The Swiss have one of the few federal systems in the world. And interestingly, they are perhaps the only country to limit government power through a federal system of cantons and direct initiative voting that developed before, and independently of England.
Other countries that have a dispersion of power systems like the United States and Canada, all were offspring of mother England. Switzerland was not. Few, if any countries, allow direct referendums to have a say on taxes, as they do in Switzerland.
Switzerland also has a stronger sense of national identity than most European nations. It is striking traveling from either France or Germany into Switzerland. In France and Germany, one rarely sees a flag. In Switzerland, it is not uncommon to see Swiss flags openly displayed on homes and even woodpiles. The Swiss feel differently than the rest of the Euro blob and display this openly. The nation-state still lives in Switzerland.
The Swiss are a very knowledgeable and worldly people, trading with everyone they can, neutral in most disputes, and they host numerous diplomatic parleys and are the home to many international organizations. But with all this international sophistication, they don’t view themselves as US elites do as “citizens of the world.” No, they are Swiss.
Perhaps then, there is a signal that the hysteria about climate change, which is reaching a fever pitch in the United States right now, may be ebbing.
According to Euro Intelligence, having withdrawn from talks with the EU, Switzerland decided to make her own decisions about climate change legislation in the form of a referendum.
There were three parts to the proposed law: CO2 emissions (the supposed cause of global warming), pesticides, and drinking water quality. All three portions of the law were rejected by voters.
The law had been approved by a cross-party majority, reflecting the gains in the Green Party in 2019. But when sent before the people, the recent referendum failed 52-48%.
As in voting seen in the United States with Trump, and in England with Brexit, there was a distinct division between rural and urban voters. Also striking was that opposition in the 60-70% range came from 18-34-year-olds. Without the opposition of the young, it arguably would have passed.
Given the brainwashing that is done in public education these days, that outcome is a bit of a surprise.
It is going to take more political forensics to determine why this has occurred, but here are several theories.
The Swiss likely felt whatever they did, their tiny footprint would have little impact on the climate as long as China is given a free ride to burn all the coal they want to. It is no use wrecking your standard of living to no avail.
There is a strong skepticism that the “science” of climate, based largely on computer modeling, is bogus. After the disasters of Covid modeling, there certainly is justification for such skepticism.
What started with a claim that carbon dioxide would create a “greenhouse effect”, has morphed into murky “climate change”. This switch in verbiage permits the green lagoon, which is the powerful combination of corporate interests seeking subsidies and socialist politicians, to grab power for any reason, since the climate is always changing, with or without human actions. It could be voters are getting wise to this scam.
Wealthy urban elites often push policies that crush the economic potential of rural areas that survive with farming, logging, ranching, and mining. Rural people often pay the costs, directly, and through lost opportunities, to the urban wealthy whose view of nature is often solely through the narrow lens of recreation. Talking about the theory of climate change can make you feel hip and cool, but when presented with the bill, it is not so cool.
Whatever adaptation we must make to climate change, man-made or natural, can be done much cheaper and without giving such arbitrary power to government by addressing specific problems rather than attempting grand scale central planning, hoping efforts will in the end, actually change the climate of the planet. Human efforts have to compete with changes in ocean temperatures often changed by natural undersea volcanoes, ocean currents, the tilt of the earth on its axis, sunspot, and sun intensity changes, plus radiation.
The interaction of all these variables is not understood well and man plays virtually no role in most of them. Voters are growing wary of schemes that destroy the economy and warp choices through subsidies. It is watermelon politics. That is, green on the outside and red on the inside.
Perhaps, the pure hubris of the environmental movement is just starting to turn people off. It has very much become a hectoring secular religion. Only instead of teaching people to treat their fellow man better, it teaches people to treat people quite poorly, (let them die of malaria) especially if they don’t agree with your vision. Worse yet, this secular religion is not separated from the state, it has in fact become the state. We have seen that model of governance before, and it is not pretty.
Whatever the set of factors are, it was good to see the Swiss vote No.
As we move through 2023 and into the next election cycle, The Prickly Pear will resume Take Action recommendations and information.