Environmentalism: The Biggest Threat To Freedomby Doug Mataconis
Vaclav Klaus, the President of the Czech Republic writes in the Financial Times that he sees environmentalism as the biggest threat to individual liberty:
In the past year, Al Goreâ€™s so-called â€œdocumentaryâ€ film was shown in cinemas worldwide, Britainâ€™s â€“ more or less Tony Blairâ€™s â€“ Stern report was published, the fourth report of the United Nationsâ€™ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was put together and the Group of Eight summit announced ambitions to do something about the weather. Rational and freedom-loving people have to respond. The dictates of political correctness are strict and only one permitted truth, not for the first time in human history, is imposed on us. Everything else is denounced.
The author Michael Crichton stated it clearly: â€œthe greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propagandaâ€. I feel the same way, because global warming hysteria has become a prime example of the truth versus propaganda problem. It requires courage to oppose the â€œestablishedâ€ truth, although a lot of people â€“ including top-class scientists â€“ see the issue of climate change entirely differently. They protest against the arrogance of those who advocate the global warming hypothesis and relate it to human activities.
As someone who lived under communism for most of his life, I feel obliged to say that I see the biggest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity now in ambitious environmentalism, not in communism. This ideology wants to replace the free and spontaneous evolution of mankind by a sort of central (now global) planning.
The environmentalists ask for immediate political action because they do not believe in the long-term positive impact of economic growth and ignore both the technological progress that future generations will undoubtedly enjoy, and the proven fact that the higher the wealth of society, the higher is the quality of the environment. They are Malthusian pessimists.
Though the environmentalists will no doubt denounce him, Klaus has a point. The leading lights of the environmentalist political movement are clearly, and explicitly, collectivist. They advocate measures that would subordinate individual liberty to political will or scientific consensus, often with only the flimsiest support for their theories.
Before we all march hand in hand into Al Gore’s Green Utopia, we need to be asking ourselves if it’s worth the price of our freedom.