Irish Liberty Forum

Why Green is the New Red

with 3 comments

On a message board, I was asked to explain my belief that the environmentalist movement might be a kind of “last stand” for socialism, a “final, desperate, attempt to justify centralised State planning”. In particular, I was asked to explore how environmentalists might have managed to convince the scientific community of their views, and why it is that environmentalists rarely describe themselves explicitly as socialists. This is my adapted response.

Firstly, most people would agree that the source of research funding tends to alter the incentives of those who carry out the research. However, many people also grant an exception to government funding. I don’t do this.

For example, the US federal government has been spending about $5 billion on environmental research every year (Hillary Clinton would like to increase environmental R&D to $50 billion). This phenomenon is repeated all over the world (in Ireland, for example, nearly all scientific research is directed by State bodies, and it is highly advisable, if possible, to explain how your work can be applied to environmental issues if you are seeking funding). Governments are very eager to fund this kind of research.

That environmentalists see no conflict of interest involved here is indicative of the trust they place in the benevolence of governments. Remember that this is less than twenty years after the collapse of one of the most murderous regimes to have ever existed (up to 60 million people violently killed by the Soviet Union), and while much of humanity is still experiencing a medieval standard of living thanks to the governments that control them. The 20th century alone is testament to the danger posed to us by governments, with more people killed in war than had probably been killed in the entire recorded history of the human race up to that point. Despite this, environmentalists are desperate to abolish the now relatively prosperous and peaceful Western market-based economies and replace them with immense, all-powerful environmentalist regimes.

The trust in government benevolence is not the only trait that environmentalists share with their socialist predecessors. They also hold a common faith in the real capabilities of government. Socialism was discredited time and time again, leading its followers to engage in more and more ridiculous attempts to show that they were able to effectively plan economies. Salvador Allende, before he was ousted, thought that it would be possible to use a special computer, the “Cybersyn”, to effectively direct the Chilean economy (remember that this is in 1973). But socialist economies collapsed everywhere, for the good reason that economic calculation is simply impossible under central planning.

Yet environmentalists (at least some of whom must be sincere – though some must simply be opportunists) are preparing to treat us to carbon taxes and many other regulations on what we can buy, what we can eat, where we can go, what we can produce, what we can build. Nearly all of them are economic illiterates, so they think that what they are doing might not be inherently destructive. They have little comprehension of the cost-benefit procedures inherent to the market which are absolutely required for the efficient allocation of resources. They are political illiterates too, so they don’t understand that the vested interests feeding off environmentalist State subsidies are not going to just disappear when it is realised that the subsidies are unwarranted. And to top it off they are statistical illiterates too – they will never understand the massively complicated computer models which are the alleged scientific justification for their ideology, bought and paid for with taxpayers’ money down the barrel of a gun.

So to conclude, environmentalists are very similar to their socialist predecessors. They share many of the same beliefs and false ideas about government, and their agenda will have similarly dire effects. As I wrote yesterday, many of their older followers are undoubtedly aging socialists who failed to come to terms with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Their younger supporters don’t understand the terrible consequences of government expansion, and think that they are doing the right thing by going along with an ideology which looks warm and cuddly to them.

Now that their power is increasing, we can expect research to become more and more biased in favour of their plans, and for 21st century technologies to be used to control populations in ways that socialists of decades past could only have dreamed of. But, at the end of the day, their only real innovation is to replace Allende’s Cybersyn with modern environmental supercomputers. They have no idea how society could be centrally planned without descending into chaos, for such knowledge is impossible to obtain. They won’t call themselves socialists because that label has fallen out of fashion after the disasters of the 20th century, but their project shares many of the same goals, and is doomed to fail for all of the same reasons.

Adapted from a thread on politics.ie; also posted at Polycentric Order.

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Written by Graham

April 25, 2008 at 12:46 am

Posted in environmentalism, World

3 Responses

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  1. (Whoops I posted this on the wrong article the first time…)

    I would say that its the other way around. The reason that many on the right are ignoring the incredibly strong evidence for the scientific consensus on global warming is because they are ideologically opposed to the idea of collective action through the state to solve social problems and correct market failures (of which destruction of the environment is the most obvious example).

    They are afraid that for them to heed the now overwhelming scientific evidence would mean accepting that sometimes a democratic state has to balance markets with long-term social goals – through policies, regulations, mobilisation of resources etc. (Ironically when it comes to making war on other countries, which is the ultimate in statism, these same people usually throw all requirements for evidence to the wind! As we saw with Iraqi WMDs…).

    Many on the right are so convinced that their simplistic anti-government ideology is infallible that they not only ignore all credible scientific opinion in favour of Evil Eco-Fascist conspiracy theories, but are even willing to fight against the most moderate of global warming mitigation policies, gambling the fate of the planet on their near-fundamentalist belief that markets are always good and governments are always bad.

    Shameful stuff really, and intellectually dishonest too.

    Dave

    April 26, 2008 at 9:59 pm

  2. It’s ok, I will remove the comment from where you did not intend to leave it.

    Graham

    April 27, 2008 at 6:20 am

  3. The term environmentalist is a strange and misleading term. It suggests that some people who do not wear this brand are in some way against the environment and even more curiously that humans are not even part of the environment in which they inhabit! Our planet’s eco-system is so created that the only natural outcome is the creation of human beings. If that were not the case we obviously would not exist!

    The idea that we are somehow killing the planet with industry is an absurdity. The earth survived the first 5 billion years without humans including a period of nearly continual asteroid bombardment. The arrogance and inflated ego of the environmentalist who thinks that ‘nature’ is incapable of defending itself to human intervention is deluded with notions of grandeur. Innumerable species have passed through the lands and seas of our planet than we will ever be aware of before the first humans appeared and after humanity is eventually removed from this planet.

    The environmentalist lobby have become the neo-Luddites of our modern world. Invariably appealing to emotion and scorning people who arm themselves with facts, they play on peoples fears of the ‘terrible power of nature’ to forward a political doctrine which unveils a whole new plethora of ‘morally’ justifiable taxes to attack and impoverish citizenry before the all-powerful slave-state. It was precisely by utilising the planet’s resources that humanity has advanced at all from his cave and sheepskins covering. Look at how our collective history has been denoted by our advances of technology: we have the Stone Age, Bronze Age, and then the Iron Age. As man recognises the potential of the materials that exist around him we become more enlightened and improve our desperate condition on this planet.

    Not even a nuclear holocaust would make a dent against the ‘March of Nature’. Have you ever seen the photos of Chernobyl? This was the most advanced planned city of concrete in the Soviet Union before the catastrophe. What was the result? Countless humans died but nature continued on being nature, spontaneously growing in every nook and cranny. It resembles something closer to the jungle temples of south-east Asia than it does a European city now, a little over 20 years later. The only thing that humans have to fear is the actions of their own governments against their own peoples in the name of ‘the common good’. Calls for government intervention in the name of public welfare are invariably linked closer with vested interests, political ambition and ignorance than it is with any kind of altruistic desire in the citizens’ well-being.

    The ‘environmentalist’ now sees himself as the enlightened prophet of doom bearing all the sins of humanity. He seeks to hijack government as a vehicle to fight against the evil capitalist that has raped mother earth. And government is only too willing to enter this partnership. With the collapse of socialism and with central planning unequivocally proven to be intellectually bankrupt, the statist now sees a new cause to champion his existence. With climate change he has found his chosen creed for it contains all the necessary components needed to appropriate civil liberties and wage war against his fellow man. Climate change is a mysterious subject not well understood that plays into the hands of the government minister. He can easily say that all polar ice-caps will melt in the next 50 years unless we freeze our consumption of fuel for who can see the future? Who can prove him wrong? The famous computer models have already been debunked as fictitious computer game programs written to produce the desired out-come. The National Meteorological service cannot even accurately predict the weather for the following day!!!!! As a student of computational-physics I am fully aware of the limitations of these climate models. Any rational human will immediately disregard such programs as fantasy as they are clearly incapable of taking account of the innumerable variables that occur in our climate which is constantly in flux.

    And even if the ice caps were melting as a result of human action, who is to say that nature shall not compensate for this environmental change. Environmentalists talk about the eco-system as if it is defenceless creature. In reality it is FAR FROM IT!!!!!! The fact of the matter is that there is not a certain state in which we can exist peacefully with nature but that nature is constantly trying to achieve stability since nature itself is in flux and that there is no such thing as an equilibrium with nature. The environment could chew humans up and spit them out if it felt we truly threatened the planet. Take for example hurricanes that frequently pass through South-East Asia. As they pass over cities like Singepore they pick up huge quantities of carbon dioxide (or pollution) and suck it upwards into the highest level of the atmosphere. This results in a saturation of Carbon Dioxide which we are aware causes the Greenhouse effect. What occurs is an algal bloom that gobbles up all the carbon dioxide until the atmosphere returns to its original state of flux. IT FIXES ITSELF. How about the fact that they say the ozone layer is repairing itself? Does this sound like a world that needs protection? I think it is humans that need the most protection on this planet. We are the REAL endangered species. In the space of 50 years how many times have we come close to wiping ourselves off the planet?????

    The environmentalists final defence is to point at the Ice Caps and say that surely that is reason enough to change our ways. But even when one looks at world temperatures, they have been decreasing year-on-year for the past 10 years. If anything we are heading towards a ‘Global Cooling’ rather than a Global Warming! Maybe the environmentalist should be telling us to burn everything we can find in case the world freezes into a planet like Pluto! Haha. How does the environmentalist reconcile the fact that less than 100,000 years ago Europe as far south as Spain was covered in Glaciers? The earth spins on an axis. Could it be that the earth undergoes seasons over long periods of time too?

    I reduce the argument for human induced Global Warming down to fear-mongering by the political establishment. Just because a power-crazed slimer failed politican with ZERO scientific background decides to jump-start his career with a guilt ridden epic about polar bears, it does not mean he is speaking truth. At best he is speaking opinion, at worst he is talking ‘convenient’ lies. But Dave, if you have made it this far, if you really want to see what the scientists say take this survey condusted by the nonpartisan National Registry of Environmental Professionals (NREP), the survey asked 793 environmental scientists and environmental practitioners about human effects on climate variance.

    Survey Results

    According to the survey:

       * 34 percent of environmental scientists and practitioners
    disagree that global warming is a serious problem facing the planet.

       * 41 percent disagree that the planet’s recent warmth “can be, in
    large part, attributed to human activity.”

       * 71 percent disagree that recent hurricane activity is
    significantly attributable to human activity.

       * 33 percent disagree that the U.S. government is not doing enough
    to address global warming.

       * 47 percent disagree that international agreements such as the
    Kyoto Protocol provide a solid framework for combating global climate
    change.

    Now where exactly is the scientific consensus you were talking about? Of those surveyed how many are employed by government agencies and benefit from expanded government programs? I’d say well over half. Unfortunately, this debate is far from over, but thanks to the internet the information is always available to those who seek it.
    Rant over.

    Retrolives

    June 19, 2008 at 11:25 pm


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