The Climate Change Challenge and the Failure of Democracy (Politics and the Environment)

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Author's Personal Notes

Confidently teach in any college classroom using the approaches, strategies and techniques from the K and business marketing world! Review "This is a provocative book. Politics and the Environment Hardcover: Praeger; 1 edition August 30, Language: Related Video Shorts 0 Upload your video. Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features: Share your thoughts with other customers.

Write a customer review. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Written by a physician and a lawyer, this book wants to make a convincing argument that liberal democracy is dangerous to the survival of the environment. They instead advocate a technocracy, a state ruled by experts. Their argument is very weak. At the onset, they acknowledge that authoritarian regimes have fared less well in terms of preserving the environment than democratic regimes. Still they find fault because democracy lacks the capability of long-term planning.

The major problem behind their argument is the lack of analysis of the institutions of real existing states. Their definition of liberalism and democracy remains shallow throughout the book. They never answer the question why modern democracies have better environmental records than their authoritarian counterparts. They even refer to Switzerland in their critique even though that democratic country has one of the best environmental records in Europe. Their alternative to a liberal democracy seems more like a mythical fairyland.

It ignores the fact that people are generally motivated by egoistical demands.

Publishers' Notes

Humans are just not machines, who could rule a country as a benevolent leader in the best interest of the people. Authoritarian leaders around the world, furthermore, cannot ignore the demands of the people. They cannot act against their interest, especially not when it comes to economic growth. No authoritarian ruler, save in North Korea, can stop consumption. If they, however, would want a North Korea type government for the world, I'd rather be dead! His argument is that overpopulation and industrialization are causing an ecological disaster which requires a total change of lifestyle for everyone on the planet.

As democracy isn't up to the challenge, an authoritarian government must obviously be imposed to save us from ourselves. In short, Shearman and Smith argue that liberal democracy - considered sacrosanct in modern societies - is an impediment to finding ecologically sustainable solutions for the planet [intro. They ask the reader if they are committed to the well-being of future generations: If so, are you prepared to change your lifestyle now?

The Climate Change Challenge and the Failure of Democracy

Are you prepared to see society and its governance change if this is a necessary solution? As the authors put it: Can you see where this is going yet? The authors recognize that religion plays a big part in many people's lives, and they discuss whether Islam or Christianity fits better with the authoritarian government they see as essential, before deciding that there is a better option: However, they are not the only contenders for providing social glue for the masses.

Although too much of the natural world will be destroyed for civilization to continue in its present form, some biodiversity will still exist. It is not impossible that from the green movement and aspects of the new age movement a religious alternative to Christianity and Islam will emerge. And it is not too difficult to imagine what shape this new religion could take.

One would require a transcendent God who could punish and reward - because humans seem to need a carrot and a stick. But it gets worse. I know, you must be asking yourselves how much more fascistic it can get. The answer is a lot more: Chapter 9 will describe in more detail how we might begin the process of constructing such real universities to train the ecowarriors to do battle against the enemies of life.

We must accomplish this education with the same dedication used to train its warriors. As in Sparta, these natural elites will be especially trained from childhood to meet the challenging problems of our times.

Editorial Reviews

Government in the future will be based upon. These guardians will either rule themselves or advise an authoritarian government of policies based on their ecological training and philosophical sensitivities. These guardians will be specially trained for the task. Posted on a blog somewhere, such a plan would probably elicit a visit from the anti-terrorist division of the police. But the fact that it comes from a professor at a major university, who works for the IPCC and was written at the behest of a serious academic institute, founded by Act of Congress, means that the author need not be afraid.

But we should be. Not worth the read. Chapters 6 and 7 demonstrate that the inherent failures of democracy that have lead to the environmental crisis also operate in many other spheres of society. In this provocative book, Shearman and Smith present evidence that the fundamental problem causing environmental destruction—and climate change in particular—is the operation of liberal democracy.

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The Climate Change Challenge and the Failure of Democracy and millions of other books are available for Amazon Kindle. "The partnership of philosopher and ecologist Joseph Wayne Smith with emeritus professor of medicine David Shearman has produced an analysis that covers the gamut. Nevertheless, the authors conclude that an authoritarian form of government is The Climate Change Challenge and the Failure of Democracy causing environmental destruction--and climate change in particular--is the operation of liberal.

Its flaws and contradictions bestow upon government—and its institutions, laws, and the markets and corporations that provide its sustenance—an inability to make decisions that could provide a sustainable society. Having argued that democracy has failed humanity, the authors go even further and demonstrate that this failure can easily lead to authoritarianism without our even noticing.

Even more provocatively, they assert that there is merit in preparing for this eventuality if we want to survive climate change.

They are not suggesting that existing authoritarian regimes are more successful in mitigating greenhouse emissions, for to be successful economically they have adopted the market system with alacrity. Nevertheless, the authors conclude that an authoritarian form of government is necessary, but this will be governance by experts and not by those who seek power. There are in existence highly successful authoritarian structures—for example, in medicine and in corporate empires—that are capable of implementing urgent decisions impossible under liberal democracy.

Society is verging on a philosophical choice between liberty or life. But there is a third way between democracy and authoritarianism that the authors leave for the final chapter. Having brought the reader to the realization that in order to halt or even slow the disastrous process of climate change we must choose between liberal democracy and a form of authoritarian government by experts, the authors offer up a radical reform of democracy that would entail the painful choice of curtailing our worldwide reliance on growth economies, along with various legal and fiscal reforms.

Unpalatable as this choice may be, they argue for the adoption of this fundamental reform of democracy over the journey to authoritarianism.

Many will disagree with its conclusions, but the dilemma it points to is real and cannot be ignored. They now reflect the consensus of the scientific establishment.

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But how radical a change in established political thinking do they require of us? This volume makes a powerful case for the view that taking environmental crisis seriously implies a radical critique of democracy itself, and a willingness to accept government by qualified expertise rather than popular election.