A controversial peer-reviewed paper set to be published next month, authored by a dozen prominent scientists and other experts, is coming under heavy criticism, primarily for calling on policymakers to adopt draconian measures to change social norms and values through coercion — essentially mass social engineering under the guise of environmentalism, whether the public wants it or not. The dubious plan outlined by the academics, however, is already being blasted by analysts as a scheme to erect an “eco-dictatorship under United Nations rule.”
Indeed, a draft version of the paper, scheduled to be published in the March 2013 edition of the American Institute of Biological Sciences’ journal BioScience, openly calls for defying public opinion and restructuring society under the guidance of UN “teams.” Entitled “Social Norms and Global Environmental Challenges: The Complex Interaction of Behaviors, Values, and Policy,” the controversial document is uncharacteristically honest in outlining its wild recommendations to transform human civilization.
“Substantial numbers of people will have to alter their existing behaviors to address this new class of global environmental problems,” claim the authors, who include Nobel Prize winners and even the infamous but largely discredited biologist and “population bomb” alarmist Paul Ehrlich (shown above). “Alternative approaches are needed when education and persuasion alone are insufficient.”
In simpler terms, the self-styled arbiters of proper environmental stewardship and human values are seeking to use the force of government — without the consent of the governed, if need be — to radically change people’s thoughts and behavior. If taxpayer-funded propaganda and brainwashing fail to convince enough of the public to submit, coercion in the form of new rules, regulations, fines, and other policies will be needed, the authors claim.
“Policy instruments such as penalties, regulations, and incentives may therefore be required to achieve significant behavior modification,” the paper claims matter-of-factly. In a table included within the document, some potential examples of the envisioned “policy instruments” are outlined, starting from taxpayer-funded propaganda — “active norms management: advertising, information, appeals,” as the authors put it — and moving on through taxes, fines, subsidies, and other “financial interventions.”
Finally, at the bottom of the table: laws and regulations demanding obedience at the barrel of a government gun. “Effective policies, then, are ones that induce both short-term changes in behavior and longer-term changes in social norms,” the paper continues, offering some examples of successful and failed efforts to transform human behavior and values using the coercive force of government. “Government is uniquely obligated to locate the common good and formulate its policies accordingly.”
Much of the document is devoted to strategies on changing people’s behavior to suit the pseudo-environmentalist goals of its authors. While it acknowledges that coercion can sometime backfire — noting that forces within the non-coercive sector would also have to participate in the effort if it is to succeed — the brute force of the state is viewed as a key tool in achieving the radical social changes envisioned.
“Governments can alter people’s behaviors by changing the conditions (often called choice architecture) influencing those behaviors,” the paper explains, again citing an array of examples and studies about how to alter the way people think and behave, oftentimes subtly. “Governments can also change the architecture governing behaviors by making them more visible.”
Next up in the paper: “Governments can use a range of approaches to alter the economic calculus associated with behaviors,” the authors explain, pointing out that state intervention in the economy can help force people to change their behaviors. Among the primary examples cited are imposing a “carbon tax” on gasoline or foisting a “cap-and-trade” system on the public, with the use of fines to discourage some behaviors and the provision of tax-funded subsidies to encourage others.
Regulatory measures, such as restricting or outright banning “individual choices” that the authors disagree with, are also touted as a way to advance their controversial social-engineering agenda. Incredibly, the paper goes on to suggest that these sorts of coercive schemes can and even should be imposed on people regardless of whether or not the public consents — a brazen hallmark of authoritarianism that even most dictators try to avoid acknowledging in public.
“Some have argued that regulations are inherently coercive and cannot or should not exceed implied levels of public permission for such regulations,” the authors point out. “An alternative viewpoint is that governments can and even should move beyond extant levels of public permission in order to shift norms, allowing public sentiment to later catch up with the regulation.”
The controversial paper, as with others of its kind, starts off with some fundamentally flawed assumptions — the debunked notion that human emissions of carbon dioxide are harming the environment and must be curtailed, for example, is among the most glaring error, as thousands of scientists have shown. Still, the authors argue that even though the public opposes unconstitutional policies like “carbon taxes” and “cap-and-trade” schemes, policymakers should adopt them anyway.
“Initially unpopular or only modestly popular measures may gain wider acceptance if they prompt reinforcing changes in how people define themselves and their society,” the paper claims. “Political scientists have found that people have come to accept other taxes as normative after they have been convinced that the taxes effectively address shared concerns.”
The authors, however, express dismay that they do not yet fully understand how to socially engineer the population into accepting whatever its would-be rulers demand. “Achieving any progress on intractable global environmental issues such as climate and biodiversity change will require changes in behavior and social norms," the paper claims, adding that more data is needed on how to prod people into tolerating the draconian so-called "solutions" to the alleged problems. The authors then call for more information and research into ways of breaking down public opposition.
Meanwhile, because the “environment” is a “global” issue, the supposed experts behind the paper believe the “solution” must also be global in scope. As such, the whole undertaking should be conducted under UN auspices, using national and sub-national government entities to implement the rulers’ decrees as appropriate and needed. Essentially, power flows from the top down.
“Teams might be supported by permanent entities that maintain communication with policymakers; these will differ among nations but could be attached to the United Nations and its subsidiary bodies in the international context,” the paper says. “One potential model is a national commitment of scientific talent in the service of United Nations agencies. Policymakers at national and international levels could convene these teams to tackle specific problems.”
Unsurprisingly, the radical schemes being proposed in the paper dovetail perfectly with recently exposed UN efforts to enforce a similar planetary agenda on the people of the world. As The New American has documented extensively, the global organization — primarily composed of dictators and mass-murderers posing as “legitimate” governments — has been at the forefront of a concerted, worldwide effort to centralize power at the international level at the expense of individual liberty, private property, and national sovereignty.
UN documents exposed last year, for example, offer some insight into the global scheme. “Specifically, in a transition to a green economy, public policies will need to be used strategically to reorient consumption, investments, and other economic activities,” explains the UN's “Working Towards a Balanced and Inclusive Green Economy: A United Nations System-wide Perspective” report, touting the reduction of carbon emissions and new “education” programs to teach humanity why it must submit. “Transitioning to a green economy requires a fundamental shift in the way we think and act.”
Countless other UN documents make similarly outrageous claims, targeting everything from human thought to private property rights under the guise of environmentalism or alleviating poverty. Pseudo-scientific papers, meanwhile, continue to be pumped out in support of the planetary effort, which operates in large measure under the UN Agenda 21 banner. Critics of the upcoming paper to be published in the journal BioScience next month, however, are already sounding the alarm.
“The engineering of public ‘norms’ serves not so much any environmental cause, but another one, namely that environmental policies, even draconian ones, will finally be perceived by the U.S. population as being consistent with their own personal norms,” noted analyst Jurriaan Maessen with Explosive Reports. “This entire publication is a clear and unmistakable sign that a scientific dictatorship is emerging under the pretext of environmentalism.”
Like other critics of the agenda for global control, Maessen is deeply suspicious of the alleged “science” underpinning much of the hysteria. Consider that in recent years, for example, tens of thousands of scientists have criticized the discredited global-warming hysteria, which later morphed into “climate change” alarmism for public relations purposes after the Earth stopped warming. Instead of saving the environment or the “climate,” however, the real goal is to consolidate power and crush freedom, analysts say.
“More government control through regulations and fines combined with a proactive scientific community, brainwashing people into accepting this increasing governmental control where they would otherwise reject it,” Maessen commented on the soon-to-be-published paper. “All this talk of putting the UN behind the steering wheel of American government and the American scientific community points to the coming of age of the dreaded scientific dictatorship, against which many observers have warned us.”
It is true that the UN, the Obama administration, and a wide coalition of interests ranging from Big Business, Big Banks and Big Oil to ruthless communist regimes from China to Cuba are desperately pushing the pseudo-environmental "crisis" to justify global governance. However, with each new move the controversial alliance makes, resistance and opposition grow as well — especially in the United States.
As the controversial effort to foist a centrally planned “green” world order on the planet becomes increasingly transparent, analysts expect the backlash and opposition to keep accelerating. Whether individual liberty or global governance will end up victorious, though, remains to be seen.
Alex Newman, a foreign correspondent for The New American, is currently based in Europe. He can be reached at
Photo: Paul Ehrlich
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