Frank Furedi is an author and social commentator is an emeritus professor of sociology at the University of Kent in Canterbury. Author of How Fear Works: The Culture of Fear in the 21st Century. Follow him on Twitter @Furedibyte
Many hardline environmentalists are overjoyed at the atmosphere of fear that Covid-19 has created; for them, it is an instrument for realising the dream of a society that runs according to climate alarmists' dogma.
"Some believe the pandemic is a once-in-a-generation chance to remake society and build a better future," argues one advocate of climate alarmism.
So, in case you thought that Covid-19 is a global pandemic of catastrophic proportions, think again !
In the West, hardline environmentalists are working overtime to portray Covid-19 as payback for all the miseries that humans have inflicted on the planet. They claim that global warming, species extinction, the emergence of superbugs and the eating of meat are somehow directly or indirectly linked to the outbreak of the current pandemic. They regard the fears and anxiety generated by the current public health emergency as an opportunity to promote the message that, unless we accept their dogma, humanity will become extinct.
Some of them are positively overjoyed at the opportunity created by the climate of fear that's all-pervasive across the world. "We've been trying for years to get people out of normal mode and into emergency mode," enthused Margaret Klein Salamon, who heads the advocacy group The Climate Mobilization. She added that "what is possible politically is fundamentally different when lots of people get into emergency mode - when they fundamentally accept that there's danger, and that if we want to be safe we need to do everything we can."
Keeping people in a state of fear of what they euphemistically describe as ‘emergency mode' is the objective of Klein Salamon. As she stated, "now the challenge is to keep emergency mode activated about climate."
That's another way of saying that perpetuating -indeed, institutionalising- a climate of fear is the main objective of this movement. From this perspective Covid-19 is not so much a tragic public health issue but an instrument for realising the dream of a society that runs according to the environmentalist dogma of misanthropic miserabilism.
What green fear entrepreneurs really hate is the spirit of human ambition, that refuses to defer to the dictates of nature. This is a spirit that is open to taking risks in order to transform the world through the use of science and technology. From the time when humans stepped out of their caves to taking the risk of travelling to space, there were always those who decided to do what was necessary to conquer their fears. The refusal not to give in to fears is always the first step towards looking for solutions that will allow us to assume greater control over our lives.
It is precisely this aspiration to take control and harness the power of nature and science that climate alarmists despise. They despise it so much that they have coined the term ‘human impact' to suggest that what people have done to the planet is by definition wholly destructive. They hate humans' impact on the world so much that many of them want to dramatically decrease the number of babies that are born.
According to the climate alarmist narrative, being scared for your life is the desirable state to be in. As Klein Salamon indicated, "we need to learn to be scared together, to agree on what we're terrified about"! Why? Because collective fears will force governments to act!
Back in the 17th century, the English philosopher Thomas Hobbes anticipated the green politics of fear in his classic text, The Leviathan. Hobbes claimed that it is good when people are scared and frightened. Why? Because in their state of fear people will readily subject themselves to an absolutist ruler in exchange for his protection. One does not need a PhD in philosophy to understand that climate alarmist politics leads straight to the doorstep of the Leviathan.
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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.