Ed Driscoll

This Week's Moral Equivalent Of War Analogy

Allahpundit spots a British scientist claiming that “democracy must be put on hold” to fight — wait for it! — “climate change:”

Humans are too stupid to prevent climate change from radically impacting on our lives over the coming decades. This is the stark conclusion of James Lovelock, the globally respected environmental thinker and independent scientist who developed the Gaia theory.

It follows a tumultuous few months in which public opinion on efforts to tackle climate change has been undermined by events such as the climate scientists’ emails leaked from the University of East Anglia (UEA) and the failure of the Copenhagen climate summit.

“I don’t think we’re yet evolved to the point where we’re clever enough to handle a complex a situation as climate change,” said Lovelock in his first in-depth interview since the theft of the UEA emails last November. “The inertia of humans is so huge that you can’t really do anything meaningful.”

One of the main obstructions to meaningful action is “modern democracy”, he added. “Even the best democracies agree that when a major war approaches, democracy must be put on hold for the time being. I have a feeling that climate change may be an issue as severe as a war. It may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while.”

As Theodore Dalrymple writes in his latest book, The New Vichy Syndrome:

Just as Leninists knew what was good for the proletariat, thereby conferring on themselves a gratifying providential role, so the environmentalists now know what is good for humanity and likewise confer on themselves a providential role. The beauty of preservation of the environment as a cause is that it is so large that it would justify almost any ends used to achieve it, for a living environment is the sine qua non of everything else. You can demonstrate and riot for the good of humanity to your heart’s content; your questions about what life is for are answered.

And you can think of yourself as ultra “modern”, while employing an otherwise arthritic bit of rhetorical slight of hand over a century old.

(For my audio interview with Dr. Dalrymple, from this week’s PJM Political, click here.)