Secretary of State John Kerry, a veritable billionaire who is not shy about acquiring carbon-consuming luxury boats, cars, and toys, and who leaves an incorrectly large carbon footprint when he engages in private travel, just gave a screed to relatively poor Indonesia on the need to make drastic changes to prevent climate change, the new vocabulary to account for the linguistic limitations of global warming, when the United States, for example, is in the midst of a record cold winter, and the planet itself has not heated up for 17 years. The problem with Kerry’s sermons reflects much of the paradoxes of modern liberalism.
It is increasingly an ideology of elites who believe that they themselves should be exempt from the ramifications of their politics. “Fairness” and “equality” do not mean its avatars would at least symbolically try to live like the average folks they romanticize from a distance from Martha’s Vineyard. “Climate change” does not mean that Al Gore should not make enormous profits peddling a failed cable channel to a petrodollar-rich, carbon-fuel-profiting Middle East despotic regime. And save the smelt does not mean that Bay Area activists would be willing to sacrifice a daily shower or a washed Mercedes in order to divert their own Sierra water from their Hetch Hetchy supplies out to sea to ensure viable bait fish populations in the San Francisco delta.