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The full crank package


Dan Farber and Evan George point out that RFK Jr., who used to present himself as a crusading environmental lawyer, is now pitching the right wing line on climate change:

Kennedy grew up in the 1960s as the modern environmental movement took shape around the campaign against toxic pesticides, spurred like so many young activists at the time by the publication of Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring.” Kennedy later viewed listening to Carson speak about ecology as one of the most treasured moments of his youth. After working at the Natural Resources Defense Council, he went on to become an environmental lawyer and helped found the Waterkeeper Alliance. He taught and led an environmental law clinic at Pace University in New York. Over the years, many of us in the environmental movement looked up to him for his crusade to clean up the Hudson River. . .

“Climate change has made the environment a divisive issue, but there are many policies that make sense to skeptics and activists alike,” [his campaign website] reads. “We will emphasize those and rebuild a broad environmental coalition to clean up this country.”

Make no mistake: Creating a big tent open to climate skeptics will only achieve one thing — empower business interests opposed to climate action. 

Much like how Kennedy’s anti-vaccination views — a wholly inaccurate and dangerous rhetoric in its own right — are steeped in populist conspiracy theories, his views on environmental regulation follow the same playbook. In a campaign video posted to social media focused on climate change, Kennedy says, “This crisis is being used as a pretext for clamping down totalitarian controls, the same way the COVID crisis was, and it’s the same people: it’s the intelligence agencies, it’s the world economic forum, it’s the billionaire boys’ club at Davos.” His energy approach is “free markets and not top-down control.” That must be music to the ears of Republican donors and the fossil fuel industry.

This obsession with nefarious elites is particularly amusing coming from the nation’s most prominent junkie failson nepo baby, but it’s also an illustration of how that obsession is central to conspiratorial thinking in general. It also illustrates that conspiratorial thinking about Jews elites may start with a particular hobby horse — in this case the idea that our precious bodily fluids are being contaminated by vaccines — but it will almost always spread to all sorts of other topics.

Which makes sense, since after all “they” control everything, if you just look closely enough at the evidence, which you can do most easily by watching lots of YouTube videos about how the Earth is really flat etc. etc.

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