This Week's Climate Protests Accomplished Nothing

Participants in this week’s D.C. climate protests may have briefly blocked off twenty-two intersections in one of the world’s busiest cities, but they accomplished nothing in terms of spurring action to address climate change. Their theatrics demonstrated once again that climate alarmism stands in the way of productive debate and meaningful action more so than anything else.   


Organizers for the “Shut Down D.C.” protests say that only their tactics will truly gain the attention of lawmakers, but they could not be more wrong. Stunts like these are one of the primary reasons why so many don’t take climate change and the environmental movement seriously. Lawmakers and most Americans will warm up to climate change action through rational discussions, not protests that block traffic and make unrealistic demands.


These activists lose substantial credibility through their impractical demands and support of the Green New Deal, which serves as a Trojan horse for socialism rather than a genuine plan to address climate change. The protestors also called for an end to pipelines and fracking, despite the fact that natural gas has allowed the United States to transition away from coal and reduce its carbon emissions.


The bottom line is that the “Shut Down D.C.” protestors and far left environmentalists would rather engage in theatrics and alarmism than have a genuine debate because the very policies they propose would inadequately address the climate change crisis they deem so urgent.


If these activists genuinely want climate change action, then why do their proposals demand unrelated benefits such as universal healthcare and a federal jobs guarantee, but not expansions in nuclear power and carbon capture? The truth is that the far left wants to use the environment as a cudgel to dismantle capitalism, the very economic system that has made green technology possible.


Rather than give the “Shut Down D.C.” protestors the attention they crave, the majority of Americans who see straight through these radical proposals should seize on the opportunity to work together and pursue realistic solutions to climate change. We can pursue productive policies such as an all-of-the-above energy approach, cut red tape that limits clean energy development, and promote carbon capture and advanced nuclear technology.


The key to curbing the effects of climate change lies in engaging in sensible dialogue and recognizing that environmental and economic successes go hand in hand, not virtue-signaling protests that make impossible demands. Taking this rational approach will ensure that the best ideas prevail and we protect our environment and economy into the future.



Ronnie Thompson