The pandemic and subsequent lockdowns in 2020 have been devastating to life and livelihoods. But some think it provides a model for what must be done in the future to address the problem of climate change. Some see it as a “test run” for a new climate-driven economy.
That was essentially the argument at the UK Climate Assembly that met last year. One speaker noted that in order to deal with the threat of the virus the government “had to act because they had no choice in the matter. With climate change, they need to act in the same way.”
A former UN Climate Chief proposed that governments should “actually converge the solutions (at least the financial solutions) to coronavirus to the financial solutions for climate.” She warned that what “we cannot afford to do is to jump out of the frying pan of COVID and into the raging fire of climate change.”
The problem for these radical environmentalists is selling the idea of permanent climate lockdowns to people already weary of COVID lockdowns. Although Americans say they want action on climate change, they have also shown little interest in paying for it. The Biden administration proposes spending the equivalent of $1,500 per American each year. But the latest Washington Post survey discovered that more than half the population was unwilling to pay even $24.
Of course, it is even debatable whether voters really believe we should aggressively tackle climate change. A recent Gallup poll showed a quarter (26%) wanted action on the pandemic, but only three percent mentioned climate change and the environment as their key concern.
Perhaps that is why one European economist admitted that you could not achieve the climate goals currently being proposed without “a certain degree of eco-dictatorship.” Climate lockdowns might be just the first step of environmental coercion.