOC want to tax the CO2 Americans consume driving to work while this Marie Antoinette crowd parties with other social elites at their dachas — and demand praise in the bargain!
Americans, wake up. Otherwise, the Leftist climate warriors will ban Christmas trees and lights for all Americans, while they fly around on the Lolita Express, offsetting their privilege with “credits” to fund ‘”universal rights to food and housing” for “undocumented entrants.” Will that food and housing be “green,” or will it be as illogical, counterproductive and hypocritical as everything else these people ludicrously mythologize?
Image credit: Pixabay public domain