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Only democracy can save us from the climate cataclysm

It is a strange idea that has crept in here and there in the debate: that of the need for a global dictatorship that we shall be able to limit and manage the consequences of, climate change.

One should not exaggerate how widespread the perception is. An overwhelming majority of those who want radical action to reduce carbon dioxide emissions are also about democracy. But the idea that the enhanced greenhouse effect may require authoritarian measures are expressed with an alarming regularity. Those who are attracted by the include a prominent etikprofessor as a well known meteorologist who is also the top candidate to the EU parliament for the green Party.

we should introduce a ”global despoti”, to use the philosopher Torbjörn Tännsjös term, is basically astounding (DN 28/11). Tankefiguren is, as a professor at växjö university, Per Bauhn pointed out, exactly the same as for any modern dictatorship, from the Soviet proletarian to Latin america's military: to make an omelet, one must crack a few eggs, as Stalin noted. The end justifies the means. Human rights violations, justified by the collective benefit.

Still not ignoring the face of what a dictatorship inevitably are and for the individual freedom the only thing that arouses amazement.

Yet not ignoring the face of what a dictatorship inevitably are and for the individual freedom the only thing that arouses amazement. It also makes the banal arguments about why despoti would promote the common good, to deal with the climate threat.

How useful was actually Stalin's omelette?

starts from the observation that climate change confronts us with a type of koordinationsproblem. The world's states must implement a range of commitments, but all have an incentive to cheat and there is no mechanism to ensure that everyone is doing their.

It is a correct observation, and an argument for some form of supranational entity, which is forcing countries to comply with the agreed obligations. But why would it be better if ”världsregeringen” was authoritarian rather than democratic?

Tännsjö, who devoted most of the characters to articulate the idea, gives as the main reason that a global despoti is more likely. It is a ridiculous argument. A world government at all, whether it is authoritarian or democratic, is, of course, completely unlikely.

The global despotin should be illuminated, said Tännsjö also. But how would we ensure it? Throughout history, dictatorships have produced more Nero than Augustus.

Democratically elected leaders must represent a at set of interests. Despots just need to keep the coterie that controls the weapons nöjdt. There are good theoretical reasons for the nobel prize winner Amartya Sen's empirical observation that mass starvation never occur in democracies. Because climate change affects many give representative government a greater chance for strong policy.

It is not a coincidence that it is democratic states which brought up the climate issue on the international agenda and pushing it forward.

it can be added to the classic arguments for the open society. We know that we need to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, but which policies and technologies are the best to succeed? It is determined by the freedom of research and debate.

that is not said to be any world government, whether democratic or authoritarian. Shall we succeed in tackling climate change it must be done through intergovernmental cooperation. And from this more realistic starting point is the arguments for representative government and a free society even stronger.

It is not a coincidence that it is democratic states which brought up the climate issue on the international agenda and pushing it forward. The freedom of research has been able to do the scientific studies that are the basis for our understanding of the increasing greenhouse effect. The independent media have reported on the conclusions, even when they were uncomfortable in the corridors of power. Civilsamhällsorganisationer and activists have formed the opinion.

It has not been easy in democratic societies to get the state to take climate change seriously and to act both at home and internationally. But unlike in almost every possible dictatorship, it has been possible.

for democracies to solve the koordinationsproblem that climate change gives rise to. Because they are more transparent than dictatorships – the independent media and the political opposition examines the power – it is more difficult to cheat away the international obligations. Transparency makes it possible for activists to build alliances across national borders, which makes it easier for countries to act together. And governments accustomed to subordinate themselves to the law makes them more likely to respect international institutions, norms and commitments.

No, in addition to the suffering dictatorships inevitably cause they have bad conditions to deal with the climate threat. Chance to succeed only democracy.

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