by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
President Joe Biden is convening a “virtual climate summit” — which is a very fancy thing to call a conference call — to be addressed by Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin, among others. It comes as Biden announces a fuzzy plan to reduce U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions by more than half by the end of the decade (details to come . . . eventually) while congressional Democrats led by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) and Senator Ed Markey (D., Mass.) offer up a plan to put 1.5 million Democratic activists on the federal payroll by creating a “Civilian Climate Corps.”
It would be difficult to organize all of this by order of seriousness, though the character of the Civilian Climate Corps proposal is suggested by Senator Markey’s infomercial-style salesmanship, promising that the program would “combat the interlocking crises of the moment — climate change, racial injustice, a global pandemic, and income inequality.” One expects him to promise that it doubles as a salad spinner and makes fresh-pressed juice, too. This is the classic Democrat approach to complex problems: “Give us money to give to the people who support us politically.” On the issue of climate, we can expect this approach to produce the same great results it has achieved with the public schools in St. Louis.
Senator Markey is an unserious man. Xi Jinping is a serious one. (Vladimir Putin is serious, as two-bit gangsters go, but one gets the feeling the Russians are included in this sort of thing mainly for old times’ sake.) Xi’s regime is, among other things, an operator of concentration camps, but China’s maximum leader would like the world to believe that he and his country stand for global cooperation — and, further, that his government should be entrusted with a more prominent role in global leadership.