One significant political development seen throughout 2023 has featured a move to more conservative governments in countries like Italy, Argentina, Greece, the Netherlands and even regions in Germany as the publics in those and other nations begin to revolt over constantly rising energy costs caused by the irrational policy choices made by the ruling elites.
CNN ran a story on Thanksgiving detailing a burgeoning revolt in Germany protesting that country’s increasingly authoritarian government’s latest mandates that will require consumers to ultimately replace their cheap and efficient gas-or-oil furnaces with costly and less efficient heat pumps in the coming years. Coming as it does on the heels of President Biden’s decision this month to invoke the rarely used Defense Production Act (DPA) to funnel $160 million in new subsidies to makers of heat pumps in preparation for similar mandates in a second term, it is becoming increasingly easy to see the seeds for a similar revolt being sown here in the United States.
Biden has been strongly urged by climate activists and members of his own party in congress to take things even further, to declare a full climate national emergency that would give him extraordinary, near-dictatorial powers to fight the nebulous, seemingly all-powerful climate enemy. Biden’s handlers have thus far been reluctant to make such an overtly authoritarian move in advance of next year’s election, but the decision to invoke the DPA is clearly an effort to test the waters to gauge public reaction.
Republican presidential contender Ron DeSantis certainly sees what is coming. “This is all part of an agenda to control you; and to control your behavior,” DeSantis said, as quoted by CNN. “They are trying to limit your choices as Americans, they’re trying to circumscribe your ambitions.”
Why, yes, that is exactly what the Biden government is doing, all in the name of climate change. Where COVID became the excuse to invoke authoritarian edicts in 2020, climate change is increasingly becoming the favored pretense used by aspiring authoritarians across the western world now. It is the excuse being used by federal bureaucracies now to invoke regulations ultimately designed to force you to replace your gas kitchen stove with more costly and less efficient electric ones. The move to subsidize the makers of noisy and costly heat pumps is an obvious precursor to forcing the replacement of your cheaper and more effective furnaces and air conditioning units. This is all plainly obvious.
Politicians with authoritarian tendencies in the U.S. and other “free” countries witnessed in 2020 and 2021 how easy it turned out to be to impose lockdowns, stay-at-home orders, mandatory masking and various other edicts on a sheepish, compliant public, especially given the willing, unquestioning cooperation of the legacy media and Big Tech platforms. It was quite clear in real time that these measures would be completely ineffective and incredibly destructive, outcomes even the incurious, government narrative-parroting legacy media operations are having to now admit. But the public at large was easily bullied into meekly accepting them without major upset. This was an incredibly dangerous lesson to teach these authoritarian brutes.
But Americans – at least those outside of California – have one big advantage over their European and South American counterparts, which is that the efforts by the federal government to adopt these irrational measures have trailed several years behind efforts in Germany, the UK and other western democracies. The Biden regime is doing everything it can to try to catch up but has so far been unable to reach that goal. As a result, we get to observe the impacts of such policies on costs and freedoms in other countries and use those observations to help inform our own voting decisions.
Vigilance is one of the most important keys to the maintenance of real freedom. Real vigilance in advance of the 2024 elections in the U.S. reveals that down one path lies an inevitable evolution of an increasingly authoritarian government in the name of climate change. Down the other path lies a return to policies that promote the energy security America enjoyed from 2017-2020.
This really isn’t complicated.
David Blackmon is an energy writer and consultant based in Texas. He spent 40 years in the oil and gas business, where he specialized in public policy and communications.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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