Thursday, December 15, 2011

Western governments have abandoned their electorates in favor of global causes like species, climate, etc. as per EU and UN

"Governments - especially in the West - have sought from supranational organisations and NGOs the mandate they once took from the electorate"...

12/14/11, "The delusions of the climate technocrats," Ben Pile, Spiked

"As I’ve argued previously on spiked, there is a bizarre relationship between NGOs, national governments and supranational political organisations. In these sterile, post-political times, governments - especially in the West - have sought from supranational organisations and NGOs the mandate they once took from the electorate, to represent instead the problems the world apparently faces. People are represented in this form of politics only to the extent that their victimhood serves some purpose. Organisations such as the EU and UN, being far removed from ordinary life, recruit organisations from civil society - those which care about animals, trees, starving babies and climate change - to arm their projects with

  • moral purpose and legitimacy.

This is the real dynamic driving the UNFCCC process. Supranational political organisations have sought legitimacy from NGOs, which have in turn cast the world’s problems as environmental problems. According to them, our profligate ways here in the West cause rains and crops to fail in Africa. This subordination of the development agenda to the climate agenda, however, has turned development NGOs against development. The expectation is that a strong, legally binding climate agreement will end poverty, but this was simply not a view shared by all parties....

Apart from the more obvious eco-waffle, however, the biggest problem for hopes of a climate agreement are the many contested alarmist interpretations of ‘the science’. The climate issue long ago ceased to be a purely technical matter and has instead become an encompassing story that explains global inequality, poverty, natural disasters, war, migration, and even the problems with capitalism. In other words, climate change has become the issue on to which any other issue or agenda can be pegged. Exhausted political ambitions are smuggled on to the international agenda under the cover of ‘science’. As a result, arguments in favour of a strong, binding agreement have sought moral capital and urgency by claiming that failure to find it

  • will bring catastrophe on the least fortunate in the world....

The process of finding a global ‘deal’ on climate change is beset by the incoherence of its objectives. Is it about ‘respecting Mother Nature’, ‘saving the planet’ or ‘ending poverty’? Nobody at the meeting, which conflated so many issues, could claim that it was about climate change. Moreover, the desire for an agreement backed by legal force looks much

  • more like a desire for the force itself

than a desire to ‘save the planet’. If the planet really does need saving, then the processes that will save it will be

  • technological, not technocratic."

"Ben Pile is the convenor of the forthcoming Oxford Salon, which launches in January. He blogs at Climate Resistance."


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