The riots in France appear to have died down over the weekend. But the protests have left their mark, and they've left a message for climate warriors the world over -- America included.
And that message is twofold: Firstly, voters are not prepared to pay more for energy now, to solve a distant problem. The French are not going to pay a penny more for gas, just because Emmanuel Macron wants to play his part in climate change. They already pay $7 a gallon!
Secondly, voters are not prepared to sacrifice their standard of living while the world's largest carbon polluter does nothing. We often forget that the Paris Climate Accord allowed China to keep pumping out carbon, without any check, until 2030, when it pledged to "try" to cut emissions.
In short, the Greens have a problem. Their climate solutions won't fly with voters. And that means Democrats have a problem. They are the party of the Greens, and although they rarely say it, fighting climate change is part of their 2020 campaign. But it’s not on the list of voter concerns. If they propose climate action that hurts your standard of living, they'll have a hard time convincing voters it’s worth it.
I'll conclude with this quote from an editorial in today's Wall Street Journal.
“According to a NASA satellite survey, the earth has gotten greener, thanks in large part to a rising concentration of that vital plant food CO2. That means we are able to feed not only a rising population, but give the poorest among us a more nutritious diet. The French strikers have a better grip on reality than their ruling elites."
Democrats, take note.