Sometimes, each side chooses to cover entirely different subjects. Today, we decided to focus on two issues that are being widely covered on one side but less so on the other. While there won’t be a “flip side" to the arguments being made below, we think alerting our readers to the topics themselves is part of bursting media bubbles. We welcome your feedback!
“The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has issued a special report on the impact of global warming... This new study says that going past 1.5C is dicing with the planet's liveability. And the 1.5C temperature ‘guard rail’ could be exceeded in just 12 years... Keeping to the preferred target of 1.5C above pre-industrial levels will mean ‘rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society’."
The left is deeply alarmed and calling for global action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“This isn’t just a science report. This is a few hundred of the world’s best scientists screaming (in terrifyingly politely worded specificity) for the world to step up.”
“[The report] finds that the world has already warmed by... 1 degree Celsius since humans began sending industrial pollution into the atmosphere. The costs of this warmth can be seen around the world: This decade alone, sweltering heat waves have killed thousands; engorged floods have ravaged cities from Houston to North Carolina; and half of the coral in the Great Barrier Reef has died. The question is what happens next."
If we are able to successfully reduce emissions, “hundreds of millions of people would be spared extended periods of extreme heat, water scarcity, drought and flooding. Crop yields would not fall as drastically. Coral reefs would have a chance of survival. Countless species would be spared extinction."
Worth noting: “It is not the direct effects of climate change alone but their indirect effects on the political and economic structures of the world that make it a genuinely existential threat... Among the tipping points that we cannot foresee in any detail is the prospect of historically unprecedented refugee migrations as whole populations who have no choice but to starve or move set out for land where they can live."
Many are calling for a carbon tax.
“What ought to happen is that the US sits down with the European Union and Japan and decides on a carbon tax. The initial tax should be low, but it should be set to escalate. And the three big players in the global economy should also agree to impose a fairly stiff tariff on any country that doesn’t agree to join the carbon tax club. Right away, a bunch of countries will want to join the club, and with each new country that joins, staying out of the club becomes costlier.”
“Unfortunately, no alarm seems loud enough to penetrate the walls of the White House... Perhaps the most important thing the public can do right now is seek out and support candidates who take this threat seriously. Also ballot measures: In Washington State, Gov. Jay Inslee is asking voters to approve a carbon tax. It would be the first of its kind, in any state, and could serve as an inspiration for others."
New York Times
In addition to a carbon tax, here are nine other policy ideas to reduce emissions.
“Impeachment allows Congress to overturn an election. That is a very, very big deal. The Constitution vests ultimate power in the people, and throwing out their choice is in a way the ultimate undemocratic act. What impeachment also is not is a midterm check of ‘fitness.’ It is not a constitutional pause for a referendum on how the president is doing. It is not a way to resolve differences of opinion, policy, or propriety…
“Impeachment is also not a way to bypass other investigative tools and allow a partisan House to poke around a president’s decisions, pre-election business deals, and personal life, or to amass info short of actual impeachable evidence as campaign dirt on the public dollar.”
Peter Van Buren, The American Conservative
“The president isn’t playing protectionist here. He’s pushing a single player who needs to be confronted, a cheater and a bully. For decades, China has gotten away with theft of others’ production techniques and other intellectual property, along with technology transfers and mistreatment of US companies. Moreover, it uses its ill-gotten gains to boost its military, adding another threat… Short-term, US consumers will pay a bit more — on goods that make up less than 2 percent of the nation’s $20.5 trillion economy. But China is at growing risk of losing access to the world’s top market, because Americans can buy from other lower-wage producers if Beijing doesn’t blink… Trump didn’t start this trade war, but he’s well positioned to win it.”
Editorial Board, New York Post
“We've got to suck it up. Indeed, we must be bold here. Chinese President Xi Jinping's tariffs escalation reflects his bet that he can spike U.S. domestic fears over the economy, and a corresponding popular pressure on Trump to back down… if we stand firm, Xi will have to back down because China's economy is already weakened by foreign investor doubts, caught between rural poverty and urban wealth, and vulnerable to low-cost labor competition from the region.”
Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner
“The broader context here is North Korea's crop crisis. If Kim hasn't got sanctions relief by August's end, a painful winter is coming… Absent Kim's commitment to suspend all ballistic missile tests, the U.S. should not support the provision of food supplies to the North Korean people. A North Korean long-range nuclear strike capability poses an existential threat to American society… Trump must not allow North Korea's coming suffering to dictate his decisions. Supporting North Korea with food will both prolong North Koreans' suffering under Kim and directly undercut U.S. interests.”
Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner
Some argue, “It stands to reason that if Kim is willing to starve his own people, deprive his economy of any growth, and pour billions of dollars into missile tech, he will, at some point, develop weapons America and its allies mastered decades ago. And short of an invasion or a diplomatic agreement, under the present circumstances, there is very little we can do to stop him… Taking a hardline approach—what many call the ‘big deal’—or only granting sanctions relief after full denuclearization and the end of Kim’s missile programs is completely impractical and something North Korea would never agree to… only a step-by-step process of disarming Pyongyang, where each side gets a benefit for making a concession, will work.”
Harry J. Kazianis, The American Conservative
Others posit that “the reason Kim is developing missiles that can strike Seattle or LA is that 28,000 U.S. troops are in South Korea… If we cannot persuade Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons in return for a lifting of sanctions, perhaps we should pull U.S. forces off the peninsula and let China deal with the possible acquisition of their own nuclear weapons by Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan…
“After an exhausting two weeks [between North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, and others], one is tempted to ask: How many quarrels, clashes and conflicts can even a superpower manage at one time? And is it not the time for the United States, preoccupied with so many crises, to begin asking, ‘Why is this our problem?’”
Pat Buchanan, Townhall
“The Democrats want to talk to Don McGahn, and maybe they will ultimately prevail in court to get his testimony, but what’s the point? McGahn talked extensively to Mueller, and surely everything remotely damaging is already in the report…
“Congress has the report, and now it is up to it to decide. But it doesn’t want to. It’s too painful to admit that the Mueller report was a bust on Russia and that the obstruction material, while damaging to Trump, is hardly a slam dunk; that the public doesn’t support impeachment; that if the House goes through with it anyway, it will end with a whimper in the Senate; and that it’s better for Democrats to focus on beating Trump in 2020 than a forlorn impeachment.”
Rich Lowry, National Review
“The scoop reflects poorly on Trump, who willfully misled the public for a decade in hopes of fraudulently representing himself as a man with a Midas touch. But he could not have succeeded without the assistance of many Americans, some mercenary, others over-credulous, who helped to spread the deceit and deception, generating countless newspaper articles, magazine stories, and TV segments that misinformed the public about the publicity hound’s record in business. New evidence of his staggering losses in that decade therefore provides an apt occasion to reflect on the media’s complicity in Trump’s brazen deceit and deception… Let [this] be a lesson for today’s tabloids, gossip columnists, over-credulous or mercenary journalists, and reality-television producers.”
Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic
This massive hammer is missing from a California town. Police are stumped.