It is time to acknowledge that mainstream environmentalism has failed to prevent climate catastrophe. Its refusal to call for an immediate consumption reduction has backfired and its demise has opened the way for a wave of fascist environmentalists who reject democratic freedom.Here's where he emitted that pearl. Back to Micah:
One well-known example of the authoritarian turn in environmentalism is James Lovelock, the first scientist to discover the presence of ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons in the atmosphere. Earlier this year he told the Guardian that democracies are incapable of adequately addressing climate change. "I have a feeling," Lovelock said, "that climate change may be an issue as severe as a war. It may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while." . . .
Humanity can avert climate catastrophe without accepting ecological tyranny. However, this will take an immediate, drastic reduction of our consumption. This would however requires the trust that the majority of people would voluntarily reduce their standard of living once the forces that induce consumerism are overcome.Well (rolling up hemp sleeves), let's get to it!
The future of environmentalism is in liberating humanity from the compulsion to consume. Rampant, earth-destroying consumption is the norm in the west largely because our imaginations are pillaged by any corporation with an advertising budget. From birth, we are assaulted by thousands of commercial messages each day whose single mantra is "buy". Silencing this refrain is the revolutionary alternative to ecological fascism. It is a revolution which is already budding and is marked by three synergetic campaigns: the criminalisation of advertising, the revocation of corporate power and the downshifting of the global economy.No tyranny there! And as usual, all of us except the one doing the decrying are too stupid to see that we're being manipulated by (cue ominous music) The Hidden Persuaders! (oops, sorry--The Hidden Persuaders!).
Authoritarian environmentalists fail to imagine a world without advertising, so they dream of putting democracy "on hold". . . But there is no need to suspend democracy if it is returned to the people. Democratic, anti-fascist environmentalism means marshalling the strength of humanity to suppress corporations. Only by silencing the consumerist forces will both climate catastrophe and ecological tyranny be averted. Yes, western consumption will be substantially reduced. But it will be done voluntarily and joyously.Yeah, sure.
Update: Loved Vance Packard as a kid (me, not Vance). But on further review, what a hack.