Tyrants and Fools:
The Fallacy of a Green New Deal modeled on the Covid Lockdowns
by Jeff Fullerton
Attribute to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise
Decided to make this one about the survival with style theme honoring the late Jerry Pournelle who made me aware of the notion in regard to energy, environmental or economic issues the ultimate choice is between freedom or a socialist tyranny.
“If most citizens disagree with you about the optimal trade-off between climate change mitigations and other goals, where do you take the right from to put your preferences over the expressed will of most other citizens”?
I took notice of this statement in an article ray sent me today that critiques a paper [Climate Lockdown: paper published in prestigious journal laments ‘democracy’ & calls for ‘authoritarian environmentalism’ modeled after covid lockdowns to fight climate ’emergency’] arguing that democracy as an institution fails to address the current needs of humanity and should be overridden for the sake of necessity to address the oncoming crisis of climate change. The classic plea of necessity is rearing it’s ugly head again in this debate and it’s no surprise because we’ve heard it before in a long list of issues and litanies that the end of the world is just around the corner and we must act without delay to prevent catastrophe. This time it’s 2030 which I have marked on my calendar since AOC told us so a few years ago.
Less than 12 years now and if it were that certain—it’s already too late to do anything about it. Just because the damage is already irreversible and while the United States and other Western nations is debating about cutting off their collective noses to spite their collective faces—nations like China and India are continuing to increase their carbon footprint unceasingly. I won’t go into statistics on that or the decrease of carbon emissions by the us that have already met the stated goals of earlier proposed agreements (because of the shift from coal to natural gas for power generation) because the intended scope of this article is on the moral and philosophical aspects of climate policy verses the right of democratic oversight in representative government. And the disingenuous and counterproductive motives of climate activists and policy makers who are buying into doomsday claims for obvious reasons. mostly a selfish desire to acquire uncontested access to the levers of governmental power and personal gain—building careers and wealth for themselves at the expense of everyone else.
And the world they want to own.
“That’s unfortunate for democracy as it now is only of secondary importance. Democracy does not fulfill primary needs. Its value is contingent and more like a fashion. In our times, people value it, but in earlier centuries people did not. So its value is not foundational but contingent on the people’s current desires.distinguishing fundamental legitimacy (safety, climate politics) vs contingent legitimacy (democracy) is the core of the argument”.
This plea of necessity goes hand in hand with transient causes which the founders also warned about. The idea that democracy does not fulfill primary needs and that it is contingent upon the current people’s desires. This is the morality of most central planners who favor democracy until the vote doesn’t go their way and there is a populist backlash because people who might have been swayed into handing over power by fear mongering in exchange for promises of safety start feeling the pain and realize the vain nature of their sacrifices. It’s also a very dubious argument to say that our system of government which is based on republicanism with democratic representation and separation of powers is obsolete on the grounds that down through much of recorded history that tyranny—not democracy—was the norm.
In a way they’re right about that.
It’s the fundamental disconnect of American Exceptionalism and The Enlightenment from much of the remainder of human history that was dominated by the brutality of warlords and kings and emperors who could seize property, enslave people or kill a commoner who disobeyed or insulted them on a whim as if they fancied themselves to be gods, divine beings with power of life and death over all. Since that date in 1776 when the British colonies that became the United States declared their independence—our nation made a 5,000 year leap forward that took it from worst to first in a mere two centuries and it’s influence raised the baseline of human existence all around the planet in the way of technological progress, improvements in infrastructure, mass literacy, cures for many terrible diseases and increased life expectancy benefiting even people in less developed nations.
Of course there have always been people who never liked such progress—even among those who call themselves “progressives” who are more or less fossils with a 20th century vintage vision that was more of a hindrance even back then and even to this day have prevented us from becoming what we could have been.
These kind of people are the reason we don’t have space colonies yet. Or solar power satellites in geosynchronous orbit that could be providing us with cheap abundant energy and laid the current climate debate over fossil fuels by fossil fools to rest long ago. Thanks to the bungling incompetence and lack of vision by the career politicians and environmental lawsuits based on mindless luddite activism—America turned against nuclear energy that now safely provides about 60 percent of France’s electricity needs—in favor of dirty old coal that environmentalists so deplore.
And now they are pushing all-electric vehicles that in the absence of nuclear plants—will have to be provided by burning some kind of fossil fuels to make up for the shortfall of wind or earth based solar which is unreliable in Northern climates that have lots of cloud cover and severe cold weather.
That’s the Achilles heel of the green new deal and American prosperity or the continued existence of America itself as a free nation with a democratically elected government that can still be held accountable to the people.
The climate alarmists should be very careful when they call for illiberal measures to address their pet issue. For they are actually making a case and inviting similarly repressive measures against them. In order the way of emergency powers to override their protests against infrastructure improvements necessary for the survival and prosperity of humanity and authorize deadly force to deal with mobs or saboteurs who try to block construction of a pipeline or power line or storm a nuclear power plant. I’d be guilty here of making the same classic plea of necessity which could be validated on grounds of moral relativism which the left—to which advocates of extreme totalitarian environmentalism—flocks with consistently.
Indeed green policies are more or less the vehicle of choice for central planners and Cultural Marxists to achieve their goals for the centralization of power, control of natural resources and the necessities of life in order to obtain the power of life and death over all human life on the planet earth—and the “social justice” and equitable distribution of misery for the masses of humanity apart from the privileged classes of the rulers and enforcers of the police state necessary to maintain the social and economic order of the final society they are hellbent on imposing.
The eternal boot heel stamping on the human face described by George Orwell.
The climate policy wonks are wrong and hypocritical. First of all the polices they are pushing are not going to reduce the carbon footprint and are doing a lot of collateral damage to wildlife and ecosystems. And these new modes of power generation being implemented prematurely by government fiat are inefficient and unreliable and will cause economic hardship and even threaten people with death in extreme climates because wind and earth based solar lack the reliability of higher density energy sources like fossil fuels and nuclear power—which also have far less surface impact than solar and wind farms.
as for hypocrisy—the climate alarmists spent the four years of the Trump presidency along with most of their other ideological fellow travelers wringing their hands that Donald Trump was going to impose a dictatorship. Yet they have always had these aspirations for the same long before anyone ever imagined Trump running for president and their words have been published prolifically—though there is widespread denial and selective ignorance on the part of the media and people in general who are looking to get some benefit from the expansion of government and redistribution of wealth promised by the green new deal.
This is the same kind of intellectual dishonesty that described the widespread destruction and mayhem of BLM and AntiFa in the Summer of 2020 as “peaceful protests” while calling the antics of a bunch of rowdy fools who broke a few windows in the us capital: a full blown “insurrection”.
Of course had Trump decided to use executive powers to override a court decision by activist judges to stop construction of an export terminal for natural gas—or to push construction of nuclear power plants over the dead bodies of environmentalists—the leftists would scream bloody murder. Yet it is perfectly alright for them to call for governing against the will of the people to implement climate policies that are based on crony capitalism and do more harm than good and not even meet the stated goals—all in the name of ulterior motives based on their devotion to a fundamentally evil ideology called socialism and their own delusional arrogance that presumes they have a divine right to rule the world.
That goes against the founding values of America which was founded in opposition to such tyranny. Our founding documents also contain the seeds of a legitimate argument against the tyranny of modern statists like the climate alarmists and social justice warriors calling for the usurpation of America and Western Civilization in general. The founders argued that human beings are entitled to the inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and that when any government is destructive to those ends—it is the right of the people to abolish or alter it.
However in the case of movements based on totalitarian religious or ideological impulses that are obviously destructive to the same ends—that right does not apply anymore than the right to murder someone out of malice or desire to plunder their property and possessions verses killing in self defense or to defend personal freedom, virtue and property. It is obvious that the likes of Marxists, national socialists, fascists, advocates of theocratic and statist regimes in general are very destructive to those ends. They are are the people responsible for the most pressing problems and majority of violent death and misery on planet earth; wars, government repression and tyranny, the systemic retardation of technological progress and undermining of economic prosperity.
Such tyranny is forever illegitimate no matter how legally by due process the power to implement and enforce it is obtained. Mostly by deceiving voters with false alarms and promises of safety and fairness if only they put power into their hands. Then they will grab that power and forbid anyone to change or even talk about changing the status quo once the tyrants are in power. Yet their power will be forever illegitimate because of rights argued in the founding documents are inherently inalienable and anyone who should ever use force or even deception to legally usurp those rights is illegitimate and the alteration or abolition of the same is illegitimate and falls under the definition of “destructive to those ends”. Therefore it is subject to overthrow to reinstate our inalienable rights over the interests of the state or special interests with illiberal aims who’ve grabbed power. Ayn Rand said something like this in regard to the right of a free nation to invade and overthrow any totalitarian regime and liberate the people. Such as Nazi Germany where Hitler and his party won the national elections fair and square and then maneuvered using parliamentary procedures and emergency powers to test the constitutional limits of their power and then usurp those limits and seize total power. However it must not be misconstrued as an excuse for endless interventionist foreign policy that often does more harm than good. Like green policies that have become the compelling plea of necessity in our age and are the vehicle for inflicting a crushing totalitarianism upon us without addressing the problems that are the rationale for their implementation.
These people and their plans for using climate alarmism as an avenue to world domination must be exposed for the vile and evil tyranny that it is and they must be stopped. The problems they claim as justification for seizing power over the destiny of billions are not as serious as they would have everyone believe and even if they were—their lack of vision and incompetent hubris would bungle the Promethean task that would better be undertaken by visionaries outside of government and ideological activist movements.
As for the institution of democracy—it’s no panacea either. Just a check on the system to give the people the ability to change course when a president or governing majority party overreaches their constitutional authority; or governs irresponsibly. People make foolish decisions sometimes but to err is human.
So is the right to learn from and correct our mistakes and reign in those who abuse power entrusted in them or fail to govern competently.
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