Climate change now represents so urgent a threat to mankind that the only way to deal with it is by suspending democracy. (Hat tip: DR at Bishop Hill)
When James Lovelock makes this kind of terrifying argument in books or newspaper interviews at least one can reasonably dismiss it as the potty burblings of an otherwise amiable and harmless old man.
When the BBC does it, however, I’d suggest the time has come to start tooling up and heading for the hills. Have a listen to this recent radio broadcast by the BBC’s “Ethical Man” Justin Rowlatt and tell me whether you find it as scary as I do.
It purports to be a balanced examination of Lovelock’s controversial remarks in a Guardian interview:
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.
But it’s clear right from the beginning what the documentary’s line is: What do we want? Ecofascism. When do we want it? Now!
Here’s Rowlatt’s opening:
Climate change is a divisive issue. I believe that it is a
real threat and needs to be tackled. I know many people disagree. But
whatever you believe you should be concerned about how our society
responds to the issue because there is a growing view that mitigating
climate change means we have to change our view of democracy.
In support of this dubious thesis (the fact that you “believe”, Justin Rowlatt, is surely a glorious irrelevance), Rowlatt wheels on an array of extreme greens to argue what he’d no doubt dearly love to say himself but can’t because of those tricky BBC rules on impartiality.
Somebody called Halina Ward of the Foundation For Democracy And Sustainable Development says:
We don’t have to be driven by what 50% plus 1 of the
population wants to say that we represent a majority view.
Somebody called Michael Jacobs, formerly Gordon Brown’s advisor on Climate Change, says:
I don’t think it’s right to call something anti-democratic if it
has the consent of the public even if you couldn’t say that they were
actively in favour of it.
And here’s Rowlatt’s exchange with somebody called Mayer Hillman, senior fellow emeritus of the Left-leaning Policy Studies institute:
HILLMAN: The planet has a finite capacity to absorb the further
burning of fossil fuels and still leave a safe climate for the future, and
there’s every indication that we – and I mean the public in this country
and elsewhere – are not prepared to make the changes necessary to
achieve that. On the other hand democracy requires that those changes
cannot be imposed on the public if they are unwilling to accept the
implications of that, which is living within the planet’s capacity to
absorb further greenhouse gas emissions.
ROWLATT: So what are you saying – we suspend democracy?
HILLMAN: I think in the same way that I understand James Lovelock
has suggested that, I fear I have to share his view on that. There’s no
way that the public are going to willingly say “I will forego flying”.
The fact is that we’ve got to live on such a low use of fossil fuels for
our daily activities. Therefore it’s got to be required of them and if they
don’t go along with it, then we are – I fear – heading for absolute
disaster. We are on a trajectory towards rendering the planet steadily
ROWLATT: Some people would say, Mayer, that you sound like an
HILLMAN: Well I have had that term applied to me. I don’t mind these
sticks and stones. I think it’s irrelevant how I sound. I’m just trying to
No fewer than six out of the seven expert witnesses called by Rowlatt are ardent environmentalists. And that’s not counting the parti pris presenter, Rowlatt himself.
Someone from the Institute of Economic Affairs is wheeled on mildly and politely to put the case for democracy and economic commonsense. But then it’s back to the eco-fascists for the final word.
We have an obligation to look after the interests of future
generations because they’re going to have to live in a world which is in
a deteriorating condition. And we already, some of us, can see the lives
that our children and grandchildren are going to have to live within, and
it is pretty horrific and it is because we’re not prepared to make the
changes necessary. Democracy allows people the freedom not to be
obliged to do things that we know we must do, so how can one possibly
say yes but the principle of democracy must prevail over and above
protection of the global environment from excessive burning of fossil
fuels? Given the choice, I would sadly – very, very sadly – say that the
condition of the planet in the future for future generations is more
important than the retention of democratic principles.
Tell you what I find so bothersome about this whole noisome documentary: it’s that Rowlatt – and he’s by no means atypical of the BBC on this score – is quite utterly incapable of appreciating what a poisonous doctrine he is tacitly endorsing.
There is nothing normal, balanced or reasonable about a programme – made at licence payers’ expense by Britain’s state broadcaster – to argue the case for replacing democracy with fascist tyranny. Let alone to present it in such a grotesquely biased way.
It’s no better than picking up on a remark by some fringe racist that “black people should be sent back to where they came from” and then inviting a panel including Nick Griffin and five other Neo-Nazis, plus a token Yasmin Alibhai Brown, to discuss whether this argument makes sense.
As the “science” in support of AGW collapses it is of course inevitable that the methods used by the Alarmists to defend their crumbling citadel will grow ever more desperate and underhand. But for the BBC to play so active a role in this dirty propaganda war is quite inexcusable.