More elites want to use COVID-style tyranny to ‘fight climate change’

[A] growing movement among some in academia and environmentalist groups pushes openly for radical and in some cases downright authoritarian reforms of Western societies. Perhaps the best illustration is a recent, disturbing paper published by the American Political Science Review and Cambridge University Press, one of the most influential and highly respected academic publishing houses in the world.

In the paper, titled “Political Legitimacy, Authoritarianism, and Climate Change,” professor Ross Mittiga argues that the “climate emergency may legitimate resorts to authoritarianism, both in managing the fallout from impending or unfolding climate catastrophes (i.e., emergency of effects) and in ensuring that such events are more limited in number and scope in the future (i.e., emergency of action).”

For Mittiga, the allegedly dire nature of climate change justifies rethinking democratic norms and Western understandings of individual rights. Mittiga believes freedom is the problem when it comes to mitigating climate change, and that “authoritarianism” — his word, not mine — is justified and perhaps even necessary to ensure humanity doesn’t die from a climate catastrophe.

“For one,” he wrote, “governments might impel citizens to make significant lifestyle changes. One pertinent example concerns curbing meat-heavy diets, common in the Global North, given the enormous carbon footprint of animal agriculture.”

Although banning meat consumption would ordinarily be “considered an unacceptably paternalistic affront to individual autonomy,” Mittiga admits, “there is by now extensive evidence that it is likely impossible to avoid catastrophic climate change without drastic reductions in animal agriculture.”

Mittiga doesn’t stop with meat consumption, either. He also suggests “a censorship regime that prevents the proliferation of climate denialism or disinformation in public media,” as well as “relaxing property rights in order to nationalize, shutter, or repurpose certain companies.”