As I’ve been pointing our for more than a decade, the most ominous contradiction of the environmental left these days is the way in which they champion the rights of nature while going along with the rest of the left in denying human nature, let alone the natural rights of humans—which is the central premise of democratic self-government. The result, as I have been warning, is the increasingly open anti-democratic and pro-authoritarian stance of the climatistas.
For example, back in 2009 I noted the work of an Australian philosopher who wrote that “When the chips are down I think democracy is a less important goal than is the protection of the planet from the death of life, the end of life on it.” (And there are more such statements at the link.)
This week Foreign Policy offers the straightforward headline: “Democracy Is the Planet’s Greatest Enemy.” Nice to have freedom and self-government so openly attacked. From the article:
If electoral democracy is inadequate to the task of addressing climate change, and the task is the most urgent one humanity faces, then other kinds of politics are urgently needed. The most radical alternative of all would be to consider moving beyond democracy altogether. The authoritarian Chinese system has some advantages when it comes to addressing climate change: One-party rule means freedom from electoral cycles and less need for public consultation. Technocratic solutions that put power in the hands of unelected experts could take key decisions out of the hands of voters.
I’d almost think this was a parody if I didn’t know better. Check Woodrow Wilson’s grave to see if his ghost has escaped.
The next paragraphs of the article try to draw back from this absurdity, in favor of changing democracy by lowering the voting age and allowing for more “participatory” forms of democracy, which is simply code for “change the rules until we win.” But I think we can see what the Climate Commissars really think.
JOHN adds: The idea that democracy and free enterprise are enemies of the environment is absurd. Experience shows that it is democracies that have cleaned up the environment, and socialist dictatorships that created by far the worst environmental conditions on Earth. And citing autocratic China in a positive way is puzzling. China is currently constructing hundreds of coal-fired power plants. China emits more CO2 than any other nation. While our CO2 emissions have declined significantly, China’s have only risen.
I never believe Western pundits who claim that they like autocratic rule for what it can accomplish. (History tells us such accomplishments will be scarce.) Rather, I think they like autocratic government because they imagine they will be the autocrats. Here again, history suggests that they are mistaken.