The Conversation: Dictatorships Are Better Climate Custodians Than Democracies

Firmin DeBrabander. Smog hangs over a construction site in Weifang city, Shandong province, Oct 16. 2015. Air quality went down in many parts of China since Oct 15 and most cities are shrounded by haze. [Photo/IC]

Firmin DeBrabander. Attribution License, Author TedXBaltimore 2013. Smog hangs over a construction site in Weifang city, Shandong province, Oct 16. 2015. Air quality went down in many parts of China since Oct 15 and most cities are shrounded by haze. [Photo/IC]

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Professor of Philosophy Firmin DeBrabander, Maryland Institute College of Art, has joined the growing list of greens who think “autocratic” governments like China are better climate custodians than Democracies.

Why is climate change such a hard sell in the US?

June 8, 2017 12.36pm AEST

President Donald Trump on June 1 took the dramatic step of removingthe U.S. from the Paris climate agreement – the product of many years of diligent and difficult negotiation among 175 nations around the world. Recent polls reveal that six in 10 Americans oppose Trump’s move. However, a significant portion of climate skeptics remain – especially among Trump’s base and the Republican politicians who cheered this move.

The unfortunate truth is that environmentalists and their allies have failed to ignite widespread passion around climate change. And now they are faced with an administration stridently opposed to environmental regulation, slashing the EPA’s budget drastically and reversing President Obama’s climate change initiatives.

Learning from the past

I suspect that because of all these hurdles, climate change is not liable to be solved by democracies. Autocracies might do better – like China, for example. Given the severity of its current air pollution – a veritable “airpocalypse” – China’s government does not need to be prodded or persuaded to act; the necessity is obvious, and urgent. And China has the ability to take dramatic measures on climate change and act quickly – just what scientists are calling for – dragging the people with them. This is, after all, the nation that lifted half a billion people into the middle class in a single generation.

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China in particular has a long and shameful track record of pollution and disregard for the environment; cities choked with smoke, toxic waste dumped into the nearest convenient lake. Communist China has a long history of utter disregard for the needs of ordinary people.

DeBrabander’s claim that Dictatorships like China “might do better” at handling climate issues than countries whose governments are accountable to the people is absurd.

233 thoughts on “The Conversation: Dictatorships Are Better Climate Custodians Than Democracies

      • Nor does he wish to, Phillip!! And I’m with him.
        The screaming irony behind all this is that DeBrabander is quite correct! Dictatorships are always going to be “better” at all sorts of things, many of which DeBrabander might approve of, like cracking down on climate deniers. They are also very good at things that he might not like, like deciding what is “art”.
        I wonder if he really wants to live in the land of “… and then they came for professors of art and I did not speak up because …” Except you will never convince him that in his “enlightened” dictatorship such a thing could be possible.

      • wws, I agree.
        A dictatorship exists only for the dictator. He/she will only do what it takes to subdue or otherwise keep the people quiet.

    • Yeah…

      Professor of Philosophy, Maryland Institute College of Art

      Why read anything else?

      • There is only one thing that dictatorships and autocracies are much much better at: Crushing all dissent and imposing ideological orthodoxy on a population.
        And of course once all dissent is crushed, they can do whatever they want, which is why the environment always ends up worse in dictatorships than it does in democracies.
        Now of COURSE this professor loves that, because that is his only true goal all along! His so called “environmentalism” is simply the vehicle he wishes to use to ride roughshod over those he views as the ignorant peasantry in this country.

    • How do idiots like DeBrabander get to be professors? China has a terrible environmental record. The truth is rich, free societies have the cleanest environments simply because “rich” people demand it (also rich societies are the only ones that are free…except for places like Saudi Arabia).

      • Because the business of “education” has become indoctrination into every ridiculous progressive (but I repeat myself) theory that can be imagined.

      • Because no one else will hire them and universities and colleges need “someone” to put in front of basically meaningless courses. Not saying “art” isn’t important, but I will say the courses aren’t.

      • The US started cleaning up its problem areas (Los Angeles, Cleveland, etc) at least 35 years ago!

    • It’s easier to list well running dictatorships that work better than most democracies. There has been one in modern times.
      Lee Kuan Yew transformed Singapore from a dump to a global power house while, at the same time, reducing poverty to almost nothing.

      • It is not by chance that the only example of a ‘working’ benevolent dictatorship is a city. Anything larger than that becomes too unwieldy for a central authority; even a good one. In larger areas and populations, there are simply too many decisions that need to be made quickly and accurately for a central authority to handle, whether it is a dictatorship, committee or congress. The system becomes less efficient and more mistakes are made, some with huge consequences.
        People like Firmin DeBrabander love the idea of a Central Authority because they believe that everyone should live a very specific way, regardless of their personal needs and circumstances. This belief is so strong that they are apparently blind to the atrocious and bloody track record of Centralized Authority found in human history. Against all rationality, they hold on to the myth that ‘it could work with the right people in charge’, ignoring the reality of the complexity of the world, and the impossibility of any one authority ‘choosing well’ across that vast spectrum.
        A large part of the success of the United States is due to its diversity of decision making authority, from federal to state to county to municipality to individual. As the last four gradually give up their power to Washington, the greatness of this country diminishes.

      • Singapore was unique in that it paid its politicians similar to what is paid business leaders. This meant that there was plenty of competition internally for office, and the politicians could not easily be bought. The result was that Singapore ran similar to a business, where the objective of the government was to make money for Singapore as a whole, rather than to pander to special interests groups. When a decision needed to be made, it was made to maximize benefits to Singapore, rather than to benefits friends of the government.
        For example, it is not unusual in the US to spend millions of dollars to elect a politician for an office that pays hundreds of thousands of dollars. This makes no sense on the surface. If the politicians in question were making fair, honest decisions to the benefit of the taxpayers, then it should make no difference who gets elected, and there should be no reason to spend million to gain public office.
        However, the reality is that those in office do not act in such a fashion. Rather they end up channeling funds based on favoritism and ideology rather than to benefit the taxpayer, and in this fashion some groups gain advantage over other groups, in excess of what they might have to invest to elect a favorable candidate.
        In effect, politicians are on the take, but instead of handing them money directly, it is done indirectly via campaign contributions and policy decisions, to the benefit of specific groups rather than taxpayers as a whole.

      • jclarke – that is why we should divide the US into at least 5 separate countries as soon as possible.

      • The original purpose of the Senate was to protect the interests of the states from the federal government.
        Most, perhaps all of the ceding of authority to the federal government can be traced to the Senate changing to popular vote instead of being appointed by state governments.

      • The exception that proves the rule. On other hand, read about the Chinese Communist regime here.
        I have Chinese friends who are Falun Dafa practitioners. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have a clue. The Dinosaur media doesn’t report on items like this about Glorious Socialist Workers Paradises.

      • Jon Jewett June 8, 2017 at 5:11 pm
        … I have Chinese friends who are Falun Dafa practitioners. …

        The Chinese love stability and hate instability. One interpretation is that the Falun Gong tried to intimidate the Chinese government.

        Tensions culminated in April 1999, when over 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners gathered peacefully near the central government compound in Beijing to request legal recognition and freedom from state interference. This demonstration is widely seen as catalyzing the persecution that followed. link

        China has a nasty history of religious cults rising in revolt and causing huge misery. link, link, link
        The Falun Gong were just plain stupid if they couldn’t see the entirely predictable results of their actions.

      • Commie Bob, What the Falun Gong were protesting was the persecution that was already happening. It would be hard to say that the demonstration made any difference in their treatment in the long run. The party was already freaked out because so many people had already taken it up and had already decided to destroy them.
        By the way, I wonder if the professor will volunteer to have his organs cut out of him while he is still alive in order to help a poor needy rich high-ranking government official.
        “Singapore’s economy is one of the most open, and thus competitive, markets in the world. According to the 2011 World Bank Ease of Doing Business Index, Singapore is ranked first in the world for doing business – ahead of Hong Kong and New Zealand. Singapore is also ranked third in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report behind Switzerland and Sweden.”
        Singapore has government involvement in the economy but it is very open and very business friendly. Another dictatorship that worked economically was Chile under Pinochet. They took an economy that was a disaster from Allende’s communism into a fairly wealthy, successful country by introducing free-market reforms. Like George Washington, he stepped down from power voluntarily. Unlike George Washington, like the Chinese, he did not act as a kind leader to any opposition (to say the least), however, the man on the street was quite free. Still, he was quite popular even after he stepped down until it was found out that he stole lots (and lots) of money. Such is the way of even more benign dictators.
        China’s economic growth came from introducing a large measure of capitalism into the communist system. With government officials and the People’s Liberation Army owning many of the businesses and any independent entities tightly controlled, it is now more of a fascist or crony-capitalist state in many sectors of the economy. It still kills or imprisons those it takes a dislike to and is very corrupt. It is also probably the biggest polluter in the world right now, since the Soviet Union has fallen.

      • SocietalNorm June 8, 2017 at 9:05 pm
        … The party was already freaked out …

        Another party freak-out was caused by the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989. The Falun Gong knew how that had turned out when they decided to demonstrate in 1999.
        As far as I can tell, the Chinese middle class is not oppressed. Compared to where they were a few short years ago, they are much better off. There are now more middle class people in China than there are in America. link
        China has its problems some of which may be intractable. We’re seeing something like the same thing with President Trump vs. the Deep State. link Given China’s communist history, my wild ass guess is that its deep state is much deeper and more swampy. I wish them luck. When you try to drain the swamp, the swamp drains you. Nietzsche 🙂

    • I seem to remember the Aral sea was one of the largest fresh water lakes in the world. Thanks to communist environmental oversight, it is a mere fraction of what it was and is considered one of the worst environmental disasters ever.
      great stewards those socialist/ communist dictators.

      • I’m with you there, the destruction of the Aral Sea can be seen online and is a must look. I’m not sure where you are posting from, but this sort of thing can happen in a “democratic” country where the media is extremist. And a classic example of this are the drying lakes to the east of California, “Green” California is destroying several communities by draining their lakes and leaving behind a wasteland of toxic windswept dust bowls. There is a movement for Eastern rural communities to secede from California and I am rooting for them.
        I live in Australia and can tell you we have plenty of these green doorknobs as well…and shocker media like the U.S. believe me when I say the barrier reef is fine, it took a small hit way up north due to the latest El Nino and the main issue there is low water levels due to the wind direction effect of the El Nino. Low water level equals less protection to the corals from ultra violet rays. The reef is already noticeably repairing itself as is always does after every El Nino. The corals evolved 100s of millions of years ago at a time when the Co2 levels were approx.. 2500 PPM, we are now at 400PPM, after everything we could throw at it and the recovery of the planet from the little ice age and the increase of Co2 is below a paltry 100PPM….!?…..Do they seriously expect an intelligent human to believe we are facing runaway GW holocaust shock horror, or that the corals are all going to die because of the Geological near record low 400PPM Co2…. Fucking hell? The photos the greens triumphantly showed around the world to prove the vast damage to the reef by global warming were of a cyclone damaged reef in the Philippines. This reef is also self repairing.
        Thanks, I love reading the comments here, please keep on kicking guys, it make me feel a little better that you are here. Have a look at those “Dried up Californian Lakes’ on Google. Very Aral-esque.

    • Don’t forget North Korea. No place on earth can match their success in battling ‘Light Pollution ‘. Also have a great record on Ozone producing Trees, simular to Haiti.

  1. Sounds like a proposal to convert to dictatorship if democracy does not get you what you want for environmentalism. Or, just good old Fascism works for some. But generally, dictatorships without an electorate spend enormous resources on survival via keeping in power and not being assassinated.

  2. China ‘promised’ to leave Scarborough Shoal inside the Philippines Exclusive Economic Zone in 2012 and within a day reoccupied it and has never left since. China agreed to ‘share’ resources in the South China Sea and then filed their cartoon ‘9-dashed line map’ with the UN in 2009, claiming all of it for themselves. China destroyed thousands of acres (over 3000 to be more exact) of pristine coral, severely damaging the maritime environment of the South China Sea to build artificial islands with airfields and naval facilities to project military dominance over ‘their’ South China Sea…not much consideration of the environment in that move and absolutely NO meaningful criticism from the likes of ‘Greenpeace’. Then PRC President (dictator) Xi Jinping promises not to militarize the artificial islands in 2015 while visiting Washington, DC, then militarizes them with fixed artillery pieces, surface to air missile storage facilities, combat aircraft hangars and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment by late-2016. Now China has ‘promised’ to reduce CO2 emissions by 60+% by 2030…amazing! So, tell me, who in their right mind believes or trusts China to do anything it says it will? Try asking Tibet, the Uighurs, Hong Kong and Taiwan how that’s worked out for them so far…or maybe the students at Tiananmen Square. Pure Foolishness.

    • Greenpeace will commit sabotage and piracy only against those that won’t fight back.
      I’m reminded of when Anonymous tried to take on the Mexican drug cartels. The hackers threatened to release the list of all of the cartel’s funders if one of their friends wasn’t released. The cartel replied that they would shoot ten people for every funder revealed. The hackers quickly caved in.
      Protests only work when going up against people who will not fight words with bullets.

    • China ‘promised’ to leave Scarborough Shoal
      in every agreement, make sure to read the fine print. China kept their promise. they left. they never promised they would not return.
      the fine print for China’s CO2 reduction is in how its is calculated:
      1. CO2 2030 vs CO2 2000
      2. (CO2 2030 / GDP 2030) vs (CO2 2000 / GDP 2000)
      Everyone assumes China will use formula 1, because that is what the west is using, but in point of fact China uses a different formula. What they are using is Formula 2, which is better known as CO2 Intensity. This is a measure of how much CO2 is required to make $1 of wealth. What China is saying is that by 2030 they will only be creating 60% as much CO2 for every dollar of wealth created.
      And this is a trivial target to keep, because the GDP in 2030 will be huge as compared to the GDP in 2000. China will reduce their CO2 intensity because it is simply good business, to increase efficiency so that it takes less energy to make the same amount of money. However, since their GDP will increase from 2000 to 2030 by many times over, their TOTAL CO2 will increase many times over.

      • In other words, China is playing the West for idiots, because we are not using the same formula as they are when calculating CO2. And the politicians in the West are so desperate for a deal, they have completely glossed over this point. And the press in the West is so politically correct, they are incapable of analyzing the obvious end result of this deception.

      • You got it, ferd. The Chinese are playing us like a fiddle, using CO2 as the bow. The greenies look at China with rose colored glasses and blinders on.

      • fred,
        So 44 got sold a pup – willing buyer, willing seller, no doubt!
        Does the US really want to be shown as gullible?
        I don’t think so – hence Mr Trump’s exit from the Paris Stitch-up.
        Well done DJT.
        Now stay out.
        Auto – hoping the government we in the UK elect today will follow.
        ‘Hoping’ – but, sadly, not ‘expecting’.

      • Similar games are played worldwide with various measurements of national health, wellbeing, etc. For example, infant mortality is calculated differently by every country, which means that meaningful comparisons are next to impossible. Having looked at some of the formulas and criteria, there are several Western countries whose rates would be significantly higher if calculated using U.S. methods. Many developing countries are likely significantly underestimating their rates, because of calculations and poor/incomplete data. I think that the U.S. should strive to improve all our metrics, but in at least some of those metrics, we are only ranked low because we are not “adjusting” our data set as much as other countries.
        Call me idealistic, but I think everyone should be playing (and calculating!) by the same rules.

  3. Perhaps it is not that dictatorships are better stewards of anything. History demonstrates this plainly to ant rational person. Perhaps it is just that climate fanatics are actually a tiny minority who can’t stand it when they don’t get their way. And are so obsessed with getting their way that democracy just doesn’t matter unless it happens to agree with their demands.

  4. When we had our London smogs and the like, at least we no past experience to draw on. China knew exactly what would happen, yet it went ahead without a thought for the environment until things became so bad it had to do something. These people are just willfully stupid. Yes, a dictatorship might get things done more quickly, as long as it is the right kind of dictatorship, but that’s something you cannot guarantee.

  5. ..and this climate extremist also skips over the part where for multiple generations the same Chinese ruling party killed many tens of millions of its citizens by political violence, starvation, work camps and brutal resource rationing that favored high party officials. And that the suppression of creative ideas and intolerance for dissent made breaking out of those literally deadly government failures a multi generational failures extremely difficult. But he doesn’t care. He knows everything about climate and only wants his way no matter what cost.

    • And can’t see that China has no intention of doing anything he wants. They are just so polite about how they tell him to “go xxx yourself” that he doesn’t recognise “no” for what it is.

      • Ogden Nash summed it up rather well in a poem referring to the Japanese (not exactly flavour of the month in the US at the time of writing!). It applies pretty well to the Chinese though perhaps with more inscrutability and marginally less smiling:
        How courteous is the Japanese;
        He always says, “Excuse it, please.”
        He climbs into his neighbor’s garden,
        And smiles, and says, “I beg your pardon”;
        He bows and grins a friendly grin,
        And calls his hungry family in;
        He grins, and bows a friendly bow;
        “So sorry, this my garden now.”

      • Excuse it, please.
        this happened to me twice vacationing in Japan. Once I was quite forcefully elbowed out of the way, another time had to jump for my life out of the way of a car driving on the grass in a park. Both times the Japanese said “sumimasen” (excuse me) as they went past.

    • He doesn’t care that tens of millions died… or he is seeing the way forward for the whole world?

      • Well, we are all dead eventually, in the long run.
        But the watermelons seem to want most of the rest of us dead in the short run, to get their religiously decreed 500-750 million global human population.
        And most of those will be willing slaves – and concubines – for the elites – ‘Al Gore the Fifth’ and peers.
        It was ever thus – until about 1850 or so, in some countries.
        I suspect it still is that way in some countries.
        Seems a bit pessimistic for a Thursday, so let us strive to stop it.

  6. he unfortunate truth is that environmentalists and their allies have failed to ignite widespread passion around climate change.

    Modern people need also scientific reasons not only passion. Much better having computers instead. No reasons, no passion, absolutely dominated by authority.

  7. Marx and Engels to my knowledge never put a monetary vale on environmental considerations.
    Their labour theory of value put no value on pristine nature.
    It is problematic as to whether Communist countries including the pre-Gorbachev Soviet Union would have been parties to global environmental treaties on ideological grounds.
    As Soviet Russia was in a strategic race to ” bury ” the West, why would it have co-operated with it in a global agreement that inhibited Russian energy interests?

    • Pure Marxists saw nature as something for the great proletariat to conquer and put into the service of humanity.

    • The only purpose of ‘Climate Change’ / ‘Global Warming’ has been to create an unelected and unaccountable global government – rather like China is. Coupled with that aim is the intent to bring an end to advanced economies and transfer wealth to third world countries – fequently, if not predominantly, undemocratic. (See Copenhagen Treaty)
      Thankfully so far democracies have avoided that – although it has to be said that the EU, which has stealthily removed democracy and democratic accountability whilst leaving the appearance of democracy, has been seen by many as the prototype or experiment of how to do away with democracy without the public realising until it is too late. (Hence Brexit)
      The only surprise is that a watermelon has now come out and stated that democracy won’t achieve their aims for climate control – for which, read it hasn’t yet been able to overthrow democracy and replace it so we now need to change the narrative yet again.
      As an aside, it is quite revealing that snowflakes / watermelons appaluded Obama’s avoidance of democratic decision-making using presidential powers but vilify Trump for making use of the same powers to begin to reverse the damage that Obama set in motion for the US.

      • I hope voters vote sensibly, again, this time and May does what she is supposed to. Will be an interesting few days.

      • EU, which has stealthily removed democracy and democratic accountability whilst leaving the appearance of democracy
        exactly. The European Commission runs the EU via regulations agreed behind closed doors. The European parliament then gives the stamp of approval to the Commission’s decisions, making it all appear so democratic. The People’s Republic of Europe.

    • The only purpose of ‘Climate Change’ / ‘Global Warming’ has been to create an unelected and unaccountable global government – rather like China is. Coupled with that aim is the intent to bring an end to advanced economies and transfer wealth to third world countries – frequently, if not predominantly, undemocratic. (See Copenhagen Treaty)

      • 2nd paragraph Thankfully so far democracies have avoided that – although it has to be said that the EU, which has stealthily removed democracy and democratic accountability whilst leaving the appearance of democracy, has been seen by many as the prototype or experiment of how to do away with democracy without the public realising until it is too late. (Hence Brexit)

      • Okay…..If an “end is brought to advanced economies” then from just where, exactly, would the wealth spring forth that is to be transferred to third world countries?

      • ThomasJK: Wealth transfer is a tool to be used on the way global control. Once they’ve transferred the wealth to themselves they won’t much care what happens to the third world countries.

  8. Firmin DeBrabander writes,
    “Autocracies might do better – like China, for example. Given the severity of its current air pollution – a veritable “airpocalypse” – China’s government does not need to be prodded or persuaded to act; the necessity is obvious, and urgent.”
    And my ‘Bald-faced lying propagandist’ detector goes full DEFCON 1 . . I can’t believe he does not know he referenced a blatant contraindication of willingness to act, as justification for thinking there is a willingness to act . . Come quickly, Jesus . . ; )

  9. The only purpose of ‘Climate Change’ / ‘Global Warming’ has been to create an unelected and unaccountable global government – rather like China is. Coupled with that aim is the intent to bring an end to advanced economies and transfer wealth to third world countries – frequently, if not predominantly, undemocratic. (See Copenhagen Treaty)
    Thankfully so far democracies have avoided that – although it has to be said that the EU, which has stealthily removed democracy and democratic accountability whilst leaving the appearance of democracy, has been seen by many as the prototype or experiment of how to do away with democracy without the public realising until it is too late. (Hence Brexit)
    The only surprise is that an alarmist has now come out and stated that democracy won’t achieve their aims for climate control – for which, read it hasn’t yet been able to overthrow democracy and replace it so we now need to change the narrative yet again.
    As an aside, it is quite revealing that climate alarmists applauded Obama’s avoidance of democratic decision-making using presidential powers but vilify Trump for making use of the same powers to begin to reverse the damage that Obama set in motion for the US.

  10. The author can’t distinguish pollution from CO2. All the Chinese have to do is clean up the air. The US has largely accomplished this goal. Using this weak argument, the US has already solved the climate change problem. Therefore, no Paris agreement needed.

    • Yes, John, I agree. I don’t understand the prof’s logic. We see real pollution in Chinese cities, yet the prof thinks that communist China is better at reducing pollution??? The democracies have basically cleaned up the rivers and air already, and we can always do better. But when people equate what the West once called pollution with CO2, they’ve lost me.

      • What they see is a central government telling people how to live and what to believe – that desired goal alone blinds them to everything else.

    • Conflating real pollution and the fake pollution CO2 is just one of the many tactics and ways of lying they use. In order to make the completely beneficial, life-giving gas seem “dirty”, they have to pretend that it is a pollutant. Their tactic only works with brain-dead True Believers though. Damn democracy is so convenient for these watermelons.

  11. I’d suggest that he and all of his alarmist buddies pack up their bags and relocate to China to carry on their “good fight” – see how that works out for them.

  12. The only surprise is that an alarmist has now come out and stated that democracy won’t achieve their aims for climate control – for which, read it hasn’t yet been able to overthrow democracy and replace it so we now need to change the narrative yet again.
    As an aside, it is quite revealing that climate alarmists applauded Obama’s avoidance of democratic decision-making using presidential powers but vilify Trump for making use of the same powers to begin to reverse the damage that Obama set in motion for the USA

  13. “China …. This is, after all, the nation that lifted half a billion people into the middle class in a single generation”.
    They did so by doing exactly the OPPOSITE of what is proposed. They saw what had been achieved in HongKong, and rolled out the model across the nation. That is, they set the people free, economically at least, and dropped most economic measures of central direction. And of course they reaped the rewards.

    • And only after the ‘West’ had spent about 10 generations finding out how to do that. Nearly all the accumulated knowledge of the industrial and scientific revolution is free to use by all and so it is possible to become middle class in one generation.

      • For years, I’ve had a number of young leftists touting the superiority of economic systems in third world countries. As evidence they point out how much faster the economies of these countries are growing.
        My counter has always been that it’s easier to play catch up than it is to lead.
        For example, imagine a farmer in Iowa replacing a 20 year old tractor with a new one.
        Now imagine that the 20 year old tractor is shipped to a 3rd world country where a farmer there uses it to replace a team of oxen.
        Which farmer’s productivity increased the most?

    • There are 3 forms of extreme left wing socialism, namely, fasc1sm, Naz1sm, and commun1sm. All can trace their roots to the extreme left.
      It is one of the successes of the left, to have rewritten history so successfully that the ordinary person considers fasc1sm and Naz1sm to be examples of right wing ideology when, in truth, they are actually examples of left wing ideology..
      For example, one of the most famous fasc1sts is Mussolini, His roots are firmly set on the left. Viz: per Wikipedia

      In 1912 Mussolini was the leading member of the National Directorate of the Italian Socialist Party (PSI).[5] Prior to 1914, he was a keen supporter of the Socialist International, starting the series of meetings in Switzerland[6] that organised the communist revolutions and insurrections that swept through Europe from 1917

      Do not allow history to be rewritten. The left should be called out for its very ugly past.

      • Mussolini invented Fascism because Marxist Communism went too far in controlling everything by owning and distributing everything, and he thought Marxist Socialism was too lax in its leading toward Communism. Fascism adopted the Marxist Socialism along with Capitalism where the people owned everything – where in Communism the people owned nothing and the State owned it all – but it had to be controlled extremely by taxation and regulations on what is produced, how much is produced, the quality of what is produced, what wouldn’t be allowed to be produced and the prices had to be set as the people were required to buy what was produced. Therefore, the 3 principles of Fascism are 1. Everything in the State. 2. Nothing outside the State. 3. Nothing against the State. the fuller definition is in the link…

      • Nonsense.
        Political illiteracy.
        Nazism and Stalinism are both evil, but only their effects are the same, not their political make up.

      • A better conclusion would be that both extremes, when they will not listen or allow any dissent, dissolve into very similar methods of corruption and total governmental control. The third branch of this tree of extremeties, pure anarchy, actually turns out quite similar, as local big men gather power, become corrupt, and dominate local and regional affairs.
        It’s not left versus right. It’s absolutism versus compromise. Any absolute is going to have these problems.

    • Griff,
      Is someone who throughout his life considered himself a socialist (as Mussolini did – reread the quote) not a man of the Left? And was he not a Fascist during the last part of his life? If you think that Fascism and Nazism were rightwing, check out Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism. (Not that I agree entirely with Goldberg – Nazism was a strange mixture of Left and Right (which is why it was initially supported by bona fide conservatives like Fritz Thyssen); but as Hannah Arendt recognized long ago, Nazism and Bolshevism i.e. Communism had a lot in common.)

  14. Just to put the cat amongst the devil’s avocados – is he maybe confusing (or not) socialist regimes versus more right-wing regimes?
    The basic difference being that, very simply – right wing schemes encourage people to get personally wealthy/rich and left wing places make everyone (apart from The Ruling Elite of course) universally and equally poor.
    So, take a trip round your own city and you will see nice tidy well kept streets & houses (where the obviously rich people live) and also you will see run down, unkempt & litter ridden streets where the ‘poor’ people live.
    IOW, you need to be rich to be clean and tidy. It gives you spare cash/money to pay someone to (proverbially) sweep the streets, paint the houses, mend the roads etc etc
    Same for a planet possibly.
    (Oh the Hubris, everyone is out to save the planet. This is *NOT* Planet Hollywood/StarWars whatever. Just fix your own back yard and the planet will be fine)
    And this is where China right now, on the rpoad to getting rich and is hence a very bad example. China is going from being dirt-poor to getting rich. In the meantime, street (air) cleaning is on hold until they can afford it. It was the same in England and the US
    Again peeps, be very careful of getting cause & effect the right way round……

      • State Owned Enterprises (thousands of them controlling all primary industries and economic sectors in China), funded by State Owned Banks who can only lend to State Owned Enterprises, while unregulated ‘Shadow Banks’ lend to true free enterprise, private economy sector businesses. All SOEs and SOBs controlled by the wonderfully efficient and non-corrupt, ‘win-win’ CCP! Talk about a house of cards. Stand-by, CO2 will be the least of our worries soon enough.

    • Pete,
      I can only surmise you are relatively young.

      “…you will see nice tidy well kept streets & houses (where the obviously rich people live) and also you will see run down, unkempt & litter ridden streets where the ‘poor’ people live..”

      You see, I am ALSO from Newark, only my birthplace is in New Jersey.
      When I was growing up the rich had tidy streets but so did those of us with little money and no servants.
      More to the point, the very poor minority community was unfortunately segregated BUT IT WAS ALSO CLEAN AND TIDY.
      In the previous generations, the Irish and Italian neighborhoods that my immigrant grandparents settled WERE CLEAN AND TIDY.
      I’m afraid you are going to have to find a different reason for lack of pride in a neighborhood.
      (But I agree with most of your OTHER opinions!)

    • No, you’ve got it backwards. Culture is important in creating wealth. The people who live an orderly life, getting married, keeping up their houses, working together with their neighbors to improve their surroundings, watching out for their neighbors’ kids, working hard, etc. become well-off. Even if they start off in poor areas, their children will be much better off. It has been true for generations of immigrants to the US and even blacks in the US in recent generations after slavery and blatant discrimination were eliminated. Now we see blacks and whites regressing as the orderly social mores dissolve and institutions like marriage and the church weaken and problems like drug use and crime attack the family and the neighborhood.
      (To put it simply, the streets are cleaner because people don’t throw their trash in the streets.)

  15. Nothing tells you more about the lack of academic quality in some higher education circles than a professor of philosophy saying dictatorship is better than democracy. Hitler and the Nazis ran the greenest government in modern history, it was just people the fuhrer and his gangsters didn’t much care for – especially if they were Jewish, Polish or Russian etc etc.
    Doubtless if the green extremists ever came to the power they so clearly desire all the deplorables and climate skeptics would be rounded up and disappeared in short order. As several people have pointed out, the worst of dictatorship always arrives with true belief unamenable to reason.
    Personally I think ordinary people, including us deplorables, tend to arrive at sensible judgements through the ballot box – a sort of political law of large numbers.

    • Fellow Deplorable…You do realize that several historians have linked Fascism in Europe to President FDR whom actually shared their ideas. Hitler saw what FDR’s cousin Theodore Roosevelt did about his Conservation Policies for forests and natural wonders and by the time FDR came into power giant land grabbing of the western states were under Federal control because of “Teddy” and Hitler was doing that in Germany to control natural resources as FDR’s “New Deal” was doing. Teddy started the first Progressive Party in the USA and Conservation was his biggest land theft of the Western states. The Republicans of today are actually the Progressives of Teddy’s time that we call RINO’s. Those Republican Progressives sided with the New Democratic Party of FDR that went far left for that era that all want more government control over everything. That’s why they never want to give up any established programs that are funding the Federal Government. When you see McCain, Graham and other RINO’s hanging onto things like Obamacare, not building the “Wall” a pathway to citizenship for Illegal Aliens and other “Progressive” ideologies, they want the power of control over the citizens and bigger government. “Liberal Fascism” by Jonah Goldberg is full of great information from documented sources.

    • Personally I think ordinary people, including us deplorables, tend to arrive at sensible judgements through the ballot box – a sort of political law of large numbers.

      I think so too, and I rationalize the idea in the following way:
      In any human group there will be wise people and fools. When presented with a choice to make in an election or referendum, the fools will not know which of the available options is best and, therefore, will vote randomly. By the law of averages, then, if any large group consisted entirely of fools, there would be an equal number of votes for each of the available options and the outcome would be completely indecisive.
      However, if the group also contains some wise voters, they will know which option is the best one and will vote for it, thereby creating a majority in favour of that option.
      Since this is a statistical principle, its effectiveness will depend on the size of the voting group: the larger the group, the more reliable is the majority-decision as a guide to what is the best choice to make and, conversely, the smaller the group of voters, the less reliable it is.
      Since a dictatorship is essentially decision-making by one dominant voter, that is the smallest possible voting group and, therefore, the least reliable as a guide to which option is best in any instance.
      My conclusion: Democracy is almost always superior to autocracy as a method of producing wise collective decisions and the magnitude of its superiority increases with the size of the voting group.

      • The problem is that some problems have easy and obvious solutions that ultimately make the problem worse.
        For example, it seems obvious that if the problem is poverty, the solution should be to pass out free money so that those who are poor would no longer be poor.
        However 70 years of history shows that this solution only makes the problem worse.
        The problem now is that those who have gotten used to free money, will vote against any politician that proposes shutting down the flow of free money.

      • Actually, when I was in school the general opinion of thinking sociologist, historians, etc. (I’ll leave out the political scientists… they were all avowed dictatorial socialists/communists) was that a dictatorship could be either the best or the worst form of government, depending on the dictator. Pure democracies weren’t bad so long as you were not part of the minority. This left, by default, a democratic republic as the ‘next best’ and the safest form of government.

      • MarkW June 8, 2017 at 9:08 am:

        The problem is that some problems have easy and obvious solutions that ultimately make the problem worse.

        I don’t think that’s a special problem for democracy. Autocrats have a long tradition of making unwise decisions that ultimately make the problems which they were intended to solve worse.
        I think democracies are generally less fallible than autocracies because groups are potentially able to take a more comprehensive view of any situation and process more relevant information than a single person can.

      • Joe Crawford June 8, 2017 at 10:22 am

        Actually, when I was in school the general opinion…. was that a dictatorship could be either the best or the worst form of government, depending on the dictator.

        In order for a dictatorship to be the best form of government, I think the wisdom (or intelligence, if you prefer) of the dictator would have to be consistently greater than the combined wisdom/intelligence of the population which the dictator rules. That is an extremely unlikely occurrence.

        Pure democracies weren’t bad so long as you were not part of the minority. This left, by default, a democratic republic as the ‘next best’ and the safest form of government.

        “Democracy” means, literally, “government by the people”. I think that means government by all the people, not just by a majority. Therefore, any political system which automatically divides the community into a majority of winners and a minority of losers cannot be a pure democracy, in my view. I think such a semi-democratic system (such as our current representative democracies) is still be superior to a dictatorship though, since that automatically divides the community into a minority of winners and a majority of losers.
        Humanity has not yet evolved a purely democratic kind of political system that accommodates all points of view harmoniously, but many other species already have done so, such as insect-colonies and the vast community of diverse individual cells that constitutes the human body, for examples. Perhaps significantly, these evolved natural communities all work on decentralized principles of decision-making, whereas human systems normally operate on centralized ones entailing authoritarian coercion, which is wholly absent from natural communities.

  16. China, The USSR, Mussolini’s Italy, Nazi Germany, Franco’s Spain, Castro’s Cuba, Mugabe’s Zimbabwe, Ho Chi Minh’s North Vietnam, Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and of course, N. Korea, never did much for the environment. They just butchered tens of millions of people.
    Funny how the intellectuals forget these details of leftist ideals (with the exception of Franco of course).

    • It is part of the left’s rewriting of history. They have been very successful at it, so for example most people associate fasc!sm and Naz!sm with the extreme right, when in truth, they are examples of extreme left wing ideology.
      We should not allow history to be rewritten in this way, as I observed above.

      • You’re absolutely correct. The intellectuals saw through the farce being forced upon them and had to be eliminated, to keep them from educating others to be against the rulers objectives. Those in power wanted deaf, dumb, ignorant and blind sheeple that would do what they are told without questioning it… kind of like the Drones of our population following their Democratic Party Queen Insects. Individuals with opposing thoughts were killed in most of those cultures. Now those same Drones want all opposing thoughts made against the law and are shutting people out from talking.

  17. If the choice is between living free in a “polluted” world or living in a totalitarian dictatorship and a clean world, I will take the former.
    But of course the choice is nonsense – the totalitarian states have always been dirty and more polluting, precisely because they are not free.

  18. Dictatorships may be fine if they agree with your views. I wonder how the good Prof would feel if the dictator felt that all professors of philosophy should be sent out to do something they thought useful like breaking stones or digging for coal?

  19. “The unfortunate truth is that environmentalists and their allies have failed to ignite widespread passion around climate change.”
    Could that be because science is based on logic and reason, not passion?

  20. “Recent polls reveal that six in 10 Americans oppose Trump’s move” [to leave Paris Climate Agreement].
    Really, his faith is in pollsters?
    My searches only revealed one poll conducted by ABC picked up by several left leaning news outlets … ‘A Consensus has been reached’!

    • The same “Pollsters” that predicted Hillary would win in a landslide…and they were talking about the Electoral College at that time… Before the Popular Vote garbage when she lost by a Electoral College landslide.

    • Polls are highly suseptible to partisan political manipulation. If you are skeptical about the truthfullness of the MSM, then you should be skeptical of the accuracy of polls they create.
      You can get any answer you want by wording a polling question the proper way.

  21. [quote]The unfortunate truth is that environmentalists and their allies have failed to ignite widespread passion around climate change. [/quote]
    The unfortunate truth is that I’ve just had to light the wood burner because I’m sat here shivering in our typical British summer weather. Still waiting for the Mediterranean summers to arrive that the BBC promised us 20 years ago.

  22. “Recent polls reveal that six in 10 Americans opposeTrump’s move.”
    “The unfortunate truth is that environmentalists and their allies have failed to ignite widespread passion around climate change.”
    Those statements seem to be contradictory. To the extent that the second is true, it’s tantamount to an admission of abject failure of the alarmist narrative despite the combined heft of the Obama administration, mainstream media and pal-reviewed climate literature.
    You can well imagine that in Australia we have our share of totalitarian aspirants like der Brabander. One that comes to mind is a swampie named Clive Hamilton. He’s a failed Greens candidate who is now dreaming of power over the ignorant masses by other means.

    • How many of those who participated in polls knew what is climate Change? or for that matter at least IPCC’s definition of climate change?
      Instead of conducting polls on global warming, why they are conducting polls on climate change?
      Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

      • Worse than that, presumably the referenced poll was on the Paris Agreement.
        The MSM STILL refuses to report on how costly and ineffective the “agreement” is, and how harmful it would be to the US vis a vis our Chinese and Indian competitors.
        The general public has accepted the meme that DJT is “anti-science”.

      • Here’s a good example of why you should be skeptical of polls:
        I saw a graphic today on tv reporting that some new poll shows a majority of Americans are against the new Republican health care bill.
        Now, think about this: The Republicans don’t have a health care plan. What they have is a process that wil eventually end up with a health care bill. But at the present time *noone* knows what the bill is going to finally look like or whether it will be bad or not, so there is no way anyone can make a proper judgement of it.
        Yet this polling group thinks it is a good idea to ask poll takers their opinion of what they think about a health care bill that doesn’t even exist yet.
        There is no way such a poll could be used to judge anything. It is a worthless charade whose only goal is to throw cold water on the Republican health care push.
        Why did a majority of poll takers vote the way they did if they don’t really have the ability to judge the Republican plan yet?
        It’s because the MSM is on a constant drumbeat telling people the Republican health care bill is bad, bad, bad. It’s propaganda and half-truths repeated over and over again, and it has its effects even when people are completely unfamiliar with the subject they are being asked about.

  23. The greens and warmunists are in love with an authoritarian approach. They are still stuck in the mindset that (potential) problems can, and must, be solved by passing ever more stringent new laws. While laws against murder certainly may influence the incidence of the crime, they haven’t managed to abolish it yet in states with the death penalty.

  24. It is nonsense. Selective blindness. Cognitive dissonance. Or just simply ignorance and profound dishonnesty.
    Ask the people of the former East Germany. Leipzig in 1989 was the most polluted city in Europe. Cleaning up the east has cost the united Germany hundreds of billions Deutschmarks and it is still not finished.
    Ask the Poles, the Ukrainians and, not to forget, the Russians.

  25. Just more proof, it was needed, of the true aims of the Marxists that make up the CAGW movement and for whom the movement is merely a vehicle of convenience

  26. Back in the 70-ties a Polish colleague and friend gave me a simple demonstration of the wastefulness of the central-command economies of dictatorial systems. He asked me to lift his TV, a normal sized box, very similar to my own, in the corner. Where I had no problem lifting my own, I almost broke my back on his. He said it was at least 15 kilos too heavy. Why? The manufacturer put some superfluous extra steel beams in it, purportedly for ‘sturdiness’, but in fact by doing so the TV production helped the steel makers to fill their qouta of the 5 year plan.

  27. As I already thought by looking at his name, indeed he is from my country. As in most countries, including the USA, our country’s universities are breadbeds of extreme left, extreme “green” ideas, highly intolerant for any other ideas about global “warming”… A few years ago a lecture by Dr. Singer an dothers at the VUB (Free University of Brussels) was cancelled due to pressure of Van Ypersele, then vice chair of the IPCC. The main press and TV channels are even worse: never allow a dissident thought…

  28. Orestes has cited China as a model for us, and a few other leftist warmists seconded her motion (Naomi Klein perhaps). (This was about when her book came out, a year or two ago.) But China has a poor environmental track record. It has issued a few ukases mandating certain moves in a green direction, which I suspect is what drew praise from Oreskes et al. But China is still heavily into building coal power plants. It is not doing any heavy lifting regarding CO2 reduction.
    There has however been a much better example of a green authoritarian government: Pol Pot’s.

    • What dictatorships have that democracies don’t have is a tightly controlled PR department. So China can describe how rapidly and thoroughly it is embracing non-CO2 emitting power systems, even as it continues to build coal fired power plants. For whatever reason, there is no pushback on Chinese statements of environmental policy in spite of their actions.

      • “What dictatorships have that democracies don’t have is a tightly controlled PR department.”
        Well, the US has a pretty tightly controlled Democrat PR department in the MSM. They don’t have a complete monopoly on the “truth” like they used to, but they are still dominate, as they have demonstrated over the last few months blowing nothing up into something over Trump.
        It appears Trump has done nothing illegal, but that won’t stop the MSM from creating more wild conspiracy theories. One good sign is it looks like people are starting to get weary of all these false claims by the MSM and the Left. Even some Democrats like Nancy Pelosi are saying things are going too far. The MSM and the Dems credibilty is on the line.
        And we see that we have another incident of the MSM blatantly lying about Trump. Trump wrote a letter to Comey where he referred to Comey telling Trump three times that Trump was not under investigation for anything.
        CNN and ABC both claimed this was not true, and they and the rest of the Leftwing MSM ran with this story for weeks, but now it turns out that it *was* true, as Comey outlined in his opening statement for his testimony today in the Senate.
        Yesterday, the Democrat Senators were grilling Trumps CIA, DNI, NSA and Justice Department heads and trying to get them to say Trump had tried to influence them into killing any investigations.
        But what I remember from the initial reporting on this is that Trump asked them to come out publicly and declare that there was no evidence that Trump was guilty of anything, and this is the same thing he asked Comey to do, to come out publicly and tell the public what he told Trump in private, that Trump was not the subject of any investigation.
        So the Dems have twisted this request of Trump’s for his people to come out and publicly tell the truth that Trump was not involved in any investigation. The Dems are trying to bash Trump for asking his people to tell the truth. That’s how weird this situation is.
        The lying leftwing MSM in all western nations are a danger to our freedoms. They distort reality to the point that they have millions of people confused about what is actually happening in the world. A recipe for disaster.

      • Slight correction:
        What dictatorships and *climate extremists* have that democracies don’t have is a tightly controlled PR department.
        There, a bit clearer now.

  29. First, CO2 is not pollution….thats a political term to be able to regulate it…good luck with that..
    Second. air pollution is a combination of particles localized in an area of high population which can be corrected.
    Has nothing to do with global CO2 concentration s…

  30. In 1992 my wife and I, together with another couple, drove from Bavaria to Prague. On the road that we traveled there was an area where coal had been mined under the Communist regime. The trees were dead, no birds, no grass on the overburden, and the water in the small streams was dark emerald green. It was horrible! After reading all that the west was supposedly doing to destroy the environment, it was clear that we failed to measure up to the devastation that a totally uncaring political organisation could accomplish.

  31. Where’s the proof for this? We don’t need no steenking proof.
    “What kind of a proof? It’s a proof. A proof is a proof. And when you have a good proof, it’s because it’s proven.” – Jean Chretien, former Prime Minister of Canada
    That quote pretty much sums up the whole CAGW farce.

  32. Being in Baltimore, it’s interesting to talk to MICA grads about the school. They feel they’ve been sold a bill of goods about the value of a degree from a private art college. They end up working next to people with tech degrees from public institutions but earn 70% as much. MICA actually made the top 5 in schools delivering the worst value for the money spent to go there.

  33. Governments can change the climate. Sure they can. Not democracies, sadly, because they just don’t quite have the required meteorological power. But your dictatorships: no such restrictions! A powerful dictator backed by a totalitarian regime can simply decree colder weather, and ka-ching!, global average temperatures drop immediately and decisively. This only works when people who think people can’t control climate are kept out of the way. Then it works, and works brilliantly. But as soon as there are people around who don’t believe in the power of the dictator to move the mercury in the thermometer with the power of his mind, well, the whole thing collapses. /sarc off.

  34. I have long wondered why climate change is such a hard sell in the U.S. Is there something about it that makes it liable to doubt, skepticism or inaction?

    An excellent question. Too bad that DeBrabender is so mired in Marxist/Socialist ideology that he completely misses the obvious answer, and goes for what is a blindingly stupid. It is in fact because here in the US democracy, freedom of speech, and especially important, an internet where the truth is still allowed (since the “free press” has mostly been taken over by Leftists). And where truth is allowed and cherished, it eventually prevails.

  35. What he means is:
    It is easier to fool one person
    than to fool many.
    Sorry, can’t argue with that logic.

  36. Most political AGW skeptics realized this decades ago. The climate regulatory structure is an activist move away from individual rights to leftist statism. It’s no accident it became fully weaponized a year after the Soviet fell. There has always been an anti-American globalist base support channeling global climate policy and of course the American leftist establishment in media and academics adopted both international communism intellectually in the same fashion. The climate movement evolved from other green leftist predecessors from before Earthday.
    We should have had criminal trials after the Soviet fell instead of climate conferences to bemoan Americanism which was always a subtext.
    Anti-authoritarianism is the dominant dissent of UN sponsorship of global climate policy. That large blocks of skeptics persist in willful blindness to that agenda among the most distressing features of the climate war itself.

  37. Stupid or venal? You decide.
    In Rising Star, all of the brilliant people in that book, like Obama, majored in soft subjects like Poly Sci and anthropology, etc. Not a STEM major in the bunch.
    These people are poseurs. That they accumulate power and wealth is a lesson for young people.

  38. Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin
    That said, Cuba does a lot better job of hurricane evacuations than New Orleans.

    • P. J. O’Rourke in his book Eat the Rich suggested the only part of Cuba’s national infrastructure which worked efficiently was their police service. He committed some minor traffic infraction and got picked up and ticketed a few blocks later by a different cop.

    • The climate change must be suppressed, at any price. Nothing is more important. Alarmists are going to build the Fourth Reich.

    • In the narrative that already has happened, you don’t get CNN/MSNBC? The Washington Post has a dedicated team on this topic.

  39. It is s infuriating to read about this type of garbage from a so called green researcher that is so ignorant of the real world. I have done work in China and other dictatorships and they are not the environmental stewards that these so called researchers claim. All it would take is visit to one of their power plants to confirm this. There is absolutely no incentive to maintain equipment. If it breaks it is bypassed or the system is shut down. The environmental control systems are all designed with bypasses so when the world is not watching the equipment is bypassed resulting in pollutants being emitted as before. During the Olympics the systems operated and not bypassed and the air was relatively clean. After the Olympics equipment bypassed and back to normal. The equipment is also built so cheaply that the life would be about 5 years or less before it is no longer functional. In the U.S. the equipment on power plants are designed for 25 years life. However that has been slipping in recent years due to lack of coherent energy policy in the U. S.

  40. “Ok, so the author of the article wants to appoint an authoritarian government apparently believing it will get him what he thinks he wants.”
    Isn’t that what all Leftists/Totalitarians want? They don’t trust the People. They think the People have to be led down the socialist path for their own good, and for the good of the Leftist worldview.

  41. This is more confirmation that environmentalism is a means to an end – communism. In our discussion circles, I need to keep reminding people that in the United States our federalist model (not democracy) is a true “firewall” (sorry about the over-use of this word) to the central government. States are to be considered primary in the governmental structure. I don’t have any problem when the left-coast states begin to environmental programs on their own. That’s the way it should be! I believe one of the supreme court justices summarized the 10th amendment declaring that states should be laboratories of democracy.
    The Tenth Amendment of the constitution states that “all powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
    Sorry about the rant…

  42. From the article: “I have long wondered why climate change is such a hard sell in the U.S. Is there something about it that makes it liable to doubt, skepticism or inaction?”
    Yeah, there are many things about it that make it liable to doubt and skepticism, like the fact that it is unproven that humans are causing the climate to change.
    You are expecting people to believe in something that has not been proven to exist, and then you wonder why they don’t believe. Perhaps you should examine your own understanding of the matters. The flaw may not be in the skeptics, it may be in you.

  43. This is a clear case of catastrophic human stupidity — CHS, for short — which could readily send the world into a downward spiral for humans, making more room for lower creatures to enjoy a higher quality existence.
    Lower animals unite ! … Rejoice and welcome more of this kind of … “thinking”.

    • Beasts of Ireland, beasts of England. Beasts of every land and clime! Four legs good, two legs bad!

    • Exactly. A dictatorship can take a single “scientific” idea to its absurd conclusion. The Chinese one child policy is the prime example of a western Green ideology implemented by dictatorship. A couple hundred million fewer Chinese girls later…..

    • The irony is strong. The Conversation has finally admitted that having a conversation is not really the way they prefer to do things. What they really mean by “conversation” is that they talk and everybody else listens and obeys.

  44. There is a difference between climate and the environment. So Dictatorships are great in creating pollution and even better at limiting access to power (clean or otherwise) “Keep them hungry and in the dark” and “Controlling information and controlling dissent are part of what goes into maintaining a totalitarian state,”

  45. Kaiser Wilhelm would be encouraged by this and his plan 3 document would not have been shelved.

  46. I think it is time to set up a sanctuary cities for all those would-be green dictators, their would-be followers, and all the world’s assorted climate refugees. Free one-way tickets included. How about we start with Portland, Oregon?

  47. Philosophy! Alchemy evolved into chemistry but the mighty Phil devolved into post normal neurosis. I remember when fewer than 5% went to university and there were demanding educational requirements. A friend of mine didn’t make the cut but he made a fine electrician.
    Then we got inflicted with lefty ‘intellectual democracy’ and the doors were thrown open very wide. Students basically couldn’t be turned down and remedial English and math had to be hammered into millions of hard heads with expected mediocre results. They had to invent many dozens of new faculties with odd disciplines (recent peer reviewed paper on feminine glaciology! What reviewer has the cojones to turn this kind of stuff down? ).
    What to teach these basically average folks (35 – 40% of population) ? Well it turned out that Victimhood 101, and Introductory Activist Dialectics and Recalcitrance 101 were popular. Women’s Issues were big. And I suppose this has been spun off with the growing number of genders.
    I thought science was immune to this, at least requiring some level of math. However I was mistaken. Some years back I hired a young lady for a geological mineral exploration program only to learn in the progress of the work that she couldn’t identify common minerals! When I asked about it, she told me she hadn’t taken the mineralogy option, deciding on the remote sensing option! I had to give a crash course in mineralogy tailored down to the species that we were most likely to be encountering. I can’t for the like of me figure out what she would be sensing remotely.
    Now climate science is a perfect fit for even philosophers to take up, and psychologists and cartoonists. Philosophers, however want to lock up and kill skeptics. Where does that come from?

  48. “China’s government does not need to be prodded or persuaded to act; the necessity is obvious, and urgent. And China has the ability to take dramatic measures on climate change and act quickly ”
    Yeah here is China’s response to pollution and CAGW.
    Seems they have no problem destroying their own environment and poisoning their own citizens to mine the materials used to make the magnets for wind turbines. Notice the two articles are 3 years apart, during which time apparently no improvement occurred.
    So ‘Professor’, do you still think autocracies can (or will) better handle climate change?

  49. Human nature can’t be denied; individuals are too easily corrupted. This is why concentration of political (government) power is to be feared. It also explains the failures and evil deeds of all collectivist and totalitarian systems.

  50. You put the hard-core professor in the footsteps of Marco Polo. If he ever returns, he is cured. Healing during stay (in China). I would recommend this to anyone with similar experiences, to spend 10 years in China. By the way, Marco Polo, after all, preferred Venice’s clay chambers- system to the progress of China of which he recounted incessantly upon his return. .

  51. Problem: Why the “climate change” pig doesn’t sell here.
    Answer: Not enough, or wrong shade of lipstick.
    Solution: Keep trying different shades, and more layers of lipstick.
    Also, keep alternating from the hard sell to the soft sell, and back. Because people forget easily.

  52. I wonder if the good professor obtained his PhD from one of those schools that gives every student an “A”.

  53. Ah, the Socialists waxing lyrical about getting Socialism right this time round.
    Insanity is doing the same thing every time and expecting a different result….. Socialism and Socialists are insane. Completely insane.
    They are going to litter the landscape and choke the rivers with corpses in their quest to make a better World. Insane.

  54. I see lots of capacity to improve the environment once China comes up the level of compliance equivalent to that of the Clean Air Act of 1963. Then there is Air Quality Act of 1967, Clean Air Act Extension of 1970, Clean Air Act Amendments of 1977, and Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990.

  55. The Chinese govt, autocratic or not, is responding to popular gripes about the smog. They are NOT motivated to eliminate CO2 emissions, and, in fact, early on were skeptical about global warming and still are. Their role in the Paris Treaty is inconsequential. They were, in fact, bribed, like the third world nations by being promised funding from the wealthier nations, or in their case, with emission reduction goals that meant nothing. It was all about getting everyone to sign the treaty. The funding by Obama’s crew had to do with paying like minded “scientists” to produce junk science articles and studies supporting their position.

  56. Asking the public about the Paris Treaty is like asking them about Relativity – they know nothing about it and therefore their opinion means nothing.

  57. This is because the “Greens” are not really green at heart, they are Red. They do not really care about the environment, they care about expanding socialism.

  58. I recall the old Soviet Union was very good at suppressing the dangers of radioactive waste from their atomic bomb and reactor programs. Chelabinsk for example. And they marched entire groups of workers into seriously radioactive areas, left huge vats of high-level rad waste open to the atmosphere, and today have a big mess in Murmansk with abandoned nuclear submarines, too hot to go inside. There were no objectors to any of that, all were silenced rather quickly. Al Gore has already declared that “climate change deniers” (to compare us with Holocaust deniers) should be put into prison to shut them up. Maybe that’s what the professor is referencing, but I hardly consider any of it as being a “custodian” of climate or environment. Just the opposite.

    • Not only all that, but the Soviets at one point used nuclear warheads as excavation tools! If you want to see real environmental damage, look no further than collectivist and totalitarian run countries. When “everyone owns” something, nobody acts like they do. “It’s not my responsibility” is the common refrain. This is human nature and all the wishful thinking in the world won’t change that.

  59. Hell, we can’t even hire decent FBI directors that can keep private conversations out of the media. If such highly paid government professionals readily get down to play with pigs, what chance do any of us have regarding anything of national interest? Who the hell turned our government into a Payton Place?????
    I think I am going to find the remotest piece of land I can guarded by rattle snakes and spend the rest of my life fishing. What I saw today in the Comey hearing (what a ponderous self-grandizing scumbag) turned my stomach so bad it will take months of fishing just to get the nasty taste out of my mouth.

    • I was knocked over that an FBI director was taking notes in a meeting with the President and he had his golf buddy turn them over to the NYT! Man I thought leaks were a problem but not at this level. How long until we get a Judicial Committee to investigate this (crickets). I thought his handling of Hillary’s email stuff was unconscionable in both directions.

      • “I thought leaks were a problem but not at this level. How long until we get a Judicial Committee to investigate this ”
        Trump has already filed a complaint with the Justice Department. 🙂

      • Let’s sum up the hearing:
        Trump is not the target of any FBI investigation.
        There is no evidence of obstruction of justice on the part of Trump or any of his administration.

  60. The only reason this happened “…lifted half a billion people into the middle class in a single generation….”, is that the Western world aided them by opening up trade relations with China. China did not manage that on their own.

  61. To be honest here, he is right. Democracies work great until you have to get everybody to pull in the same direction for generations on end on something that is controversial. To be successful in getting a huge majority for generations they have to get the kids onboard and let them carry the religion forward.
    However, there is an obvious problem. Dictatorships are in place to keep the leaders in place, that is their objective. They will never prioritise a goal that does not promote that objective and climate change does not do that.

    • The goal of climate change alarmism is to get an ever more powerful leftist government in place in the US and other western nation, and saying that governments absolutely must have full control of the energy grid, transportation, and agriculture does exactly that.

    • Reasonable skeptic, I disagree. When Japan bombed Pearl Harbour the mobilization of the war effort was virtually instantaneous. If CAGW were a real existential problem, same thing. Difference, there is no evidence of CAGW. Quoting selective physics, upon which models that run 3x too hot, is not evidence. Observations, even hyped and continually jacked up show nothing outside of recent experience. Indeed, the unexpected rapid greening of the planet, which is sequestering carbon at an exponential rate (ditto plankton in the sea) , is an endothermic (cooling!) process, is rapidly expanding habitat, and for good measure is doubling crop yields. We better drop the atmospheric carbon cost benefit exercises or we could end up having to pay fossil fuel companies for its generation. Currently, fossil fuel companies are subsidizing this bounty. Oh, the plants need less water, deserts are cooling (endothermic result) and the temperate and boreal areas are warming moderately and greening too! Boy oh boy, the Climate Blues caused by the dreaded Pause could become epidemic among warming proponents and worsen into something more dire than mere neurosis.

  62. gosh I wonder if anyone has told his dictatorship Un in north Korea? Wonder why he hasn’t made the weather more Camelot like so that his people will have plenty to eat and they could have endless “solar” electricity, the people of the world would flock to his wondrous country.
    the stupid has become almost beyond parody!

  63. Three simple statements of fact:
    1. This has been made by many commentators here: There are a wealth of examples in China specifically and in all other modern authoritarian states; of rampant disregard for the environment and a favoring of expedience of “disposal” of toxic wastes etc. with a total lack of regard for any life.
    2. This person has no historical context. Simply look at the air quality, water quality and general treatment of the environment in the USA 50-70 years ago versus now. The trend is amazingly positive. Rich nations and populations DEMAND IT. I live in Houston, Texas. I have literally seen the changes and I am under 40 years old. It was even more profound in the 60s.
    3. China only lifted its population out of abject poverty (whatever that is) into “less poverty” by being the manufacturing and labor force for the 1st world, period. Funny, is it not, that western democracies and republics were required for that. China also adopted Westernized reforms and free-market attributes to affect this change.
    This man is ignorant of economics, history, environmental records and basic human nature, to name just a few. I am quite sure his retort to me would be something about how “stupid, racist and privileged” I am. Blah, blah, blah . . .

  64. I guess it says something “nice” that so many people assume this is an honest argument (a thief believes that everyone steals, after all).
    But it isn’t. The goal is totalitarianism (particularly with his “team” in charge). The environment, like “income inequality”, is almost certainly a pretext.

  65. These last few years we’ve had a number of large protests against recent democratic results: Scotland devolution, brexit, Trump, and I’m sure others I can’t recall.
    These are protests against democracy itself. I was always amazed that do few people could see that. At least someone is actually coming out and admitting that democracy is the actual concept that they hate, not the results of said democracy.

    • They think their rule would be better than democracy. But non-democracy can be a trumpland or a hillaristan. The difference in more at the press side. Non-democracies don’t have a free press.

    • They also always seem to put themselves in the position of the dictator rather than the dictated.

  66. Firmin DeBrabander? It’s a joke, there is no such person.
    ‘Debrabander’ is an anagram of ‘drab near bed’ or ‘bad bear nerd’ or something similar.

  67. The Conversation, as you can tell from its name, is just another leftist sounding-box. Its comment blogs are replete with idiot trolls, and it is moderated to steer comments in their direction. Subjects are remorselessly set up to promote the Meme, using University people. It really is sickening….
    Bring back Tony Abbot! (I write from across the ditch, concerning NZ’s West Island).

  68. ‘DeBrabander’s claim that Dictatorships like China “might do better” at handling climate issues than countries whose governments are accountable to the people is absurd.’
    Unless the interest is in implementing dictatorships, and ‘climate issues’ is just a tool for achieving it.

  69. A prime example is Canada’s Liberal Party leader, now Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau.
    When asked which nation’s “administration he most admired”, Trudeau came up with this:
    “There is a level of admiration I actually have for China because their basic dictatorship is allowing them to actually turn their economy around on a dime and say we need to go green, we need to start, you know, investing in solar. …”

  70. I keep waiting for the econuts to realize the final solution to human carbon pollution. They’ve been dancing around it with their Malthusian projections for decades. I guess they just need a dictator to realize it.

  71. toxic waste dumped into the nearest convenient lake.
    Plastic rice, any one?
    Speaking of lakes, there is a youtube video documentary about some of the Russian lakes that were, shall we say, manmade. The Soviets decided that nuclear weapons could be key to mining ores on a tighter schedule than usually required using men or tractors. These lakes today are in a barren region and there are some fishies, but no swimmers. Just men with masks and very noisy Geiger counters on their belts and in a hurry to leave.

  72. 11 January 2013 , Christiana Figuerres, IPCC chief stated in an interview with the Guardian- Democracy is a poor political system to fight global warming. Chinese Communism is the best model.
    Why didn’t the UN admonish her for condoning the iron fist of totalitarianism to “combat” a non-existent “problem?” Suspicious indeed.

  73. Trump cracked down on the Arts and stopped the subsidy so what is he complaining about. As for the Climate? The Climate doesn’t care if a country is a democracy or a dictatorship. Just like the weather there is no way to influence our climate. Only idiots think they can.

  74. Most of the comments here have addressed the question of whether authoritarian governments like China are more susceptible to the political appeals by climate alarmists and more willing to take radical action to reduce GHG emissions now. I agree that it is more difficult to persuade people in a democracy and that China’s plans to reduce GHG emissions in future have been overblown by a naive western media. There, however, is another aspect of this question. The alarmists are not calling for modest, or even large and expensive changes; they are demanding the complete transformation of the world’s energy system to eliminate the use of oil, natural gas and coal within the next thirty years! That would involve fantastically expensive changes (if, indeed, they are possible at all) and disruption to the consumption patterns of all advanced economies, It would take our economies back to the energy use patterns of the 1850’s. That is so revolutionary and harmful to humans that there is no way it would be accepted by democratic societies. It would have to be imposed by authoritarian regimes collaborating on a global basis.

  75. LOL ….. he says “China” lifted half a billion people into the middle class. So just how did they do that? ….. answer …. a free trade agreement with the US and adopting a lot of capitalistic principles. That’s how.
    Autocratic …. Democratic ….. doesn’t matter …… Leftism will fail. Leftism relies on conservative principles for its very existence, all the while bashing them as if they are obsolete.

    • Smoke and mirrors and chinese whispers…they have been doing it for a good few 1000 yrs…

  76. Apparently this guy did not get the memo that you are not supposed to state the ultimate goal of the AGW cabal so plainly.

  77. Ph.D. in Art, guess he has studied lots of science and history, an expert,we need more dictatorships,maybe then after CO2 hoax, government can move on to directing what is appropriate/best art for new world order and burning rest like NAZIs (a.k.a.National SOCIALISTS), or ISIS. In the meantime, lets educate some leftists with worthless four year art degrees at a quarter million $ a pop so they can save planet after graduating well edumbacated and after their bartending and minimum wage jobs in their spare time, dictatorship and art will save planet.

  78. Most people today appear to be philosophically bankrupt and in my experience an alarming amount of scientists are philosophically bankrupt as well. It was only a matter of time, I suppose, before professors of philosophy wound up bankrupt too.

  79. He is correct. The more dictatorships you have the the less advanced the people are and the less there is to go around. More poverty, more dying, less cars, less transportation, less technology. Eventually, the world goes back to the cave because as more dictatorships succeed there is less innovation, less imitation the dictatorship has to copy of Western, Capitalistic country advances. Look at North Korea,at night one of the darkest countries from space. Image all countries as dictatorships and this dark. Really “green,” really dyiing..

  80. A few years after the Soviet Union fell, I remember reading articles about the appalling levels of pollution in industrial towns and cities that were deep behind the iron curtain. Nobody in the outside world had known about this. Anybody who thinks dictatorships are better for the environment is an uneducated fool.

  81. This clown is a “Watermelon Environmentalist” – Green on the outside and red on the inside.

  82. A review of deBrabander’s list of publications tells all the you need to know about his politics and his apparent love affair with dictators.

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