Dictatorship of the Landlords - The Green Roots of the Housing Crisis

Cultural Marxism and the Alt-Right

The Meaning of Corporatism

356 Enviro-critical Websites and additional info about the organized enviro-critical movement

Pierre Trudeau: Eco-fascist

A Primer for the Paris Climate Talks

Jorge Bergoglio's Green Encyclical

Environmentalism and Aboriginal Supremacism (Part 2): The Mobilization of Aboriginal Opposition to the Northern Gateway Pipeline

Environmentalism and Aboriginal Supremacism in Canada - Part 1 - Idle No More

Of Buffalo and Biofuel - More Tales of Environmentalism in Alberta

War on Coal

In Praise of the Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act (Bill C-38)

Environmentalism and Edmonton Land Use Politics

The "Tar Sands" Campaign and the Suppression of North America's Energy Potential

Desertec and Environmentalism's North African Campaign

The Environmental Movement in Alberta

Environmentalism 400 BC

Spirit of NAWAPA

Waldheim's Monster:
United Nations' Ecofascist Programme

Early 19th Century British "Environmentalism"

Environmentalism's Appropriation of Christianity

Environmentalism's Environment

The Continental Counter-Enlightenment

The American Eco-Oligarchy update

If Only This Were About Oil

BROTHER CAN YOU SPARE A HECTARE

Who is Affraid of The Big Green Wolf

The Gore Presidential Bid

The Groundbreaking Career of Doctor Science

The English Environmental Elite, Global Warming, and The Anglican Church

The Great Global Warming Hoax

The American Oligarchy's Economic Warfare Campaign on British Columbians





Precedents for the "Global Warming" campaign:
A review of Richard Grove's Green Imperialism



Anyone engaged in the current "global warming" debate should be intrigued to learn that this is hardly the first time a major "climate change" hoax has been perpetrated. As Australian professor Richard Grove illuminates in his Green Imperialism: Colonial Expansion, Tropical Island Edens and the Origins of Environmentalism, 1600-1860, the aristocratic practice of deploying enviro-scares to force through profound changes in economic policy is centuries old.

The earliest "eco-hoax" Grove introduces dates to 14th century Nuremberg when the Hapsburgs claimed various harms had come to King and countryside due to unconstrained deforestation. The solution naturally was to re-afforest vast areas of Nuremburg that had over the previous generations been cleared for agriculture. Grove also references Royal decrees from the mid-17th century France complaining of a mystical "disorder" which had beset the waters and lands of the Kingdom. As the cause of this mysterious disorder was obviously the clearing of forests for agriculture, hence the solution was a statewide prohibition on any further forest cutting.

But all this is ancient, remote history and does not form the basis of Green Imperialism. The book is principally devoted to explicating the "desiccationist" movement, which achieved a near orthodoxy in British scientific and colonial circles in the 18th and 19th centuries. The desiccationists believed cutting down a tree reduced the amount of rain that fell on the spot where the tree once stood. They believed by clearing a forest one cut off the area's rain supply and produced a desert. (Desiccate is a verb meaning to dry up; usually used regarding removal of moisture from vegetables.)

Grove is fully aware the aristocratic fetish for trees predates the desiccationist movement. Although he is loath to just spell it out and dwell on it, the central political economic issue here surrounds the marginal utility of land. Increasing the amount of land available for human use affects the cost of food, the price of rent, etc. The costs and benefits of this increase are unevenly distributed throughout society and hence are the source of great controversy. The history of England is stacked with political battles over the draining of marshes, the confiscation of church lands, the clearing of forest, and enclosure. There has always been a constituency, usually revolving around the King, opposed to the expansion of arable land. (Inscrutably Grove does not refer to the exquisitely anti-environmentalist Magna Carta which demands the King clear all forests recently re-afforested and to call off the infamous forestry police.) As the scientific-cultural revolution progressed, this political struggle tumbled over into scientific discourse.

Grove dates early English forest "science" to the work of John Evelyn - the author of Sylva, or a Discourse of Forest-trees and the Propagation of Timber. Evelyn was from a wealthy landowning family and was a Royalist sympathiser during the English Civil War; however, he chose to sit out the fighting in the parlours of Vienna. When the war was over Evelyn returned to England to resume management of his properties and to circulate pro-Royalist pamphlets. The Commonwealth under Cromwell felt no compulsion to restrain locals who wished to hack away at the Britannia's forests. Evelyn, on the other hand, was a staunch conservationist who believed it was the patriotic duty of a rich man to plant trees wherever he could. He was given a number of important postings by Charles II in government finance, His Majesty's Navy, and in the fledgling Royal Society. Evelyn created a mild bit of hysteria about the possibility of England being so denuded of forests they would lack sufficient timber to equip the navy, thus giving forest conservation an unassailable "national security" component. Evelyn's critics pointed to the enormous amount of timber available to the British Navy from colonial forests, thus undermining this early rationale for conservation.

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The roots of the desiccationist movement proper are found in the colonial administration of various islands taken over by the English during the 17th and 18th centuries - a topic upon which Grove dumps a vat of ink. The English carried their conflicting opinions about forests with them as they expanded their empire. Some believed the clearing of a forest was an improvement, while others saw an Eden despoiled. Some believed jungles were a source of disease, while others thought they were natural filters purifying air for human consumption.

John Woodward, the personal physician of Charles II, is perhaps the earliest proponent of the belief that forests transpire mists that form into large rain-clouds - a theory for which he had no empirical basis. According to Woodward, to clear the forests on an island would be to be to run the risk of turning it into a rainless desert. He communicated this belief through letters to many influential persons within island colonial administrations, some of whom began to make "scientific" calculations about exactly how many hog-heads of potential rainwater were lodged in each tree.

By the early 1700s the colonial administrator of St. Helena, an island under the jurisdiction of East India Company, began passing laws demanding islanders plant trees so as to maintain sufficient amounts of rain. Not long after, the colonial administrators succumbed to various petition-writing campaigns from pro-forest groups and agreed to phase out sheep and goat grazing on the island, as it was widely believed these animals were eating saplings and thus were subtracting from the island's rainfall.

Grove traces the lineage of the pro-forest "scientific" lobby in the 18th century through various professors and botanists and later to physicians in the employ of the East India Company who viewed the planting of forests as a public health emergency. The baton was passed from men like John Hope, the curator of the botanical gardens of Edinburgh, to William Roxborough, later the superintendent of the botanical gardens of Calcutta. Throughout this period botanical gardens gained enormous popularity among European elites for both ornamental and economic reasons, and the curators of the gardens used them as nurseries for forest-planting projects around the world. The French physiocrats in general, and Pierre Poivre in particular, also factor large in the formation of the desiccationist mindset.

In the middle of the century these gentlemen founded the Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufacture and Commerce, which in spite of its name, became principally preoccupied with the promotion of forests. By the 1760s the Society was offering to plant forests on any colonial island for which the governor was willing to supply the land. Their philosophy was evident in the 1763 colonial plan for Tobago which set aside large amounts land as forest reserves and required even the zones set aside for development to contain specific amounts of forest. The official rationale for doing this was to preserve regional weather patterns. As well, in 1766 Poivre became Commissaire-Intendant of the French colony of Mauritius, and government-financed tree-planting programs and forest preserves soon followed.

From the 1790s to the early 1800s the desiccationists steadily gained influence in the East India Company Court of Directors. Large scale tree-planting operations on the Indian continent date to this period. The desiccasionist argument was never the sole argument for preserving forests and planting trees. Other arguments such as timber for the Navy, species extinction, and sea level change were also deployed. Nevertheless, by the mid-19th century articles in favour of the desiccationist theory were found in many scientific journals. Substantial areas of the Indian sub-continent, much of it fertile land long used for agriculture, were forested over. This was not popular with the locals. A vicious cycle set in whereby famines were blamed on drought which in turn was blamed on lack of forests resulting in more land being taken out of production.

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The peak of the desiccationist movement was probably the 1850s, and the core group promoting it were physicians within the EIC and men like a J.D Hooker, a second-generation "scientific botanist" and avid tree-hugger. As the physicians were prescribing the worst of medicines for mass hunger, the famines of latter 19th century became truly horrendous with around 15 million starving to death between 1875 and 1900. (Grove does not, at least to the satisfaction of this reviewer, connect colonial land policy with agricultural output, nor does he expound upon the popularity of Malthusianism within the British elite and the role this may have had in motivating these policies.)

It should come as no surprise that the folks at ground zero of the global warming hoax, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, see the solution to their invented problem partly in the expansion and protection of the world's forests. To quote from the IPCC's most recent "Information Kit":

"Forests contain vast quantities of carbon. Some forests acts as 'sinks' by absorbing carbon from the air, while forests whose carbon flows are in balance act as 'reservoirs'. .Forests will need better protection and management if their carbon dioxide emissions are to be reduced. While legally protected preserves have a role, deforestation should also be tackled through policies that lessen the economic pressures on forest lands. A great deal of forest destruction and degradation is caused by the expansion of farming and grazing. Other forces are the market demand for wood as a commodity and the local demand for fuel wood and other forest resources for subsistence living. These pressures may be eased by.slowing the rate of population growth.and addressing the underlying socio-economic and political forces that spur migration into forest areas..Establishing forests on degraded or on non-forested lands adds to the amount of carbon stored in trees and soils."
In other words, massive reforestation and the suppression of the impulse to expand agriculture are once again held out as good weather-stabilizing policy. Much of the debate up here in Canada regarding Kyoto has been over the amount of a "credit" we should receive for expanding and protecting our forests. Surely the masterminds of the global warming fraud, Sir Crispin Tickell and Sir John Houghton, are of the same ilk as the men mentioned above. They have never seen a dank, bug-infested swamp they have not loved.

The leading lights among the climate change sceptics are fond of stating how complex a system Earth's climate is. By this they are stressing that no one understands fully the processes going into the weather. Hence, the sceptics assert, it is preposterously presumptuous for the pro-Kyoto crowd to speak with any certainty about possible human impact on global average temperatures. Society is also a complex system and it would be a treat if the sceptics could for a moment turn their ample investigative powers toward really understanding the forces at work behind the international environmental movement.

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Review of Snyder's Black Earth

How Green Were the Nazis

The American Environmental Movement - The American Counter-Movement Perspective

Aboriginal Supremicism Part Three - Gallagher's "Resource Rulers" condensed and critiqued

Gasman's The Scientific Origins of National Socialism

Darwall's The Age of Global Warming

Musser's Nazi Oaks

Biehl and Staudenmaier's Ecofascism Revisited

Nickson's Eco-fascists

Gasman's Haeckel's Monism and the Birth of Fascist Ideology

Delingpole's Watermelons

Dowie's Conservation Refugees

Macdonald's Green Inc.

Laframboise and McKitrick on the IPCC

Markham's "Environmental Organizations in Modern Germany"

Petropoulos' Royals and the Reich

Plimer's Heaven and Earth: Global Warming the Missing Science

Dominick's German Environmental Movement 1871 to 1971

Jacoby's Hidden History of American Conservation

Cahill's Who Owns The World

The Persistent Profundity of Professor Mayer

Fascism 101 (Oxford Handbook)

The Nazi-Enviro Connection: Uekoetter's "Green and Brown"

US "Environmentalism" in the 1930s (Review of Phillips' "This Land, This Nation")

Gibson's Environmentalism

"The Deniers" Condensed
(Global Warming Hoax Part II)


Review of Moore's Social Origins of Dictatorship

Review of Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature

Review of The Blackwell Companion to Social Movements

Bramwell's trilogy on The Hidden History of Environmentalism

Review of Degregori's Agriculture and Modern Technology

Review of Nichols Fox's Against the Machine

Review of Brian Masters' The Dukes

Review of Joel Bakan's The Corporation

Review of Michael Crichton's State of Fear

Review of Paul Driessen's Eco-Imperialism: Green Power, Black Death

Review of Janet Beihl's Finding Our Way

Review of Bradley's Climate Alarmism Reconsidered

Review of Pennington's Liberating the Land

Precedents for the "Global Warming" campaign: A review of Richard Grove's Green Imperialism
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