Radical environmentalists are forging a new socialist post-democracy that is slowly undermining representative government.
The myth of global warming along with the Environmental Protection Agency have become the hammer and sickle of eco-Marxism - the new green-red alliance that seeks to destroy capitalism and the sovereign nation-state. The United Nations climate-change summit in Copenhagen represents a major victory for international socialism. It also marks the triumph of ideological fanaticism over reality.
National governments will announce at Copenhagen major cuts in greenhouse-gas emissions. President Obama vows to commit the United States to reducing carbon-dioxide levels by 83 percent from 2005 levels by 2050. To achieve this target, the American economy will have to be transformed - in effect, it will become deindustrialized.
Draconian taxes on traditional energy sources - oil, gas, electricity, coal - will need to be imposed to discourage their use. Massive regulations to create a low-carbon society will permanently retard growth rates, empowering the state to erect a command-and-control economy. This will lead to a corporatist bureaucratic ruling elite - one that fuses big government, big labor and big business in the service of a new statist green economy.
The 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall should have exposed the failure of socialism. It didn't. Instead, the left simply moved from championing the class struggle to global-warming alarmism. Its goal, however, remains the same: to smash free markets and impose economic collectivism. The revolution continues, only today it is being fought under the green banner.
Just like the communists before them, radical environmentalists are driven by secular utopianism. They are followers of a pseudo-religion, except salvation is to be found in this world rather than the next. They demonstrate the irrationalism and imperviousness to facts and empirical evidence akin to a cult.
The objective science shows that, instead of heating up, global temperatures have been cooling over the past decade. Man-made global warming is the most destructive myth of our time - a massive fraud built upon junk science. This is the real meaning of Climategate, the greatest scandal in modern science. The hacked e-mails of leading climate scientists at East Anglia University - the research nerve center for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - reveal that scientific data has been deliberately manipulated and suppressed to further a politicized agenda. Climate-change alarmists have been distorting their computer models to preserve the fiction that the Earth's atmospheric temperatures have been climbing because of carbon dioxide emissions. This is not sound science, but vulgar propaganda.
Yet fear-mongers such as former Vice President Al Gore refuse to concede the truth. For Mr. Gore, global warming is not an "inconvenient truth"; rather, it is a convenient lie - one that must be propagated at all costs to maintain the faith in Gaea, the ancient pagan goddess of the Earth. Recently, Mr. Gore was asked if the revelations of Climategate gave him pause about his drive for a global cap-and-trade system.
"To paraphrase Shakespeare, it's sound and fury, signifying nothing," Mr. Gore said. "I haven't read all the e-mails, but the most recent one is more than 10 years old. These private exchanges between these scientists do not in any way cause any question about the scientific consensus."
Mr. Gore's answer is false. The e-mails were not 10 years old. They were very recent - some as late as a few months ago. Like most global-warming alarmists, Mr. Gore is an obtuse ideologue who has invested in environmentalism a religious fervor impenetrable to rational debate.
The seminal lesson of the 20th century is that utopianism leads to totalitarianism; the road to Utopia goes through Golgotha. Mr. Gore and his fellow green socialists have been warning about Armageddon for more than a decade. Melting ice caps, rising sea levels, cities like New York and San Francisco under water, crippling droughts, mass starvation, hundreds of millions of "climate-change refugees" - these are the supposed disastrous consequences of unadulterated capitalism.
Hence, Mr. Gore and Mr. Obama are determined to save humanity - from itself if necessary. They are willing to circumvent democracy, too. With cap-and-trade stalled in the U.S. Senate, moderate Democrats increasingly wary of its high costs and public opinion skeptical of man-made global warming, the Obama administration is resorting to a regulatory regime to implement its radical green agenda.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last week made a historic announcement: Carbon dioxide will be considered a "pollutant." Using clean-air laws, the EPA claims the authority to impose massive taxes and regulations across the entire economy. The EPA will unleash carbon police to harass businesses and industry - especially coal-burning power plants and heavy manufacturing. The regulatory state will establish a de facto cap-and-trade system in the absence of congressional action.
The EPA's announcement marks a major political watershed: the rise of a socialist ruling class that is unaccountable to the voters. Instead of relying on democratic consent and persuasion, Mr. Obama is using regulatory agencies to impose his "Green New Deal." The original New Deal was passed through Congress - in other words, through the regular legislative process and democratic debate.
Liberals once believed in respecting the popular will and democratic procedures. Now, even those values can be abandoned in the mad dash to "save the planet."
Jeffrey T. Kuhner is a columnist at The Washington Times and president of the Edmund Burke Institute, a Washington think tank. He is the daily radio host of the "Kuhner Show" on WTNT 570-AM (www.talk570.com) from noon until 3:00 p.m.
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