Reacting to Climate Change Propaganda
Propaganda is the deliberate, systematic attempt to shape perceptions, manipulate cognitions, and direct behavior to achieve a response that furthers the desired intent of the propagandist.
Tonight I had the pleasure of watching climate change propaganda produced on behalf of Ireland’s Department of the Environment. The Change.ie TV advertisement provides viewers, to the backdrop of inspirational music and important moments of Irish history, the following message:
“Each generation must face its own challeges. And how we respond to those challenges shapes us a nation, and makes us the people we are. For us, climate change is the biggest single challenge that we face, and our response will define us as a generation. This is our time. This is our challenge. Change your world. Change the world.”
This marks a step-up in the level of alarmism being spread by government on this issue. On the Change.ie website I am informed, at my expense, how I can change my lifestyle to improve the environment, and am reassured, at my expense, that Ireland, the EU and the UN are now acting to cut carbon emissions. I am reminded, at my expense, that “the debate is over, climate change is happening now”.
Reluctantly, I must admit that the debate, as far as governments and mainstream media are concerned, is probably over. What chance did opponents of the environmentalist movement have? In Ireland, as in many countries, the State directs nearly all academic research funding and operates a monopoly of school education curricula, besides its irresistable influence over media and business (the TV network on which this advertisement was aired tonight is owned by Irish government appointees, and funded in part through a compulsory TV licence fee). Once the State realised the potential for expansion under the banner of environmentalism, could there ever have been a fair debate?
Lest readers think that I am overly negative, I do maintain that it will be possible for a rational debate about environmentalism to occur in the mainstream at some point in the future. When that will be, I have litte idea, and is dependent on very many global factors. But, just like the collapse of the Soviet Union broke so many people’s faith in socialism, those who sought solace with environmentalism instead of coming to terms with that event, and their young supporters who have no understanding of the horrors of totalitarianism, will just as surely be discredited by the devastation that their ideology will inevitably wreak.
Already, there is starvation threatened in the Third World by rising food prices, brought about in part by government mandates for the use of biofuels. It is estimated that 100 million people may go hungry now as a result. Biofuel mandates, which are becoming more widespread and more severe, could soon cause the needless deaths of many millions of people.
The case against environmentalism is overwhelming, though one which may go ignored in the short and medium terms. The dice are loaded heavily against us. But when, as with communism, the effects of environmentalism become too awful for all but the most vested interests to defend, we must be ready to demonstrate how it was that we predicted them.
Libertarianism is a strongly intellectual operation, and with the resources available through the internet, we are arguably better equipped than any previous generation to combat statism. When environmentalism fails, we will have the perfect opportunity to go back to basics and show why we long advocated free enterprise, private property, and the reduction or abolition of political power. Our intellectual record will be undeniable: it will be preserved forever online.
Also posted at Polycentric Order.