Is Environmentalism Really About The Environment?

A couple of months ago, I wrote about an interesting admission made by the Church of Global Warming at the Bali Conference. The “Friends of the Earth” promoted Global Socialism by suggesting that our “climate crisis” can be solved by a simple redistribution of wealth.

“A climate change response must have at its heart a redistribution of wealth and resources.”

Nice huh? Well, it doesn’t stop there. A couple of “Environmentalists,” David Shearman and Joseph Wayne Smith, have even published their anti-capitalist dogma in a book titled, “The Climate Change Challenge and the Failure of Democracy.”

If you’re amazed by the title, you’re really going to love the description of this book:

In this provocative book, Shearman and Smith present evidence that the fundamental problem causing environmental destruction--and climate change in particular--is the operation of liberal democracy. Its flaws and contradictions bestow upon government--and its institutions, laws, and the markets and corporations that provide its sustenance--an inability to make decisions that could provide a sustainable society.

Having argued that democracy has failed humanity, the authors go even further and demonstrate that this failure can easily lead to authoritarianism without our even noticing. Even more provocatively, they assert that there is merit in preparing for this eventuality if we want to survive climate change. They are not suggesting that existing authoritarian regimes are more successful in mitigating greenhouse emissions, for to be successful economically they have adopted the market system with alacrity. Nevertheless, the authors conclude that an authoritarian form of government is necessary, but this will be governance by experts and not by those who seek power. There are in existence highly successful authoritarian structures--for example, in medicine and in corporate empires--that are capable of implementing urgent decisions impossible under liberal democracy. Society is verging on a philosophical choice between "liberty" or "life."

Oh, boy. Where do I start? Notice how the authors completely vilify free markets and, the favorite villain of leftists, eeeevil corporations. They suggest that the real problem with existing authoritarian regimes is that “they have adopted the market system” in order to be economically stable. They imply that these societies could take great measures to save the planet if it weren’t for their evil market systems.

An authoritarian form of government is necessary, but this will be governance by experts and not by those who seek power.

Basically, they are saying that an Authoritarian government is the only way to save our planet, but only as long as Environmentalists are in charge. Wonderful.

But, lest you believe that the authors are actually promoting the shift of world Governments to Authoritarian control, they save the last chapter of the book to convince you otherwise.

There is a third way between democracy and authoritarianism that the authors leave for the final chapter. Having brought the reader to the realization that in order to halt or even slow the disastrous process of climate change we must choose between liberal democracy and a form of authoritarian government by experts, the authors offer up a radical reform of democracy that would entail the painful choice of curtailing our worldwide reliance on growth economies, along with various legal and fiscal reforms. Unpalatable as this choice may be, they argue for the adoption of this fundamental reform of democracy over the journey to authoritarianism.

So, they don’t necessarily believe that Authoritarian control is the ultimate answer. They simply believe in a “radical reform of democracy” which includes the “curtailing our worldwide reliance on GROWTH economics, along with various legal and fiscal reforms.” Without reading the book, I can’t say exactly what these “various legal and fiscal reforms” are. But, it is clear, based on their hatred of growth economics, that their "reforms" would seek the slowing, stopping, or even reversing of economies worldwide.

(You might be interested to know that former President Bill Clinton has made a similar proposal.)

We can also look to other writings by these authors to get a good idea of the types of reforms they desire. Take, for instance, this article written by David Shearman, one of the authors of “The Climate Change Challenge and the Failure of Democracy.”

At, Shearman writes:

Liberal democracy is sweet and addictive and indeed in the most extreme case, the USA, unbridled individual liberty overwhelms many of the collective needs of the citizens.

There must be open minds to look critically at liberal democracy. Reform must involve the adoption of structures to act quickly regardless of some perceived liberties.

If we do not act urgently we may find we have chosen total liberty rather than life.

I believe Patrick Henry once faced a similar choice between Liberty and Life.


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