Thursday, January 24, 2008

Surrendering our freedom for the common good

I opined yesterday that those who are driving the AGW agenda see no need to sit in the seats of power themselves, as long as they can persuade those who are in power to implement their agenda.

In times past I have remarked that the AGW agenda's implementation coincides quite nicely with long-held goals of both the world socialist movement and various leftist environmental organizations.

Duane Lester at All American Blogger has written a thought-provoking essay summarizing some of the fronts in which this agenda's implementation has met with considerable success (mostly through molding of public opinion, which is the politically necessary prerequisite to getting the legislation passed):

Population control -- Every new child is guaranteed to make the carbon dioxide levels worse over the course of his or her life, so it's better not to bring any children into the world at all. Toni Vernelli symbolizes to me the practical realization of this point of view (so does the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement, but that group predates the AGW scare). Some in the west openly express admiration of China's coercive one-child policy. If the public can be alarmed sufficiently about AGW, opposition to mandatory sterilization according to rules set by [someone other than you] may crumble.

The Terror of Cow Farts -- This is Duane's indelicate way of referring to the human consumption of livestock. The animal-rights wing of the environmental left has long championed the elimination of beef and other meats from our diet, but no amount of cajoling has been able to
shake our love for cooked animal flesh. But wait! Cow flatulence is a significant source of atmospheric methane! How dare you contribute to the death of our planet by ordering that T-bone!

How You Get Around -- Duane notes how regulations are making both automobile and air travel more expensive. Many environmentalists have long wished for the day when gasoline-powered vehicles are nothing but a bad memory. Increasingly-stringent emissions standards for automobiles will likely end up increasing their cost to the point that many will be completely priced out of the market -- thus bringing the dream a little closer. Many also cheer the skyrocketing oil prices for the same reason.

In Your Home -- California floated the idea of mandating government-controlled thermostats in all new homes. They jumped the gun a little, because negative public reaction to the proposal forced a retreat. Better to back off a while so the public can be softened up a little more. Nationwide, it's a matter of time before incandescent light bulbs are legislated out of existence, either directly or by mandating efficiency standards that incandescents can't meet.

What's Left -- Duane relates how Britain is considering a government-issued "carbon credit card" which citizens must use when engaging in a wide variety of activities: buying gasoline, buying groceries, traveling, paying utility bills, etc. People who consume beyond some government-imposed limit would have to pay. To me, such a program would be the foundation stone of eventual totalitarian control of the lives of Britain's citizens.

America is thus far still politically hostile to such far-reaching measures as are being proposed in Britain...but for how long?