Rethinking Final Thoughts: Tomi Lahren on Climate - The Years Project

Rethinking Final Thoughts: Tomi Lahren on Climate


Photo: Gage Skidmore

Last night, newly minted Fox News contributor and conservative Facebook sensation Tomi Lahren took to the airwaves to enlighten viewers with one of her trademark Final Thoughts segments. In case you’re unfamiliar, these segments take the form of short, aggrieved monologues delivered at a rapid-fire pace and directed at an issue she feels has been misrepresented by those on the more liberal end of the spectrum. Last night that issue was climate change, and the points she made are very much worth addressing.

She began by criticizing the celebrities like Stevie Wonder and “Scientist Beyoncé,” whom she accuses of turning a charity benefit for victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma into a “political event” by bringing up the concept of man-made climate change. Let’s be clear, climate change is not a political issue. It is a scientific one. While Beyoncé is, as Lahren so astutely points out, not a scientist, neither is Tomi Lahren. So let’s look at what the real scientists do have to say.

Climate scientists have been explicit and unanimous in their conclusions: the globe is warming and human beings are the primary cause. Furthermore, they note, hurricanes like Harvey and Irma are strengthened by warmer waters and cause more flooding due to excess moisture in the air and sea level rise. Human activity has changed the climate, and while these storms may not have been caused by it, they were definitely made worse. These are not political talking points. They are facts.

In her continued critique of what she sees as a hypocritical Hollywood liberal elite, Lahren points out, quite correctly, that actions speak louder than words, saying:

“Everyone else is supposed to conserve, adapt, or watch their industries go under…give me a break. Until you’re willing to downgrade your fancy lifestyle and give up your energy-sucking ways, don’t lecture the rest of us on climate change.”

But this critique misses a key point, one that cannot be stated enough. Fossil fuels are causing climate change, not energy consumption. We only need to conserve and adapt as long as we get our energy from fossil fuels. Lahren’s argument is akin to equating an opposition to wood burning stoves with an opposition to any form of cooking. We have better technology now, technology that can cut emissions without forcing drastic lifestyle changes or economic upheavals.

America is up for this challenge. We can support job-creating, emissions-free renewable energy. We can electrify the transportation sector. We can implement a price on carbon. These policies will help get us to a future where we can still consume energy, but without the harm — and create an energy-independent, environmentally friendly, economically robust America. That’s something liberals and conservatives should both be able to get behind.

Lahren says, “I love the planet too; in fact most conservatives do.” And I don’t doubt it. But it’s time she took a long, hard look at those who lead the movement she claims to represent. It is not the Beyoncés and Stevie Wonders of the world who have politicized the issue of climate change, it is the Donald Trumps, Scott Pruitts and the Rush Limbaughs. It is those who, due to ambition, greed, or corruption, have lied about the greatest challenge facing my generation (and hers).

Many conservatives understand the reality of climate change: Carlos Curbelo, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Hank Paulson to name a few. These are the leaders she should be championing, not for politicizing the issue, but for doing just the opposite.They are joining the conversation, acknowledging that climate change is real and that Republicans and Democrats both have a part to play in fighting it. Tomi Lahren should too. Those are my final thoughts. I hope she’ll reconsider hers.