Academic Says Saving the Planet May Require the End of Property Rights

AP Photo
AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

Only the abolition of property rights can save us now from the horrors of ‘climate change’, argues an Australian academic.

Dr. Louise Crabtree, a researcher at the University of Western Sydney, makes her claim in a piece for the leftist academics’ favorite online watering hole, the Conversationtitled“Can Property Survive the Great Climate Transition?”

Her question is, of course, purely rhetorical. No, apparently, it can’t:

If our cities are to become more resilient and sustainable, our systems of property need to come along for the ride.

and

We might also need to start thinking about our claims not being static but dependent on the web of relationships we are entwined in, including with non-humans. Some say that First Peoples might have a grasp of property dynamics that is more suited to the times we are entering.

So, making cities green might be the easy part. It remains to be seen whether property law and property systems are up to the task of transition.

This might sound like obscure, pseudo-academic, sub-Marxist gobbledegook. As indeed it is.

It would be nice to console ourselves that this dangerous thesis was written by a left-wing research student of no account.

Unfortunately, as Eric Worrall points out at Watts Up With That? there are people who take this woman’s lunatic redistributionary jottings seriously.

Her bio may raise the question—are we actually paying for this?:

Louise was awarded her PhD in Human Geography from Macquarie University in 2007 and has been with Western Sydney University since 2007. Her research focuses on the social, ecological and economic sustainability of community-driven housing developments in Australia; on the uptake of housing innovation in practice and policy; on complex adaptive systems theory in urban contexts; and, on the interfaces between sustainability, property rights, institutional design and democracy. Her recent and ongoing projects focus on two practical areas funded by a series of competitive research grants—community land trusts and participatory mapping methodologies. Both are being used to simultaneously foster social innovation and equity outcomes on the ground, and explore and build theory on multi-stakeholder governance, decolonisation, property law, resilience and citizenship.

But the scary part is the last bit:

Read the rest at Breitbart.

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Ding, Dong – The Godfather of Global Warming Is Dead!

His name was Maurice Strong (picture above, on the right), Canadian billionaire, diplomat and UN apparatchik, and though you may not have heard of him, he probably did more to make your world a more expensive, inconvenient, overregulated, hectored, bullied, lied-to, sclerotic, undemocratic place than anyone post Hitler, Stalin and (his personal friend) Mao.

He’s the reason, for example, that most of the world’s leaders, 40,000 delegates and their attendant carbon mega-footprint descended here on Paris yesterday in order to talk about magical fairy dust for two weeks and then charge you $1.5 trillion (that’s per year, by the way) for the privilege.

He’s the reason that “climate change” is now so heavily embedded within our system of global governance that it is now almost literally impossible for any politician or anyone else whose career depends on the state to admit that’s it not a problem and to argue that there are more important issues in the world, like maybe the terrorism that killed over 130 innocent people just the other week now, where was it?- oh yeah, here in Paris where for some bizarre reason all the delegates are talking about carbon emissions instead…

He was the father of the mother of all climate summits: the one in Rio in 1992 that spawned a million and one bastard offspring, like the one in Paris now.

He was the main instigator of the blueprint for arguably the most sinister and insidious assault on liberty and free markets: Agenda 21.

If you had met him – if you’d even noticed him – you would have probably quite liked him:

One of the most remarkable things about Strong was how unremarkable he was in person. Somebody once said that you wouldn’t pick him out of a crowd of two.

Nevertheless, he was an avuncular and likeable figure, even to those who disagreed strongly with his world view, as I did. I interviewed him numerous times over a 20-year period, and found that he took scarcely-concealed delight in explaining his often Machiavellian political manoeuvrings.

But as I argue in Watermelons – which gave a lot of space to Strong – it’s a big mistake to expect that supervillains will always have scars down the side of their face and fluffy white cat on their lap.

Strong’s true evil lay in the effects of his acts, not in his (claimed) good intentions.

Then again, the mask did occasionally slip.

Read the rest at Breitbart.

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Twitter wars: another proxy battleground for the future of Western civilisation | James Delingpole

August 4, 2013

Twitter, yesterday

So I’d just got back from doing a shop at Aldi (*) last night when I noticed that in my absence I’d been mentioned in 120 new tweets. “Ulp!” I thought. “What have I gone and done now?” In Twitterland, you see, being mentioned in lots of tweets is usually a sign you’ve been naughty.

(* Aldi’s aged sirloin Aberdeen Angus steak is unsurpassed)

Anyway, it turned out that I had enraged the usual Twitter suspects. Some had chosen to take umbrage over a link I’d put up to another superb piece by Russell Taylor in which he had an entirely justified dig at the ghastly Co Op and its war on lads’ mags; others were rising to the defence of publicity-seeking Labour MP Stella Creasy who can’t seem quite to make up her mind whether she is a delicate wallflower in need of protective regulation or a feisty, fearless interweb provocatrice. The general verdict was that I was immature, mentally ill, devoid of love, psychologically damaged, inadequate and DEFINITELY NOT FUNNY, let alone worthy of a voice in the national debate.

So, as you do, I had a glance at the self-descriptions of my self-appointed Twitter jury and here are some examples of what I found:

“Labour party activist”; “Middle-aged old style socialist”; “leftie”; “Guardian-reading liberal”; “gig-going lefty”; “Socialist Labour party”; “Local government worker and political activist”; “Labour cllr (Withington)”; “@owenjones84.”

Can any of you notice what they have in common? Yes. That’s right. These are the kind of people who, if I wrote a 10,000 word panegyric on the beauty and wisdom of their mothers, would focus solely on my abject failure in paragraph 57 to include an exclamation mark after “and her crochet skills are fantastic too…” The kind of chippy malcontents, indeed, who are quite heftily over-represented in the comments section below this blog, busily pointing out stuff like how the spell of nice weather we’ve had recently makes a total mockery of my evil, Big-Oil funded climate change scepticism, or noting that because I suffer depression I am mentally unstable, or just spitting bile over the fact that they’ve got worthless degrees in climate “science” from the “University” of East Anglia and all that lovely work they had as advisers in the renewables sector seems to have dried up rather of late. Not normal people in other words. Not neutral voices who’ve thoughtfully weighed up the pros and cons before chipping in their tuppenny hapenny’s worth. But shrill, angry, politically motivated, logic-proof, blinkered, standard issue greeny-lefty trolls.

Why am I telling you this? Because many of you, I know, consider that the goings-on at Twitter this week are beneath your lofty attention. Of course I understand why you think this: Twitter is indeed a bare-knuckle bear pit of a witch hunt frenzy nightmare of bile, invective and round, unvarnished evil. (Though it does have its plus sides too, or I wouldn’t waste so much time there). But what some of you appear to be unaware of is its significance in the broader culture wars.

In these culture wars this week’s Twitter debate is Leveson is Toby Young’s free school is Drummer Lee Rigby and “Islamophobia” is climate change is Christopher Snowdon’s “fake charities” is Piers Morgan and gun control is Trayvon Martin. Which is to say that every one of these issues serves as a proxy battleground for a much broader, and much more important conflict which is raging around the world right now and on whose outcome the future of our fragile civilisation depends.

What this war has very, very little to do with is whether nasty Mr Murdoch’s wicked henchmen caused Milly Dowler’s phone messages to be erased or about whether that idiot’s undeniably stupid, offensive and wrongheaded rape threat to Stella Creasy was any more sincere than Paul Chambers’s tweet “threat” to blow up Robin Hood airport. You’d never guess this from the way these stories have been gleefully spun by the leftist media – the BBC and the Guardian especially – but it just doesn’t, it really doesn’t.

What all these disparate issues are really about is the things they’re always really about: the bitter, ongoing struggle between those on the one hand who cleave ardently to the statist religion of equality, diversity and sustainability in which society’s “best interests” are decided by an “enlightened” elite of bureaucrats, technocrats, petty officials, social workers, Local Agenda 21 groupuscules, administrators, UN and EU apparatchiks, Guardian editorial-writers, grandstanding politicians and members of the BBC Trust. And on the other, those of us who have sufficient faith in human nature to take the view that – barring the odd safety net here and the occasional piece of protective legislation there – the best route to creating a more fruitful, enjoyable, richer and, yes, fairer world is for us all, pretty much, to be left to live our lives the way we want to live them, unencumbered by confiscatory taxes, Nannyish government edicts and pettifogging regulation which seeks to micromanage every last detail of our daily existence from how many different coloured bags we put our rubbish in to the degree to which we’re permitted to be rude towards our enemies on Twitter.

I know which side I’m on. This columnist here seems to be equally sure which side she’s on. You can all decide for yourselves where you belong on this ideological battleground. But don’t kid yourself that this is a war where you can just sit on the sidelines or where there’s a “reasonable middle ground”. Ultimately, it’s about liberty v tyranny; about freedom of speech v creeping state control; free market capitalism v anti-growth collectivism; personal responsibility v suckling on the teat of the state; optimism v pessimism.

You choose.

Related posts:

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Australia’s green orchidectomy* | James Delingpole

April 25, 2012

The Krait Crew: How Aussies looked before the eco loons took over

A week into my Australian tour and I already I love the country and its people so much I could happily stay here forever. (Articles like this and this and this may partly explain why.) There’s just one small problem – well, one bloody big problem actually: the rampaging political correctness. How, in God’s name, did the robust, no-nonsense pioneer spirit of the original settlers who carved an earthly paradise out of burning hell allow itself to be watered down, warped and wimpified by a minority of tofu-knitting greens and tight-sphinctered lefties?

Let me give you one example. (Plenty more will follow, let me assure you, for Oz is the land of Political Correctness and Eco Fascism gone mad. Traditional Owners, anyone???) I’ve just returned from the remote Western Australian fishing port of Exmouth, point of embarkation for one of the most daring missions of the Second World War: Operation Jaywick.

A mixed British and Australian team of Z Special Unit commandos (their skin dyed the kind of Asiatic yellowy-brown which would probably have had the operation cancelled before the start, nowadays, because of its evidently racist undertones) set out in a small, captured Japanese fishing boat – named MV Krait – for what should have been a suicide mission to attack the Japanese in Singapore harbour. They anchored the boat off shore, paddled the last 31 mile leg in kayaks, and used limpet mines to destroy 39,000 tonnes of shipping. The Japanese were so completely unprepared that they didn’t know what had hit them. Amazingly the commandos all made it back safely. (Only to perish on a subsequent mission). (H/T Barry Corke)

And what has become of Exmouth nearly 70 years on? It’s a remote and exotic tourist destination well worth a visit as possibly the best place anywhere in the world to go snorkelling with whale sharks, magnificent leviathans up to 60 feet long. That’s the good news. The bad is that the whole region is in thrall to the agents of DEC (Western Australia’s Department of Environment and Conservation) which enforces environmental correctness throughout the state with a zeal which would not have disgraced Imperial Japan’s secret police the Kempitai.

A few years ago, the fishermen who ran the whale spotting trips for tourists made the mistake of asking the Western Australian government for help regulating the business. (They feared competition). The state government was more than happy to oblige by issuing them with permits, withdrawable at a moment’s notice, and subject to any number of draconian restrictions. One operator nearly lost his licence for failing to display the correct flag signifying “my boat is next to a bloody great whale shark”; another – incredible but true – was given a severe warning for stopping on the way back to let its tourists view a school of whales. His crime? Though he had a whale-shark snorkelling licence he didn’t have a whale-spotting licence and was therefore in breach of regulation.

For anyone in Western Australia trying to make a living outside the cities be it mining, tourism, the wine trade, fishing or farming, DEC is more vexatious a pestilence than a swarm of sand flies. What’s more, local taxpayers must stump up an annual A$ 300,000 for the privilege of having their economy spavined, their businesses hamstrung and their liberties shackled by DEC’s army of sanctimonious brown shirts.

And while I’ve seen and heard for myself how bad Western Australia is, I gather that the further east you go the worse it gets. No wonder the Queenslanders couldn’t wait to get shot of the Greenies terrorising their beautiful state. Let’s hope for Australia’s sake the electoral carnage continues into 2013 when the Aussies have the chance to tell Julia Gillard exactly where she can stick her Carbon Tax.

What I realise, though, now that I’m here is that the Carbon Tax is just a fraction of the problem. There is, for example, the equally stupid Mining Tax which is punishing one of the most productive sectors of the Australian economy, killing jobs and driving business abroad. And then there all the Eco Fascists in local government poisoning the wells with their sustainability programmes and their pursuit of the UN’s sinister Agenda 21.

Today I bid a very fond farewell to Perth. Tomorrow I’ll be in Adelaide, at a lunchtime event hosted by the IPA and launched by my old mate – and one of Australia’s soundest politicians – Cory Bernardi. My book – did I mention this? – is called Killing The Earth To Save It: How Environmentalists are ruining the planet, destroying the economy and stealing your jobs.

Every copy you buy grants you the power to inflict on Christine Milne the nightmare of your choice:

a) baby polar bears tumbling off melting ice floes and drowning

b) happy Australians with real jobs earning a living

c) a dozen new mines opening in the Pilbara

d) every wind farm in Tasmania being taken down and replaced by a solitary nuclear power station

e) slow motion replay of the Queensland election result, with Greg Withers – head of the state’s Office of Climate Change – being told by incoming premier Campbell Newman that from henceforward his job is to undo all the state’s insane environmental legislation.

f) a chorus including Ian Plimer, Bob Carter, David Archibald, Joanne Nova, Andrew Bolt, Tim Blair, Bill Kininmonth and James Delingpole singing “Tomorrow Belongs To Me”

So remember Aussies,  buy early, buy often: the future of your great nation depends on it!

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The real reasons why one billion go hungry: wind farms, biofuels, sustainability… | James Delingpole

September 19, 2010

A great post from Roger Pielke Jr. (H/T Roddy Campbell)

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has just released a preview of its flagship report The State of Food Insecurity in the World. And guess what?

The preview has some good news: the number of people worldwide in chronic food shortage dropped 10% over the past year to “only” 925 million.

So that’s over 90 million people in the world taken out of starvation in the space of a year. How did this miracle happen?

Here’s what the UN says:

The 2010 lower global hunger number resulted largely from renewed economic growth expected this year — particularly in developing countries — and the drop in food prices since mid-2008.

In other words the UN is – in this rare instance – admitting what some of us say all the time. That economic growth means fewer hungry people.

And why the big spike in hunger in 2009?

According to FAO last year (PDF), one primary reason was the cost of fuel:

Given the increased importance of biofuels and the new linkages between agricultural and energy markets, increased cereal yields, if achieved, may not necessarily continue to lead to lower cereal prices. Because the world energy market is so much larger than the world grain market, grain prices may be determined by oil prices in the energy market as opposed to being determined by grain supply.Thus, higher priced energy means more hungry people.

Yes, it really is that simple. But not so simple, unfortunately, that people like celebrity lion-impersonator Jeremy Irons can understand it. Up above, you’ll see a video he made for the UN’s www.1billionhungry.org campaign. A noble cause. Problem is, it’s being co-ordinated by the very organisation responsible for promulgating global poverty through its misguided climate policies.

Read up on the UN’s Agenda 21. Discover what “sustainability” – the invention of the UN-sponsored Brundtland commission – really means. The UN is ideologically committed to combatting economic growth, not stimulating it.

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