Beto O'Rourke speaks at the Paramount Theatre after the documentary...

Beto O'Rourke speaks at the Paramount Theatre after the documentary on him, "Running with Beto" was shown on March 9, 2019 in Austin, Texas. Credit: The Washington Post/Matt McClain

He said he wasn’t running for president, no way, forget it, and now he is, meaning that Beto O’Rourke can probably change his mind on issues, too. That would be good because he wants 15 judges on the Supreme Court for the sake of diversity – or maybe just to be on the goofy side of history.

I myself think a constitutionalist judicial philosophy, integrity and a highly trained, keenly analytical mind are the way to go.

Of course, the big obstacle for O’Rourke as regards any policy is that it’s time for a woman president and vice president and he is male. When people spoke of Joe Biden naming O’Rourke as his VP, the outcry was not that a white man’s place was in the kitchen, but you sensed the sentiment.

Biden, of course, is highly experienced as a vice president, U.S. senator and at uttering gaffes. However, it did seem to me it was a bit much recently when people castigated him for saying Democrats should work with Republicans. He is, after all, 76 years old and remembers when the two sides would more often cooperate. So give him a break.

O’Rourke’s political experience is limited to sitting on the El Paso City Council and three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. His sudden renown came when he ran unsuccessfully against Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. O’Rourke.

At least in his speeches, the 46-year-old O’Rourke strikes me as the male, older version of the 29-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, full of excitement, light on understanding, inventor of the Green New Deal and therefore untrustworthy.

It was the same day as his announcement that O’Rourke waved his arms like a cheerleader as he discussed the art of this deal. He told us that there are only 12 years to go before the worst happens, a world with no future. He said more than once that “scientists are unanimous on this,” and he is wrong. I have myself interviewed top scientists who agree on warming and the role of greenhouse gases but not sure-enough catastrophe.

The United States, meanwhile, has not been sitting on its hands but, over a 12-year period ending in 2017 and thanks in part to free markets and natural gas, lowered CO2 emissions by 758 million metric tons. It thus set an unbeaten record among all countries while China, we are informed, increased its CO2 by 3 billion tons, nullifying the gain.

Those wonderful Paris accords? Out of 195 signatories, only seven have done much of anything, and even if everyone fulfilled voluntary promises, the consequence would be a squeak. Well, some say, it is a start. No, it is a fraud that lets politicians deceptively look good. It might be noted in passing that renewable fuels are nowhere near ready to replace fossil fuels. The Green New Deal wants nuclear energy gone even though its assistance is the only way to stifle emissions without deindustrialization.

To do what Cortez wants – get rid of all fossil fuels, replace just about every car in America with an electric alternative, make sure every building in the country uses the minimal amount of energy required and simultaneously resolve most social problems – would destroy the economy by means of authoritarianism. The likely laxity of the rest of the world that mainly just talks a good fight would give us the crisis if alarmists have their facts right.

What is more, the hullabaloo could deprive us of money for simple-enough adjustments needed later on. And in all seriousness, it is already causing an affliction that psychologists call climate anxiety – it sends children home from school crying. The good news for O’Rourke is that Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants to give the vote to 16-year-old teens. They could conceivably make him president.

Jay Ambrose is an op-ed columnist for Tribune News Service. 

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