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James Lovelock Suggests Suspending Democracy To Save the World

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  • Um..no (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NiceGeek (126629) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @07:15PM (#31679284)

    I'm an environmentalist, but I also know that if you put democracy "on hold" it's awfully hard to get it started again.

  • Slow news day (Score:2, Insightful)

    by oldhack (1037484) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @07:15PM (#31679288)
    Ugh! Naked troll story.
  • by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @07:16PM (#31679300)

    Climate scientist James Lovelock claims it may be necessary to put democracy on hold to prevent a global climate catastrophe.

    So he wants to save a world without Democracy in it?

    I claim it may be necessary to put climate scientist James Lovelock on hold to prevent a global Democracy catastrophe.

  • To what end? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SoapBox17 (1020345) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @07:17PM (#31679304) Homepage
    A successful global effort to "put democracy on hold" for any reason would be proof enough to me that this planet is not worth saving.
  • Democracy? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dsginter (104154) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @07:17PM (#31679310)

    Here in the US, we don't have democracy now. We have a two party, democratic REPUBLIC. The politicians can pretty much do whatever they want after they have been elected because the media has conditioned us to believe that we have only two parties from which to choose (i.e. - "bipartisan").

    Ban the party system. At this point, the legislative vending machine that we call "government" will fall apart and we'll have something much closer to "democracy".

  • by Torrance (1599681) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @07:23PM (#31679414)
    I'm pretty sure it's actually the lack of democracy (for lack of a better word) coupled with the dynamics of capitalism that have us in this hole.
  • Re:Um..no (Score:4, Insightful)

    by selven (1556643) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @07:23PM (#31679424)

    It's not just about putting democracy on hold. It's about a global concerted effort to do so. If the world governments all join up to save the world from the greenhouse gases, once the smoke clears we're left with a single world government. AKA, a global monopoly. The telco monopoly gave us telcos that didn't care about their customers, the browser monopoly gave us the most reviled browser ever created, and a monopoly on government would destroy civil liberties for centuries, and descend into a spiral of corruption, greed and social inequality that would only start to fix itself once the government collapses in its own filth.

    Not having to buy any more winter clothing is almost preferable.

  • Re:Um..no (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tiger4 (840741) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @07:24PM (#31679434)

    Power grabs for the greater good are always done in the best interests of the people. I'm sure our new benevolent dictator(s) will keep us in mind as they shear mercilessly through what we laughingly consider to be our personal rights and privileges while they build a better tomorrow [wikipedia.org] for us all [wikipedia.org]. After all, what benefit to them if we were all enslaved?

  • Gaea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Black Parrot (19622) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @07:24PM (#31679444)

    I don't think anyone has taken Gaea seriously since someone pointed out that the switch-over to an oxygen-rich atmosphere meant Gaea essentially committed suicide to bring on the new order of things.

  • by religious freak (1005821) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @07:25PM (#31679452)
    Yeah Plato (the philosopher) thought people like him should be making decisions and Lovelock thinks the folks who are put in charge should make certain decisions the way he sees things.

    There is nothing new about this approach and we know how it ends
  • I knew it (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ickleberry (864871) <web@pineapple.vg> on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @07:26PM (#31679474) Homepage
    This whole 'carbon footprint' and 'green' malarky is just a way to make us feel bad about pretty much anything we do even though we might be able to afford it and so the eventual aim seems to be to usher in an authoritarian regime where everybody is given the absolute minimum necessary to survive.

    These doomsday environmentalists are not helping the situation one bit - I am actually interested in renewable energy, electric cars and so on but each time one of these guys opens their mouth I feel like jumping into the car and pouring 70 litres of petrol into the tank while I'm still allowed, you know.

    Before we are all thrown into a supermassive apartment block and given only rice crackers and water to live off. If we are lucky they might allow us a single CFL in our cell and the very obedient are allowed a recycled netbook with Google Chrome OS or similar Web-only OS.

    Meanwhile the politicians and scientists behind this regime will obviously be livin' the good live on some island with all the fuel and personal freedom they could possibly ever think of asking for.
  • by syousef (465911) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @07:27PM (#31679496) Journal

    People like this who don't value their democratic freedoms should be made to live by their own decrees. So start with James Lovelock's democratic rights:

    - I'm sorry Mr Lovelock, you no longer have a say in that

    - I'm sorry Mr Lovelock, but you may no longer speak on that issue. If you do, you shall be arrested.

    - I'm sorry Mr Lovelock, but you're under arrest. Your rights have been stripped so we don't have to give you a reason, or a trial, or let your family know.

    - I'm sorry Mr Lovelock, but your food, water, and oxygen rations have been reallocated to someone else.

    How'd ya like that lack of democracy now you crazy coote? Didn't think so.

    Reductio ad aburdum? Perhaps, but then again what he's saying is so absurd perhaps the reductio part wasn't needed.

  • LOL (Score:3, Insightful)

    by vvaduva (859950) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @07:29PM (#31679516)

    I don't think so...at the same time, this guy has to be the first environmentalist to speak the truth behind their extremist message: it's about controlling people's lives, and less about the environment.

  • Not a good idea (Score:3, Insightful)

    by KDN (3283) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @07:29PM (#31679520)
    We have to suspend democracy in order to save it eh? Sounds like the Vietnam era "we have to destroy the village to save it".
  • Re:Um..no (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Chris Burke (6130) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @07:30PM (#31679534) Homepage

    I'm an environmentalist, but I also know that if you put democracy "on hold" it's awfully hard to get it started again.

    Yeah no fucking kidding. What, he thinks humans are too stupid to implement a solution to climate change via democracy, but he thinks undemocratic rule is the answer? Uh, who do you think runs non-democratic nations? Hint: It ain't 200 IQ scientists who only do what is best for Gaia!

    And where does he get off saying: "Even the best democracies agree that when a major war approaches, democracy must be put on hold for the time being."

    Um... sure democracies put stronger holds on the populace, they'll even suspend some rights (like, uh, say, the right of a person to not be put in a camp for no reason other than Japanese descent), but put democracy itself on hold? Please! We had elections before and during WWII. Yeah in those cases most people vote for the incumbent, but the point is it was the peoples' choice.

    So no, democracies don't agree that democracy must be put on hold. Oh and I also don't agree with the suspensions of rights that have taken place. And hey! Since this is a democracy, my opinion matters. A little. Kinda. I keep telling myself. *sob*

    Oh but he's probably right about us not doing what is necessary until after a major disaster hits. Again, that's not democracy, that's human nature. Yes, humans are stupid.

  • Re:Um..no (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DigiShaman (671371) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @07:30PM (#31679540) Homepage

    Not only that, but non-democratic nations have a proven track record of having the worst pollution and impact on the environment in the worst possible ways.

  • Re:Um..no (Score:3, Insightful)

    by clang_jangle (975789) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @07:31PM (#31679552) Journal

    It's not just about putting democracy on hold. It's about a global concerted effort to do so. If the world governments all join up to save the world from the greenhouse gases, once the smoke clears we're left with a single world government. AKA, a global monopoly.

    Nah.

    The corporatocracy we have now would never allow that.

  • Re:I knew it (Score:2, Insightful)

    by matjaz (132729) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @07:32PM (#31679560)

    Agreed with ickleberry

    The original post can do with his Democracies whatever he wants as long as he leaves my Republic alone.

    Democracy = Rule of the majority over the minority
    Republic = You're free as long as you don't affect my freedom.

  • Conspiracy theorists are babbling about how climate change is an excuse to suspend democracy and unite all countries under a world government, and the solution is to suspend democracy and unite all countries under a world government in order to combat climate change. That's deliciously ironic.

  • Re:Um..no (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @07:36PM (#31679610)

    What Democracy? America is not a real Democracy...

    With the sheer idiocy of the majority, is Democracy even worth it? Puppets... elected by the people for the people. How many people would still vote for Sarah Palin, even though she abandoned her governor job at the first sign of a payout? How many would vote for Barack again... even though he has failed on his "promises"? And how many still think Bush did a good job?

    America is full of idiots. Idiots who vote with a "two party" system, when the reality is that they are all paid shills of wealthy corporations and you are just choosing which corporations gets to manipulate the "laws" of the land to their benefit.

    The American government is just a facade so that the people feel empowered despite the fact that the wealthy elite are actually in control.

  • Re:Um..no (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sznupi (719324) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @07:37PM (#31679620) Homepage

    if you put democracy "on hold" it's awfully hard to get it started again ...as shown by the thing that it's hardly anywhere (and anytime...) present; when it comes to whole world it's almost suspended (or hardly existed in the first place) anyway.

  • Re:Democracy? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Cassius Corodes (1084513) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @07:38PM (#31679630)
    You have to think through what the alternative would look like - many countries in Europe have a whole bunch of parties in parliament, and this causes problems as they have to band together 5 or 6 to get a Govt. going, and then because there is so much difference of opinion nothing major gets addressed, and if they try to then Govt. collapses. What I think the US needs is actually something similar to Australia - preference voting combined with strong party discipline. You can vote for who you want without "throwing away your vote", and the party that is in charge doesn't have to bribe its own members (i.e. pork) to pass a bill. We have a two party system as well but without many of the problems of the US or the multi-party european system.
  • Re:LOL (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DigiShaman (671371) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @07:40PM (#31679650) Homepage

    Fascists are fascists regardless of their cloth. Even communists are fascists. And no, that isn't a contradiction.

  • Which (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dunbal (464142) * on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @07:42PM (#31679686)

    Goes to show exactly why climate change nut-jobs are DANGEROUS PEOPLE. But the history of the world is full of examples of killing people for lies. Climate change is a good substitute for (insert diety of choice), or even a political credo (Communism/Maoism/(proving Godwin's law)National Socialism). Hey let's suspend freedom to "save the environment".

    The real problem behind all of this is, of course, overpopulation. I propose that instead of eliminating democracy we should just eliminate around 80% of the population. I can provide a list of volunteers for extermination (starting with Mr. Lovelock), and I ask others to do likewise. I, of course, choose not to be on any list.

  • Re:Um..no (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HBoar (1642149) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @07:42PM (#31679688)

    Problem is that modern democracy is too far in the other direction. Very little gets done because it might interfere with what the uneducated masses think is best for them. I can't see how big problems like global overpopulation can be solved while we are trying to keep everyone happy -- in the end, some people will have to make sacrifices for the greater good. Obviously going about this in a Stalin like manner isn't the solution, but some changes are going to need to take place. Say what you will about China, but you can't deny that they are one of the very few countries with their population size under control.

    It's predicted that the human population will reach 9 billion by 2040. That rate of growth simply cannot be sustained indefinitely, and by ignoring the problem we are condemning our descendants to a life of food and water shortages -- and not just those living in third world countries.

  • Re:Um..no (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @07:43PM (#31679694) Journal

    Indeed. I accept anthropomorphic climate change, but the idea of suspending democracy is just plain vile, and a sign of a twisted mind. A lot of blood lies on a lot of battle fields to defend democracy, so some whack-job can basically say "Oh sorry, your freedoms are inconvenient."

  • Re:Democracy? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @07:44PM (#31679720)

    Democratic Republic is a form of democracy, just not more direct Hellenistic democracy. And though I highly admire George Washington and nearly all of his legacies, where he was wrong was his opposition to parties/factions. The rise of parties/factions is what holds together such a geographically large "Republican" Federation. When national parties break down, you are left with local, regional factions; the American Civil War.

  • Re:Um..no (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tiger4 (840741) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @07:48PM (#31679772)

    Some people sacrificing for the greater good is all very well and good. It is often necessary. But some people deciding who will sacrifice, and others having the sacrifice thrust upon them, THAT is what makes the process so irritating or exciting. The who and how of that is what keeps the gears of history lubed with blood.

  • Re:Slow news day (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jeremi (14640) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @07:52PM (#31679828) Homepage

    Why can't "Gaia" fix its own problems itself?

    It can -- but Gaia's fix will involve the die-off of most or all of humanity. That will work fine as far as Gaia is concerned, but speaking as part of humanity, I'd like to see if a more human-friendly fix can't be devised instead.

  • Re:Um..no (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Courageous (228506) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @07:52PM (#31679830)

    The way I like to put it, is everyone likes a tyrant as long as he's "my favorite tyrant".

    It should be no surprise that there's someone out there in favor of totalitarian rule, as long as it goes the way he wants.

    Where do you think the totalitarians get their support?

    Anyway, I'm hoping for "my kind of totalitarian". You know, someone who, with a few of his handy goonies, will use main force to put a bullet in this guy's head. I mean, you know, if he's in favor of totalitarianism of they type HE likes, he can't possibly object to the type *I* like, now can he?

    C//

  • Re:Um..no (Score:5, Insightful)

    by zach_the_lizard (1317619) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @07:54PM (#31679852)
    Government is a monopoly, and is in fact the ultimate monopoly. The State has final say on justice and taxation in a certain geographical area; anything less than that would not be a state. Unlike the telco monopoly where you can elect to just not buy their service, you are required by the state to partake in it by virtue of exiting a birth canal in a certain area, or exiting the birth canal of those deemed to be under its jurisdiction (depending on the state in question). Attempting to not obey a state (or found another one) typically does not lead to very happy results, ranging from everything to fines to imprisonment or, in extreme cases, even death. Now, there are many people (most, even) who believe that a state is a required part of life, but it's hard to escape the fact that a state is a monopoly. It's just one that most of us are willing to tolerate, because we feel that it would be in our best interests.
  • Re:Um..no (Score:4, Insightful)

    by selven (1556643) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @07:57PM (#31679884)

    I think they would welcome it. Only one body to sink their lobbyists' claws into.

  • Re:Um..no (Score:3, Insightful)

    by postbigbang (761081) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @07:58PM (#31679894)

    No. This isn't about religion. This is about totalitarianism and subjugation by someone that doesn't realize the ultimate dangers of both. As far left as I might be, I don't submit to those circumstances. Ever. And if you do, you will rue the very day you did, as will your great great great great grandchildren.

  • Re:Um..no (Score:4, Insightful)

    by selven (1556643) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @07:59PM (#31679902)

    And my point is that a single world government would leave you with no other country to become a citizen of if you don't like your current establishment.

  • by zach_the_lizard (1317619) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @08:00PM (#31679912)

    The end in itself is freedom, but I invite you to come up with a society that implements that without democracy.

    Various shades of anarchism, maybe?

  • Re:Um..no (Score:2, Insightful)

    by cheesybagel (670288) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @08:00PM (#31679926)

    This is a good time to read "Fallen Angels" by Larry Niven. Here is a snip of the book description in Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]:

    Set in an unspecified 'near-future' (one of the main characters has childhood memories of the Exxon Valdez disaster) in which a radical environmentalist movement, joined with a coalition of religious groups, has gained control of the US government and imposed draconian luddite laws which, in attempts to curb global warming, have ironically brought about the greatest environmental catastrophe in recorded history - an ice age which may eventually escalate into a Snowball Earth.

    Oh and the book was written in 1991. Prescient? Hopefully not.

    Global warming is far from proven. Global mean temperatures have actually been decreasing in the last years after we hit a solar minimum [wikipedia.org]. The Northern Hemisphere is freezing [examiner.com] and Australia seemingly came out from the so called permanent dry as severe floods [bbc.co.uk] have traversed the area. Then again numbers from the people who promoted global warming at East Anglia have been "massaged" and are suspect at best [wikipedia.org], a fabrication at worst. Nice things to ponder before sinking the economy further by funding massive investments into useless (or even dangerous) projects.

    Sorry. Not Global Warming. Climate Change. The first moniker was so patently ludicrous it is better to say something nebulous instead. As if climate hasn't been changing since like, forever.

  • Re:Democracy? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by The Archon V2.0 (782634) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @08:00PM (#31679928)

    What I think the US needs is actually something similar to Australia - preference voting combined with strong party discipline. You can vote for who you want without "throwing away your vote", and the party that is in charge doesn't have to bribe its own members (i.e. pork) to pass a bill.

    You wish for a system where the carrot (i.e. pork) is replaced with the stick (i.e. 'discipline'). So if someone on principle votes against his party, what happens? Is he thrown out of the party? Replaced with someone else? Then it's a dictatorship since the voted-in individual is being replaced by a party-chosen puppet.

    "Strong party discipline" is another way of saying "do whatever the party leader orders you to". Your vote is still thrown away unless you're the kind of person who blindly votes for the party, not for the person. So my local representative is a prince among men, who cares if he is forced to take marching orders from some goat-sodomizing bastard? Oh, but they both have the same letter in parentheses after their names, so it's all right. Nope, sorry, I don't buy it.

  • Re:Um..no (Score:3, Insightful)

    by INT_QRK (1043164) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @08:03PM (#31679966)
    So, the Global Warming campaign an excuse for elitists to impose enlightened socialist rule...never saw that coming...
  • by ShakaUVM (157947) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @08:10PM (#31680054) Homepage Journal

    >>coupled with the dynamics of capitalism that have us in this hole.

    Given that the USSR was the worst country in the world for the environment gives proof to the lie that capitalism is a global scourge.

    Seriously, look sometime into what they did to their forests and rivers. I'm not a green, but it sickens me. And of course they emitted tons of pollution, CO2, and the occasional bit of nuclear fallout.

    The reason Kyoto is a joke is because it sets CO2 targets based on the year before communism fell - all the eastern bloc countries now meet their targets now that they're no longer living in a communist dictatorship. (It's a joke since nothing would change, except us writing a 3 billion dollar cheque to Romania each year.)

  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @08:11PM (#31680072)

    The first is that you seem to think that technology can't fix this problem. Please remember that a catastrophe of human population has been predicted for a long time. I'm not talking about decades long, I'm talking about centuries long. Malthus would be one of the classical famous names in it and he was late 1700s early 1800s. People seem to want to think that we can't fix our problems but that's wrong. There's a rather good TED talk on the matter (http://www.ted.com/talks/david_deutsch_on_our_place_in_the_cosmos.html) that our problems are more or less engineering problems and we need to focus our efforts on science and technology.

    The second is that we can check population growth though pretty voluntary means, if we increase the quality of life for people. We find that counter to simple organisms we don't reproduce more and more in ideal conditions. Rather we voluntarily reduce our growth. You see this in first world nations where population growth is low or even negative.

    Finally the ultimate problem is that while you might think that you, or someone you idolize or believe to be really smart, isn't really as smart and as incorruptible as you or they think. The idea that there is a person or group that we can put in charge with more or less no limits on their power because it is for the greater good is a bad one. We have millennia of human history showing that is NOT the case. While they may start with nothing but high ideals, the result has been universally lousy.

    I know it may be easy to think that people who are educated (to the standards you consider educated) would make a better world if only they were allowed the power to do so, but that really isn't the case.

  • by Wonko the Sane (25252) * on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @08:13PM (#31680092) Journal

    ...like millions of skeptics crying out, "See? I told you that's what they were really after all along!"

  • Re:LOL (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @08:19PM (#31680190)

    One, and only one, of the following is true:

    1. All environmentalists have all the same opinions as James Lovelock on everything.

    2. You're an idiot.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @08:19PM (#31680208)

    He's also making assumptions, like "when a major war approaches".... who says major wars are needed, ever?

    The major wars are created, by the likes of him, using "good causes" such as global warming as an excuse.

  • Re:Um..no (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AuMatar (183847) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @08:20PM (#31680220)

    The civil war. And we had an election in the middle of that too. In fact the former commanding general ran against the sitting president.

  • Re:Um..no (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jd (1658) <imipak@yaCOLAhoo.com minus caffeine> on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @08:21PM (#31680234) Homepage Journal

    According to Plato's "Republic", democracy is only sustainable if the masses are, in fact, educated. I'm paraphrasing here, but he essentially predicts that all other democratic systems will revert to what is basically a totalitarian state by any other name. The only difference is that coups are by ballot and therefore much cheaper. The obvious solution to this is not to add further totalitarianism to the mix, but to improve the education of the masses. Given the complexity of modern life, I personally hold that we need to evolve towards Homo Universalis if we're to achieve this. We'll never reach that state, except in extraordinary individuals, even if it were taken as the ideal. However, until the average person actually comprehends the notion that cause will always have effect and that an unintended consequence is a consequence nonetheless, society cannot solve anything. That includes Lovelock's non-democratic solution. (See: Fred Hoyle's Molecule Men, Ossian's Ride and A For Andromeda.)

    The big problem with my proposal is... well, ok, there are lots of big problems. Expense, the fact that teachers are rarely the ones who understand the subjects, the dumbness of humanity, social inertia, the amazing lack of understanding of how to educate, and the fact that it'd take 2-3 generations minimum to clear out the ignorance -- way too long a timeframe to be useful here.

  • i think (Score:4, Insightful)

    by circletimessquare (444983) <circletimessquare&gmail,com> on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @08:23PM (#31680256) Homepage Journal

    we need to put environmentalism on hold, to prevent a political catastrophe

  • Re:Um..no (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Third Position (1725934) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @08:36PM (#31680470)

    Problem is that modern democracy is too far in the other direction. Very little gets done because it might interfere with what the uneducated masses think is best for them.

    Look, if in 1930 America had passed an amendment requiring a Ph.D to vote, right now Soviet America would be digging itself out of the same mess Russia is. I'd rather trust the judgement of the uneducated masses, thankyouverymuch.

  • Re:Um..no (Score:3, Insightful)

    by HBoar (1642149) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @08:43PM (#31680556)
    The population of the US is predicted to reach 400 million by 2040. I'm not sure how that could be considered equilibrium.
  • Re:Um..no (Score:3, Insightful)

    by icebraining (1313345) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @08:47PM (#31680588) Homepage

    He won't have great grandchildren, didn't you read the part about the overcrowded Earth?

    I can't say what I'll do ten years from now, but nowadays I fully believe that having children is a very uncivil action, especially when there's plenty of orphans to take care of.

  • Re:Um..no (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shutdown -p now (807394) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @08:47PM (#31680598) Journal

    The idea of a democratic state is that it is better to institute and artificially maintain a monopoly that you have some say in, rather than have one appear naturally in a power vacuum, which you have no say in at all.

  • Re:Um..no (Score:4, Insightful)

    by steelfood (895457) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @08:49PM (#31680624)

    The thing about the world is that it is really big. There are a lot of people in it. And if there's a top, everybody wants to be on top.

    A strong world government wouldn't last. All it'll take is one regional leader to revolt, and a lot of other regions will want to do the same.

    The UN is almost ideal as a global governing body insomuch as it doesn't govern but instead suggests and advises. Any stronger world government would result in an eventual rebellion and overthrow of the system. And it would continue until it reaches and equillibrium, which is more or less where we are at.

    The only time a strong world government is remotely possible is in light of foreign invaders. And by foreign, I mean extraterrestrial. The need to survive will be the only catalyst for such a governing body. And once the invaders have been expelled, things will fall apart again. It's only under constant threat will it be possible for any world government to grow stronger.

  • Re:LOL (Score:5, Insightful)

    by okooolo (1372815) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @08:59PM (#31680728)
    how about reading the article before condemning the guy? ........... "What's the alternative to democracy? There isn't one. But 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." .............. He simply states that the issue is extremely important and warrants drastic action like in times of war
  • Re:Which (Score:1, Insightful)

    by tgd (2822) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @09:02PM (#31680766)

    Just to head off the arguments, you're an idiot.

    Not only did you just show you knee-jerked a reaction without reading the article, you knee-jerked a reaction against a science as firmly confirmed as the basic tenets of physics or chemistry, regardless of what the politicos on Fox might tell you.

    Of course, Slashdot is full of armchair climatologists who think their high-school chemistry class and the algebra class they took makes them qualified to comment on climate change, even if they never even took a statistics class. So you got modded up a bit. Perhaps the moderators didn't read anything other than the blurb, either?

  • by jotaeleemeese (303437) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @09:05PM (#31680806) Homepage Journal

    One begins to say stupid things keeping a straight face.

    Democracy is by no means the most popular form of government. Just for starters China is not a democracy, carry on adding countries with no functioning democracies, with autocracies, theocracies and outright dictatorships and you will find out that the truly democratic world shrinks to a few enlightened pockets, and even there its hold is at times dubious.

    It can be proven objectively that the standards of living, the ecology, educational achievements, respect for property and human rights, amongst many other desirable outcomes are better served by a democratic system. Democracy is better in any way that matters to individuals, minorities and big populations in general. We had several decades of leftist dictatorships in several countries, pretty much all failed, theocracies? look at Iran or Saudi Arabia, countries no fit for decen civilized living, dictatorships? Yeah, Venezuelans are having a great time.

    Honestly, how a properly educated and curious person can claim such idiocy is beyond contemptible.

  • Re:Um..no (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @09:07PM (#31680826)

    Really? I thought that US was by far the worst source of pollution per capita. Then again, I guess you can't really call it a democratic nation, so perhaps you are right after all.

  • Re:LOL (Score:4, Insightful)

    by vvaduva (859950) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @09:08PM (#31680838)

    The alternative to democracy is a voluntary society.

  • by tgd (2822) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @09:10PM (#31680856)

    The people you refer to are not skeptics. They're neo-skeptics, a massive upswelling of people (at least here in the US) who think being "intellectual" or a "skeptic" means accepting pretty much any claim made by someone who feigns authority claiming the masses are being mislead by (insert authority figure here). The global warming "skeptics" are in that crowd, as are the (strangely congruent) creationists, gun owners who were convinced Obama would take their guns, dimwits like Jenny McCarthy who insisted vaccines caused autism, or any of a thousand other over-popularized examples around the world today.

    That is not skepticism. That's faith and dogmatism.

  • Re:Um..no (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chris Burke (6130) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @09:10PM (#31680858) Homepage

    Global mean temperatures have actually been decreasing in the last years after we hit a solar minimum.

    Not it hasn't, it only looks that way if you specifically and only compare 1998 to 2008, which as anyone with a clue knows is a stupid way to analyze trends. This has actually been the hottest decade on record [earthpolicy.org], with 9 of the 10 warmest years on record occurring in it. 2008 was the exception (which is why you folks like to pick it and only it and not look at any other year in the decade), then 2009 was the 2nd hottest, and the warmest year on record, 2005, occurring right near the solar minimum you linked to yourself!

    In fact the continued warming in spite of the solar minimum is yet more evidence that the phenomenon is real. Of course, climatologists had already thought of solar cycles as a possible explanation, I know it's hard to believe but yeah it's true they thought of it long before you did, and it doesn't come close to explaining the trend.

    Sorry. Not Global Warming. Climate Change. The first moniker was so patently ludicrous it is better to say something nebulous instead.

    What's patently ludicrous is that so many people are incapable of understanding something that is not uniform and monotonic, and that a blizzard does not disprove Global Warming. What's equally ridiculous is that scientists actually decided to change the name to accommodate your simplistic thinking. I'll admit that over the twenty years of hearing "Ha! We had a record snow today, 'Global Warming' my ass!" I'm pretty sick of explaining this simple fact. But obviously the name change was pointless -- it's not that you don't understand, it's that you don't want to. Which is why you're repeating twenty year old falsehoods.

  • Re:Um..no (Score:4, Insightful)

    by darjen (879890) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @09:12PM (#31680884)

    some of us realize that individuals effectively have no say in democracy. like the parent said, at least we can decide not to purchase the telco's service. and even their crappy service is due to government monopolization in the first place.

  • Re:Gaea (Score:3, Insightful)

    by greg_barton (5551) <greg_barton@NOSpaM.yahoo.com> on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @09:17PM (#31680936) Homepage Journal

    Yes, and as we all know, no complex system ever commits suicide.

  • As if (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Thaelon (250687) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @09:18PM (#31680942)

    As if we actually have democracy, anywhere.

    Most nations are a plutocracy disguised as a republic, and sold to the public as a democracy.

  • Re:Um..no, no! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Ralph Spoilsport (673134) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @09:18PM (#31680948) Journal
    It's just one that most of us are willing to tolerate, because we feel that it would be in our best interests.

    And the whole point of a democractic form of govt is that you are supposed to have an active and educated citizenry who take their civic duties seriously and make sure that the government THEIR government, the government that is FOR the people and BY the people does what the people require. At the same time, the government, as democracy, is a tool of the public will, and therefore acts in the interests of the commonweal. Governments, specifically democratic forms (parliamentary, republic, anarchist communes, whatever) are NOT monopolies like corporations can be/are. When corporations are democratically organised, where the CEO, CTO, CFO, etc. are ELECTED by the workforce of the company, then you can start comparing them. Until then, you're just another libertarian troll.

  • Re:Um..no (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Courageous (228506) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @09:41PM (#31681220)

    Same set of people who think that people aren't fit to bear arms... except when it's the people they personally prefer.

    C//

  • Re:Um..no (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot <slashdot@NOspam.pudge.net> on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @09:47PM (#31681298) Homepage Journal

    Uh, who do you think runs non-democratic nations? Hint: It ain't 200 IQ scientists who only do what is best for Gaia!

    Yes, but that's a point in FAVOR of his idea!

    But, to your point, as Bastiat said [bastiat.org] 160 years ago:

    The claims of these organizers of humanity raise another question which I have often asked them and which, so far as I know, they have never answered: If the natural tendencies of mankind are so bad that it is not safe to permit people to be free, how is it that the tendencies of these organizers are always good? Do not the legislators and their appointed agents also belong to the human race? Or do they believe that they themselves are made of a finer clay than the rest of mankind? The organizers maintain that society, when left undirected, rushes headlong to its inevitable destruction because the instincts of the people are so perverse. The legislators claim to stop this suicidal course and to give it a saner direction. Apparently, then, the legislators and the organizers have received from Heaven an intelligence and virtue that place them beyond and above mankind; if so, let them show their titles to this superiority.

    They would be the shepherds over us, their sheep. Certainly such an arrangement presupposes that they are naturally superior to the rest of us. And certainly we are fully justified in demanding from the legislators and organizers proof of this natural superiority.

  • by MarkvW (1037596) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @09:49PM (#31681330)

    Suspending democracy means killing or imprisoning dissidents.

  • by Khashishi (775369) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @09:49PM (#31681332) Journal

    China seems to be able to do capitalism without democracy. Democracy has to do with who makes decisions. Capitalism has to do with owning of property. Those are two different things. I think, in the United States, we are brainwashed from grade school into thinking they are the same thing.

  • Re:Democracy? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot <slashdot@NOspam.pudge.net> on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @09:50PM (#31681336) Homepage Journal

    Ban the party system

    That, in itself, is anti-liberty. You can't ban parties, because people have a First Amendment right to combine into groups and to act politically within those groups.

    You can ban special treatment for the "major parties," which I am all in favor of. And you can even go so far as to ban party affiliations from government-sponsored election materials (other than the candidate's own written text in the election pamphlet). But that's as far as you can go without attacking the First Amendment.

  • Re:Um..no (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @10:05PM (#31681520)
    And the alternative is? A world where every company puts up its own telephone lines? That leads to New York City being wired fifteen times over, while anyone more than 50 miles from a major city gets no service whatsoever. After all, in sufficiently low density areas, the costs of running cable outweigh the benefits. And you end up with a weird system of profitability; if you're the first to the area, your profitability depends on how many follow you; you have to lay the cable no matter how many people you serve, but if half the customers switch to a competitor, your initial outlay is worth less. You end up establishing robust competition in the areas where even a fraction of the user base is still profitable (e.g. NYC), while middling density areas get one or two competitors and low density areas have none.
  • Re:Which (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @10:15PM (#31681610)

    Goes to show exactly why climate change nut-jobs are DANGEROUS PEOPLE. But the history of the world is full of examples of killing people for lies. Climate change is a ... I propose that instead of eliminating democracy we should just eliminate around 80% of the population. I can provide a list of volunteers for extermination (starting with Mr. Lovelock), and I ask others to do likewise. I, of course, choose not to be on any list.

    Goes to show why right wing nut jobs who automatically attack "climate change nut-jobs" are DANGEROUS PEOPLE. Obviously, you didn't RTFA. Obviously you didn't bother to find out that the quote was taken out of context and that Mr. Lovelock was simply stating that he didn't believe that anything would be done about climate change until it reached a war-like crisis, a time when democracies often see rights suspended in order to attend to the crisis. He never suggested putting democracy on hold and he certainly doesn't call for it. Try RTFA instead of just the summary and a few inflammatory posts.

  • Re:Um..no (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @10:20PM (#31681682)

    "Which is why you're repeating twenty year old falsehoods..."

    Right.... The scientists admit they've been fudging data and making mistakes (which just happen to boost their case), all while being funded by the same governments who would greatly benefit from "suspending democracy".

    After all, if you're right, I'm sure it's OK to lie about it. After all, if it is serious enough in your mind to suspend democracy, why should you produce verifiable and reproducable science? Besides, if suspending democracy produces such good results, why would you ever want to resume it?

    As to warmest decade on record. Get back to me when they publish the locations of their weather stations, explain why many were moved and others were not included alltogether.

  • Re:Um..no (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Admiral Ag (829695) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @10:24PM (#31681724)

    This isn't true. Democratic government is preferable under most circumstances. It is much easier to secure co-operation and deal with dissent if people have a genuine stake in society and the government exists by consent. Democracy has been successful for reasons of efficiency more than any other reason. It would very likely be much easier to restore democracy than you think.

    But Lovelock is right. There are certain sorts of problems that democracies can't really deal with. That's why democracy and democratic freedoms are sometimes curtailed during war. In particular, democracies are poor at dealing with slowly developing, complex, and eventually catastrophic problems. WWII is a good example.

    All I see is people crying like bitches about Lovelock's argument, or indulging in climate change denialism. None of this is addressing his argument. If democracy can't fix it and climate change is that big of a problem, it follows that we have to dispense with democracy (perhaps only in certain respects) until the problem is fixed. Crying like a bitch because you don't like the situation isn't solving anything.

    In fact, all that needs to be done is for the political class to agree to fix the carbon problem no matter what the voters think. Such solutions are not unprecedented in democracies.

    That seems reasonable. What's unreasonable is saying that you personally can live with the effects of climate change. I'm sure that the millions of people who would suffer terribly because of climate change would have a problem with your "choice". It's a global problem. If you just choose for yourself and screw everyone else, then you are justifying the use of force against yourself.

    If rich countries think that they can ignore climate change and not suffer Al Qaeda x 100, then they are sadly mistaken. The world's poor aren't going to go quietly just so you can have "democracy".

  • Re:Um..no (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @10:30PM (#31681794)

    So we've got climate change or warming or cooling or warming in some places and cooling in some places and all kinds of other shit. So what? We adapt - that's what we do. Why get all worked up over it?

    Because there's about 1 billion people living in bare subsistence on the planet and their only possible adaptation when their area becomes too dry to farm will be to become boat people (with large numbers of them dying in the process) or staying where they are and dying. History shows that that type of thing causes wars and fuels extremism, and sooner or later, that will impact you. But yeah, maybe you'll be already dead of old age and your kids will be the ones dying in preventable wars. Or maybe you'll just be made a pauper eating out of cans of dog food as all your savings are eaten up by taxes to pay for preventable wars.

  • Re:Um..no (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @10:44PM (#31681926)

    What temperature is the earth supposed to be? What baseline are we saying it is warming or cooling against?

    "It only looks that way if you specifically and only compare 1998 to 2008, which as anyone with a clue knows is a stupid way to analyze trends"

    What period of time should we compare it against to determine a trend? A hundred years? A thousand? A million? My point is (as was yours) that if you pick the right time slice, you can find the numbers that fit your theory. I have a strong suspension that the climate has been changing (at differing rates) and always will change (at differing rates), with or without us.

  • Re:Um..no (Score:3, Insightful)

    by shutdown -p now (807394) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @10:49PM (#31681968) Journal

    some of us realize that individuals effectively have no say in democracy.

    There's a fine line here. You, as an individual, do indeed have little say in how things go. It's still better than none, because there are successful examples of common folks engaging democratic mechanisms to garner support and eventually reach their goal - rare, but it does happen.

    However, even when that doesn't happen, the point is that society as a whole has a say. Your single vote "doesn't matter" in the big picture, but said big picture is formed out of all those small votes that "don't matter". So, ultimately, they still do.

    And don't give me that line about your corporate overlords etc. They may influence the public opinion, and they may also influence politicians to ignore it, but they cannot fully circumvent the whole process.

  • Re:Um..no (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TheLink (130905) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @10:53PM (#31682016) Journal
    > some of us realize that individuals effectively have no say in democracy.

    You do have some say, just not 100%. Your say is the percentage of your vote/total voting. After all, why should your voice be louder than others?

    The alternative is stuff like Dictatorships where one particular individual (or a small bunch of people) has 100% of the votes.

    Now whether the individuals in democracies are making the right choice is a different matter, but it is THEIR vote to use stupidly or wisely.

    More than 98% of the votes went to the candidates of the Two Parties in the past two US presidential elections. So from the Two Parties perspective, they're doing things great - between the two of them they have 98% of the voters (the rest aren't voting and so don't count).

    If the voters actually would have preferred some other candidate they should figured who that candidate is and voted for them. So what if that candidate doesn't win. If the percentage drops a lot from 98%, you can be sure the Two Parties will start changing some policies. Because if all the voters who could vote but didn't voted for "someone else", that someone else would have been the President.

    if they didn't actually like any of the candidates but not a single one of the voters had the ability and willingness to run as an alternative candidate, then it's still a case of the voters getting the best there is. Just too bad the best isn't very good.
  • Re:Um..no (Score:4, Insightful)

    by EdIII (1114411) * on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @11:00PM (#31682078)

    You know you sound very rational. I will agree that Global Warming was so ludicrous a title that it went plaid. Climate change is also misleading in a way, because as you say, it's always happening and will continue to happen.

    However.......

    My problem with your argument about the funding and possible damage to the economies is that it is probably based on just as much silliness, naivete, and ignorance (possibly willful).

    Maybe you belong to....

    1) The Christians who have their entire foundation for their argument based on God, Faith, Manifest Destiny, and the cute (but dangerous) theory that Man cannot affect God's creation and are just plain crazy. Mod me troll on that, but sorry, I must use Karma to say that. They're fucking nuts.

    I sincerely hope you are just in the 2nd category....

    2) Reasonable people who just think the overwhelming science, studies, and data coming from all sides is inaccurate, not genuine, and flawed. You weigh the benefit against the risks of actions being suggested to curtail Global Warming, or Climate Change, and think the risks are not justified by the data presented. As you said the economy might suffer unnecessarily.

    Here is a thought.

    Climate Change is not the real concern, or even question. If Man is having such an affect on the climate by his actions that it will result in serious irreparable damage to our world and all the species in it, that will affect him, what are you willing to do?

    IMHO, Climate Change is a symptom of a much more serious problem. We are not living sustainably on this planet. What I mean by that is simple too. Can we keep doing what we are doing and survive another 1000 years? Screw the rest of the world. Let the Panda's, little owls and other cute creatures die. Maybe we can eat them, they could taste good for all we know.

    I think the answer is a resounding NO. Regardless of where we are now, I think it is crazy to assume that our current behavior is, or will lead to, anything remotely resembling homeostasis.

    It's the fall of Rome around us right now. I don't know you and where you live, but if it is in a so-called 1st world country then you may be under the mistaken impression that everything is relatively stable and ok. It is not.

    The way we generate power, use our resources, and manage our waste is practically the polar opposite of sustainable. The majority of the world's most polluted cities are in China. If you want to understand how the standard of living is maintained in the wealthier and developed countries, just visit some places in China. South America. Africa.

    Our standard of living is propped up by the filth and misery that these areas of the world deal with on a daily basis. A person trying to survive in those areas is going to have a dramatically different reality, perception, and opinions about economy, the environment, and politics than you do. I guarantee you they won't think the world is doing as good as you are.

    Location, Location, Location.

    The reason why we need to keep doing the science, keep funding the alternative energy projects, and pursuing global policy regarding the environment and how we operate is so that we can ultimately reach a sustainable way of life. That does not mean having to live like Hippies either.

    There have been some recent events that cast Climate Change and their supporters in a bad light. However, please consider the whole story and broader picture before making a decision.

    Personally, I think you have your head in the sand to think we are ok right now, or can continue to be ok in the future at the rate we are going. That is not based on any Climate Change studies. Just walking into a freakin Walmart and then remembering your trip to mainland China where you saw workers coughing up blood making the pottery you were considering purchasing. Or buying a laptop and remembering the pictures of Chinese cities where homes were full halfway up the walls with electronic parts sh

  • Re:Um..no (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ArcherB (796902) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @11:00PM (#31682084) Journal

    This has actually been the hottest decade on record [earthpolicy.org], with 9 of the 10 warmest years on record occurring in it. 2008 was the exception (which is why you folks like to pick it and only it and not look at any other year in the decade), then 2009 was the 2nd hottest, and the warmest year on record, 2005, occurring right near the solar minimum you linked to yourself!

    Says who? Sorry, but I'm not buying the whole "hottest time period in history" crap anymore. Not only has the data that points to current climate been manipulated, but so has the data that makes up historical climate. Sorry, but I ain't buying it anymore until someone else without an ax to grind starts all over. I know it sux, but that is what happens when "scientists" believe their own ego over the data. True scientists get excited when they are proven wrong. It means they are about to learn something new.

    Also, the climate has always changed. Grapes were once grown in England and the Thames was once frozen solid. In other words, it has been hotter than it's been now, regardless of the supposed "hottest decade crap", and it's been colder before. Right now, we are in a pretty average climate, if there was such a thing, as the climate is always in fluctuation. There was a time when the earth was a giant ball of fire and other times when it was ice from pole to pole. There is no such thing as "normal climate".

    What's patently ludicrous is that so many people are incapable of understanding something that is not uniform and monotonic, and that a blizzard does not disprove Global Warming. What's equally ridiculous is that scientists actually decided to change the name to accommodate your simplistic thinking. I'll admit that over the twenty years of hearing "Ha! We had a record snow today, 'Global Warming' my ass!" I'm pretty sick of explaining this simple fact. But obviously the name change was pointless -- it's not that you don't understand, it's that you don't want to. Which is why you're repeating twenty year old falsehoods.

    No, what is patently ludicrous is someone lecturing others over misunderstanding the time scales of "climate change" who thinks that a decade makes a trend. Climate changes doesn't happen over decades. It happens over tens of thousands, sometimes hundreds of thousands of years. It is enough time for rivers to get blocked by ice dams, only to break through and flood enough area to make up entire states, wiping out everything in its path, only to do it over and over and over again. We are talking time periods long enough for entire lush forests to grow back before the ice dam breaks and floods the region, destroying everything in the path all over again.

    If that doesn't help you understand the time scales involved, think of this this way; even evolution is faster than climate change. Various climate ages have lasted long enough for species to adapt to the new climate, becoming completely new species and populate entire continents, only to become extinct after the climate changes again. And yet, this guy is talking about a hot decade. Call me when it hasn't snowed in a millennium and you may prove a small warming trend. Call me when Missouri has been under a glacier a mile thick for 10000 years and you'll have a trend.

    So, please, don't lecture anyone about the time scales of climate change. You haven't quite have the grasp of it yet. Maybe you just don't want to, which is why you keep repeating 20-year old falsehoods.

  • Re:Um..no (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jmorris42 (1458) * <`jmorris' `at' `beau.org'> on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @11:12PM (#31682194)

    > There seems to be a certain type of person who simply can not conceive that there are people who are not essentially humanitarian.

    The reality is actually worse. It really wouldn't matter who you make absolute tyrant, they will either realize it is a no-win scenario and restore liberty, become a monster or get ousted by one. Put Jesus in charge, doesn't matter; He either abdicates or ends up spending all day smiting us (assuming He probably wouldn't need to worry about being ousted) and generally being a bastard because we humans just aren't wired to mindlessly obey like these Marxists academics seem to think we are.

    > The criminal mind is entirely foreign to them.

    Not really. It takes a criminal mind to want to be a tyrant. And anybody who says such things as this moron, in their secret heart, wants to BE the absolute tyrant because they believe they are so f*cking superior to us mere mortals that refuse to see their enlightened wisdom.

  • Re:Um..no (Score:2, Insightful)

    by rtb61 (674572) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @11:44PM (#31682528) Homepage

    Full privatisation is not corporatism, it is the monarchy. Where a minority own everything including the rest of society. Democracy basically put an end to pure capitalism as expressed in monarchies. A democratic government is a expression of the majority, it is only as good or bad as the effort the majority wish to put into expressing their will upon the government. A democratic government is never a monopoly as it is based upon the will and the willingness to express that will, of the completely diverse will of the majority (many opinions not just one).

    An autocracy is the will and opinions of one, a monopoly of thought, it is at the heart of capitalism, monarchy and the typical corporation, where only a very small minority decide, whilst the rest must follow. Don't think so, typical corporate response for investors who don't like the way the company is being run, sell your stock, regardless of losses that you'll incur. Typical corporate response for staff members who don't like the way the company is being run quit, regardless of the time and reputation those staff members have invested in that company.

    In reality the separation between private and public (the government), is the separation between which elements of the shared human society that people will allow individuals to control for their own personal benefit and which elements of society are deem important enough to ensure that the majority will is definable expressed in their control. This has been distorted of late by corruption and deceit that allowed a minority to gain excessive control of major elements of shared human society, at the expense of the majority. Most disturbingly this minority is generally suffering from a genetic birth defect that disrupts their ability to appropriately socially interact with the rest of society, an absence of conscience and empathy (not new of course but typically of rampaging mass murdering monarchists throughout the centuries of human history).

  • by Angst Badger (8636) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @12:05AM (#31682678)

    Capitalism and Democracy (direct or representative) go hand-in-hand, and it's very difficult to separate the two. How can you have true political freedom if you don't have economic freedom too?

    20th century European fascism was largely capitalistic, as is the politically oppressive and communist-in-name-only mainland China, which latter hasn't gotten measurably freer since becoming capitalist. Much of present-day western Europe is considerably more democratic and politically freer than the United States, but much more socialistic. Since the fall of the Soviet bloc, almost all dictatorial states are also capitalist. The two demonstrably do not go hand in hand.

    The real flaw in Lovelock's argument is that a large majority of the general population of the United States is in favor of stricter environmental regulation, even if it personally costs them more money, but because business has more influence over Congress than the voting public, environmental regulations end up being stalled by industrial lobbyists. If we want to address climate change, we need more democracy, not less.

  • Re:Um..no (Score:4, Insightful)

    by binary paladin (684759) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `nidalapyranib'> on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @12:42AM (#31682924)

    Maybe it grew a brain and a lot of us are just as sick of global warming dogma as we are of fundamentalist dogma.

    This article is EXACTLY why global climate change is such a hot topic: the end of the world is at hand is an EXCELLENT excuse to push bad policy.

  • Re:Um..no (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bzipitidoo (647217) <bzipitidoo@yahoo.com> on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @12:50AM (#31682974) Journal

    You seem to have doubts. It's not really your fault I suppose. You've been badly mislead by questionable "science" paid for by oil companies. And you want to disbelieve. Admit it, you want to believe everything is hunky dory, that you won't have to change a thing. You are afraid of change, so afraid that you prefer to deny that there is a problem. You start reaching, saying that climate change is a bunch of hooey, a plot of liberal scientists, and you jump up and down pointing at the East Anglia idiots as evidence. Yes, those East Anglia people screwed up. You go on about them, but why aren't you screaming about the oil companies, particularly Exxon, and their lying? What is your problem? You don't actually believe an organization like Exxon, which so obviously puts what it perceives to be its own interests first?

    And what have you to say about the change in CO2 levels? Currently 380 ppm, and climbing, versus 280 ppm for millions of years. Steady for millions of years, then a climb starting around 1750, the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution. We are putting CO2 into the air faster than the world can take it out. Yes, we are the reason that is happening. And yes, such a change in the atmosphere does have effects. You don't need to believe a bunch of scientists to be able to see this could be big trouble.

  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @02:02AM (#31683462) Journal

    Why? "Environmentalist" sounds just fine to me. After all, it really means "preserve the environment", not "wipe out the pesky human infestation on the beautiful face of Gaia".

    Instead, why not label those guys differently - say, "eco-terrorists".

  • Re:Um..no (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ultranova (717540) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @02:18AM (#31683546)

    It's naive in the extreme, nevertheless we have a man intelligent enough to earn a PhD, yet dumb enough to think that power won't be abused despite evidence to the contrary in the news each and every day.

    Or we have a Slashdot poster dumb enough to not realize that the man with the PhD knows but doesn't care, as long as he gets his wish. Or that the PhD man is trying to set up an extreme position to locate the "reasonable compromise" where he wants.

  • by BobandMax (95054) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @02:41AM (#31683720)

    The clever Mr. Lovelock, inventor of several useful gadgets, has repeatedly demonstrated very poor judgment. He was wrong about nuclear power, CFCs, and Global Warming causes. Now, he would like it if his superior intellect was recognized, democracy "suspended" and his opinions simply imposed. The problem, as previous poster NiceGeek observed, is that, once given a taste of autocracy, the anointed ones are unlikely to relinquish it.

    His arrogance is typical of those who consider themselves superior to the masses. We have another one currently residing in the White House.

  • Re:Um..no (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Imsdal (930595) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @03:13AM (#31683922)

    Almost no government actually cares if you as a single person remain as their citizen

    Completely false, unfortunately. Loads of countries do not allow any citizens to leave. Or do you think the idea of the Berlin wall was to stop westerners from entering? It is thankfully far fewer countries now than just 25 years ago, but it's still far from uncommon.

  • by coder111 (912060) <[coder] [at] [rrmail.com]> on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @03:32AM (#31684020)
    Actually, I agree that strong huge corporation capitalism is incompatible with democracy, but for different reasons.

    First of all, corporations are hierarchical pyramids of power, de facto dictatorships. And in quite a lot of cases they don't represent the will of the people. They have huge influence on government decisions, by lobbying, contributions to parties, bribes, mass media. They have huge influence on culture and values via advertisement and PR. It is in their interest to have dumb consumer population and not educated skeptical citizen population necessary for a working democracy.

    In short, I believe it is beneficial to large corporations to skew and twist democracy as much as possible. And that is why capitalism that allows huge corporations is incompatible with democracy. It concentrates the power in hands of corporate execs, not the people.

    --Coder
  • Re:Um..no (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ultranova (717540) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @03:38AM (#31684050)

    some of us realize that individuals effectively have no say in democracy.

    Modern societies are composed of millions - sometimes hundreds of millions - of people; a single individual shouldn't be able to influence them significantly, because such exercise of power would happen at everyone else's expense. The whole point of democracy is to disperse power amongst the populace rather than concentrate it on an individual.

  • Re:Um..no (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Teancum (67324) <robert_horning@n ... t ['etz' in gap]> on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @05:07AM (#31684640) Homepage Journal

    Government is a monopoly, and is in fact the ultimate monopoly. The State has final say on justice and taxation in a certain geographical area; anything less than that would not be a state.

    This is precisely the reason for why the American Republic was founded on the principles of local government having the most authority, locally operated school districts and police departments, and only letting the top most "national" authority having the most limited powers that are absolutely essential for preserving national identity. Diffusing governmental authority in the hands of as many people as is possible and pushing that authority down to the lowest possible level to where those impacted by those decisions can have a direct role in the decision making process.

    One thing that ultimately has to prevail under such a model is that you always have the ability to "vote with your feet" if things go wrong. Just ask the governments of Massachusetts and California how that experiment is working out for them. Both are likely to lose seats in the U.S. House of Representatives with the 2010 Census.

    Somehow those in authority in what used to be the American Republic have somehow forgotten these principles, or at the very least want to spit in their face. There is also value in having a greater world that is free to simply chuck the whole concept of something like the American Republic and do something else completely different. That is also something lost with this "proposal" that is becoming increasingly hip among the intelligencia when talk of one world government is proposed.

  • Re:Um..no (Score:2, Insightful)

    by juliusbeezer (1558233) <juliusbeezer@ymail.com> on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @05:30AM (#31684796)
    I think it is possible to be more sophisticated about possible human motivations other than having a gun pointed at your head, but your outline of the tyranny of democracy is compelling and persuasive.
  • It is tyranny of the majority. It is mob rule.

    I am very glad we live in a Republic and not a pure Democracy.

  • by Chris Mattern (191822) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @07:28AM (#31685494)

    Because totalitarian governments [foreignaffairs.com] have such a good record [matadorchange.com] in environmental matters. [mongabay.com]

  • I for one ... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @08:47AM (#31686128)

    ... welcome our new Science Council overlords.

  • Re:Um..no (Score:5, Insightful)

    by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @09:57AM (#31686926) Homepage Journal

    You're claiming that we can damage the Earth beyond a point which it can repair itself? Really?

    Nope. I'm arguing it's possible that we can damage the Earth beyond the point at which it can repair itself on a timescale useful to us.

  • Re:Um..no (Score:4, Insightful)

    by phlinn (819946) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @11:37AM (#31688526)
    Wow, how does a post which asserts "black is white" get marked insightful? Monarchy != capitialism. The heart of a free market is that no one must follow. you are always free to not do business with someone if you don't like their choices, just as they are free not to do business with you. The fact that minority shareholders don't get to dictate actions to everyone else is the opposite of minority control. The fact that someone has worked for a company does not put them in charge, but unlike feudal serfs they can leave if they like.
  • Re:Um..no (Score:3, Insightful)

    by EdIII (1114411) * on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @01:26PM (#31689984)

    The connection between those sentences is tenuous at best.

    The connection between those sentences is as solid as steel.

    Perhaps places like China need to fricking learn to manage their environment the way the 'First World' already has. Perhaps they shouldn't be exempt from the standards that these Global Environmental Orders seek to impose on us.

    Golly Gee Willickers!

    There is your *connection*. The one made out of steel.

    First off, we have not learned how to manage our environment in the 'First World'. That's a joke. We are still polluting and generally doing unwise things. Granted we took it down an order, but you're acting like we are perfectly clean. Far from the truth. How did we get cleaner?........

    Second, and here is where the connection is, if China *did* enact its own policies and laws like OSHA in the U.S the costs of manufacturing goods would go UP. Once that happens, its no more sub-$100 DVD player at Walmart. Our standard of living would more than likely go down, since the costs of goods would go up.

    That's my whole point. The US and 'First World' countries get their labor performed abroad at far cheaper rates than domestically possible. Where we differ from Rome is that we are not importing human slaves to do our work, clean our houses, and suck our cocks.

    I am not talking about socialist agendas, one world government theories, global dominance....... Just the simple observation that the consequences of maintaining our standard of living are EXPORTED.

    It's like living in a perfectly clean room and exclaiming you have the technology to live clean and pure just because you throw your shit out the window into the street below.

    Yeah, China, Africa, and South America could clean up their acts and stop what they are doing. Great.... Welcome to the $5000 iPhone.

    My point was not about the environment either when I made those statements. It was about how we live is simply unsustainable regardless of environmental impact. We simply will not be able to use those countries the way we are forever. Your failure to recognize that and understand the relationship between 'first world countries' and developing countries is what allows you miss that connection. You know ....the *solid* connection.

  • by An Onerous Coward (222037) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @06:52PM (#31694658) Homepage

    Explain to me how Venezuela is not a democracy?

    No, seriously. When was the last time you heard of a totalitarian government cancel plans because it lost a popular referendum?

    That's exactly what happened when Chavez asked to have term limits removed a few years back. You can argue that it's a very poor democracy, on a number of fronts, but when it comes to the single, defining feature of a democracy -- representing the will of the people (rather than wealthy business interests) -- Venezuela is none too shabby.

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