Douglas Andrews / July 21, 2022

Joe Biden’s Climate Non-Emergency Emergency

The president ladled out the alarmist hyperbole, but he ultimately stopped short of declaring a full-blown emergency.

“This is an emergency — an emergency — and I will look at it that way.”

So said “cancer-stricken” Joe Biden in Somerset, Massachusetts, yesterday while announcing the executive actions that he’d take to address the climate emergency. Did we mention it’s an emergency?

“As president,” Biden continued, from the most unsightly presidential backdrop in history, “I have a responsibility to act with urgency and resolve when our nation faces clear and present danger. And that’s what climate change is about. It is literally, not figuratively, a clear and present danger.”

The president, no doubt still smarting from last month’s Supreme Court smackdown of his lawless Environment Protection Agency, also warned us that climate change “is literally an existential threat to our nation and the world.”

Literally. Not figuratively. Literally.

Strange, but we seem to have heard this sort of alarmism before, most often when it gets really hot in the summer. At least Joe, though, was wise enough not to put a timer to it. “The world is gonna end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change,” said showboating Sandy Cortez back in January of 2019. Which means that pretty soon, we’ll want to stop buying green bananas.

Unfortunately for Joe and AOC, though, the American people haven’t gotten the memo. A recent New York Times/Siena College poll showed that 20% of folks think the economy is the most important problem facing the country, while another 15% named inflation and the cost of living. What percentage of Americans named climate change as their number one concern? One percent. One percent. (In fairness to the Warmists, Gallup puts this climate change number at 2%. But still.) And yet that’s what Joe Biden has chosen to expend all this hot air on.

“Americans are paying $4-$5/gal of gas,” tweeted Alabama Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville, “and President Biden is devoting his time to America’s ‘climate emergency.’ The economic pain caused by his poor leadership is the real emergency.”

Across the aisle, though, Biden’s Democrat colleagues are all in on the ecological apocalypse, all in on more spending. Take Rhode Island’s dim-bulb Senator Sheldon Whitehouse: “The Biden administration can do more on climate,” he argued, “and with legislative options now closed, the President must act. It’s time for executive Beast Mode.”

We’re not sure exactly what “executive Beast Mode” entails, but we suspect it’s the sort of pen-and-phone circumvention that Barack Obama employed when he couldn’t get that pesky coequal legislative branch to bend to his will. In other words, an abuse of presidential power. As the editorial page editors at The Wall Street Journal write:

Democrats denounced Donald Trump as a dictator for invoking emergency powers to build his border wall after he was blocked in Congress. Well, now they’re demanding that President Biden declare climate change a national emergency to advance their anti-carbon agenda that Congress won’t pass. Apparently dictators are in the eye of the beholder. … While a President may sometimes need to act with dispatch during an emergency, climate change isn’t close to such an event. Climate change is neither sudden nor unexpected. The world has warmed by 1.1 degree Celsius since the late 19th century, and the pace of future warming is uncertain and depends on multiple variables.

Columnist David Harsanyi made the point this way: “There’s no ‘It’s Summer’ clause in the Constitution, empowering the president to ignore the will of Congress and unilaterally govern when it gets hot. The rejection of the president’s ‘agenda’ by the lawmaking branch of government isn’t a justification for executive action, it’s the opposite.”

Clearly, though, someone gave Scranton Joey Baggadonuts Brandon some good advice, because yesterday he stopped short of declaring an all-out climate emergency — even though he kept calling it a climate emergency. Instead, the president announced a series of “investments” to combat this existential threat. These include $2.3 billion via FEMA to help communities prepare for heat waves, wildfires, drought, and other extremes; new federal guidance that helps better address summer cooling needs; and a directive to the Interior Department to “advance wind energy development in the waters off the mid- and southern Atlantic Coast and Florida’s Gulf Coast.”

Welp, we suppose it could’ve been worse.

“Biden’s Climate Change ‘Revolution’ Isn’t Coming,” laments the headline of a New York Times op-ed by a staffer named Spencer Bokat-Lindell.

And with that good news, we can all breathe a bit easier.

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