Our suicidal elites

Over time, elites may discover that their green political pets have become untameable. Like the Communist Party in China during the 1960s, the wealthy purveyors of green hysteria seem to be creating a cult that could end up threatening their own interests. In Europe and the United States, legions of child activists, some as young as 14, are pushing for radical solutions to climate issues that could have catastrophic economic consequences. European groups such as YouthStrike4Climate and Extinction Rebellion are being encouraged by zealots like the Guardian’s George Monbiot to wage a resistance campaign against anything seen as harmful to the environment

In America, the Green New Deal proposed by Rep. Alexandria Octavio Cortez would spell the end of many industries, such as aerospace and fossil fuel energy, with the government picking up the cost of employing displaced workers, and even those who cannot be bothered to work. Unlike gentrified progressives, Cortez and her allies are not detained by distinctions between “good” billionaires and “bad” ones—they don’t believe billionaires should exist at all. In this respect, they reflect the notion endorsed by Barry Commoner, one of the founding fathers of modern environmentalism, that “capitalism is the earth’s number one enemy.”

The mixing of environmentalism and socialism may yet become a mortal threat to the current oligarchy. In the American plutocrat-funded Democratic Party, there is more support for socialism than for capitalism. There’s even a growing socialist movement among tech employees in Silicon Valley, much of it skeptical of democratic or constitutional norms such as the electoral college or the separation of powers. Some, like the New Yorker’s Benjamin Wallace-Wells, suggest that constitutional democracy as we know it—the very thing that brought modern elites into existence—may soon be impractical to meet the challenge.