For "Blair and Brow" read "carbon neutral" Clark. For "hugging a glacier" Cameron read John "Al Gore pushed all my buttons" Key. But Hume hasn't finished. The bids by Clark, Key, Blair and Brown to out-boast each other, in Annie-Get Your Gun style, ignores that what is strangled by fatuous boasts to ration airline travel and to cut emissions by sixty percent is human activity and human industry.
The major parties have all gravitated towards greenery on global warming because they lack any political principles of their own.
With their public standing at an all-time low, politicians are attracted to the issue of climate change because it allows them to scramble out of the mire and back on to the moral high ground. Rather than fending off endless allegations of sleaze or trying to explain why they cannot run a decent health service, Blair and Brown are set free to make portentous speeches about saving the planet. And instead of tackling the tricky issues of coming up with alternative policies on the economy or Iraq, Cameron can strike statesmanlike poses while hugging a glacier.
Leave aside for now the vexed and complex question of the actual science of climate change. I am no climatologist, but then you surely do not need to be to see that the simplistic, conformist politics of global warming are about something else. Even if we were to accept that some of the far-reaching expert predictions about climate change were true, there would be no necessary straight line from those scientists’ estimates to the sort of policies now being proposed by Brown or David Miliband or Cameron. Instead, they are using the language of science to express their own politics of low expectations and policing our behaviour.As George Reisman puts it, the action that is proposed by governments to tackle this questionable problem is not in fact action, it is government action intended to stop private action. The ideas underpinning this cross-party shackling of human life and human fecundity are, as Mick Hume points out, "deeply conservative, backward, and reactionary."
When humanity has been faced with great challenges in history, the solution has been to go forward, to apply human ingenuity and endeavour to overcoming problems by advancing society. There is no record of tackling future problems by going backwards or restraining development. Yet that is what is effectively proposed through the politics of global warming.
To challenge them is not a job for scientific inquiry, since that is not really what such prejudices are based upon, but for political argument. The pressing need is to recast notions of human agency, and develop a future-oriented vision based on a belief in our ability to tackle problems through economic and social advance.
For starters, here is one straightforward historical idea that might sound ‘revolutionary’ today: the more control humanity is able to exercise over nature, and the larger the ‘footprint’ we make on the planet, the better the future is likely to be.
Can't argue with that at all. Read it all here: Any colour you like, as long as it's greens -- Mick Hume, Spiked.
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