Monday, June 30, 2008

How to Kill Cap-and-Trade

As politicians throughout the West contemplate how to respond to AGW hysteria, while still remaining electable, it is worth contemplating on why rising gas prices have hit the environmentalist movement so hard.
  • The contradiction behind the green lifestyle fad is the idea that we can reject industrial civilization -- and the fuel that powers it -- while still enjoying a modern, prosperous, "First World" standard of living.
  • ...truly consistent environmentalism demands the sacrifice of all prosperity. The only genuine way to slash your "carbon footprint" is to stop consuming goods. The "lifestyle" it really demands is not about hemp bracelets, bamboo textile skirts, and reusable burlap grocery sacks-the entire Whole Foods scene. It's really about abject, Third World poverty.
  • The Marxist-influenced Old Left believed in industrial socialism. Through "scientific" central planning, it was going to make industrial production even more efficient and lift the poor, exploited workers out of poverty.
  • The result was the New Left. Since socialism had not been able to raise the people of what was then called the "Third World" out of a primitive lifestyle, the New Left declared instead that a primitive lifestyle is the ideal, and that we should try to emulate it here. The centerpiece of that campaign has been environmentalism.
  • Environmentalism has become a major cultural force. But to steal a line from the Marxists of the Old Left, it is a force that contains within it the internal contradictions that will lead to its destruction.
  • is a choice between a discredited idea and an unappealing one.
Which, of course goes a long way to explain why so many voters are passive and exhibit a certain ennui about contemporary politics: too often their choice is between discredited policies and unappealing ones.

Old Labour, New Labour. Old Conservative, Progressive Conservative. Political divisions are arbitrary and transient. Either the candidate believes in more government control over the individual, or less. Centralized, collective control or individual choice.

Green politics is premised on increased governance, a lack of faith in individual competency and the necessity for societal conformity within defined dogma. All the appeals to scientific authority are just a smokescreen for ideological conformity within morally defined limits.