Climate scientist calls for ‘authoritarian power’ over ‘democracy and rights’

A new paper from a climate scientist in Chile, claims that global warming (climate change) “poses an even graver threat to public safety” that the COVID-19 pandemic, basically calling for “authoritarian power” over “maintaining democracy and rights.”

The paper’s author Ross Mittaga, calls for “authoritarian environmentalism” to address the alleged climate “emergency.” : “It is ultimately an empirical question whether authoritarian governance is better able to realize desired environmental outcomes and, if so why and to what extent? Yet, it is undeniable that nearly all wealthy democratic states have failed to respond adequately to the climate crisis. By contrast, various less affluent authoritarian regimes have been successful in implementing stringent climate policies…”

photo/ Pete Linforth

Abstract Excerpt: Is authoritarian power ever legitimate? … While, under normal conditions, maintaining democracy and rights is typically compatible with guaranteeing safety, in emergency situations, conflicts between these two aspects of legitimacy can and often do arise. A salient example of this is the COVID-19 pandemic, during which severe limitations on free movement and association have become legitimate techniques of government. Climate change poses an even graver threat to public safety. Consequently, I argue, legitimacy may require a similarly authoritarian approach.”

Back in November 2020, Mariana Mazzucato, a University College London economics professor, wrote a Washington Post op-ed article called “Avoiding a Climate Lockdown,” warning that in “the near future, the world may need to resort to lockdowns again — this time to tackle a climate emergency.”

“Under a ‘climate lockdown,’ governments would limit private-vehicle use, ban consumption of red meat, and impose extreme energy-saving measures, while fossil-fuel companies would have to stop drilling,” she said. “To avoid such a scenario, we mustscien overhaul our economic structures and do capitalism differently.”

Mazzucato is an adviser to the United Nations and European governments and warned that the COVID-19 shutdowns have provided a blueprint for how to reduce emissions in a “climate emergency.”

“When COVID came along and the entire world went into a grip of fear and immediately started locking down, everything the climate activists had been demanding almost happened almost overnight,” Climate Depot’s Marc Morano said in an email. “In short, the COVID lockdown is a trial run for the climate lockdown.”


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