Climate Week came and went.
Last week, we heard President Obama speak at the United Nations Summit meeting on global warming. We saw 300,000 activists march the streets of New York City demanding change. And we did a double take when we saw Leonardo DiCaprio weighing in on the environment with world leaders.
But more importantly, we were reminded climate change will always be a power issue. Not a green power or a people power, but a bureaucratic power issue. After all the science, the facts, the myths, the protests and the trends, climate change is still at the mercy of government regulation.
No matter where you stand on the science behind global warming, the fight for power is undeniable.
Governments grasp for power over industries, corporations, other countries and individuals. Their initiatives to “save the planet” or to “reduce our carbon footprint” all employ one common strategic device: the stripping of freedom to maintain power.
They will slowly regulate away our freedom to drive whatever car we want. They will regulate our freedom to choose what type of energy we consume.
Obama even hinted at the hunger for power all countries face during his speech to the United Nations Climate Summit last Tuesday.
“In each of our countries, there are interests that will be resistant to action,” he said. “And in each country there is a suspicion that if we act and other countries don’t, that we will be at an economic disadvantage.”
Even at the highest level””the very top of the bureaucratic food chain””governments are monitoring the ways in which they can maintain the most power.
Bottom-up movements, like the activists marching around Wall Street last week, are heartening and raise awareness for the damage done to the environment. But they don’t end the power-grab cycle.
They call out to government officials because they have “power” to make change, when really government power lies in how much control it has over us. Protestors will keep marching, shouting “power to the people,” without realizing they’re actually giving more power to the people who are going to take our freedoms away.