First, the Daily Mail ran a story—along with a colorful graphic and a photo of a double cheeseburger—about what President Biden's plan to attack climate change "could" require Americans to spend and give up. Everyone might be required to buy a $55,000 electric car, install a $5,700 heat pump, and limit themselves to one hamburger a month, the article said, citing a January 2020 University of Michigan study. That was fresh meat for Biden opponents, and Larry Kudlow, an economic adviser to former President Trump, bit. "To meet the Biden Green New Deal targets, America has to, get this, America has to stop eating meat," Kudlow said Friday on Fox Business. "No burger on July 4. No steaks on the barbecue." Fox later showed its own graphic titled "Up In Your Grill: Biden’s Climate Requirements," the Washington Post reports. Among those "requirements" listed: "cut 90% of red meat from diet" and consume no more than "one burger per month."
Republican politicians began launching critical tweets. Gov. Greg Abbott retweeted the Fox graphic, adding, "Not gonna happen in Texas!" The only hitch is that the Biden administration has proposed no such thing. The president articulated his goals at his climate change summit last week, but the administration hasn't said much about how they'll be achieved. No one has mentioned changing individuals' diets. Into that void rushed the Daily Mail's speculative story. Two of the study's authors have since said, "to our knowledge, there is no connection between our study and Joe Biden's climate plan," per Yahoo News—despite Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene's tweet calling Biden "the Hamburglar." Still, Nick Martin writes in the New Republic that though there's no plan to cut back on beef, there are health and climate reasons why it wouldn't be a bad idea. (Read more climate change stories.)