Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Sometimes Totalitarianism Looks Appealing

On Friday, China announced it would " ban more than one million cars from the streets during the Olympics in an effort to curb pollution and ease traffic gridlock." Once the Chinese government decided it wanted to do something about the wretched pollution in Beijing, it simply acted.

This type of massive action in response to an environmental problem is something a democracy has trouble with. For example, the New York state assembly failed to pass congestion pricing for New York City to ease traffic and pollution earlier this year. http://www.edf.org/article.cfm?contentID=6618

Similarly, US politicians in power and candidates have failed to put forward a comprehensive environmental plan which would address climate change in a significant way. Although I do appreciate democracy's many virtues, I sometimes wish that we had a government which could implement major change on the environmental front simply by deciding to act.

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