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When in doubt, play the race card

03 Jul 2019 | OP ED Watch

The UN says global warming will cause “climate apartheid” in which “the wealthy pay to escape overheating, hunger, and conflict, while the rest of the world is left to suffer.” Which the press again reported uncritically including Canada’s state-funded CBC. So is the answer to pursue policies that allow the poor countries to become rich? Er, no—evidently it’s to make the rich poor, except the ones in charge.

It’s that “settled science” again, this time from the “special rapporteur on extreme poverty” of the UN Human Rights Council, Philip Alston, a trained… lawyer. No, not economist, let alone scientist. When someone with advanced scientific training raises questions about climate orthodoxy they get the smackdown over their credentials in a hurry. But if they’re on board, someone trained in restaurant management is suddenly an authority. (Alston has been riding the “special rapporteur” gravy train for years and naturally focusing on poverty where it is most acute, namely Britain and the United States.)

As for Alston’s belief that if civilization collapsed the rich could buy their way out, it is foolishness. Money wouldn’t be worth anything, mobs would riot and loot, demagogues would seize property and so on. If anyone can create a fortress in such situations it’s the politically powerful; look who’s eating like kings in Venezuela today, or didn’t go hungry during the Bolshevik famines. It almost feels like an afterthought to observe that “apartheid” was not a system that separated rich from poor but white from black, with the consequence of keeping blacks poor. But should floods wash away Kolkata, or Miami, there won’t be much of a racial component to who flees in a jet airplane and who gets drowned.

If in fact climate change turns out to be real and devastating, there will doubtless be wholesale political and economic change and those who build sandbag fortresses and dangle signs from the barbed wire saying “Sell us your food” will not get away with it. So the whole thing is fantasy. But it’s nice and scary and very “woke” and what more did anyone want?

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