Latest posts by H. Sterling Burnett (see all)
- Why a Carbon Tax Does Not Work - February 24, 2018
- Time for the Clean Power Plan to Go, Endangerment Finding Should Be Next - February 23, 2018
- President Trump on Energy and the Environment, an Assessment of His First Year - February 22, 2018
Professor Nico Stehr, founding director of the European Center for Sustainability Research, notes there are many threats to democracy – including the widespread, growing feeling of not being heard or represented by the political class.
Some climatologists, including many who believe human-caused global warming poses a catastrophic threat to the planet, say democracy itself is a hindrance to sound climate policy. They say democracies are increasingly proving themselves incapable of delivering strong and timely policy responses to exceptional global threats. Stehr quotes Australians David Shearman and Joseph Wayne Smith, who write in The Climate Change Challenge and the Failure of Democracy, “We need an authoritarian form of government to implement the scientific consensus on greenhouse gas emissions.”
James Hansen, James Lovelock, and Eric Hobsbawn have all written the democratic process is not working when it comes to climate change. In his book The Vanishing Face of Gaia, Lovelock went so far as to demand democracy be abandoned to meet the challenges of climate change, which he deemed “a state of war.”
Stehr notes this is not the first time intellectuals have called for rule by educated elites. Economist and social philosopher Friedrich Hayek remarked on the paradoxical development, noting as “ignorance” of science falls, “people who are intoxicated by the progress of knowledge, so often become enemies of freedom.” Stehr also observes climate alarmists’ pessimistic assessment of the ability of democracies to cope with climate change, as with other purported instances of exceptional circumstances, is linked with an optimistic assessment of the potential of central planning.
And really, is it any surprise that as the public becomes less supportive of their cause, the climate alarmists become less interested in the opinions of the public?