A Suicidal Collapse of Western Civilization?
My background is basically European -- and more specifically, Western European. I have lived and worked in many of those countries, and I know most of the major cities intimately -- from Stockholm in the north, Newcastle, London, Paris, The Hague, Munich, Vienna, to Rome and Erice, Sicily in the south. I have also spent several months in Moscow and in Jerusalem as a guest of academic institutions.
The ongoing economic suicide of Europe is based on a faulty understanding of the climate issue by most Western politicians and on their extreme policy response, based on emotion rather than logic and science. The major European economies have reacted irrationally to contrived, unjustified fear of imagined global-warming disasters
Perhaps I should explain that the climate has not been warming for the past 18 years -- and even if it had been warming, it would be no disaster. The EU wants to cut emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, a natural plant-fertilizer, by 40% within 15 years -- by 2030. This insane drive to replace energy sources from fossil fuels that release plant-friendly CO2 into the atmosphere has led to greatly increased costs of energy. As is well understood, such actions not only hurt economic growth, but they increase poverty levels and therefore threaten the social fabric of these nations.
There are some exceptions. of course: France and Belgium rely heavily on nuclear energy; Austria and Norway rely heavily on hydro. Poland has actively resisted the general trend to demonize CO2, but the UK and Germany, which has been the power-house of European economic growth, are severely threatened by their insistence on installing wind and solar energy. The latter is especially inappropriate to the Continent and to Great Britain.
The pity of it all is that these economic sacrifices in Western Europe will hardly affect the level of atmospheric CO2 -- which is controlled globally by huge emissions from China -- and soon also from India.
Unfortunately, during the past few years, and even during the White House administration of George W. Bush, the United States has tended to move in the same direction -- and energy costs have gone up markedly.
The regulatory burdens created by the EPA’s “War on Coal,” by holding up permits for pipelines and for exploration-production of fuels on Federal lands, etc, are imposing real costs on US households, which are the equivalent of a large energy tax -- except that none of these increased costs flow into the US Treasury.
Cultural, plus even more dangerous Demographic Suicide,
But it is cultural suicide, which adds to economic suicide and spells doom for the future of Western Europe. I have in mind here the heavy immigration from Islamic nations -- with most immigrants unwilling to adjust to the prevailing culture of the host country.
Examples are rampant. In Great Britain, the dangerous immigration has come mostly from Pakistan and Bangladesh, Islamic successors to the British rule over India; Hindu immigrants present no special problem. In Southern Europe, the Low Countries, and most of Scandinavia, much of the immigration has been from Somalia and North Africa. France has experienced massive immigration from North Africa and other African French-speaking former colonies.
In many of these nations now, these immigrant communities have formed enclaves that the native inhabitants can no longer enter safely; even the police have great difficulty controlling law and order in these enclaves. Examples exist in cities like Birmingham, Amsterdam, Malmo (Sweden), Paris and Marseille. Germany seems slightly better off, with immigrants from Turkey making some effort to become good Germans. Of course, the aim of many in these enclaves is to take over the host country -- using available democratic means -- and institute Sharia (Islamic law).
It is clear that these immigrants are taking advantage of the democratic nature of the host nations and their willingness to grant asylum status and lavish economic subsidies to any who declare themselves as refugees. A prime example is Sweden, where multi-culturalism runs wild and is supported by the government-subsidized and beholden media. So far, no real revolt yet -- except for some grumbling from the indigenous population (whom the compliant media denounce as “racists.”)
Least affected have been the Slavic nations, which were formerly under Soviet domination. Perhaps because of their delayed economic development, they have not been as attractive a destination for immigrants. Ironically, these East-Europeans may yet save Western civilization.
The United States faces a rather special situation. There is much immigration, mostly illegal, from south of the border. But these Latino immigrants are not Islamic; they share similar cultural values with native-born Americans -- and most are making an effort to adapt to the prevailing culture. The main danger is one of national security. With porous borders, potential terrorists can easily slip into the United States and create mayhem.
A peculiar problem exists in Israel, which has experienced illegal Islamic (!) immigration, mainly from Sudan and Eritrea. We are told that some southern suburbs of Tel Aviv now resemble a Third-World nation. Efforts are underway to deport these illegal immigrants; but standing in the way is Israel’s Supreme Court, a group of unelected liberal lawyers, who personally oppose the Parliament-passed law of deportation -- certainly an anomalous situation by US standards.
Russia has experienced problems of its own, mainly from Islamic provinces in the Caucasus. The suppression of the Chechen revolt has caused a violent reaction, leading to major terror acts, even in Moscow.
Exacerbating the Islamic “conquest“ of Western Europe is the fact that the indigenous people -- from Swedes to Spaniards -- are not reproducing themselves. Whatever the cause may be, the number of children per family is well below the replacement level of 2.11; in some countries it is as low as 1.30. The statistics are frightening -- as seen in records of births, welfare rolls, and school attendance. By mid-century, parts of Europe will have a Moslem majority -- and even before then it will be too late to rectify the situation.
What of the future?
With ongoing internal battles within Islamic groups, it is not easy to predict the future. In Syria, some 200,000 have been killed and millions have been turned into refugees. The rise of the “Islamic State” in the last few months promises a brutal suppression of any who hold even a slightly different Islamic view. Their announced goal is to set up a theocratic Caliphate in any lands that have ever been under Islamic rule -- including most of the Balkans, Andalus-Spain, and of course Israel.
At the battle of Tours in 732, Charles Martell stopped the advance into France of Moslem armies from the Iberian peninsula. In 1571, in the great naval battle of Lepanto, off Greece, a Spanish-Italian fleet defeated the Turks. In their farthest advance into Central Europe, a Turkish army besieged Vienna in 1683. Christian forces, under the command of King John Sobieski of Poland, defeated the invaders decisively and saved Western civilization.
Americans have twice saved Europe in the 20th century and may soon be forced to defend Europe again against a new threat. The first assault on Western European civilization came from Nazi Germany and its allies; it took a bloody World-War-II (1939-1945) to defeat them. Certainly, without US intervention, Western Europe, and even Britain, might now be part of a German-ruled dictatorship, a sort of involuntary European Union. It is doubtful also whether the Soviet Union could have withstood Hitler’s onslaught without the active material assistance of the United States.
The second threat to Europe came from the post-1945 Soviet Union; it was dominated by the specter of ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons. The “Warsaw Pact” encompassed even a large part of Germany. This “Cold-War” threat was neutralized thanks to the steadfastness of the United States -- but also by the internal economic problems brought about by the planned economy of the Soviet empire.
The new threat of course is Islamo-Fascism and its aim to introduce Sharia -- in at least those parts of Europe that had been Muslim lands in the past, but aiming really at all of Europe -- and eventually the rest of the world. This new threat uses a method of warfare that is different from the past and more insidious. Terrorism has come into its own, partly based on large Islamic populations in Western Europe.
Coupled with this external threat is the internal one from Islamic fanatics, many of them born in Europe -- and even from converts. We have seen this happen in Spain, and more recently in Britain. Their methods have been crude and their weapons have been primitive; but with nuclear proliferation and with the possibility of chemical and biological warfare, these threats have to be taken very seriously.
Fighting these threats takes resources for surveillance, intelligence, sundry military expenditures, and weapons, both offensive and defensive. Resilience requires above all a strong economy. And one cannot have a strong economy without adequate energy resources – which gets us back to the issue of climate fears.
The problem now is that while the threat of terrorism is growing, so is the suicidal drive to limit the use of energy and thereby also economic growth. This internal threat is particularly strong in Europe and has been called, quite properly, eco-Bolshevism. It would have all the earmarks of the failed Soviet system, with government involvement in every facet of the economy and with energy restrictions reducing economic growth.
There is no question that the policies being discussed now in Europe and in the United States would be extremely costly, would force industrial cutbacks and of course massive job losses. All of these exacerbate social tension in nations that have a large number of immigrants, who traditionally have the highest unemployment levels.
Will the US step up again and save Europe? Doubtful
One may ask: Is there any way to stop this steamroller? There’s probably little hope that such an initiative can come from Europe; it may have to come from the United States. Somehow we would have to convince European leaders that their policies, based on global-warming fears, are mistaken. That job may prove to be very difficult -- unless there is a drastic change in current US policy. But it is something that has to be done if we want Europe to survive economically, as an ally against the threat of Islamo-Fascism.
I don’t believe that the US is prepared to save Europe; just listen to our Secretary of State: Speaking in Boston on Oct 9, John Kerry pronounced that climate change, if left unaddressed, will result in the end of times: “Life as you know it on Earth ends,” Kerry said. Last February, Kerry claimed that climate change was the world’s “most fearsome weapon of mass destruction.” Not nuclear bombs in the hands of the terrorist-sponsoring regime of Iran -- or in the hands of ISIS or al Qaeda; not Ebola or some fearsome epidemic of a lethal disease. According to Kerry, climate change is the real number-one national-security threat.
US media, academia, and other opinion-makers are chiming in. In her latest work of science-fiction, Harvard’s Naomi Oreskes, co-author of the mendacious Merchants of Doubt, imagines a future world devastated by climate change. She generously gives the West another 80 years -- well beyond her own life span, of course. But she totally ignores the dangers of rising Islamo-Fascism and of demography. Just listen:
The year is 2393, and the world is almost unrecognizable. Clear warnings of climate catastrophe went ignored for decades, leading to soaring temperatures, rising sea levels, widespread drought and -- finally -- the disaster now known as the Great Collapse of 2093, when the disintegration of the West Antarctica Ice Sheet led to mass migration and a complete reshuffling of the global order. Writing from the Second People's Republic of China on the 300th anniversary of the Great Collapse, a senior scholar presents a gripping and deeply disturbing account of how the children of the Enlightenment -- the political and economic elites of the so-called advanced industrial societies -- failed to act, and so brought about the collapse of Western civilization.
So don’t look to the US to come to the rescue of a doomed Western Europe. It is unlikely that our children or grandchildren will be fortunate enough to experience the charms of great cities like London, Paris, Amsterdam, and Rome – or what’s left of them.
S. Fred Singer is professor emeritus at the University of Virginia and director of the Science & Environmental Policy Project. His specialty is atmospheric and space physics. An expert in remote sensing and satellites, he served as the founding director of the US Weather Satellite Service and, more recently, as vice chair of the US National Advisory Committee on Oceans & Atmosphere. He is a senior fellow of the Heartland Institute and the Independent Institute. He co-authored the NY Times best-seller Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1500 years. In 2007, he founded and has since chaired the NIPCC (Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change), which has released several scientific reports [See www.NIPCCreport.org]. For recent writings, see http://www.americanthinker.com/s_fred_singer/ and also Google Scholar