Watermelon Environmentalists: Green On The Outside, Red On The Inside

Jonah Golberg notes in his latest column how the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference reminded us that environmentalism continues to serve as a cover for radical communist agendas…

Bolivian president Evo Morales was interviewed by Al Jazeera television while in Copenhagen.  “The principal obstacle to combating climate change is capitalism,” he explained.  “Until we put an end to capitalism, it will continue to be a big obstacle for life and humanity.”

Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe proclaimed in a speech: “When these capitalist gods of carbon burp and belch their dangerous emissions, it’s we, the lesser mortals of the developing sphere, who gasp and sink and eventually die.”

Right.  That is, unless Mugabe kills them first.

The big name in the anti-capitalism club was, of course, Hugo Chávez, the Venezuelan national-socialist strongman.  In a typical stem-winder, he belched: “Capitalism is a destructive model that is eradicating life, that threatens to put a definitive end to the human species.”

I don’t know how to say “chutzpah” in Spanish, but you’ve got to hand it to the leader of the world’s No. 5 supplier of oil for bemoaning the system that keeps his regime afloat by buying his product...

The simple truth is that hostility to freedom (i.e., economic liberty and political democracy) and fondness for non-democratic statism suffuses much of the environmental movement…New York Times’s Thomas Friedman consistently writes of his confessed envy for China’s authoritarian regime…

Diane Francis, a ballyhooed Canadian pundit…wrote that the “‘inconvenient truth’ overhanging the U.N.’s Copenhagen conference is not that the climate is warming or cooling, but that humans are overpopulating the world.”  She insists that “the only way to reverse the disastrous global birthrate” is to implement a “planetary law, such as China’s one-child policy.”

Population control has always been at the heart of the progressive project, so it’s no surprise that it’s in fashion once again…

But Francis’s argument is also stunningly stupid, as are virtually all of the complaints about capitalism being the root of the problem.

The historical record is clear: Democratic free-market nations are better at protecting their environments than statist regimes for the simple reason that they can afford to.  West Germany’s environment was far cleaner than East Germany’s.  I’d much sooner drink the tap water in South Korea than North Korea.

Mugabe rails against capitalism as if he has a better idea of how to run things.  That’s almost funny given that Mugabe has destroyed what was once a great cause for hope in Africa, in large part by abandoning capitalism and democracy.  Zimbabwe now has the highest inflation rate in the world and one of the lowest life expectancies.  Let’s hope nobody was taking notes when he was giving out advice.

Moreover, capitalism, and the wealth it creates, is the best means of bending down the population curve.  Don’t take my word for it.  The U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change acknowledges that “affluence is correlated with long life and small families” and that growing prosperity will cause world population to decline even further.

Want to know the best way to heal the planet?  Create more rich countries.  Want to know the best way to hurt the planet?  Throw a wet blanket on economic growth.

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