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Monday, 7 October 2019

Project Fear (2) - crime and punishment

In 1866, Russian writer Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky (1821-1881) published his novel Crime and Punishment. This book has nothing to do with climate change and yet is title feels appropriate and relevant anyway. Project Fear (see part 1) aims making us feel guilty of a crime (eg, against humanity) and do punishment (eg, no flying, eating of red meat or use of plastic).

Project Fear has been responsible for brand new words like flight-shaming, flugschamflygskam, and vliegschaamte. Actually, I would applaud people flying less - even for this reason.

Tourism has become a huge industry with sometimes vital economic interests for tourist receiving countries. The Thomas Cook bankruptcy will leave many hotels and related businesses in Africa and Southern Europe with unpaid bills (eg, BIReuters). Collapsing businesses tend to have a snowball effect hurting adjacent markets.

Activists must know that each coin has two sides but they don't seem to care. To them, the debate is about the Greater Good (theory) "that promotes actions that maximize happiness and well-being for the majority of a population". Ironically, that "majority of the population" never includes the poor people benefitting from tourism at its receiving end.

White supremacy is usually associated with right-wing fanatics. However, white supremacy is also a philosophical concept considering white arguments superior over others. Climate activists tend to be white who consider their (Greater Good) arguments superior over others.

You cannot expect from liberal left media to view climate activism as another example of White Supremacy (my blogs of 2015, 2016 and 2017). However, neither do conservative right media. Perhaps, my argument might be like opening Pandora's box to them.

The tourism industry begins to see the clear and present danger of climate activism but mostly for commercial reasons. Remarkably, I could only fight one (1) relevant article: Flight-shaming poses a clear danger to Africa's tourism, operators say.

For decades, other human habits led to similar debates, like smoking and sugary drinks. Taxation of such habits, like the sugary drink tax, usually reduces consumption effectively and benefits our health. Flying might, however, be like smoking: it takes huge taxation to reduce our consumption (eg, ResearchGate-2014).

Significant flight taxation would probably decimate tourist travel to faraway countries. Tourism would - once again - become a (white) privilege for the (very) rich. The surge in African poverty would translate in a surge of African migration to Europe. Another example of the (unintentional) Law of Cause and Effect. Also see my related blogs of 2017, 2019-1 and 2019-2.

(no more) Fear of Flying (1979) by Gary Brooker

There was no more fear of flying 
There was no more fears and pain 
There was no more need for spying 
They had everything to gain


Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless stated otherwise

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