December 20, 2011
The abundance of scientific research showing [upcoming catastrophic anthropomorphic climate change] demands a new civilizational paradigm, one grounded not in dominance over nature but in respect for natural cycles of renewal—and acutely sensitive to natural limits, including the limits of human intelligence.
This is what liberals like Klein and “a-little-piece-of-their-pie” Michelle Obama don’t understand. There is no pie, and there is no limit to solutions for solving energy problems. The only limit is the market-kneecapping, innovation-stifling regulation liberals like Klein advocate.
The market isn’t the cause of environmental degradation. In reality, markets facilitate rewards for innovation. Technological progress enables humans to meet their needs more efficiently, which generally means with less damage to the environment then before the innovation.
You can see this process at work in the way technological progress has made farming less ecologically damaging than it’s ever been. The same is true of industry. You can now manufacture more shit with less damage to the environment than ever before. Markets –> competition –> existential struggle for greater efficiency –> innovation –> cleaner ways of doing business.
As dumb as her premise is, her solutions to climate change are even dumber.
The gravity of the climate crisis cries out for a radically new conception of realism.
In Klein’s “conception of realism” mass transit is a viable solution and not a perpetually 0ver-budget, behind-schedule, wholly impractical and middle-class repelling boondoggle. I want what she’s smoking. She does seem willing to admit what seriously attempting public transit would do to budgets when she writes, “Government budget deficits are not nearly as dangerous as the deficits we have created in vital and complex natural systems.” First of all, we’re already we’re on the path to total financial collapse, without expensive new public transit programs. And I don’t know about her, but I imagine that collapse will be far worse than the climate change it will exacerbate. Burning coal in homes for heat a la our first Great Depression isn’t environmentally friendly.
Her second solution? She wants to recover ”an art that has been relentlessly vilified during these decades of market fundamentalism: planning.” She proposes, seriously, citizens gathering at city hall to decide together what the laid-off coal workers are going to do after the coal plant is shut down because… global warming. Oh my God I want this to happen so bad. I want this meeting to take place and I want her running it, standing in front of hundreds of factory workers, listening. Has Klein ever been to a public meeting before? Is she for real about this?
If I’d been drinking coffee I’d have spit it out when I read her third solution. When describing the kind of coercive economic intervention she’d like to see more of she writes, “Much can be done with incentives: subsidies for renewable energy.” Is she completely and totally unable to grasp that the public has (rightfully) no taste for “green” corporatism in the wake of the Solyndra scandal?
Klein just proves that the the proposed solutions’ consequences are actually far worse than the threat of global warming itself. Implementing these ideas would be analagous to clubbing yourself to death because there might be a bear in the bushes.