Today, it’s time to point out how the green movement itself doesn’t need to exist — it should either be absorbed by another political concern, or migrate to a whole vision of society like the deep ecologists have.
More fuel for the fire:
The modern environmental movement is having an identity crisis. Staring down its biggest enemy yet, it’s fiercely divided over how to beat it.
The global challenge of climate change is tougher than the localized problems the green movement has spent decades fighting. To some environmentalists, it requires chucking old orthodoxies and getting practical. To others, it demands an old-style moral crusade.
Rather than push certain technological fixes, critics say, environmentalists should simply push government to slap industry with a tough cap on greenhouse gases — and let industry figure out how to meet the mandate.
(Some fear that acting on climate change will lead to tyranny; I’d argue that any unrealistic action by masses of people requires strong centralized power — a benevolent tyrant — to sort out.)
Now people are trying to decide how to implement a change policy, and they’re dancing around the fundamental problem: in order for vast change to occur, some group that’s fanatical about this issue must prevail over others. I doubt this will be a green group, because those as single-issue activists are too fanatical about it, and sacrifice other things for it, destroying a lot of what we’ve as a species worked for.
Last summer, China and the developing world announced the price for their cooperation on a global-warming treaty: up to 1% of the developed world’s gross domestic product. For the U.S., this would mean sending $140 billion a year to China, Iran, North Korea and Cuba, among other countries. This is in addition to the $28 billion we already distribute each year in foreign aid.
A November 2008 study by the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change forecasts the international costs could be as much as $3 trillion by 2050 for developing nations to make the significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions that scientists say are necessary. The MIT report says that the U.S. share would total nearly $1 trillion of these “international financial transfers of unprecedented scale.”
President Barack Obama recently unveiled a budget blueprint that called for a $646 billion climate tax through a carbon-trading system. Already, White House officials are saying this tax could be three times larger.
The U.S. cannot reduce the growth of greenhouse gases in the earth’s atmosphere without the developing nations cutting their emissions as well. A 2007 study by the Battelle Memorial Institute found that if China, India and the other developing countries keep growing at current rates, they will emit nearly three times as much carbon dioxide as will the developed countries by the end of this century.
Let me explain what’s going on:
When you create a nuclear option in discourse, like “that’s racist!” or “that’s anti-green!”, people will use that handy argument-ender to get their own way.
Developing nations would love to be able to knock the west out of the way so they can have world dominance instead. They’re using our guilt over global warming to this end, even though with their much larger populations, they’ll create a far worse disaster.
Europeans and European-Americans are a self-regulating, declining population that’s roughly 8% of the world’s people. They are not the problem, because this present moment leads to a future, and if that future is the other 92% of the world’s population consuming resources at first-world rates, we’ll be in trouble.
Smarter people for years have been warning us: open pollution is a bad idea. Individualism leads individuals to do what is convenient, not right. Our population is exploding and most of these people inherit a dismal future mainly because they’re stupid (IQ under 100). We can’t fix what nature did not make for our purposes.
Still, we in the liberal democratic West are fine with planting, but afraid of pruning. Death implies a lack of control by the individual, and our current myth is that of individual control. Control your life. Form mobs to enforce this control. Surely, reality will never hit us in the ass running, right?
At this point, most smart people have left the global warming debate. They’ve left it to the people who are going to use it to advance their own power and wealth. Where saying “God says so” was power in the 1500s, saying “Green says so” may be the equivalent now. And so in rush the profiteers: in public reality, they are concerned for our planet; in private reality, they are jockeying for more power and not even thinking about the environment. Screw the trees, I’m earning six figures defending the trees, so I hope this problem never goes away!
The only side of the political spectrum that can approach this situation semi-accurately is the right. They are either Social Darwinists, or farther to the right, believers in a unified state, values, population, heritage, customs, language. Either of these has enough force to tell people the dreaded word NO when they want to breed more dumb people, buy SUVs, or build fast food restaurants in the midst of pristine forest.
And that distills the global warming issue: we need someone who can say NO. But right now, we cannot, because our hands are tied by liberal democracy. Indeed, that’s a problem.