Book Review – Deniers and Freedom

Hi everyone, I just wanted to share with you a book review I wrote a short while ago. It’s on the book by James Delingpole “Watermelons: How Environmentalists are Killing the Planet, Destroying the Economy and Stealing Your Children’s Future (2012). Give my review a read and let me know what you think! What is the craziest conspiracy you’ve heard?

One common theme amongst conspiracy theorists is that their arguments are rooted in liberalism, and they use these arguments to play upon people’s inherent fear of the loss of their freedoms. This argumentation can be seen when examining the James Delingpole’s book “Watermelons: How Environmentalists are Killing the Planet, Destroying the Economy and Stealing Your Children’s Future” (2012). If the public can acknowledge this strategy it is possible to take a more critical look at theories put forward by denialists, and not be so easily persuaded. 

In the book “Watermelons: How Environmentalists are Killing the Planet, Destroying the Economy and Stealing Your Children’s Future” James Delingpole relates global warming, and its call to action, to a massive international plot to replace our current western world with a New World Order (2012). “So brazenly open are the leading ideologues of the green movement about their plans for New World Order, I’m not even sure the word ‘conspiracy’ properly applies.” (Watermelons, 2012). A New World Order is a common theme amongst conspiracy theories that includes the emergency of a totalitarian world government (Goldberg, 2001). In Delingpole’s New World Older this totalitarian government would impose rationed resources, enforced equality and a barter system all executed under the gauze of environmental regulation (2012). Although these claims seem hard to believe from a scientific perspective his arguments are based on limiting of freedoms and are getting through to the public, one review of Delingpole’s “Watermelons” says that ´Delingpole makes a strong case that this cunning hijacking of well-meaning concern for nature by ambitious ideologues is hidden in plain sight.´ (Spectar 2012). 

Liberalism is a philosophical idea that has been characterized by liberals such as John Stuart Mill, who defined liberalism to be the absence of interference from government and from other individuals (1869). Liberals claim that freedom to develop unique abilities and capacities is a right; “the only freedom which deserves the name, is that of pursuing our own good in our own way” (Mills, 1869). Many global warming deniers such as Delingpole have a common neoliberalist ideology, they detest communism and socialism, and most things to do with regulation (Groenewege, 2015). Delingpole’s book refers to those that sympathize with the environmental movement as “Watermelons” which means that they are green on the outside, but red on the inside; using an environmental façade to cover their true communist intentions (2012). Deniers and conspirators take Mill’s theories to the extreme, labelling every act that may potentially compromise your freedoms as censorship and government control. Conspirators like Delingpole are aware that they initially seem irrational, and so they back up or contrast their arguments with cherry picked quotes from scientists, who seem to be completely delirious when it comes to expressing their dislike for the human race and the idea of freedoms, therefore making the conspirator’s argument seem like the rational one.

Through the use of fear mongering, cherry picking of facts, and pushing arguments forward with the label of liberalism, Delingpole (2012) and other deniers hope to convince the general public of their theories. However by realizing these tactics, it is hard to imagine someone will read these theories as an objective source of information on climate change and environmentalism.

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