Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Posted by Daniel Greenfield 3 Comments
Case in point Barack Obama who calls for everyone to rotate their tires, drive less and use less energy-- even while unveiling a massive spending program that would choke even the 2004 GOP elephant. In other words make sure to limit your showers to 1 minute of cold water, while shelling out your money to fund Barack's own domestic civilian corps. Cut back on toilet paper so Obama can blow hundreds of billions on pet projects that the country can't possibly afford.
But then why be surprised, conservation for the greater good was always a staple of planned economies in the USSR or China or Cuba, just so long as you knew that the greater good was the good of the authorities.
Hypocrisy is no obstacle to being an environmentalist prophet as Al Gore's sprawling mansion and bouts of jetting around the world with rock stars has shown us. But then again the mansions of the Party elite have never created any kind of contraction to demanding that the peasant cut down his ration of bread by another few ounces. The beauty of collectivism is that it divides humanity neatly into masters and slaves, and if you're smart enough to wield the rhetorical whip or come up with another convincing argument for cutting the rations, you get to split the vigorish.
With all the tirades about the oceans rising, the polar ice melting, the atmosphere dissolving, the globe heating up, the polar bears dying out and all the catastrophe hysteria that has overrun the country, the last thing you should expect is to have the Prophets of Disaster actually listen to their own alarmist rhetoric. As everyone knows, preaching chastity excuses the parson for his own adulteries, and preaching green excuses the politician for his three swimming pools. With carbon credits as the new indulgences, cutting back is only for those too slow to jump on the bandwagon and preach it to others.
Among the elite, conspicuous consumption has given way to conscious concern about consumption. The thing isn't to cut back, but to spend money and buy something that signals your concern about consumption, such as expensive organic products, electric cars or a DVD of Al Gore using his beak to point out melting icebergs on a slideshow of the Arctic. As Conspicuous Concern becomes the new hip, shallow people show how deep they are by spending more money on the status symbols that show just how opposed to wasteful consumption they are.
And environmentalism at the government level is truly no different. Obama's campaign isn't being run on a platform of spending less, but spending more. More programs. More projects. More logos and slogans and money all somehow geared toward using less energy. But can you spend more to spend less and waste more to waste less? The laws of thermodynamics would seem to say otherwise.
And while the mindless celebrities who circle any trend like starved vultures continue to preach to us that we need to stop using toilet paper and drink rat's milk, the political culture of consumption that gave birth to their idiocy continues rolling along just fine. That culture is perfectly happy with oil prices because it doesn't affect their own padded pocketbooks but does drive public disaffection that they hope to exploit.
Real conservation has never been on their agenda or they might actually listen to the Sierra Club when it opposes immigrant. Real cutbacks in waste are not on their agenda or they might stop jetting around the country and the world for conferences and concerts. Real reductions in energy use is not on their agenda or they might actually cut back on their own energy use instead of buying carbon credits. But it's much easier to victimize Asthma patients and working class people who find themselves having to pay more for everything they buy thanks to the mesh of regulations they implement, than to actually show more responsibility in their own lives.
The Politics of Green is all about appearance over reality, about a sprawling mansion with a green sticker on it and a SMART car parked right in front of the driveway with that embarrassing SUV inside.
Labels: global warming ·