It wasn’t that long ago when much of the global elite had conclusively decided that climate change was our world’s top priority. Then came a massive sideswiping by a global pandemic, of which we have only seen the first wave, along with an equally massive global recession. It serves as a timely reminder that an alarmism that cultivates one fear over others serves society poorly.
What is the point of climate change policy? To make the world a better place for all of us, and for future generations. In my new book, False Alarm: How Climate Change Panic Costs Us Trillions, Hurts the Poor, and Fails to Fix the Planet, I analyze a lot of ways to make smart climate policy—and many that unfortunately waste resources. But we also need to ask ourselves the broader question: If the goal is to make the world a better place, is climate change policy the most important thing to focus on?
“You’ll die of old age, I’ll die of climate change,” reads a typical poster held by teenagers in climate rallies across the world. The media, activists and even politicians are unabashedly indulging in climate alarmism, stoking the fears of millions. Books on the impending implosion of civilization due to climate change line shelves in bookstores across the world. Media outlets have changed the name of climate change, calling it the “climate emergency” or even “climate breakdown.” The cover of Time magazine tells us: “Be worried. Be very worried.”