Disinfo: Environmentalists are overjoyed by the fear around COVID-19; they see it as an opportunity

Summary

Many hardline environmentalists are overjoyed at the atmosphere of fear that Covid-19 has created; for them, it is an instrument for realising the dream of a society that runs according to climate alarmists’ dogma.

Back in the 17th century, the English philosopher Thomas Hobbes anticipated the green politics of fear in his classic text, The Leviathan. Hobbes claimed that it is good when people are scared and frightened. Why? Because in their state of fear people will readily subject themselves to an absolutist ruler in exchange for his protection. One does not need a PhD in philosophy to understand that climate alarmist politics leads straight to the doorstep of the Leviathan.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin conspiracy theory about the allegedly malicious intentions behind environmental activism, exploiting the coronavirus crisis in a bid delegitimise climate activism as hysteria and an effort to impose "absolutist rule" over society. Pro-Kremlin disinformation often engages in climate change denialism, suggesting for example that climate change is a Western hoax to prevent Russia's economic development and that climate activists want to destroy progress in the name of green faith.

This case is another example of how pro-Kremlin disinformation outlets exploit crisis situations like the current COVID-19 pandemic to spread disinformation about other topics and opportunistically adapt existing pro-Kremlin narratives to new contexts.

Climate change is a scientific fact. Humans are increasingly influencing the climate and the earth's temperature by burning fossil fuels, cutting down rain-forests and farming livestock. This adds enormous amounts of greenhouse gases to those naturally occurring in the atmosphere, increasing the greenhouse effect and global warming. Preventing the dangerous consequences of climate change is a key priority for the EU.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 190
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 01/04/2020
  • Language/target audience: English
  • Country: EU, UK, US
  • Keywords: coronavirus, Conspiracy theory, Climate, Conspiracy
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Western leaders delayed taking precautions against the coronavirus out of nervousness about their re-election chances

Many Western leaders believe their political survival is delicately poised in such a poisoned atmosphere and hence delayed taking preventive actions to stem community transmission of the coronavirus out of nervousness about their approval ratings and re-election chances.

Unlike Western democracies, whose political culture is shaped by asserting individualism, human rights and treating the state as an enemy of liberty, Asians mostly do not worry about violation of privacy or government abuses.

Disproof

Baseless speculation and conspiracy theory; no evidence given to support the claim that Western leaders have delayed taking precautions against the coronavirus due to nervousness about their approval rating and re-election chances. This case is also part of the pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign about the coronavirus crisis, one aim of which is to suggest that Western democracies and open societies are incapable of coping with the pandemic, as opposed to authoritarian or closed societies.

The article’s claim that societies which aren't concerned about government abuses are better at preventing and controlling epidemics do not reflect reality. Authoritarian regimes or closed societies, which tend to control and manipulate information and limit the freedom of doctors and scientists to engage in international cooperation, are often an obstacle to the timely detection and containment of epidemic outbreaks.

Coronavirus killed the Schengen area

European unity has become another victim of the coronavirus. The Schengen agreement is not valid. The free movement of people, goods and services will no longer resume. Coronavirus killed the Schengen area.

Disproof

Attempt to discredit the EU, consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin narratives about the imminent collapse of the EU. Read similar case claiming that The Schengen zone has collapsed.

The coronavirus crisis does not signal the collapse of the Schengen Area. On the contrary – we are seeing how indispensable Schengen arrangements are to the European economy and way of life. In the current exceptional situation, many EU Member States introduced temporary border controls to slow the spread of coronavirus, but the Commission is ensuring that EU-wide supply chains continue to operate and that flow of goods and key services continues around the clock. The introduction of ‘green lanes’ will allow all freight vehicles to cross internal Schengen borders within 15 minutes. Learn more here.

The Italian Parliament lowers the flag of the European Union

The Italian Parliament lowers the flag of the European Union.

Disproof

A misleading headline to support a recurring narrative about EU disintegration amid the coronavirus crisis. From the text of the article it is clear that one Italian MP has allegedly removed the EU flag from his office.

For similar cases, see for example claims that amid the pandemic, the idea of a united Europe has crashed, that after the COVID-19 crisis Italy or Germany may leave the EU, and that the coronavirus will cause the dissolution of the EU and NATO.