Tuesday, 25 May 2010
Warmists Against Democracy
I caught some of a programme on Radio 4 last night - Analysis it was - in which a couple of warmists were roundly declaring that, in the face of what they saw as impending catastrophe, democracy might well have to be abandoned. One of them was our old friend Jim Lovelock. The presenter Justin Rowlatt questioned them robustly, and gave plenty of time to the opposing case, essentially that no such drastic measures could conceivably be justified by such uncertain science. But just supposing, by way of hypothesis, that at some point it was scientifically established beyond doubt (inasmuch as science can really establish anything beyond doubt) that (a) global warming was increasing to the point where it was an imminent threat to human survival, and (b) that the acceleration was due to human activity, and (c) that it could be stopped by human intervention - just supposing all of that - would it then be right to abandon democracy? Would we actually know what to do, and would abandoning democracy make it any easier in practice to do it? And would it, in the end, be worth giving up one of the great human achievements, one of the things that makes life livable, for the sake of maintaining the human population at its current extremely high level? Would the world we were reduced to by these drastic measures be worth saving? Perhaps, as Rowlatt suggested, democracy has already effectively been suspended in this cause, as all three electable parties have signed up to a near-identical green agenda - and, he might have added, the UK is already committed, without public consultation, to a legal process that, if carried through, will effectively destroy the economy (the notorious 80 per cent cuts in carbon emissions). I don't suppose that was what Lovelock had in mind when he chillingly declared humankind 'too stupid' to deal with climate change, but it looks pretty stupid to me.