Environmentalist critics work on the flawed assumption that the longer the review period, the greater the environmental protection. But that’s untrue for the large majority of important projects. As I detail in a report  for ConservAmerica, these new projects typically replace older, more dangerous projects and use superior technologies unavailable generations ago. When NEPA review delays a state-of-the-art pipeline, for instance, that requires greater shipment of fossil fuels by rail and truck, which is far more likely to cause major spills with extensive collateral damage.
Ridley is also very perceptive about how vested interests in society prize the status quo and thwart innovation. Farmers who did not want to compete with innovative ways of growing things combined with the Left to prevent the introduction of genetically modified crops in Europe, despite the fact they are as safe as traditional crops, which of course themselves have been genetically modified by human selection over centuries.
Most people seem to think that the problem with government power is that the wrong people are in office. That’s not right; the problem is that we want to rely on a physician who suffers an illness that cannot be cured.
The Biden-Sanders “Unity” manifesto envisions the socialism of an all-encompassing welfare state, with virtually every need a right, and every right guaranteed by taxpayer funding. Housing becomes a right, and “no one should have to pay more than 30 percent of their income for housing.” Public colleges will be “tuition-free” for “roughly 80 percent of the American people.” Student loans are expunged, payments are capped and eventually forgiven. School lunches, along with breakfast and supper, will be universally free.
Authoritarianism is a temptation for people recoiling against complexity and intellectual pluralism, and yearning for social homogeneity. Applebaum says, “The noise of argument, the constant hum of disagreement — these can irritate people who prefer to live in a society tied together by a single narrative.” In today’s United States, such authoritarianism flourishes most conspicuously on the left, in the cancel culture’s attempts to extinguish rival voices.