The effect that the current climate policy has on people’s daily lives is still pretty vague, and most households can deal with it.
Climate policy usually means putting more taxes and fees on energy, which makes it more expensive to heat your home and get around. In some countries, minimum standards have been set for how well buildings use energy, and similar rules have been put in place in other areas. On the other hand, climate policy doesn’t decide everything about our lives.
We make important decisions about our consumption, like whether or not to travel, how much we travel, and what kind of transportation we use; whether or not to live in a big house or a small apartment and how we heat our homes; how many electronic devices we own and how much we use them; how much meat and exotic fruit we eat; and so on. Most of the time, these decisions are based on how much money we have instead of how they will affect the environment.
If we want to get to a point where our actions have no effect on the climate, we will have to change how we do each of these things.
This is because we don’t yet have the right technologies that are also affordable enough to let us keep our current standard of living in a way that doesn’t release carbon into the atmosphere. This means that the price of carbon will have to go up a lot for people to change their habits. One more (or possibly complementary) option is to make the laws that govern regulations much stricter.
I know that the word “eco-dictatorship” makes people think of bad things. To get to climate neutrality, we may have to ask ourselves if and how much we are willing to put up with an eco-dictatorship (in the form of regulatory law).
I don’t think he means a Net Zero referendum when he says that we need to “question ourselves… if and to what extent we may be willing to tolerate some kind of eco-dictatorship.” Instead, when he talks about “ourselves,” he means the people who run the EU. It needs to ask itself if it is ready to pass laws that force people in the EU to change how they live in order to reach the goal of “climate neutrality” by 2050, even if it doesn’t have a democratic mandate to do so.
At least Heyman hasn’t tried to make the situation seem less important than it is, and for that, we should be grateful. Even for people who don’t want to believe that Net Zero zealots don’t care about democracy, the word “eco-dictatorship” should be clear and easy to understand.
Izabella Kaminska, who runs the Blind Spot podcast, recently talked to Nouriel Roubini, a neo-Malthusian economist who was born in Turkey but now lives in the United States. In his book “Megathreats: The Ten Trends that Threaten Our Future and How to Survive Them,” he makes the case that personal freedoms will have to be given up if we want to stop another pandemic or stop a climate disaster. He says that this is the only way for us to stay alive.