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The Atlantic mag: ‘Trump Is the First Demagogue of the Anthropocene’ – ‘Climate change could push Western politics toward demagoguery and authoritarianism’

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More from The Atlantic’s associate editor Robinson Meyer:

Spend enough time with some of the worst-case climate scenarios, and you may start to assume, as I did, that a major demagogue would contest the presidency in the next century. I figured that the catastrophic consequences of planetary warming would all but ensure the necessary conditions for such a leader, and I imagined their support coming from a movement motivated by ethnonationalism, economic stagnation, and hatred of immigrants and refugees. I pictured, in other words, something not so far from Trump 2016.

I just assumed it wouldn’t pop up until 2040.

Spend enough time with some of the worst-case climate scenarios, and you may start to assume, as I did, that a major demagogue would contest the presidency in the next century. I figured that the catastrophic consequences of planetary warming would all but ensure the necessary conditions for such a leader, and I imagined their support coming from a movement motivated by ethnonationalism, economic stagnation, and hatred of immigrants and refugees.

Trump is showing us how ill-prepared the United States is for post-climate demagoguery, and he gives us an opportunity to improve our societal immune response.

Climate change could push Western politics toward demagoguery and authoritarianism in two ways, then. First, it could devastate agricultural yields and raise food prices; destroy coastal real estate and wash away family wealth; transform old commodities into luxury goods. Second, it could create a wave of migration—likely from conflict, but possibly from environmental ruination—that stresses international reception systems and risks fomenting regional resource disputes.

In effect, it could erode people’s sense of security, pushing them toward authoritarianism.

 

 

4 COMMENTS

  1. Since when would it take an authoritarian to do nothing about climate?

    An authoritarian is what it would take to enforce policies to control climate because more than half the US population is not willing to pay the cost of such policies.

    I wonder where this journalist learned how to assess ideas and arguments, because what he claims makes no sense at all, even if it were true that Mr Trump were an authoritarian.

  2. ‘Climate change could push Western politics toward demagoguery and authoritarianism’
    ‘Climate change could erode people’s sense of security, pushing them toward authoritarianism.’

    Clearly you jest, or are you that incredibly naive at best or just insanely stupid?

    Talk about putting the cart before the proverbial horse. It is the authoritarians in our wonderful govts that are the promoters of all this “mann-made climate change” garbage. The sole purpose of our sociopathic politicians is to control our every act, and by regulating the very means of being able to act via “carbon taxes”, “green energy”, etc…they will have acheived the ultimate goal. they already have taken over our health, now they seek to determine our every action. Total control aka totalitarianism.

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