Barbed Wire by Doug Cooper: Communists leading climate change?
January 24, 2014
Christiana Figueres, who is the executive secretary for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), said the other day that democracy is a poor political system for fighting climate change. According to Figueres, Communist China is the best model. I suppose the Chinese have vowed to fight climate change on the beaches, and to fight climate change in the streets and to never surrender. I was amused that the headlines today are about how bad the air quality is in Beijing. It would really be ironic if bad air quality was the solution to climate change. Imagine how much worse things would be under capitalism where the air is clean. One anonymous comment made on the Internet suggested that communism now offered a choice between the original red version and the new fashionable green variety. Ms. Figueres has a degree in Anthropology and is from Costa Rica. I would have assumed that she would be an atmospheric scientist had I also assumed that science had anything to do with climate change. National Geographic Magazine named her a hero for the planet, which has a nice Stalinist ring to it. She also has a certificate from Georgetown in organizational development, which sounds like it might be related to community organizing. I would guess when you combine her masters degree with her certificate from Georgetown you get a person who wants to create a new culture rather than study existing ones. Her financial advice is to tell investors that it is now time to move out of high carbon assets.
Communist countries have an even worse record on protecting the environment than our federal government. When West Germany re-unified with East Germany they discovered that one half of the water sources were too polluted for human consumption in the former worker's paradise. Most communist countries simply hid the toxic waste and kept dumping. If everything had common ownership then every resource was ripe for the tragedy of the commons. The disaster at the nuclear reactor in Cherynobyl was one of the environmental catastrophes that the communists could not hide.
I might care about climate change if the proposed solutions were not taken right out of the Communist Manifesto. As it is, repackaging Marxism as the savior of the planet is pretty weak. Private property is what creates legitimate concern for the environment. When you own something, you usually care about it. Every time people like Ms. Figueres have tried to re-organize the world, they ignore human nature.