Increasingly alarmist climate scientists, media members and politicians are openly challenging democracy, saying the people-represented system needs to be done away if there is to be any hope of averting major climate damage.
Nico Stehr at the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung here describes the growing dissatisfaction not only among the Tea Party or the UKIP, but also among climate scientists and others. He writes:
Among climate scientists, climate policy-makers and the media one detects a growing impatience with the virtues of democracy when it comes to the robust findings on global warming.”
Stehr, who believes the planet is indeed headed for a climate catastrophe, writes that the lack of political action on the climate issues is increasingly being blamed on the ineffectiveness of democracy. For a growing number in the media, politics and science, democracies are no longer able to meet the climate challenges the world allegedly faces.
These democracy-hostile critics warn that should we continue on as usual, we will quickly run into a catastrophe that will even “put the survival of man at risk“. The underlying message is that democracy needs to be suspended if we are to save ourselves.
Stehr cites David Shearman and Joseph Wayne Smith in their book “The Climate Change Challenge and the Failure of Democracy“. Who write:
We need an authoritarian form of government that can implement the consensus of the science on greenhouse gas emissions.”
“Enemies of freedom”
Other names Stehr cites are James Hansen and Hans-Joachin Schellnhuber, But Stehr is wary of the approach and cites philosopher Friedrich Hayek who warned of the danger of becoming intoxicated by the belief that knowledge can allow the control of human activity, a trap academics often fall into. Hayek was not surprised that: “People who become intoxicated by the progress of knowledge, often become the enemies of freedom.”
For Stehr, it is no surprise today that in Paris “doubts over the functionality of democracy …are going hand-in-hand with the further escalation of apocalyptic consequences of climate change for humans.” Stehr finds it ironic that it has come down to:
Democracy can be rescued only by getting rid of democracy.”
Steyr writes that one major problem that the critics of democracy have is their deficit in understanding the role of science in society.
Under the climate catastrophe scenarios and solutions put out by alarmist climate scientists, there is no alternative to an authoritarian approach. If a slow moving democracy gets replaced by an authoritarian regime capable of implementing the “needed” measures, then naturally course will find itself under an autocracy. And should democracy indeed take the actions necessary to curb the alleged problem, then here too it will find itself under an autocracy. Ultimately the choice is between a consensual autocracy or a non consensual one. With alarmist climate science view, submission is the only option.
More democracy, not less, is the solution
Stehr ends of his commentary by stating he believes the solution is not to restrict democracy, but rather to expand it and “the global opportunity to have an impact, and to extend and multiply knowledge from individuals, groups and movements that deal with environmental problems.”