13 Mar 2015

Naomi Klein Gets on Board With Climate Alarmism

Climate Change, Shameless Self-Promotion 21 Comments

…and she also sees how it helps fulfill her prior political goals. Interesting. An excerpt from my latest IER post:

In an extended essay for the Guardian excerpted from her new book, Naomi Klein showcases everything wrong with climate alarmism. First, she slings out a string of dire warnings that are preposterous, going far beyond what the “consensus science” of the latest IPCC report says. Then, after terrifying her readers with bogus warnings, Klein then calls for massive government action on the scale of the “Marshall Plan” in order to achieve all sorts of progressive goals, including a more equal society. Klein’s essay shows that she too—just like outgoing IPCC chief Rajendra Pachauri—views climate activism not merely as a scientific endeavor, but as a secular religion.


21 Responses to “Naomi Klein Gets on Board With Climate Alarmism”

  1. E. Harding says:

    This is really old (six months). Also, Naomi Klein is a liar, liar, liar, liar. Also, one guilty of massive projection.
    Random examples:
    “A nightmare because there is a close correlation between low wages and high emissions, or as Malm puts it, “a causal link between the quest for cheap and disciplined labor power and rising CO2 emissions.””

    “And as hundreds of millions gain access to modern energy for the first time, those who are consuming far more energy than they need would have to consume less. How much less? Climate change deniers like to claim that environmentalists want to return us to the Stone Age. The truth is that if we want to live within ecological limits, we would need to return to a lifestyle similar to the one we had in the 1970s, before consumption levels went crazy in the 1980s. Not exactly the various forms of hardship and deprivation evoked at Heartland conferences. As Kevin Anderson explains: “We need to give newly industrializing countries in the world the space to develop and improve the welfare and well-being of their people. This means more cuts in energy use by the developed world. It also means lifestyle changes which will have most impact on the wealthy.… We’ve done this in the past. In the 1960s and 1970s we enjoyed a healthy and moderate lifestyle and we need to return to this to keep emissions under control. It is a matter of the well-off 20 percent in a population taking the largest cuts. A more even society might result and we would certainly benefit from a lower carbon and more sustainable way of life.””

    “Many of these institutions were created in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when U.S. business elites feared that public opinion was turning dangerously against capitalism and toward, if not socialism, then an aggressive Keynesianism. In response, they launched a counterrevolution, a richly funded intellectual movement that argued that greed and the limitless pursuit of profit were nothing to apologize for and offered the greatest hope for human emancipation that the world had ever known. Under this liberationist banner, they fought for such policies as tax cuts, free trade deals, for the auctioning off of core state assets from phones to energy to water—the package known in most of the world as “neoliberalism.””

    • Bob Murphy says:

      The Guardian article from her came out a week ago E Harding.

      • E. Harding says:

        Book had hundreds of Amazon reviews by September and was on the interwebs by January.

  2. E. Harding says:

    Also, Bob, is the reason I give wholehearted thumbs-ups to your climate-change arguments, unlike most of your recent articles (for about a year or two), due to you being more rigorous in them or because of my ignorance of the field? I just find it curious.

    • Dan says:

      It could be that you’re like a broken clock and your agreement with him on this is just one of the two times that you’re right.

      • E. Harding says:

        Thing is, I don’t usually disagree with Bob’s conclusions, but often find his reasoning specious.

        • Dan says:

          Alright, then your reasoning is probably like the broken clock.

          • Z says:

            More like a squirrel with two broken legs.

  3. E. Harding says:

    Also, look at this fantastic refutation of New Krugman by Old Krugman.

  4. Tyler Kubik says:

    I haven’t read her book, though I’ve listened to multiple talks she gave on the book to see just how alarmist she is. Here are some of the views she expressed during some of her talks on the book, mostly in quotes, with paraphrasing expressed without quotes:

    “We need massive investment in the public sphere.”
    “We need to plan the kind of economy we want.”
    “We have to contract the parts of our economy that are at war with the Earth.”
    “Radically expand the commons.”
    “We need to expand the low carbon sectors of our economy, including the arts, childcare and education.”
    Capitalism “sacrifices everyone and everything in the name of profit.”
    “We need to expand [fracking] moratoriums into bans.”
    “We’ve lost the art of economic planning.”

    She claims multiple times in her interviews, and I’d imagine in her book, that she begins from the premise that there are “no non-radical options left on the table” to address climate change. Of course, it’s convenient to begin her book assuming the premise that needs to be proved, but come on. And the supreme irony of it all: she literally states in one of her talks that she wants to “use this crisis” to institute her liberal reforms. So, she’s saying her agenda is to use crisis to push through unpopular reforms, and one’s that will likely harm the least well off. What a hypocrite. Someone should write a book about her in exactly the same way she wrote the shock doctrine.

    • Tyler Kubik says:

      Though, I should add that she’d probably weasel out of the “unpopular” aspect of this, given that her stated purpose is to start a major social movement

    • Sean says:

      Amazing that she openly admits wanting to use this (alleged) crisis to institute her preferred reforms, while in Shock Doctrine she criticizes Milton Friedman and other so-called neo-liberals for wanting to use crises to institute their preferred reforms. I just don’t understand how anybody can take her or others like her seriously. Why aren’t the avoidance of blatant logical incoherence and of hypocrisy highly regarded criteria for being taken seriously?

      • Tel says:

        She knows it is immoral to use this technique, but since the ends justify the means, and she has seen for herself it can be successful… so might as well just do it.

        Nothing logically inconsistent there, pretty standard self-justification reasoning.

        • Sean says:

          It is logically(formally) inconsistent, I think, to say “Doing X is wrong” and then claim for any reason, including that the ends justify the means, that some instance doing X is not wrong. That seems to me to be what she has done. She doesn’t say, “X is wrong when done by neo-liberals, but it is right when done by socialists”, which I think would not be logically inconsistent, although it simply begs the question of what the difference is between the group she hates and the group she likes which makes the moral distinction valid. The explicit premise would be, as you say, that the end justifies the means–that is , if she were self-aware and/or honest enough to explicitly express it.

          • skylien says:

            I guess Tel was just sarcastic with that statement…

            • Sean says:

              My capacity for detecting online sarcasm has deteriorated recently. This means that I misunderstand about 95% of all internet communication.

              • skylien says:

                In here it is probably rather 98%, while the last 2% are irony.


          • Tel says:

            I don’t like people picking my pocket because it makes me worse off… which is why I always make sure to pick their pockets first. Logically sound I’m afraid.


            Maybe you are thinking Naomi Klein should follow the so called “Golden Rule” and maybe she should, maybe many people should. Not a rule of logic though, more of an ethical statement. Also cynically quoted as “Do unto others before they do unto you.”

  5. Yancey Ward says:

    Pretty much all of the climate alarmism is simply a means to acquire and wield political power- nothing more and nothing less. The increasingly strident tone is a sign to me that the movement is failing- a prediction I made almost ten years ago, that the predictions being made then would eventually be shown by the passage of time to be false. That prediction is now renewed- ten years from now, the predictions of today will be even more out of line with the observed reality. Chicken Little can only get credibility if the sky does eventually fall.

    • ax123man says:

      check little is reborn with each passing generation it seems.

      • ax123man says:

        chicken little that is.

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