Climate take: Thunberg’s Radicalism Won’t Save Planet
The far-left environmental group Extinction Rebellion’s worldwide protests are a “first test” of whether political leaders will tolerate the radical turn demanded from Greta Thunberg and her allies, notes Bloomberg’s Leonid Bershidsky. The protesters demand that governments “treat climate change as an emergency and to take urgent action to cut greenhouse gas emissions.” World leaders have largely cheered Thunberg to date, but now her recent radical shift shows that many — like UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron — “appear to have had enough.” Fact is, “youthful idealism is often inflexible” and “not really about getting results.” If Thunberg wants to succeed, she has to reject Extinction Rebellion-style radicalism — which is “loud and disruptive” but ultimately doesn’t lead to “any meaningful change.”
Court watch: Religious Liberty’s Hollow Victory
“Some conservatives are hailing a victory for religious liberty in Michigan” — but, cautions Walter Olson at The Wall Street Journal, “there’s less to it than meets the eye.” St. Vincent, a Catholic child-services agency, risked losing its contracts with the state because it refused, on religious grounds, to “carry out home studies certifying gay and unmarried couples.” On Wednesday, Judge Robert Jonker ruled for the agency — but only because state Attorney General Dana Nessel had called religious-liberty supporters “hate-mongers,” not over a larger principle. So, once officials “learn to mind their tongues,” religious objectors could easily start losing their requests for exemptions. That, in turn, will set up the “biggest religious-liberty battle” at the Supreme Court in many years.
Security beat: Drones’ Clear and Present Danger
“Current security measures and legislation supported by Congress and government entities” won’t protect the United States against drone attacks, warns Utah state lawmaker Adam Robertson at the Washington Examiner in the wake of the attack on Saudi oil facilities. The threat was already emerging five years ago, yet Washington’s done little. Since “drone strikes upon nuclear, chemical and power plants, military bases, airports, food and agriculture facilities, and water and wastewater systems are capable of paralyzing the entire nation,” the country needs “comprehensive airspace security solutions” and “laws that clearly legalize a government or private entity” to defend itself against drones. The days when “fences and security guards were sufficient are gone forever.”
From the right: Double Standard on Contempt
National Review’s Jim Geraghty muses about congressmen expressing outrage at the White House’s “defiance of a coequal branch of government” as members of the president’s party call the congressional investigation a “witch hunt.” But he’s referring to “former attorney general Eric Holder’s refusal to turn over documents to Congress about Fast and Furious back in 2012.” Back then, Democrats thought “Holder had a right to refuse to turn over those documents” and called Republicans’ subpoenas “illegitimate or unlawful” because they were motivated by partisanship. How’s that for a double standard? “If you want an imperial presidency when your guy is in charge,” Geraghty tell Dems, “you have to live with the consequences” when the other guy is.
Media desk: ESPN Joins NBA’s China Suck-Up
On Wednesday, the Daily Wire’s Ryan Saavedra reports, ESPN followed on the NBA’s heels and kowtowed to China, airing a map that “featured Chinese propaganda claiming that the communist nation owns the disputed South China Sea, Taiwan, part of the Philippines, and Arunachal Pradesh.” In fact, the political status of Taiwan is a fraught issue, and the other territories, which include parts of Vietnam and India, clearly don’t belong to Beijing. The map itself, which features 10 “dash lines” that “mark a huge swath of the South China Sea” as Chinese territory, is, as attorney Andrew Kloster puts it, “Chinese state propaganda.”
— Compiled by Karl Salzmann