I spent a lot of my time today playing chauffeur to TMEW (she drives very little nowadays) and the Grandson (at 5 yo, wants to but…). Far more than I expected. The rest of the time, I discovered that after a period of relatively non-controversial posts, TreeHugger had taken a hard left-hand turn.
It has decided to openly push for Government to use its Force to make the rest of us bend to their Eco-Socialist mindset. In a series of posts over the last couple of days, its denizens have become emboldened.
Was it because of the Socialist takeover of the US Federal Government? Maybe not, but this change ducktails with the outsized emphasis given to “the environment” that Biden’s advisors pushing for all – like it or not.
Lloyd, the head honcho there, had a post that kicked it off: This is a Test: What Matters More, Personal Responsibility or Collective Action?”
A number of the commenters there generally “walk the talk.” They have taken individual actions to go green. Vegan, PV panels, bikes, EV bikes, more insulation for their homes, I think you know the drill. And I am fine and have complemented them on putting their OWN money where their mouths are.
But that’s changing, and I’m getting a creepy feeling that they are turning the corner where a “community” or the Collectivism of like-minded folks has decided it WILL be their way or else.
Lloyd asked his students (He teaches Sustainability Architecture at Ryerson School in Toronto): Individual vs. Collective action? I think that one student really understood better than the Professor does:
Interior Design student Diane Rodrigues raises the Gorka gambit, the “they want to take your hamburgers and your pickup truck” argument.
“There is an emphasis on leading a lower-carbon lifestyle with a lot of finger-pointing as to who is truly walking the climate walk, or more so, who is leading it. Is it the carnivore that doesn’t take flights? Is it the vegan who travels frequently abroad? Appearing to force people to give up meat, travel or other things central to their lifestyle they have chosen to live, is politically dangerous and will give climate change deniers another reason to portray climate change advocates as freedom haters.”
Note the use of “deniers” – she’s full up on this being a religion and correctly sees that they ARE freedom haters. But she, like some of the others, is all-in on having Govt “evolve” us regardless of what our Pursuit of Happiness is. But the first commenter, teelws, made it clear that although he walks his talk, he’s all in on grabbing Govt to make everyone else be like him (emphasis mine):
Like you Lloyd, I am a teacher. In my case agroecology, sustainability and environmental science. I would have no credibility by my own standards if I did not practice what I teach. So we built a strawbale house with solar hot water over 20 years ago, added solar panels 6 years ago, I ride an electric bike to work. These are important but minor steps. My university has not changed much yet, but their impact can be far greater than mine even if only on one building, an LEED certified Platinum retrofit of a dorm. But they have not pushed much further and there is no mandate from the state (VA).
The full impact for change that we need must be induced institutional change mandated by governments. The change needed has to come from the State, whether the US or Canada, or anywhere else. So I think your conclusion is correct, there is no fence, only effectiveness. The most effective actor, slow and ponderous as it always is, is the government. Perhaps that is why I remain pessimistic (though Washington State is a hopeful sign) about action happening in time to reverse the climate emergency.
This is why I really don’t fit in all that well there even though I own a passive solar house (and had an active solar house when we lived in Chelmsford, MA). I think I asked the most pertinent question, and I really was hoping to stir a response:
The most effective actor, slow and ponderous as it always is, is the government.
As subject or citizen? There is no in between status.
Curiously, there were no responses to my “cut to the chase” question. Free people get to make their own decisions; a subject doesn’t. Let me do one more here as there will be LOTS to chew over in these “Socialism over Freedom” back and forths. They never say the word Socialist outright – but their thoughts SCREAM it. BTW, VB (Vindaloo Bugaboo) and I tend to be the thorns in their sides concerning their “Unicorn and Butterflies Future if you only give yourselves to us” outlook; first and to set the stage, he just insults them:
Vindaloo Bugaboo: Good little trained communists—”the system is broken, and was built on systems of oppression and inequity.” I bet they all got A’s.
And the response was typical – but watch for the definition of a “working” system:
Voidhawk: Let’s break it down: ‘The system is broken’ – Well, if we’re defining an environmentally sustainable system as one that is working properly then this one is clearly broken
What they don’t want to admit, most of us don’t care about being super-environmentalist in 360 degrees of our lives – we’re too busy with much higher priorities. But by setting that definition, it sets the stage. Don’t let the other side preempt the stag.
‘built on systems of oppression‘ – The wealth of the richest powers was literally built on slavery and the enclosure of the commons. Pretty oppressive, I’d say.
‘inequity‘ – The global median wealth is about $7,000, Jeff Bezos has $193,000,000,000, which is a system with inequities in it. More to the point, even in a world where capitalism worked absolutely perfectly then, it would still be inequitable because once you have more wealth than anyone else (through hard work, luck, or inheritance), you suddenly have more power in the system of capitalism.
Of course, the bellwether of talking points: OPPRESSION, SLAVERY, INEQUITY! That set a debate between the two of them that was rather interesting (Voidhawk getting the worst of it). But I couldn’t let what he said go without pointing out how the Waltons / Walmart and Amazon / Bezos got rich – listening to and serving their customers:
Yet, how has Bezos gotten his wealth? People perceiving value in the offerings and voluntarily buying his offerings. LOTS of times.
So, is Bezos at fault or all those folks buying all that stuff and believing they got what they needed / wanted and did so at a value price (all attributes all in)? Ditto Walmart.
Remember, BOTH companies started really, REALLY small – but grew by giving consumers what they were looking for.
This is what the Left totally rejects and will always deflect – you have to serve before you can get rich. If you are not offering what customers want, you aren’t serving them. Only when you provide goods and services AND at a price that THEY will accept do you make a profit. And there is nothing wrong with making a profit – one doesn’t enter into commerce to go broke. And no, you aren’t selfish (the other go-to epithet the Socialists use when they have no other debate recourse to muster) – providing for your family, living well, providing for your employees, and your customers are ALL within your self-interest. But the Left makes no difference between the two.
Bezos would never have made his billions without being able to give people what they want at a price they are willing to pay. Get rid of either of those latter two things, and Bezos ends up in Bankruptcy court.
But then Voidhawk has the next stupid talking point. It’s like the Left can’t help themselves in blurting out economic stupidities (the reason why most Socialist countries like Venezuela are economic craters in the sand) – but that’s for the next post.