The chill winds of political climate change hit the E.U.
I must admit, few arguments related to the “settled science” of climate change astonish me anymore.
But until today I failed to fully appreciate the extent of eco-activist creativity! Panicked progressives are now asserting the Britain’s vote to leave the European Union will cause adverse effects on the environment.
Despite being an issue that knows no borders, affects all and is of vital interest to future generations, the environment was low on the agenda ahead of the UK’s historic vote to leave the European Union.
The short answer to what happens next with pollution, wildlife, farming, green energy, climate change and more is we don’t know – we are in uncharted territory. But all the indications – from the “red-tape” slashing desires of the Brexiters to the judgment of environmental professionals – are that the protections for our environment will get weaker.
There is one immediate impact though, right here, right now: the crashing financial markets will damage the huge investments needed to create a cleaner and safer environment and will dent the nation’s fast-growing green economy, one economic sector where the UK could lead.
I know what you’re thinking:
And while the left derides Donald Trump for noting during a press conference in Scotland that a falling British currency would be beneficial to his local businesses, eco-activists don’t hesitate to predict that an economic slowdown will mean less carbon dioxide emissions.
But hey, at least there’s one rather paradoxical (and, frankly, sad) potential upside for international climate policy. As Ed King of Climate Home noted, as an expected British economic downturn caused by the Brexit kicks in, “the resulting economic slump could lead to a fall in greenhouse gas emissions.” Roaring economies generally produce considerably more greenhouse gases than slowing ones.
So even as Britain’s departure throws international climate policy into turmoil, it might slightly lessen global emissions.
And I can probably guess your reaction to this, too:
Interestingly, it was the Labour Party members in the heartland of Great Britain that embraced #Brexit warmly.
Labour is facing an extraordinary meltdown in its traditional heartlands as working-class areas voted ‘Leave’ in their droves.
Despite the party leadership and almost every Labour MP campaigning for Remain, traditional Labour areas ignored their pleas and voted to pull Britain out of the EU.
The results have piled huge pressure on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, with many MPs blaming him for a lacklustre campaign and for failing to connect with working class voters.
A few key points to keep in mind about the British election environment, in terms of this particular discussion. The British press has been more forthcoming in publishing counter-arguments to global warming theories. Only a very small percent of Brits are “very concerned” about climate change.
And, as Professor Jacobson pointed out in his analysis, “Leave” voters focused on immigration, sovereignty, loss of control to the EU bureaucracy.
The combination has led to a tectonic political shift in Europe.
What are the ramifications of Brexit for the upcoming U.S. election? Recall that Hillary Clinton was nailed for her statements regarding the coal industry, and the voter’s in our nation’s heartland do not seem inclined to embrace the “globalism” either. Furthermore, Clinton is tied to Obama’s ham-handed hectoring prior to the Brexit vote, which one British politico attributes as a key factor in the election result.
Finally, Donald Trump was perfectly positioned to connect himself to the Brexit win by being in the British Isles, and tying British voter sentiments to the heart of his presidential campaign. Meanwhile, Clinton merely offered a tepid response about respecting the choice the Brits made.
The chill winds of political climate change of hit the E.U.hard. I anticipate those winds will strike here as well this November.
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