Why the Left Will Never Abandon 'Global Warming’

A look at the mother of all issues for the lovers of Big Government.

ClimateChangeIt won’t surprise readers of this column to learn that the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCG) insists that unless “global warming” is addressed, the planet promises to suffer all manner of evil.   Courtesy of “coastal flooding” and “storm surges,” “urban populations” especially are susceptible to “the risk of death, injury, and disrupted livelihoods [.]”

To a far greater extent than any other issue, that of Global Warming reveals what makes the leftist mind tick.

That the leftist aches from the very marrow of his being for the consolidation of power and authority in a central government is a no-brainer.  While there are ways in which governments use their power to which he objects, the leftist has never known a limit on the amount of power at a government’s disposal with which he could rest comfortably.

So, the leftist has always wanted Big Government.  And this insatiable lust for unlimited government is inseparable from his disdain for the nation-state and its concomitant “nationalism”: national boundaries impose a limit on the extent to which government can expand.  The logic of Big Government has a life all of its own, pointing beyond the nations in which it takes root toward the rest of the planet.  It is self-perpetuating, much like a disease that can’t desist from moving from host to host until it dies.

There is no issue short of a conflict with an extraterrestrial race that better serves the global aspirations of Big Government than that of Global Warming.

The conservative philosopher Michael Oakeshott contrasts two fundamentally different models of a modern (“nation”) state.  On the one hand, modern states have been looked upon as “civil associations,” associations of human beings doing their own thing and bound together by nothing more or less than the law.  The latter, in turn, doesn’t tell associates what they must do, but only how they must do, or refrain from doing, whatever it is that they choose to do.  Since laws are not policies designed to bring to fruition some grand master plan or vision for the nation, government, from this perspective, is not visionary or activist.

Rather, government serves the function of an umpire or a referee: it exists solely to ensure that the rules (laws) of the association are observed by all of its members.

Modern states have also been thought of as “enterprise associations.”  The government of an enterprise association is visionary, activist.  It leads by policy; it doesn’t rule by law.  The members of an enterprise association are not related to one another as one law-abider to another, but as “joint-enterprisers,” comrades-in-arms, fellow-travelers.

“Global Warming” is made for the idea of the state-as-enterprise association.

Even war, the stuff of which collectivist dreams are made, isn’t quite as amenable to the lover of Big Government as is Global Warming.  War insures the centralization of power and the transformation of government into an agent of activism.  However, from the perspective of the leftist, the zealot of Big Government, war—because it always pits one actor against another—exacerbates “nationalism” and, thus, actually limits the growth of government.

Global Warming is another proposition altogether.  The term “Global Warming,” far from being descriptive, is chock-full of imagery of death and destruction of epic proportions.  The term is what logicians since Aristotle have referred to as an “appeal to force,” a rhetorical device designed to at once circumvent rational argumentation and coerce people into bending to the will of its apologists.  It is the secular equivalent of Hell or Armageddon in both the images that it calls to mind as well as the uses (i.e. the instillation of fear and the consolidation of power) to which it is put.  Like Hell or Armageddon, there is no one that is safe from its clutches—unless they turn to, not Almighty God, but Almighty Government.

And since Global Warming is, well, global, it provides the golden opportunity for the governments of the world to either join forces or synthesize with one another.

In the process, national sovereignty and individual liberty will be relegated to the dustbin of history.

Global Warming is the gift that keeps on giving to the leftist.  This is why he will never give it up.

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