We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

The possibility that China could become a fully industrialised and urbanised society, with living standards akin to our own, has become the ultimate environmentalist nightmare.

- Claire Fox

19 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • And India, and Brazil… Oh it must keep them awake in their yurts at night.

    The Green “inner party” are frankly evil. They of course have surrounded themselves with an awful lot of band-wagon jumpers, useful idiots and con-artistes as well.

    Make no mistake they will one day be seen as as bad as the Nazis and Commies if not worse. That’s if there’s any of us left.

  • ian

    Its nice to see libertarian support for banning 1.75m cars from the road and forcing the closure of 267 firms. This does however seem to suggest that even the Chinese authorities accept a link between pollution, cars and industrial development.

    Who is this woman anyway and why is she supposed to be some sort of authority on these matters?

  • ian

    …and a quick google brings up this from an Chinese government source(Link)

    With levels of pollutants such as particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide several times that of major cities in developed countries, a great deal of work remains for Beijing to meet its air quality goals.

  • ian

    Sorry to monopolise things, by that source is of course the US Embassy in Beijing, not the Chinese Government, who despite many changes are still not that open.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Who is this woman anyway and why is she supposed to be some sort of authority on these matters?

    She is involved in an outfit called “The Institute of Ideas”, a former bunch of “Living Marxism” types (very dubious, if you ask me), who nevertheless have quite smart things to say in favour of industry, progress, prosperity, etc. They are not consistent libertarians, but a lot of what they say is intelligent.

    Its nice to see libertarian support for banning 1.75m cars from the road and forcing the closure of 267 firms.

    Are you referring to China? If so, perhaps you should remember that on this blog, we have criticised China repeatedly for it being an extremely imperfect example of free enterprise, to say the least. A lot of the use of compulsory purchases to kick locals out of their homes to make way for the fucking Olympics being a case in point.

    There are pollution problems in China, of course, very serious ones. The main problem, from what I can see, is heavy pollution of the air and lack of drinking water. that should be the focus of efforts. To get things done, though, China needs more economic growth, not less.

  • ian

    She cited these facts with approval and the article was then linked to with implied approval by Alex Singleton. I’m well aware of the attitude to China expressed elsewhere on this blog.

    It is interesting that China’s growth has been in stark contrast to events in the former Soviet Union, where what appears to be emerging after the sort of short sharp shock advocated by the likes of the IMF is a vicious oligarchy of the sort described by Jack London in ‘The Iron Heel’.

    How this happened is covered in Tim Harford’s book, the Undercover Economist

  • Johnathan Pearce

    If that is the case, Ian, you clearly do know who this woman is, which renders your question as to who she is somewhat odd.

    I’d be a bit careful about comparisons with Russia, a country scarred by terrible pollution and of course, enjoying the charms of the mafia.

  • Most former, or currently, communist countries are scarred by terrible pollution … with the possible exception of North Korea, you need something to power the factories before you can pollute.

  • ian

    Johnathon – are you being deliberately obtuse? The fact that I read her post says nothing about my knowledge of who she is. I also quite clearly made a negative comparison with Russia.

  • Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

    Make no mistake they will one day be seen as as bad as the Nazis and Commies if not worse. That’s if there’s any of us left.

    What do you mean ‘seem as bad as’.. They _ARE_ filthy commies!!!!! Scratch a green and you’ll get red.

    Luckily, they also aren’t big fans of guns, so at least they’ll be easy to kill when the revolution comes.. But not before a little Clive Barker-esque fun..

  • I think it was P. J. O’Rourke (PBUH) who said that worries about population growth was the painless way for progressives to be racist.

    Economic growth does a good job of getting rid of pollution. The Kuznets curve for most pollutants tips over at about $6000 GDP per capita.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Johnathon – are you being deliberately obtuse? The fact that I read her post says nothing about my knowledge of who she is. I also quite clearly made a negative comparison with Russia.

    You must have got some idea of who she is, surely. Anyway, I have now told you. Initially, you asked who she was. Job done!

    On the Russian side, I misunderstood you. Apols.

  • Ben

    The quote is true but in the same way that saying income equality is the nightmare of the Libertarians. It’s leading to a false conclusion. The environmentalists (for the most part) don’t begrudge Chinese nationals a better standard of living. They are simply concerned that adding more CO2 into the air is going to cause a climate catastrophe.

    Whether you believe this (I don’t) or not is by the by. They are not sick people who sit around wishing suffering on the Chinese all day. Treating them as if they are, while i’m sure is a lot of fun, is actually taking a stance that is ignorant of all of the facts.

  • Nick

    Ben – rubbish. They can and do want the Chinese and the rest of us to forego the fruits of industrial civilisation because of their imagined fears of a ‘catastrophe’. From what I can see, and I’m quite willing to be corrected if I am wrong, Libertarians are not scared or having nightmares about income equality, they just never see it coming to pass. However, they do envisage increased income for all, which is backed up by the whole of human history to date.

    Environmentalists ARE sick people. They want to sacrifice the living for the unborn, in the service of an anthropomorphised planet! Mad.

  • Ben

    So all Environmentalists are sick people who want to ruin us Nick? Come off it. Generalizations like that achieve nothing apart from unburdening you from fully attempting to grok a situation.

    I know that Libertarians don’t object to income equality. That was my point! Many on the left see how Libertarians feel about income equality as a sign that we are uncaring monsters. Do you not see the similarity here?

    Bad faith is a lot scarier than pure evil. The ignorant person who would destroy us for the shibboleth of climate change is a whole lot harder to deal with than someone who simply wants to see Chinese nationals starve. Mislabeling them thus is intellectually lazy and counter productive.

  • Nick

    Mea culpa Ben, but I do think that many (not all) environmentalists that advocate massive changes to the economy on the basis of faith are condemning many more people, in China and elsewhere, to miserable lives. It is all very well to hug trees, and be worried about the planet, but the endpoint of these thoughts is a decrease in the standard of living for millions if not billions, and their ideas should be viewed in this context. I think their ideas are just plain wrong.

  • Midwesterner

    Advocating for actions that will do extreme harm to health and well being of people everywhere, while claiming that is not your intent and that your goal is only to cool the planet, is like pointing a gun at someone and pulling the trigger so that the loud noise will scare them away.

    The ‘environmentalists’ are histronically demanding the destruction of world wellbeing in the form of terminating all sources of energy. They don’t even like wind farms (the birds) large solar arrays (I’m not real sure why) nuclear (oooh, scary) coal (carbon!) petroleum (carbon!) hydroelectric (the fish) biomass (growing it damages the environment) etc ad infinitum. The point is they want to eliminate energy and humans, not save the environment.

    If their goal was to save the environment, they would be pursuing nuclear and accepting that Kyoto’s OWN numbers indicate the economically cataclysmic (therefore potentially caused the deaths of hundreds of millions) proscriptions will achieve will achieve little, perhaps nothing. By their own predictions little or nothing will come of their actions (except deprivation, suffering and inevitably death).

    Their carbon campaign is indistinguishable from scaring somebody with the noise of a gun and ignoring the consequences of the bullet.

    I agree with Nick. Whether negligent, as the true-believers are, or hypocritically evil, as the jet setting, luxury vehicle cavalcading demagogues are, these are not people worthy of attributing any moral value to.

  • nick

    Why is the ‘green’ mindset so alluring? Is it just a product of economic illiteracy in the modern, comfortable age, or is it a confluence of a religious belief shared by many (harmless by itself) allied with an opportunity to tax and control (great for politicians)?

    It beggars belief that politicians can seriously consider destroying the economies of their countries and that their voters seem to be fine with this. I guess 100 million died under Communism and people still wear the T-shirts…

  • cookie

    @nick:
    ‘Why is the ‘green’ mindset so alluring?’

    It appeals to the same mindset that made (and still makes) socialism and other authoritarian political ideologies alluring. The majority of believers are not evil; they just think that generating sufficient collective will can solve any problem. Once an individual has immersed himself into this mindset it is enormously difficult for him to accept anything that contradicts his having adopted the belief in the first place. A cult-like mentality then takes hold in which non-believers are to be despised and those who deviate even slightly from the ‘consensus’ are to be disparaged. Environmentalism as a political movement had the good fortune to really get going when the environment in the UK was in a sufficiently poor state that improvements could be made relatively easily, thus reinforcing the latent political authoritarian mindset.