Noted Urban Studies scholar Joel Kotkin argues that some in the environmental movement are using the issue of global warming to further an agenda to regulate land use and force people to move back into cities, creating high density living conditions.

Kotkin, Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University in Orange, California and author of THE CITY: A GLOBAL HISTORY, spoke at a recent conference on California Public Policy sponsored by the Claremont Institute.

A self-described life-long Democrat, Kotkin spoke of how the global warming issue is being used politically by those with an agenda. Kotkin said in this case the issue is not about energy or environmental effects but rather about compelling people to act in a certain way. “Its a social agenda.”
Kotkin charged that “urbanists” want people to move to the central city to cut down on driving miles. Kotkin noted that in Los Angeles only 4% of the population works in the central city as compared to 50% in New York City.

Kotkin argued that L.A.’s unfriendly business environment has caused a loss of 200,000 jobs in the city and that has forced city residents to commute out of the city to find work. Kotkin said the density build-up issue has pluses and minuses but the agenda is often social engineering.

Kotkin accused California Attorney General Jerry Brown of being a leader in this effort. He called Brown “a mullah in the global warming jihad.”

Ironically, Kotkin noted, this strategy rejects the work of former Governor Pat Brown, Jerry’s father. The senior Brown laid the foundation for expansive growth in California.
Kotkin warned global warming laws affect property rights and result in unintended consequences. If successful, he warned, the cost of single family homes will be driven so high making it almost impossible to build them.

Kotkin closed with one other warning if this social engineering effort has success. If Democrats do something against the aspirations of the middle class, he said, such as denying people the chance to buy a home with a yard, it could backfire politically and suburbanites will push back at the ballot box.