Why Politicians Love the Global Warming Issue

James Lovelock in the Guardian, via Bishop Hill

One of the main obstructions to meaningful action is "modern democracy", he added. "Even the best democracies agree that when a major war approaches, democracy must be put on hold for the time being. I have a feeling that climate change may be an issue as severe as a war. It may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while."

I am pretty sure Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid would like to put democracy on hold for a while.


  1. Max:

    Whenever someone argues like that, it is a clear cut path to tyranny and should also be seen as revealing of this peoples none-trust in the abstracts of democracy (only when they are in his favor), and especially his distrust and disgust towards his fellow men.

  2. Max:

    One Addendum: In Germany, these "put the democracy on hold" were called "Ermächtigungsgesetz" or ruling by decree. It meant that f.e. the president could MAKE laws instead of just signing them.

  3. Jim Collins:

    You mean they haven't done that already?

  4. IgotBupkis:

    > I am pretty sure Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid would like to put democracy on hold for a while.



    When did they take it OFF hold...?

    > the president could MAKE laws instead of just signing them.

    As you note in the subsequent ACTA thread, this is exactly what is happening in that case -- "Executive Orders".

  5. The Congressional Hotline:

    > I am pretty sure Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid would like to put democracy on hold for a while.

    Welcome to the Congressional Hotline. Please Press
    1 for stupid excuses
    2 for foolish blatherings
    3 for brain-dead nonsense
    4 to hear the above options in Spanish

    (boop) Thank you for your selection. Please wait for your representative.
    While you are waiting, please be entertained by the following speeches
    from Congress about the necessity of passing laws you don't want despite
    your blatant objections...

  6. Methinks:

    They put it on hold while they shot the Republic. RIP, USA.

  7. Mark:

    I read the whole article. The suspension of democracy to make changes for AGW is appalling but at the same time he is upset over the falsification of data, and believes that skeptics have a role in the process of AGW science.

    From the article:

    "Lovelock says the events of the recent months have seen him warming to the efforts of the "good" climate sceptics: "What I like about sceptics is that in good science you need critics that make you think: 'Crumbs, have I made a mistake here?' If you don't have that continuously, you really are up the creek. The good sceptics have done a good service, but some of the mad ones I think have not done anyone any favours. You need sceptics, especially when the science gets very big and monolithic."

    Lovelock, who 40 years ago originated the idea that the planet is a giant, self-regulating organism – the so-called Gaia theory – added that he has little sympathy for the climate scientists caught up in the UEA email scandal. He said he had not read the original emails – "I felt reluctant to pry" – but that their reported content had left him feeling "utterly disgusted".

    "Fudging the data in any way whatsoever is quite literally a sin against the holy ghost of science," he said. "I'm not religious, but I put it that way because I feel so strongly. It's the one thing you do not ever do. You've got to have standards." "

    Wish those Brits knew how to spell.

  8. mesaeconoguy:

    Too late – fait accompli (see Jim Collins above).

  9. Gil:

    Meh. Plenty of Libertarians hate Democracy too except for different reasons.

  10. Matt:

    Democracy (or in sheep's clothing, a "republic") is nothing more than the tyranny of the majority.

    Mob rule at a slow simmer.

    Not for me.

    The votistas rolled those dice, not me.

    Yet I pay and pay.

    Or die.

    *That's* democracy.

    And where this mess is headed is even worse.

  11. Val:

    Matt... I assume you are making the 'least worst' argument in favor of democracy? If not, wth are you talking about???

  12. caseyboy:

    Preserving democracy does not mean suspending intellectual judgment. In those instances where a democracy is threatened with war the majority of the governed will knowingly and willingly cede more power its elected officials. However, if those same officials were to assume powers and take actions that are contrary to the will of the majority that would be an abuse of power. Our Founding Fathers provided an exceptional governing document. A House of Representatives whose members are elected every 2 years. And a Senate whose members are elected every 6 years. The House whose members numbers are based on state populations and the Senate whose members are fixed and equal for each state. Finally, the House moves legislation based on a simple majority while the Senate must achieve a 60% majority in order to move legislation to a vote. Now however, we this perversion called "Reconciliation". It undermines the minority protections that were a part our "Mos Maiorum"

  13. Matt:


    You assumption is wrong.

    Read again.

  14. Matt:


    That should be "Your."

  15. Val:

    Matt, I know it is - I was just giving you the benefit of the doubt, since you failed to suggest a viable alternative.

  16. Investments Guide:

    The politicians love the global warming issue bcos it is the only topic where they cannot be questioned.
    Investments Guide