- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 1, 2019

Google Camp is hosting several high-brow celebrity names and Hollywood types at an event in Sicily, Italy, to talk about the travesties of global warming and the dire need to tackle climate change, and so on and so forth, you know the Big Green deal.

But the bigger, albeit shush-shush, hush-hush-now, news deals with the travel arrangements for these bigwigs. Apparently, according to Italian media, they’ve arrived in dozens of private jets. And big ol’ yachts.

My gosh. Think of the contrails. Think of the manatees.

Better yet, mull on this: “Cruises are bad for the environment,” Vox reported, in 2018.

Or this: “Plane Exhaust Kills More People Than Plane Crashes,” National Geographic warned, in a headline from 2010.

Or this, from Bloomberg, from March: “Airlines Were Supposed to Fix Their Pollution Problem. It’s Just Getting Worse.” That piece opened: “Environmental activists recoil for a reason when the superrich fly private jets to forums that preach carbon neutrality. Airplane pollution levels really are going through the stratosphere and nobody seems to have a viable plan to rein them in.”

Yes. There’s that.

But there’s also this: the hypocrisy factor.

It’s one thing to whine and cry and moan and word-beginning-with-letter-b about those dang farmers with cows, and drivers with cars, and developers with Ditch Witches causing massive damage to air, land and water with all their frivolous human activities — or, in the case of the cows, animal activities — all the while personally living a pedestrian lifestyle, plastic straw-free and vegan-eating easy.

It’s another to whine and b-word about all that while leaving behind a carbon footprint the size of the Twin Towers.

Yet that’s quite commonly the life of the environmental elite — pointing fingers away, not inward. This latest gathering only underscores the movement’s ongoing pretenses.

From The New York Post: “The billionaire creators of Google have invited a who’s who of A-list names, including … Barack Obama, Prince Harry, Leonardo DiCaprio and Katy Perry, to the Sicilian seaside for a mega-party they’ve dubbed Google Camp … [to] focus on fighting climate change — though it’s unknown how much time the attendees will spend discussing their own effect on the environment, such as the scores of private jets they arrived in and the mega-yachts many have been staying on.”

My gosh, 12 years, people. Twelve. Years.

And there’s one of Big Green’s biggest problems — the elitist, arrogant attitude of “thee, not me.” The elitist, arrogant view that the peon class of people, in order to keep the world from dying in the next 12 years, can do quite well smashing eight, maybe nine, into a battery-operated car to ride the High Occupancy Vehicle lanes to work, while the V.I.P.s of politics and Hollywood fly solo.

It’s a visual the left hasn’t quite figured out how to overcome.

So here’s a thought. Dear Congress, write a bill outlawing all private air travel, save for the president of the United States, members of the Cabinet and top-ranking military brass. 

That ought to buy America, nay the world, a few more years. But even if it doesn’t, it’ll at least give the elites in the environmental movement some much-needed moral high ground to sound their Big Green regulatory alarms. God knows they need the cover.

Of course, that bill would never reach a vote.

The same high-powered types at Google Camp would send in the lobbyist dogs to kill it before it ever made it out of committee. Hypocrisy seems destined to reign.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley.

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