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How Trump saved freedom and democracy from the Climate Industrial Complex

By Peter Foster:

Donald Trump as saviour not just of American democracy but global freedom? One can imagine tall foreheads exploding everywhere at such a thought. Although he doesn’t express it quite that strongly, this is one inevitable conclusion from Rupert Darwall’s tremendous new book, Green Tyranny: Exposing the Totalitarian Roots of the Climate Industrial Complex. That’s because Trump, by abandoning the Paris climate agreement, and reversing his predecessor’s attempts to bypass Congress on environmental matters, has heaved a mighty wrench into the European-based thrust to impose global bureaucratic “governance” under the pretext of saving the world from climate catastrophe.

Beyond all the blather about Trump’s presidency representing the triumph of redneck ignorance and deplorable racism — and whatever Trump’s personal shortcomings — Darwall notes that one of the main reasons for his victory was that the American left had abandoned working people in pursuit of identity politics and radical environmentalism. “From being the voice of working people,” writes Darwall, “the Democratic Party has become the political arm of the Climate Industrial Complex,” an unholy alliance of bureaucrats, NGOs, green corporate rent-seekers and Silicon Valley “oligarchs.” With additional funding (as they like to say on PBS) from a raft of mega-billion-dollar foundations built on capitalist success but seemingly dedicated to destroying capitalism.

Darwall wrote Green Tyranny as a sequel to his similarly incisive 2013 book, The Age of Global Warming, specifically to expand on the critical roots of environmental ideology and power-seeking in Europe — in particular Sweden and Germany. He also records how the issues of acid rain and “nuclear winter” were in many ways political trial runs for the great assault on freedom in the name of saving the world from climate change. In each case, a critical factor was the corruption of science by politicized scientists.

The contributions of Sweden and Germany are complex but fascinating

The contributions of Sweden and Germany are complex but fascinating, since they originated in seemingly incompatible thrusts. “The politics of global warming originated in Sweden as a tool to promote nuclear power. Using wind and solar power to combat global warming originated in Germany, where the Greens had become a political force, thanks to popular opposition to nuclear power.”

Soon, however, all the Eurolefties wound up on the same page. Their key strategy was, to paraphrase Leonard Cohen, first we take Berlin — and Bonn, and Stockholm, and Paris and London — then we’ll take Manhattan, and Sacramento, and Washington.

The U.S. was the overwhelming problem for the global governors because of its picky constitutional concerns about the separation of powers (significantly to counter potential tyranny) and the First Amendment (which is under attack in more areas than climate).

Canada does not play a major role in the book

Canada doesn’t play a major role in the book, but one can certainly see all the elements of the Climate Industrial Complex at work here, from U.S. foundation-funded NGO campaigns against the oil sands, pipelines and the NEB to the fact that three senior members of the federal cabinet, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, have executive assistants who formerly headed environmental NGOs. All part of what Darwall calls “a dense network of people defined by the same outlook, committed to the same goal, and, crucially, agreeing on the means of achieving it that operates as a monopoly provider of advice and expertise to governments.”

Non-believers simply don’t get invited to “join the conversation.”

One can also see that Ontario’s ever-mounting wind and solar disaster is merely a mirror of the very mother — or should we say “mutti” — of policy perversity: Germany’s Energiewende. “Germany was going to export wind turbines and solar PV panels around the globe,” notes Darwall. “Instead the 2000… renewable energy law spawned 100,000 profiteers and a gigantic solar industry in China.” Similarly, Ontario policy was great for South Korea.

Darwall details how California leads the U.S. in terms of destructive Europeanization with its “German energy policies, French labor regulation, Italian public debts, and a Scandinavian cost of living premium.” Makes one wonder why Ontario and Quebec have yoked themselves to the fast-deindustrializing state’s cap-and-trade system.

The conundrum is how the climate crusade continues despite the failure of climate models

The ever-growing conundrum is how the climate crusade continues despite the failure of climate models and the cratering of climate policies. Surely the most telling and ironic statistic is that over the period 1999–2012, German power-station emissions increased by 17.2-million metric tons, while their American counterparts cut their emissions by 10 times that amount. The main factor was fracking technology, which has absolutely nothing to do with green energy policy.

Darwall castigates German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who, as a scientist, must be well aware of the inevitable unreliability of wind and solar. Yet she has increasingly made policy via opinion poll, thus denting German competitiveness.

Sweden is important for more than punching far above its weight in promoting lousy policies based on dodgy science. It is, suggests Darwall, an extreme example of social democracy. The “social” swamps the “democracy” and dissent is asphyxiated, a phenomenon known as the “spiral of silence.”

But then, in 2015, the U.S. electorate spoke up, refusing to kowtow to the social democratic Bourbons and their plans to deindustrialize America. That is one big reason why Donald Trump — the anti-tyrant! the voice of economic sanity! (at least in this case) — sits in the White House, and why Canadian climate policy looks even more ridiculous.