Jan 8, 2011
Does a liberal democracy have sufficient resolve to stomach the economic and political sacrifices required to stabilize global warming?
A growing number of climate scientists believe the answer is “no.” In their view, democratic institutions are perpetuating climate change by precluding implementation of the politically unpalatable actions needed to reduce the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
For example, in The Climate Change Challenge and the Failure of Democracy, David Shearman, a professor of environmental sciences at the University of Adelaide in Australia argues that democracies are no match for the complex challenges posed by climate change. A liberal democracy are inherently incompatible with the governance measured needed to establish a sustainable society.
After arguing that democracy is impotent and destined to fail humanity, Shearman goes off the deep-end, concluding that an authoritarian form of government is necessary to combat climate change. The back-of-the-book blurb, which I would strongly urge readers NOT to buy, describes the author’s argument like so:
Climate change threatens the future of civilization, but humanity is impotent in effecting solutions . . . Society is verging on a philosophical choice between liberty or life . . . Having brought the reader to the realization that in order to halt or even slow the disastrous process of climate change we must choose between liberal democracy and a form of authoritarian government by experts, the authors offer up a radical reform of democracy that would entail the painful choice of curtailing our worldwide reliance on growth economies, along with various legal and fiscal reforms.
This article was posted: Saturday, January 8, 2011 at 7:02 am