The Atlantic: The Worst Thing About Nuclear War Is That It Would Accelerate Climate Change

These are strange days indeed.

If you aren’t convinced yet that our self-appointed moral superiors are profoundly unserious people, full-grown children with childishly ridiculous ideas who nonetheless enjoy the serious attention of Leftists, check out the photo of The Atlantic’s Robinson Meyer here. Oh, and there’s another here. Painting your face so that you look like a goofy dalmatian puppy is one thing. Getting pictures taken in that state is another, and using them for profile shots on allegedly serious articles is a whole new level of childishness. In that light, Meyer’s risible analysis, published in The Atlantic last Wednesday, posits that the worst aspect of nuclear war is that it would accelerate climate change. We were told the adults were back in charge; the problem is that Robinson Meyer is the Left’s idea of an adult.

“I mean this quite literally,” writes Meyer with a straight face, his face paint quivering with rage and fear: “If you are worried about rapid, catastrophic changes to the planet’s climate, then you must be worried about nuclear war. That is because, on top of killing tens of millions of people, even a relatively ‘minor’ exchange of nuclear weapons would wreck the planet’s climate in enormous and long-lasting ways.”

That’s right, “on top of killing tens of millions of people,” as if that were just a minor detail, with the real trouble being that the sumptuous beachfront properties of Barack Obama and Joe Biden might end up underwater. One thing you can say about Leftists: they cling to their ideology to the bitter end, and no one is a bitterer clinger than Robinson Meyer. He is so committed to his idea here that he even tosses aside the conventional wisdom about a nuclear war resulting in global cooling, a “nuclear winter”: “And even though the world would get cooler, the nuclear winter resulting from a full-blown global conflict (or even ‘nuclear fall,’ as some researchers prefer) would not reverse the effect of what we might morbidly call ‘traditional’ human-caused climate change.”

Of course it wouldn’t! How could it? How could anything stop the climate apocalypse these angry prophets are warning us about? Never mind that climate change isn’t really even a crisis at all; to the believers in the Left’s new religion, nothing is worse (not even getting nuked), and nothing can stop what’s coming except more massive federal overreach, the destruction of the auto industry, and drastic economic decline.

Meyer is such a firmly indoctrinated true believer, in fact, that he sees the possibility of nuclear war over Ukraine as even worse than Donald Trump. Meyer explains that a no-fly zone over Ukraine would mean “that NATO and the United States issue a credible threat that they will shoot down any enemy plane in Ukrainian territory. This would require U.S. bombing runs into Russian territory to eliminate air defenses, bringing the U.S. and Russia into open war, and it would have a reasonable chance of prompting a nuclear exchange. And it would be worse for the climate than any energy policy that Donald Trump ever proposed.”

Nuclear war would be worse than Trump? Why, Meyer, is that even possible? If so, then by all means, it must be stopped at all costs! Yet Meyer’s apocalypticism is at odds with itself. In a March 1 warning, the face-painted climate prophet foresees “a sicker, poorer, and less abundant world,” because we didn’t listen to the words of the wise; Meyer says the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change should simply say: “You get it by nowNo more reports. Just do something!” Yet in a world devastated by nuclear war, there would be far fewer people polluting the atmosphere, and that would greatly alleviate the climate problem Meyer sees as promising catastrophe just around the corner.

Of course, Meyer isn’t going to advocate for nuclear war, but he has put himself, and us, in a can’t-win situation: nuclear war would accelerate climate change, and meanwhile, ordinary human existence has already accelerated climate change to the point that it is barreling down the road at us and is just moments away from destroying us all. Meyer’s bleak alternatives are meant to get us to act now: ditch the car, buy a bike, turn over global economic hegemony to the People’s Republic of China, fast, or we’re all doomed, doomed utterly.

You’d think that a fellow with this bleak a view of human existence wouldn’t ever be light-hearted enough to paint his face, stick out his tongue, and pose for a few classic millennial profile pics. But these are strange days indeed.

Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 23 books including many bestsellers, such as The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades)The Truth About Muhammad and The History of Jihad. His latest book is The Critical Qur’an. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.


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