Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez remains the gift that keeps on giving…to Republicans. At a Martin Luther King Day forum for Millennials in New York, she drew cheers from the crowd for declaring that it’s immoral for society to allow billionaires to exist when there are poor people in Alabama, and that “the America that we’re living in today is dystopian, with people sleeping in their cars so they can work a second job without healthcare.” Actually, the unemployment rate is at historically low levels, job creation is setting new records, wages are rising in real terms for the first time in years, a small fraction of workers hold more than one job, and there are smart ways to lower health care costs, but her party rejected them in favor of Obamacare. The places where people have to sleep in their cars because they can't afford housing are largely liberal centers of income inequality such as Silicon Valley.
But her statement that really grabbed my attention was this:
“The world is gonna end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change.”
Talk about evoking a sense of nostalgia if not outright déjà vu. Having occupied this planet for over twice as long as she has, I’ve heard similar predictions more times than I recall. That’s not in any way to downgrade the need to protect the environment and be good stewards of the Earth. But radical environmentalists have made crying “Apocalypse” their go-to strategy for motivating the public for so long that nobody pays any attention to them anymore. Some of them have even admitted that that’s exactly what they are doing and tried to justify it.
If you want to know why this type of alarmist prediction for the world ending only works on the very young and naïve, here’s a list of 12 environmental doomsday deadlines from the past 30 years, all of which came and went. And this is only the tip of the rapidly melting iceberg. They could have included many more and gone back even further. My favorite was the prediction that by the mid-‘80s, the oceans would be so dead that tuna would be a rare delicacy selling for $80 a can. I’m really glad I didn’t invest my life savings in tuna futures.