Over the last few weeks, many key figures on the left have been outspoken about the danger of the coronavirus and claim that President Trump has done little to address the crisis. Democratic presidential frontrunner Joe Biden has urged the president to be even bolder in his actions to combat the virus and condemned him for “wasting time” when the pandemic first emerged. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) made similar comments and has urged drastic action. He argued recently that primary elections should be postponed because “people shouldn’t have to put their lives on the line to vote.” An editorial for the Boston Globe has thundered “that President Trump has blood on his hands.”
This level of fear around the coronavirus is understandable — the case for blaming President Trump for a worldwide pandemic is less convincing. Should we really take these angry voices seriously when just a few months ago these same people and institutions were warning that something completely different was an existential threat to mankind and criticized Donald Trump “not caring” and contributing to the disaster?
I know pre-COVID-19 seems like a lifetime ago, but do you all remember the good old days of climate change? You must remember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s claim that the “world will end” in 12 years if we do not act to stop or slow climate change and Bernie Sander’s warning that “we’re fighting for the survival of the planet.” Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg even said “we’re in the beginning of a mass extinction” because of climate change.
And the “blood on his hands” Boston Globe said then that President Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord would lead to “rising seas, higher temperatures, catastrophic loss in wildlife and natural habitats, and the further degradation of the only home the human race will ever know.” The paper said the move “will haunt America and the world for generations to come… imperiling the earth for the narrowest of political advantage.”
It’s quite clear where the liberal left have been focusing in the past few decades and where they have been diverting enormous resources — and it wasn’t the threat of a pandemic. The Boston Globe itself hasn’t shied away from hysterical language when it comes to President Trump and climate change as well. In an opinion piece endorsing left-leaning policies and politicians during the 2020 election cycle, the Globe wrote that both President Trump and the Republican Congress are “reversing progress as the planet careers toward climate catastrophe.”
Spending on energy saving programs and subsidies has matched the increasing hysteria. According to the Government Accountability Office, federal funding for “climate change research, technology, international assistance, and adaptation” has increased exponentially over the last three decades. In 1993, the feds spent $2.4 billion on such programs and it keeps increasing. The polling website FiveThirtyEight reported that the federal government has spent $154 billion on “climate change related activities” since 1993. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 tacked on an additional $26.1 billion in spending.
It’s clear that this reckless spending and climate change hysteria were even more damaging to our economy and our nation than opponents claimed. We actually are facing a global crisis that may lead to massive loss of life and a worldwide economic depression. Congress just passed a $2 trillion emergency bill to help address the pandemic and its effects, but Americans continue to suffer. Can you imagine if that $154+ billion in spending on climate change projects was put into virus research or pandemic preparation? How many ventilators can you buy with $154 billion? How many talented researchers were diverted to addressing climate change when they could have worked to prevent pandemics and research vaccines and cures?
There are many loud and vindictive voices telling the world that America is ill-prepared for this event that is threatening lives and our futures. These voices might be more credible if they had not spent the past few decades urging the country to fund and prepare for a completely different scenario. They should apologize for that costly diversion before asking us to listen to them this time.