Gaia's Minions Won't Stop with Keystone
One theory as to why Team Biden killed the Keystone XL pipeline on Day One of his presidency is that the project had garnered so much notoriety. Keystone, the reasoning goes, had become a cause célèbre for the environmentalist left, and the Biden administration had to throw them a bone by terminating it, but that doing so doesn't give us a window into how he will actually govern over the next four years. No doubt this is what leaders of the various unions who endorsed Biden are currently telling themselves.
There is an obvious flaw in this reasoning. If Biden is willing to quash a major pipeline project like Keystone (midway through construction and at the cost of damaging America's relation with our ally, Canada) simply because environmentalists have succeeded in making the pipeline infamous, what's to stop them from making other pipeline projects similarly well known and with the same object in mind?
Well, it seems as if that is exactly what they're doing. Last week, we discussed a victory for Enbridge Line 5, which moves 540,000 barrels of Canadian petroleum products per day from Wisconsin. to Sarnia, Ont. Gretchen Whitmer has declared war on Line 5, and is both trying to halt its operation, on the grounds that it is a danger to the Straits of Mackinac, and trying to stop the construction on a tunnel under those straits whose object is to make its operation safer. Michigan's department of energy has, nevertheless, granted a construction permit to build the tunnel.
Gov. Whitmer's war goes on, however, and the possibility that she'll succeed has started to make Canadians nervous. Trudeau's minister of natural resources, Seamus O'Regan (a committed environmentalist), and Ontario's Conservative Premier Doug Ford have both put out statements in support of Line 5. Conservative leader Erin O'Toole recently wrote an op-ed defending it. Why would a Liberal Minister set out to defend a pipeline alongside Conservative politicians? Because, beyond the jobs it supports, Line 5 supplies about half of the petroleum needs of Ontario and Quebec! Losing it would be a disaster for Canada, and even Trudeaupian Liberals know it.
The honorably lady "from" Minnesota.
And now another front in this war has developed. Ilhan Omar, the hard-left congressional representative from Minnesota, has appealed directly to Joe Biden to kill Enbridge Line 3, which transports those same petroleum products from Alberta to Wisconsin, crossing through the congresswoman's home state. In an open letter (of course), Omar said "I joined millions of Americans celebrating your announcement to withdraw permits for the Keystone XL pipeline." She asks Biden to do the same to Line 3, currently in the process of being replaced with a larger pipe. She continues, "Under even the best-case scenarios for climate change, we cannot afford to build more fossil fuel infrastructure.”
If Team Biden really is operating under the assumption that killing Keystone has bought them some environmentalist good will, and that they don't have to sacrifice any more pipelines or jobs on the alter of Mother Gaia, they're in for a rude awakening. Mother Gaia's minions are insatiable. And their chief weapon is publicity.
Empty the Head that Forswears the Crown
Earlier this year Prince Harry, like so many frustrated young men before him, left home and ran off to California with a pretty girl in the hope of hitting it big and changing the world. Of course, being royalty, he didn't move to Haight-Ashbury to start a mediocre folk group and get stoned at anti-war protests. Instead, he and Meghan moved into a $14.7M mansion in Beverly Hills, signed a mega-deal with Netflix, endorsed Joe Biden, and became environmentalists.
Still, like the folkies, Harry has felt it necessary to inflict his faux-poetic thoughts on the rest of us. Here he is speaking at an event for WaterBear, a new subscription service for environmentalist documentaries:
Every single raindrop that falls from the sky relieves the parched ground. What if every single one of us was a raindrop, and if every single one of us cared?
Far out, man. You can almost hear this being sung by Scott McKenzie or the Mamas and the Papas. No word on whether he thinks the universe might be just a single atom in the finger nail of some enormous being. Of course, to change the world you have to tackle the tough issues of the day, and Harry didn't disappoint on that score. He made it a point to tie the ongoing pandemic to the environment, saying:
[I]t’s almost as though Mother Nature has sent us to our rooms for bad behavior to really take a moment and think about what we’ve done.... We take so much from her and we rarely give a lot back.
But, as Joanna Williams points out in the Spectator, we really shouldn't laugh. For all of his vapidity, Harry is clearly making a play for increased cultural cachet, and he's doing so by parroting the sentiments of our cultural elite. These are all common views among our beneficent rulers.
Consider another of the prince's insights: "But the moment you become a father, everything really does change... you start to realize, well, what is the point in bringing a new person into this world when they get to your age and it’s on fire?" This is a perfect encapsulation of elite climate hysteria, and it is becoming increasingly normalized.
Williams discusses the fact that this image of the world burning irresponsibly encourages eco-anxiety, a growing problem for both adults and children, many of whom have been psychologically harmed by the propaganda, as Greta Thunberg apparently was after watching a (now-debunked) David Attenborough film.
But there's also Harry and Meghan's longstanding vow to have no more than two children, for environmental reasons. Their public declaration is clearly meant to influence the choices of regular people, making them feel that it would be irresponsible to have more (or any) children, despite the fact that our country has below-replacement birthrates and Americans already have fewer children than we claim to want. Who are these people to say your dream of being a parent is irresponsible?
Talk about privilege.
Thanks, Wuhan Virus: 'Earth is Healing Herself'
The Catholic Church has long been in the business of caring for the sick. This is a fact which you might not have picked up in school, as most history teachers, more interested in ideology than truth, don't often mention it. But the plain fact is the Church, which is ostensibly concerned with the good of the soul, has concurrently devoted tremendous amounts of energy and resources to the care of the body. The very word "hospital" comes from the Knights Hospitaller, who came into existence in 1070 to care for pilgrims to the Holy Land. For centuries the hospitals of Europe were run by religious orders, and the saints whose reputations were built on the care of the sick -- from John of God ministering to the mentally ill in 16th Century Spain to Damien De Veuster living among the lepers in 19th century Hawaii to Rose Hawthorne Lathrop serving terminal cancer patients in early 20th century New York -- are too numerous to list.
Just recently the generally anti-Catholic New York Times published an article about the nuns who staffed sick wards during the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918:
They tended to stricken men, crammed 30 to a ward, with the dirt from their factory jobs still smeared on their faces and hands. Hallucinating patients tried to climb out of windows, tore at the bedsheets, threw glass tumblers at their nurses and begged God for mercy. In private homes, the sisters found parents dead in their beds while their hungry children cried in the next room. “The windows were closed tightly, and we felt we could taste the fever,” one nun recalled later.
They washed linens, served hot soup and mixed medicine. They brought water, ice, blankets and comfort. “The call ‘Sister’ could be heard every minute during the night,” one remembered of her hectic shifts. Another spoke about her initial trepidation on her first day: “I was struck, at first, with a fearful dread, for I never came in close contact with death but once in my life. But realizing what must be done, I quickly put on my gown and mask, and being assigned to the women’s ward, I began my duties.”
One would imagine that our present pandemic might be another opportunity for modern Catholic religious to display the heroism of their forebears. And perhaps we will eventually find out that that is the case, that they are out there helping the sick beat back this virus. Unfortunately we live in a time when people -- even priests -- are increasingly catechized in the religion of environmentalism. And the religion of environmentalism seems to be rooting for the virus.
Per example, on Monday the official news service of the Vatican published a short piece by a Jesuit priest named Benedict Mayaki entitled "Coronavirus: Earth's Unlikely Ally."
The article has since been taken down (though you can still read it in multiple languages here; scroll down for English) but if you've been following some of the nutty anti-human narrative the environmentalist movement has been doubling down on lately, you won't be surprised by what it says:
The reduction in human activity is having an unintended benefit: Earth is healing herself. It Italy, fish have returned to the canals in Venice. Less tourism and water transport have allowed the murky waters to settle... China, the world's largest carbon emitter, now has a significant decrease in the concentration of nitrogen dioxide in the air. NASA attributes this to the decline of economic and industrial activities during the coronavirus outbreak....
The global reduction in air, land and sea travel is yielding benefits for the planet as carbon emission sees a projected decline. Air travel alone contributes more than two percent of global carbon emissions.
Imagine an Italian-based website publishing an article like that at a time when Italy is being ravaged, when almost 100,000 Italians are infected and over 10,000 have died. And as far as China is concerned, while we don't have any idea what their numbers actually are. They do seem to be stockpiling urns, even as they claim that they've gotten the virus under control. Maybe Father Benedict should be a little more sensitive to the human cost of this crisis.
Strictly speaking, this is what the Church used to call paganism. Mother Gaia has been suffering from the human virus for too long, so she made us a bowl of bat soup and now she's "healing herself." Lots of hip publications are making a similar case. It's just a little disturbing to see the Vatican so "on trend." Then again, this is what Pope Francis had to say in his 2015 encyclical, Laudato si: "Never have we so hurt and mistreated our common home as we have in the last two hundred years."