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Understanding the Green Menace: Robert Zubrin’s Merchants of Despair

By <a class="post-author" href="/about#aepstein">Alex Epstein</a> -- May 11, 2012

Tell me if this sounds familiar.

A consensus of the world’s leading scientific bodies and governments has proved that our current way of life, in which individuals can produce, consume, and procreate as they choose, is unsustainable and self-destructive. We must, therefore give the government the power it needs to end the threat that we pose to ourselves.

This is, of course, the central narrative of the Green movement’s call for a ban (partial or total) on the lifeblood of industrial civilization, hydrocarbons, in the name of preventing global warming.

To many Americans, this narrative seems airtight. The “consensus” of “science” is portrayed as a virtually unanimous collection of ruthlessly objective minds all independently arriving at the same inexorable conclusion from the same unambiguous data.

But if they read Merchants of Despair by Robert Zubrin, they will not only learn some of the fallacies of the global warming narrative in particular, they will see that this exact narrative of a “scientific” claim that freedom is unsustainable has been used in the past to promote coercive population control and eugenics policies, killing millions and bringing misery to millions more.…