“When will people learn: Democracy doesn’t work!” – Homer Simpson (a Barack Obama voter)
A bunch of scientists got together and determined that a single multi-billionaire could probably fund a project to combat climate change by spraying sulfur particles in the atmosphere. It is, of course, controversial even among scientist; some theorize that this “solution” may destroy the ozone layer. (“Egon, this reminds me of that time you tried to drill a hole in your head.”)
But beyond the technical challenges, talk turned to what practical issues would arise in building a global consensus for any such undertaking. As New Scientist correspondent Fred Pearce reported:
“Some enthusiasts for geo-engineering – or eco-hacking, as some have taken to calling it – said we might one day have to ignore democratic niceties in order to get the job done. “
Democratic processes are not “niceties” – they are government systems that prevent oppression.
Environmentalists may make the argument that Homer Simpson made – that ignoring the will of the people may be necessary to follow a path that promotes an overall good for mankind. But considering that they can’t even agree on which path that is, let’s not burn the Constitution just yet.