United Nations climate chief Christiana Figueres said that democracy is a poor political system for fighting global warming. Communist China, she says, is the best model.
China may be the world’s top emitter of carbon dioxide and struggling with major pollution problems of their own, but the country is “doing it right” when it comes to fighting global warming says Figueres.
“They actually want to breathe air that they don’t have to look at,” she said. “They’re not doing this because they want to save the planet. They’re doing it because it’s in their national interest.”
Someone might want to remind Christiana Figueres of what environmentalism looked like under real communism:
When the Berlin Wall came down and the Iron Curtain was finally lifted to expose the inner workings of communism to Western eyes, one of the more shocking discoveries was the nightmarish scale of environmental destruction. The statistics for East Germany alone tell a horrific tale: at the time of its reunification with West Germany an estimated 42 percent of moving water and 24 percent of still waters were so polluted that they could not be used to process drinking water, almost half of the country’s lakes were considered dead or dying and unable to sustain fish or other forms of life, and only one-third of industrial sewage along with half of domestic sewage received treatment.
Meanwhile, in China, where they’re “doing it right” according to Figueres:
Air pollution readings spiked across China’s capital Beijing on Thursday, prompting residents to don air masks and offices and homes to put electric air purifiers on overdrive.
Commuters across Beijing found themselves cloaked in a thick, gray haze as air pollution monitors across the city registered readings over 20 times the recommended exposure levels suggested by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau readings Thursday for PM 2.5 – air particulate smaller than 2.5 microns blamed for a range of severe respiratory ailments – registered over 500 micrograms per cubic meter. The WHO recommends no more than 25 micrograms per cubic meter.
Officials in Beijing issued a severe air warning and urged residents to wear protective masks while outdoors, and said the elderly and schoolchildren should stay indoors until conditions improved.
China’s communist government has addressed their smog problem by declaring it a benefit to the people which makes them more united, more equal, and, uh, funnier.
But, if I may be so bold, I think what enamors someone like Figueres to communism isn’t necessarily the environmental outcomes communism produces, but the vast powers of state over individuals communism gives to those in power. I have no doubt that many environmentalists see things like the freedom to choose, property rights and representative government as obstacles to their desired policy outcomes.
Political environmentalism has always has its roots in one group of people telling everyone else how to live their lives.