The first is the great success of liberal institutions in creating prosperity. Dierdre McCloskey has rightly called this period of about two-and-a-half centuries, which is frankly unprecedented in human history, the “great enrichment.” But this success has made the proponents of classical liberalism complacent, even lazy. We did not anticipate that the astonishing burgeoning of prosperity would cause, in dialectical inevitability, a backlash against inequality. We have abdicated our essential role of explaining the moral case for capitalism and spontaneous, decentralized institutions, and the political left has rushed in to take advantage of the vacuum.
And one would be wrong. The basic imperatives of the Earth Day environmental left are eternal, immutable, unchanging, impervious to evidence, and utterly mindless. “Ensure that students across the world benefit from high-quality education to develop into informed and engaged environmental stewards.” Translation: Propagandize the young, Komsomol-style. “Sign the petition for a global plastics treaty.” Over three-quarters of ocean plastic pollution is discharged from rivers in Asia and other less-developed regions. (Your plastic straw is irrelevant.) Needless to say, the Earth Day proponents have not bothered to tell us how those governments can be induced to make the attendant massive changes; bribing them will not work because the western governments will prove curiously parsimonious, as the travails of the Green Climate Fund (part of the thunderously-applauded Paris Agreement) make clear.
In Enemies of Progress, author Austin Williams suggests that ‘the mantra of sustainability’ starts with the assumption that humanity is ‘the biggest problem of the planet’, rather than the ‘creators of a better future’. Indeed, many climate scientists and green activists see having fewer people on the planet as a key priority. Their programme calls not only for fewer people and fewer families, but also for lower consumption among the masses. They expect us to live in ever smaller dwelling units, to have less mobility, and to endure more costly home heating and air-conditioning. These priorities are reflected in a regulatory bureaucracy that, if it does not claim justification from God, acts as the right hand of Gaia and of sanctified science.
Pfizer paid medical societies, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, millions of dollars throughout the pandemic. Entirely coincidentally I’m sure, these groups lobbied for mandating the covid vaccines, which made Pfizer billions of dollars.