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The Real Danger Is Hysteria

Here’s a letter to the Wall Street Journal:


You correctly identify reasons – not least that the reality of global warming has been known for decades – why Americans today confront no emergency of the sort contemplated by Congress when it enacted the National Emergencies Act of 1976 (“The ‘Beast Mode’ Presidency?” July 20). A Biden administration declaration of a “national climate emergency” would thus indeed be a dangerous assault on the rule of law.

Many Progressives, of course, will protest that we’ve no time to attend to legal niceties. Yet this protest seems credible only to those who are trapped in the climate-hysteria echo chamber. Those persons seeking a balanced and data-rich assessment of the climate situation should consult NYU physicist – and former Obama administration official – Steven Koonin’s eye-opening 2021 book, Unsettled? What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t, and Why It Matters. As William Hogan, Research Professor of Global Energy Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School, observed in his blurb for this book, “[t]he science of climate is neither settled nor sufficient to dictate policy.”

We absolutely do not face an emergency requiring extraordinary executive discretion and action.

Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030

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