Diary of an Acclimatised Beauty: Hardworking

Happy Easter from the Bahamas where I’m still working very hard. Not everyone who left the pandemic to take advantage of the Bahamas pro-business work environment is really all that focused on work—but I certainly am. I’ve made the determination about others based on the fact that they are having breakfast at 11—about the time I’m finishing up. 

Thanks to Instagram I’ve found out I have several more friends visiting here than I’d ever dreamed possible, and they are mad-posting and hashtagging.  All day long it’s ding-ding—#lyford #albanyyacht #catcayyacht #eleuthra… ding, #pandemic ding-ding.

In the interest of work, (and despite looking so tanned and rested), I’ve decided not to post until I have at least three new clients. Or maybe one really juicy new client.  My focus, since I now have time to focus, is going to be to search out only the clients whose sensibilities are most closely aligned with mine. 

All work and no play, that's productivity.

Daddy said if I made self-sufficiency my priority I’d find I’m aligned with a great many but I know he’s just being daddy. It’s easy for him to say… I think engineering focuses one’s thinking in such a way that you are really too science-minded to think about meaningful change. 

Earlier in the week I had a little hiccup… with such an influx of visitors and corresponding drain on the internet, I wasn’t getting my emails. Especially in the late afternoons when kids who should be swimming or in school are mad-gaming. The internet provider suggested I opt-out of using Wi-Fi and hard-wire my computer to the router— and which is so like a service provider to just make up some excuse as to why you can’t have what you clearly understood you were paying for. Plus it defeats the whole purpose of coming here to work. Luckily the yacht clubs are selling international hotspots so I can now work from wherever is most conducive to my productivity.

I had received a query from a global environmental movement that had “nearly” one hundred academics enrolled in fighting global warming. My first thought was how near to one hundred are you? Near enough to just recruit a couple more to make it an even hundred?  Which would have been my suggestion to them once we started working together. Further details explained that they “hoped” to rally worldwide support. Again…can you really not assert (with confidence) something so vague as “worldwide support”? They were going to need every bit of help they could get. 

I was however impressed with their aim to using “nonviolent civil disobedience” to achieve their goals. But on second thought, the word “aim” scared me. And after some research it seemed aim was indeed the right word, as they’d blockaded five bridges in London as a protest. Technically this qualified as non-violent but it had the makings of a wholly man-made disaster. 

Just now I was missing my rather bad-tempered client who’d made a killing in the cosmetic device industry, and whose presentation for the Audubon Society I’d painstakingly crafted just prior to being sacked.  

Nonviolence was definitely the way to go, but try telling that to Greenpeace who’d made a name by insinuating themselves between a Russian whaler and a whale just in time to witness and film the gruesome death of said whale and sell the footage to the news media. In years to come Greenpeace would continue to sell their goodness until they became a $336 million a year multinational behemoth. Some questioned the integrity of these donations when China’s abysmal environmental record dropped off of Greenpeace’s radar. 

As an avid environmentalist I have to care that we don’t look or act crazy, and in this way we can achieve greater results not to mention greater trust from the public. In the end what saved the whales from extinction was greed. With ever increasing demand for whale oil, man looked for alternatives and soon after creating petroleum, production from one petroleum well outpaced what a whaling expedition could garner in four years. This is of course all stuff I learned as a kid, but now as an adult I continue fighting both the evil destroyers of our planet and the movements that delegitimise those of us who are doing truly good work.  

I was feeling rather down that this briefly promising client had evaporated as quickly as they’d arrived so I rang my father in London to see if he had any ideas. He nudged me again toward the grub worm food factory he had suggested last week but even he knew I wasn’t having it.  And then he dropped the bomb saying, 

“Some of your friends had a good go of it on Thursday.” 

My friends?” I asked, not knowing what he was referring to. 

“Spraying fake oil on the Bank of England to win friends and influence enemies,” he said. 

Ah, environment nutters, he meant. “Friends” was his loving jibe. 

“Fake oil?” I asked.

“Pond scum if you must know. Pond scum and guar gum is what they used. Pity none of the news media seized on that…I thought Pond Scum Protestors had a nice ring to it.”  

April Fools, protecting the planet. (Sky News)

What could I say? These were my people in a fashion, and they were dragging us all down.

“Listen…” he continued, I’ve got to run but let me send you the link, they sure need help.” He was nearly chortling before saying goodbye. 

It was both embarrassing and tragic. After pond-scumming the bank, they’d gone on to demand the Bank of England “make banks integrate climate risks."

Firstly I don’t think they meant to say "integrate risks" and second, asking banks to regulate themselves, is, I am sure, also not what they meant but something banks would be all too-willing to agree to do. 

Oh, and they were dressed like jesters. Actual jesters. If the visual was not bad enough, the historical association was that of fools, who existed to entertain the Crown.  

Ding-ding. Instagram calling.

In the Union Halls, Strange Bedfellows

Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. At what point to labor unions finally figure out that the Democrat Party is not their friend, that modern Democrats are anti-capitalist, anti-working class socialists of at least the limousine-liberal variety, and that members of the party of slavery, segregation, secularism, and sedition are simply not to be trusted with vital matters of public policy, especially at election time?

Such reflections arise after reading this Politico story, in which once again the blind and the gullible have fallen for Joe Biden & His Media Robinettes:

Biden's green energy plans clash with pledge to create union jobs

President Joe Biden touted his $2 trillion infrastructure plan as a "once-in-a-generation" effort to tackle climate change while creating millions of "good paying jobs." Some unions warn that it may ultimately cost a lot of jobs, too.

Labor groups, echoed by Republicans in Congress, are cautioning that Biden's plan to hitch the jobs recovery to massive green energy investment could backfire because of the quality of employment it will create and the economic devastation it could cause on rural communities.

The president's push to decarbonize the economy will mean eliminating the kind of steady, fixed-location jobs that come with coal mines or fossil fuel power plants. The Biden plan would require the construction of vast numbers of solar, wind and battery projects, along with potentially new pipelines for carbon dioxide and hydrogen. But construction jobs are temporary and require mobility, and once those projects are complete, they'll need few workers to maintain them and keep them operating.

"The jobs that he talked about yesterday were construction jobs," said Phil Smith, a spokesman for the United Mine Workers of America, a day after the Biden speech. "We're not seeing anything concrete that our members can look at and say, 'OK, that's where I'm gonna fit in.'"

Well, how about that! The chimera of "clean energy" should always be read as "bogus energy," not to mention "no jobs." One of the lies behind the claims of "renewable" energy is the implication that such energy will always be readily available and will take next to no effort to extract from Mother Gaia. The wind blows and the sun shines most every day, right? And once your solar panels and scenery-disfiguring windmills are up and running, presto!

It's witchcraft...

No more brutal rape of the virgin Earth. No more big sweaty men with dirty paws and grimy fingernails laboring in claustrophobic coal mines or broiling in the west Texas oilfield. Why, this is energy that even the most fastidious Ivy League poetaster can be proud of: just flip a light switch and you're good to go. Why, you can even plug in your electric car as you would a toaster and know that while your muffin is browning up the Earth has begun healing.

The complaints underscore the difficulty Biden will have in pursuing his two most ambitious goals: reviving the labor market by generating millions of jobs for unions — which traditionally thrive in old-line industries — and transforming the U.S. into a clean economy where electric vehicles and battery storage replace coal, natural gas and oil as energy sources.

Difficulty? Impossibility is more like it. There aren't "millions of jobs" lurking in "green" technology, except may in dumping the wind turbines at the bottom of the Marianas Trench when civilized people finally wake up to the environmental destruction they've created in the name of... preventing environmental destruction.

Environmentalists defend the plan as a necessary move away from old technologies to battle climate change. And others say Biden's plan does include tax incentives for manufacturing and a vision for developing a supply chain that could provide the kind of blue-collar, high-skill jobs that used to be in power plants.

Note the operative words in bold. Any story that includes the word "could" in a context of advocacy is lying to you: the word should be "won't."

While unions are strongly supportive of the administration's pro-labor stance, they worry that the end-goal — if not executed properly — could have devastating effects on their members. “From our perspective, if the jobs aren't there when the mine closes, this plan fails," Smith said. "There's a very large disconnect between what the aspirations are here and what's going to end up actually happening on the ground.”

Biden fought to bring white, blue-collar workers back into the Democratic fold after the party lost them to Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential race, and the administration is seeking to prove that this can be both the most pro-labor and anti-carbon presidency in history. But the reality may prove troublesome.

Ya think? Oh well, sin -- or vote -- in haste, repent at leisure. And learn to code, because unless traditional sources of energy production survive, union members will be looking for new jobs in the great green near-future.

Will the U.N. Security Council Rescue Net-Zero?

Constructing and imposing an international orthodoxy is a never-ending task, especially when the orthodoxy imposes heavy costs on those countries and organizations that support it. That’s more clearly true about the orthodoxy on “climate change”—i.e., it’s an “emergency” that means global “catastrophe” very soon unless we take brave corrective measures to avert it—than about any other global “crisis.”

A quite small number of U.N. official have been the drivers of this diplomatic agitprop since it started at the Rio de Janeiro UN Earth Conference in 1992. Of the UN Secretariat’s estimated 37,000 officials responsible to the Secretary General, only eight enjoy the title of UN Secretary, and a further fifty are Deputy Secretaries. In short fewer than a hundred diplomats and ex-politicians have succeeded in cajoling and corralling most governments into adopting policies that require economic sacrifices on their populations for aims that are at the very least questionable. It’s a astounding achievement of sorts.

A questionable orthodoxy needs to be shored up against questions and costs, however, and plenty of both have been coming home to roost in the last year: questioning books by previous believers in the “climate emergency” such as Michael Shellenberger as well as from established sceptics like Bjorn Lomborg; and soberly realistic estimates of the costs of “Net Zero” by 2050, the main plank of UN climate policy, in terms of both greater pressures on over-burdened government budgets and downward life-style changes for the voters. Shrewd political analysts—and that describes the UN Secretariat very well—know that they need additional measure to sustain a potentially rickety consensus.

The science is settled, comrades.

Until now, the biggest gun in their arsenal has been the notion of “legally binding” climate treaties that will compel governments to stick with the unpopular consequences of “Net-Zero” policies as they become inescapably evident. It’s a confidence trick. Politicians go along with it because it’s also a method diverting blame for Net-Zero away from them onto the treaty with the argument that “we have to accept international law.”

But there are commonsense limits to that. No government will accept massive economic damage and huge political unpopularity simply because it, or more likely one of its predecessors, unwisely signed a “legally binding” but masochistic and unenforceable treaty.

Some governments won’t even sign a treaty with such dire results in the first place. President Obama never submitted the Paris Accords on Net-Zero for Senate ratification because he knew they’d be rejected. President Trump (while delivering a greater reduction in carbon emissions than any signatory nation because “fracking” fueled a switch to cleaner greener natural gas) was therefore able to withdraw America’s signature on it because Obama’s “executive agreement” had no constitutional force.

And if President Biden seriously intends to make his own switch back to supporting the Paris “treaty” effective, he’ll have to submit the Accords for the Senate ratification from which Obama prudently shrank—or risk another withdrawal of the U.S endorsement by another Trump.

I don’t think Biden will take that risk. But if he does, and given his hostility to fracking, it’s possible that he’ll go down in history as the president who both signed the Paris Accords and presided over a large increase in net carbon emissions. Watch this space.

It’s because the "legally enforceable" gambit is not really enforceable on sovereign states, especially those with democratic governments, that the UN bureaucrats have had recourse to a weapon that is more under their control: namely, bringing the UN Security Council into play.

Gentlemen, you can't fight in here.

The UNSC is the single most important and powerful institution in the UN system. According to its own website: “All members of the United Nations agree to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council. While other organs of the United Nations make recommendations to member states, only the Security Council has the power to make decisions that member states are then obligated to implement under the Charter.”

This makes the UNSC a very big deal. Its enforcement powers in dealing with “threats to peace and international security” include economic sanctions, arms embargoes, financial penalties and restrictions, and travel bans; the severance of diplomatic relations; blockade; or even collective military action. And if climate change were to be declared such a threat, that would allow—in theory at least—the Security Council to employ these enforcement mechanisms in dealing with it.

Some governments and international agencies have been arguing that climate change is a threat to international security for some time. My take is a highly skeptical one:

[T]hinking about such matters should not be a priority. In comparison with countering the most advanced weaponry being developed by the Russian and Chinese militaries (and also with subversive methods of asymmetric warfare), holding down carbon emissions is a third-order consideration. Truth be told, climate change is not a question of military security at all unless some other power is weaponizing climate change against NATO. That kind of thing happens a lot in James Bond movies—usually through the agency of a mad billionaire. . .  Not, however, anywhere else.

But the United Nations “Climate Emergency” caravan rumbles on regardless. One month ago the UN Security Council had a debate on whether the Council should treat climate change as a “threat to national security,” and all the international chart-toppers were present to sing along from the alarmist handbook.

The session was opened by the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, and other speakers included President Macron of France, Boris Johnson, the UK Prime Minister, the Biden administration’s special envoy for climate, John Kerry, and a large host of prime ministers, foreign ministers, and other “eminent persons” (an actual UN term.) It’s not necessary to plough through the entire debate, however, because all the speeches said much the same thing, which in the case of the BBC’s long-standing television naturalist David Attenborough was: “If we act fast enough we can reach a new stable state” and the UN conference in Glasgow next November “may be our last opportunity to make this step change.”

My suspicion is, however, that Glasgow will only prove to be the next last opportunity to save the world with many more to come along as the conference circuit.

Et tu, Brute?

That suspicion is fueled by the fact that it’s not until paragraph nine of the comprehensive account of the discussion in the UN’s own press release that we come to the speech of the Russian Federation’s representative, Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia, who wondered skeptically if climate change issues were really the “root cause” of the conflicts cited by Kerry, Johnson, Macron, and almost all the other dignitaries.

The connection between the climate and conflicts can be looked at with regard to only certain countries and regions, talking about this in general terms and in a global context has no justification.

He concluded that, for Russia, climate change was an issue to be dealt with not by the Security Council with its array of diplomatic pressures and economic and military sanctions, but by the less powerful specialist UN agencies armed only with scientific and economic expertise.

China’s special climate envoy, Xie Zhenhua, after repeating China’s familiar pledge to meet the Net-Zero carbon targets ten years after the West when it would have enjoyed forty years of economic growth built on fossil fuels, said much the same thing:

International climate cooperation should be advanced within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

In one of the conference’s most impressive speeches, India’s environment minister, Prakash Javdekar, argued that countries should meet their earlier targets for carbon emission reductions before embarking on ambitious new ones—a criticism that was all the more powerful because India is one of the few countries to have met its targets. But he too went on to express skepticism about the idea that "climate change" was the cause of conflict.

These three speeches amounted to a Niagara of cold water pouring over the argument that an imminent climate emergency is a threat to peace and security requiring the UN Security Council to intervene to force massive carbon reductions on reluctant member-states.

Consider now that China and India are the two most important economies in Asia, and that Russia is an energy superpower as well. Consider also that Russia and China are two of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council with the power of veto over its decisions, and that India is the Asian country with the best claim to joining them there. When you add up all those facts, the speeches calling for the UNSC to push a reluctant world to implement the hairshirt economic policy of Net-Zero are soon revealed as a dystopian delusion.

To adapt an old gag: the dogs may bark, but the caravan has ground to a halt.

Fighting the Climate War, One Fad at a Time

Behind my desk is a framed picture of an article in Newsweek dated April 28, 1975. The cooling world, it is titled. “Climatologists are pessimistic that political leaders will take any positive action to compensate for the climatic change, or even to allay its effects,” it is reported. Fortunately, nothing was done, e.g., “covering arctic sea ice with soot,” otherwise what a pickle we’d now be in, what with global warming and all.

Global cooling was forecast to cause “an increase in extremes of weather such as droughts, floods, extended dry spells, long freezes, delayed monsoons and even local temperature increases.” There it is. Whatever the climate does we should expect the worst.

Oops.

Australian palaeontologist and climate alarmist, Tim Flannery expected the worst in 2007. Droughts were in his crystal ball. “Even the rain that falls isn’t actually going to fill our dams and our river systems,” he said. Late March 2021 in the states of New South Wales and Queensland, rain galore, floods, dams overflowing. Of course, things will change, droughts will recur in the land “of droughts and flooding plains;” as the Australian poet Dorothea Mackellar put it, way back in a wiser age before Flannery was born. And they’ll be met with water restrictions and, among Christians, prayers for rain.

It would help if there were more and bigger dams, but these are hard to build. They are hard to build, in case you don’t know, because the habitats of rare species would be lost or Aboriginal cave drawings or other sights of significance submerged. As it turns out, these barriers to dam building apply more or less everywhere it makes sense to build large-scale dams. Sometimes I think we might as well designate the whole of Australia as a national park-cum-untouchable Aboriginal sacred site and be done with it.

Warragamba Dam is the primary water source for Sydney. It was finished in 1960 when Sydney’s population was not much over two million. Sydney’s population is now over five million and, surprise-surprise, during droughts water storage runs seriously low. A plan to increase the capacity of the dam by increasing its height is stalled. No surprise there either.

As an aside, isn’t it somewhat churlish to keep on praying for rain during droughts when we’re persistently recalcitrant in harvesting water? My Anglican minister points out that those suffering during droughts still need our prayers, whatever the circumstances. I take his point, yet I suspect most Anglican churchgoers are green-hued and therefore to some extent complicit in the suffering. It’s a conundrum, but enough of that.

Don’t for a minute think that the “record-breaking” rains (they are not by the way) in NSW and Queensland will dent Flannery’s (hysterical) conviction. It would take momentous contradictory events to disturb any part of the conviction among alarmists that we face imminent catastrophic climate change. It comes down to the philosophy of science.

To be honest, I don’t find the philosophy of science to be a riveting subject. But it seems to me that the history of science in the past half century has shown that Thomas Kuhn’s insights rather than Karl Popper’s best encompass the scientific method in practice. Scientists clearly move in crowds; albeit with the odd, shunned, ‘eccentric’ voices on the periphery. The prevailing scientific paradigm, as Kuhn describes it, bounds inquiry. That is, until whatever is the stubbornly-held paradigm is completely overwhelmed by contradictory events.

Incidentally, J K Galbraith (in The Affluent Society) used the term “conventional wisdom” to describe, more or less, the same phenomenon in the social sciences and in all walks of life.

We only have to be right this week.

I dare say many climate scientists were investigating global cooling when it was fashionable, as they are now almost all investigating global warming. I doubt many are subjecting the hypothesis of CO2-caused warming to stress testing. They are not Popperians, busying away trying to falsify the paradigm which guides their research. No, I suggest, they simply accept it as true and work within its bounds. And maybe that is the way science has generally proceeded.

Climate sceptics often charge that a scientific consensus is a contradiction in terms. But is that true? On reflection, I don’t think it is. I have read that a consensus has developed within quantum theory which leaves those on the outside at risk of being shunned. I understand that Galileo had less trouble with Urban VIII, the Pope at the time, than he had with the scientists of the day who had the ear of the Pope. At question is how to break through a consensus?

I will take my lead from Sun Tzu in The Art of War. “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles” (3,18). Many of those who believe climate alarmists to be wrong don’t seem to know their enemy. They tend to think that logical counter-arguments will carry weight. They won’t. All such counter arguments strike at the paradigm (a walled city). That simply won’t work. It’s akin to infidels questioning the likelihood that the Archangel Gabriel spoke to Muhammed in a cave. It will carry no weight among Islamists.

What to do against a strong enemy? “The worst policy of all is to besiege walled cities,” says Sun Tzu (3,3). “Force him to reveal himself, so as to find out his vulnerable spots” (6,23). In this case, the vulnerable spot is the practical means of countering CO2 emissions.  Clearly today’s renewable energy doesn’t and won’t ever work. Not even Michael Moore (Planet of the Humans) defends it. So, what will work? Right now, only nuclear can deliver sufficient dispatchable power, whenever and wherever it is required, without producing CO2 emissions. That is the turf on which the battle can be fought and won.

If indeed man-made CO2 is on the brink of causing catastrophic warming, then we need to move speedily. There is no time for endless research on renewables or hydrogen. Only nuclear is available in the limited time we have left. Might even be able to get David Attenborough to buy into this, in view of his current angst.

Of course, battles will remain. Electric vehicles, farm animal emissions etc. But at least we might be rid of ugly wind and solar farms and the costly, intermittent and unreliable power they bring. True we lose cheap and dependable fossil-fuel power. However, consolingly, it will not be lost to the world. We can depend upon China and India to keep on burning the black stuff.

The Death of Science, and of Scientific American

The great legacy publication, Scientific American, is dead. It’s still in print, but it is no longer either scientific or American.  In an article described by a friend as, “a hailstorm of impenetrable academic verbiage, dictated by a Ph.D. trying to outpreen the race and climate-change virtue signalers,” the publication has stepped through the woke looking-glass and emerged as self-parody.

How else can one explain “Climate Anxiety Is an Overwhelmingly White Phenomenon”? The nonsensical article’s apparent points are that “climate anxiety [is] just code for white people wishing to hold onto their way of life or get 'back to normal,' to the comforts of their privilege”, and “Climate anxiety can operate like white fragility, sucking up all the oxygen in the room and devoting resources toward appeasing the dominant group.”

It’s easy to write this off as the ravings of the Woke lunatic fringe, but to paraphrase Hannibal Lecter, the pathology on display here is a thousand times more savage and more terrifying, for it is classic Marshall McLuhan insidiously at play in the service of cultural Marxism:

The medium is the message because it is the medium that shapes and controls the scale and form of human association and action. The content or uses of such media are as diverse as they are ineffectual in shaping the form of human association. Indeed, it is only too typical that the “content” of any medium blinds us to the character of the medium.

Alas, the medium is indeed the message, and the message is grim for both science and America. The content isn’t the problem nearly as much as where it has been published.  This is Scientific American, a publication of such heft and import that it has been the poster child, for 175 years, for shaping and controlling the scale and form of human association and action in the realm of objective reality and inquiry.

Science is foundational to human existence.  It explains who we are and our place in the universe.  It adheres to the strictest of laws: physics, mathematics, chemistry.  All are disciplines that have but one specific answer to every question.   There is right and there is wrong. Such things, however, cannot be permitted to exist in Marxist society.

Just ask the Marxists about crackpot science.

Scientific American is the publication that offered accessible, and often essential, insight into fundamental elements of science and impact on society.  This is the publication that tried to answer what people were exposed to in the 9/11 collapse of the WTC, analyzed freezing ions in 1988, and how mammals make milk from blood in 1957.  Peruse the archive back to 1875 and be astonished at what the magazine covered in the even the most obscure realms of real science – and why it mattered to human beings.

Gone now.  Swept away.  The virus of wokism has infiltrated one of the great publications. Here’s how it breaks down.

Readers of this website have been provided actual science by real Americans, demonstrating “climate change” to be a richly-funded, dark money hoax with no basis in science.  Therefore, “climate anxiety” is itself fruit of the poisonous tree, a derivative fiction inculcated in the minds of those predisposed to fear. Thus, climate anxiety as supplanter of racial injustice is a fictional derivative of a fictional derivative of a fiction, a concept rivaled only by Goldman Sachs’ collateralized toxic mortgage obligations.

Think carefully about this.  Scientific American – the longest-running scientific publication in the world -- now publishes Marxist fairy tales.   The medium is indeed terrifying now the message.

The same inverted approach is on display in the publication’s COVID-19 articles. The September 25, 2020 article “How to Distribute a COVID-19 Vaccine Ethically” hand-wrings over countless scenarios that “unfairly prioritize rich countries,” and posit that

… a truly ethical proposal would treat all people equally and help countries get vaccines to people when they lack capacity to do so on their own, rather than accepting inequality in access as an unchangeable fact and bypassing the poor to help the rich, the weak to help the strong.

Yet this article and many like it completely bypass what was already known at the time and continues to prove out.  According to the CDC, in the United States, 81 percent of COVID-19 deaths are in people aged 65 and older.  Some 97 percent of deaths are those aged 45 and older.  Fewer than 600 people under age of 25 have died from COVID-19, which comes to under 0.3 percent of the entire U.S. virus mortality volume.  Kids generally don’t get the virus and even if they do, most don’t die from it.  Finally, 93 percent of virus deaths include an average of three co-morbidities.

The science, and therefore the ethical distribution of vaccine, is clear.  Treat those with the highest risk, because the science shows that much of the general population has very little to worry about.

The September 8, 2020 article entitled, “COVID-19’s Disparate Impacts Are Not a Story About Race: They’re A Story About Racism” makes the serious claim that, “in this pandemic, data are taking a back seat to racial prejudice.”   This is apparently true only in Scientific American and other woke-polluted publications, however, because the article incessantly finger-wags at the alleged impact of racism on COVID infection and treatment without a single example of supporting data.

This time, comrades, we'll get it right.

Cultural Marxists haven't stopped with Scientific AmericanPopular Science as well as Popular Mechanics went woke, as well.  The latter thoroughly and brilliantly debunked 9/11 conspiracy theories, including the deservedly-famous piece on Building 7. Yet articles like “How To Topple A Statue Using Science” and “How to Dodge the Sonic Weapon Used by Police” have now become staples of their editorial mix.

The incessant invasion of cultural Marxism through every institution of Western culture – schools, literature, art, film, sexuality, Judeo-Christian values – successfully penetrated the hallowed grounds of real science.  It continues to spread.  Who would have ever believed that there are 153 genders?  Or that certain die-hard feminists are now demonized as TERFs – “trans-exclusionary radical feminists”?

How long before 2+2 = 5?

Scientific American didn’t just step through the looking-glass. It stepped through fifteen of them and emerged from the rear end of a Christopher Nolan film. And it took science with it.

 

 

 

In Canada, Nowhere to Run from Carbon Tax

In a 6-3 split decision issued this week, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled the Trudeau government's carbon tax constitutional. The majority decision, written by Chief Justice Richard Wagner, held that Ottawa could legally impose the tax on all provinces because of the Peace, Order and Good Government clause of Canada's constitution, which allows the federal government to legislate on matters of national concern on which provincial governments are unable to act. Justice Wagner assumes that "unable" can also mean "unwilling," and then leans heavily on the "concern." He writes,

This matter is critical to our response to an existential threat to human life in Canada and around the world.... [Climate change] is a threat of the highest order to the country, and indeed to the world... The undisputed existence of a threat to the future of humanity cannot be ignored.

Faced with this histrionic language, it is worth noting that Wagner was first appointed to the court by Conservative PM Stephen Harper, before he was made chief by Justin Trudeau. Just another example of Harper's failure to tilt the Canadian judiciary in a broadly conservative direction during his nine years in office. Trudeau's government isn't making the same mistake.

The National Post tries to put the majority's thinking in context, explaining that, for the carbon tax to achieve its declared goal of rescuing humanity from anthropogenic climate change, no province may be able to opt out, because of the danger "of carbon leakage, where an industry in a province with carbon pricing might just locate to a neighbouring province without it."

That is, if the tax is imposed only on provinces which support the Liberal government in Ottawa, then businesses hoping to avoid the tax might just move to places like Alberta and Saskatchewan, which don't. But couldn't that reasoning be extended further? Why wouldn't businesses look to relocate out of Canada altogether?

CPC leader Erin O'Toole made just this point, warning of the "same risk of leakage of jobs and investment” to the United States, the great boogie man of Canadian political discourse. But I am thinking of countries like China, which will happily accept the jobs that western virtue signalers no longer want in their own country. Of course, China doesn't have the same concerns about carbon emissions that are so common in the west, but for our environmentalists, "out of sight, out of mind" is a key principle.

In any event, it seems that the only hope that foes of the carbon tax have going forward is for the Conservatives to win an election and repeal the law. And they might soon get their shot. Hopefully they don't screw it up.

Climate Changes. Always Has, Always Will

Since reliable climate records exist only for the past two or three centuries, figuring out what the environment was like before that time is an inexact science. There's some empirical data that can be examined, but even that can only be accurately interpreted when cross-referenced with the historical record -- diaries, works of art, etc. For instance, we partly know about the period known as the Little Ice Age because of the descriptions of the frigid weather of New England as described by the Puritans when they arrived in Massachusetts Bay in June of 1629. Suffice it to say, they weren't used to seeing ice flows in the ocean in the middle of summer.

Along these same lines, Suzannah Lipscomb has written an article detailing the bizarre climatic irregularities of that same era. It's an illuminating read at a time like ours when every environmental event -- blizzards, tornados, forest fires, hurricanes, heavy rain, droughts -- is blamed on "climate change."

In February 1540 rainfall effectively ceased, falling only six times in London between then and September. It was not only exceptionally dry but warm: it is probable that the highest daily temperatures were warmer than 2003 (the warmest year for centuries).... Edward Hall noted that the drought dried up wells and small rivers, while the Thames was so shallow that “saltwater flowed above London Bridge,” polluting the water supply and contributing to the dysentery and cholera, which killed people in their thousands. In Rome, no rain fell in nine months; in Paris, the Seine ran dry. Grapes withered on the vine and fruit rotted on trees. Even the small respite of autumn and winter was followed by a second warm spring and another blisteringly hot summer. Forests began to die until, in late 1541, rain fell and fell. 1542 was a year of widespread flooding.

Just a few decades later, there was incessant rain and years-long dampness across Europe, coupled with extremely low temperatures, with predictable results -- four harvests in that ten year period were complete failures, causing widespread famine. Shortly after that, in the "Great Frost" of 1607-1608, England grew so cold that "the trunks of large trees split open, and the Thames froze so solidly that people sold beer and played football on it." A frozen Thames meant no ships entering the port of London, with disastrous economic results, and related civil unrest.

In the end, Lipscomb transitions to a discussion of how this history is relevant today because "the slowly unfolding disaster of global warming means extreme weather events." This is unfortunate, since she had just been discussing the unpredictable nature of the earth's climate. She even admitted that "the warmest year for centuries" was 2003, almost twenty years ago! But overall, it's a valuable read, and bears out an observation of our contributor Christopher Horner, who said "[C]limate changes – it always has, it always will. Of course, saying “climate changes” makes one a “climate change denier.” Go figure."

When 'Inclusive' Capitalism Becomes Socialism

Capitalism is not the answer to human suffering. At the same time, it is the only economic system which allows individual freedom to flourish; it produces unrivalled prosperity; and, as Michael Novak perceptively says in the 1991 edition of The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism, “it is the most practical hope of the world’s poor: no magic wand, but the best hope.”

Not content, some very rich people, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Pope, among others, want capitalism to do more. Enter “inclusive capitalism” and its more recent stablemate “stakeholder capitalism.”

It was May 2014. A conference called “Making Capitalism More Inclusive” was held in London. Inclusive capitalism is a concept developed in 2012 by the Henry Jackson Society - a British think tank of classical-liberal persuasion. It started well enough with the principal objective being to engender more ethical behaviour in business practices. The excesses surrounding the recession of 2009/10 were fresh in mind. Unfortunately, it has gone rapidly downhill since.

The aforementioned conference was opened by Prince Charles and featured Bill Clinton, Christine Lagarde, Mark Carney and Lawrence Summers. Hardly a conservative or classical liberal in sight. Three conferences have followed: in London in June 2015, in New York in October 2016 and back in London in March 2018. Presumably, Covid has prevented holding a more recent conference. No matter. Those behind inclusive capitalism co-opted the Pope to keep the pot simmering.

Money makes the world go 'round.

As the Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News) puts it, Pope Francis has become the “moral guide to inclusive capitalism.” ‘The Council for Inclusive Capitalism (the Council), with the Vatican onboard, was launched on December 8 last year. Earlier in the year, in May, The Great Reset was unveiled at Davos. “Stakeholder capitalism” became the watchword; encompassing the same grand idea as inclusive capitalism.

So, to my theme: What’s it all about or, in other words, what do ‘they’ want; and why is the whole thing a crock or, more politely, misconceived?

This is Mark Carney, the then Governor of the Bank of England, at the 2014 conference to which I referred: “Inclusive capitalism is fundamentally about delivering a basic social contract comprised of relative equality of outcomes, equality of opportunity, and fairness across generations.” Hard to believe coming from a central banker? He’s Canadian.

This is easier to believe. Justin Welby, participating in the 2015 conference, outlining his aspirations for capitalism: “A generosity of spirit that doesn’t always seek the greatest return…that meets the needs of the poor and the excluded and the suffering.”

To add waffle to waffle, the Council’s mission is to “harness the private sector to create a more inclusive, sustainable and trusted economic system.” Understandably, sustainability is featured. After all, the Pope urges us to listen to “the cry of the earth.” Hmm? Smacking too much of paganism? Perish the thought.

Klaus Schwab, Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, expanded on the term stakeholder capitalism in February this year. He identified two primary stakeholders. One is the planet (no, not kidding); the other is everyone, wherever they live. The respective wellbeing of both stakeholders is the objective. Though, Schwab notes, “people are social animals and their absolute well-being is less important than their relative well-being.” Got that. You and your neighbour each having ten dollars is better than him having fifteen and you only twelve.

How the idea of levelling down translates to those participating at Davos and at inclusive capitalism forums is beyond me. Note this description in UCA News of those calling the shots at inclusive capitalism: “a group of individuals and institutions with more than $10.5 trillion in assets and companies with a combined market capitalization of more than $2 trillion.” They are the woke big end of town. A race apart from the small and medium-sized businesses which make up the bulk of market economies. Their self-appointed mission: to rescue the world by reimagining capitalism.

They are discomforted by the prevailing state of affairs. They want a world within which all existing species survive and thrive, the oceans cease rising, the earth cools and each and every person everywhere enjoys a liveable income and state of the art medical attention.

Leaving aside a slight qualm I have about the earth cooling; the aims are fine. I sometimes daydream about winning a lottery. That fantasy is fine too. To take saving the poor and saving planet earth in turn.

Capitalism makes much of the world prosperous. Part of that is entrepreneurs and businesses striving to earn profits by vigorously competing with each other. Part is prices guiding resources into their best commercial use while informing and rationing demand. Part is not ensuring fair outcomes. Capitalism cannot be moulded into a generous outreach to the poor and disadvantaged. It simply won’t work. It is an idea contradictory at its core.

It's easy if you try. Scary, too.

As for lifting those in poor countries out of poverty, how about advising them to adopt Judeo-Christian institutions and values; the institutions and values that have underpinned economic progress in western countries and in other countries which have tried them. Call them what you like, of course, to make them universally palatable.

I will guess. That advice will never come out of Davos or the Council. Yet, when all is said and done, parliamentary democracy, the rule of law, property rights, free speech and freedom from fear, the absence of systematic nepotism, cronyism and corruption and, vitally, mutual trust, tell the tale of progress; not pie-in-the-sky reimagining of capitalism.

From the unattainable to the unachievable describes the segue from saving the poor to saving the planet. Here’s a thought. What is the ideal state of the planet? Roaming ruminants, sans people, perhaps. Short of that green-dream nirvana wouldn’t it be nice, for example, to get CO2 down to pre-industrial levels? Or would it?

A friend of mine, Ivan Kennedy, emeritus professor of agriculture at Sydney University, tells me that we are now effectively addicted to higher levels of CO2. He estimates that if CO2 were to return to pre-industrial levels it would reduce the photosynthesis of cereal crops by more than 20 percent. This would likely cause famine, malnutrition and death, particularly among the world’s poorest. Something on which the Pope and Archbishop might cogitate.

No More Cakes and Ale

The world we once regarded as normal no longer exists. If certain powerful figures in the political and medical communities have their will, we will never return to the way things were. As Klaus Schwab states in his book,  COVID-19: The Great Reset, “Many of us are pondering when things will return to normal. The short response is: never.”

This is surely bad enough. It is perhaps even more alarming that many people don’t seem to care that their world is collapsing, an attitude that only hastens the collapse. They no longer believe in their culture, their nation, and the formative values of the Judeo-Christian West, having succumbed to civilizational fatigue. “A civilization can survive only if its members… believe in its basic values,” writes Joel Kotkin in The Coming of Neo-Feudalism. “Today our key institutions…reject many of the fundamental ideals that have long defined Western culture.” 

This is a pan-historical dilemma. As Arthur Bryant points out in his fascinating The Study of England: Makers of the Realm, a major reason for the decay of Rome lay in “a lack of faith and hope,” the gradual demoralization of a people seeing “no purpose either in society or their own lives,” indifferent to their history, disdainful of learning, lacking “individual character,” and recognizing no “ideal strong enough to inspire the masses to perform duty.” The result is despondency and self-despising, and I would hazard the suggestion that, mutatis mutandis, the analogy holds for the contemporary West as well.

Look out below!

Indeed, there seems at times to be a masochistic contentment with the prospect of the end of normal civilized life. A community is being created, writes Charles Murray in Coming Apart, characterized by “weak social capital” where “the small daily pleasures of friendly exchange with neighbors and storekeepers dry up,” and the quality of life markedly decays.

And people are buying into it. One detects a certain frivolity of mind, the readiness and even eagerness to capitulate to a prevailing orthodoxy, in effect, a superficiality of thought, a dwindling of intellectual range, a loathing for the things we ignorantly take for granted and a perverse desire to see them taken from us.

In his recent book, The Decadent Society, Ross Douthat contends that in the midst of our presentiment of imminent cataclysm, we also paradoxically relish the approaching calamity as preferable to the sense of cultural disenchantment, “economic deceleration,” and affective sclerosis that silently afflicts us.

Writing in American Greatness, Alexander Zubetov is of the same mind. We live in a decaying culture, fueled by resentment “against the great achievements of our civilization’s past,” which we can no longer emulate. Lacking the “high ideals” of our forefathers, who rebuke us for our moral and intellectual degradation, “we lash out at those older generations for the distance they have left between ideal and reality.” Despairing of retrieval, we create a wasteland, reducing everything to rubble out of petty spite and a deep sense of personal inadequacy. We welcome lockdowns, economic collapse, censorship and even an emerging police state that will change our lives, perhaps irretrievably.

This is nothing unusual. We have been educated to hate our culture. As the student chant has it, “Hey hey, ho ho, Western civ has got to go.” But what is most interesting is not only the inverted schadenfreude of self-annihilation. One is also taken aback by the category of things some people are willing to surrender as a sign of their fortitude, thus furnishing a glimpse into the make-up of the progressivist personality, the objects it finds of unique importance, and the particular destitutions it is willing to undergo as it prepares for the emergent order of things. 

Suicide is painless.

For example, Toronto Star columnist Thomas Walkom warns, with a sort of delinquent glee, that the vaccines cannot keep up with viral mutations and that we must accustom ourselves to a future “of permanent change” in which we will no longer be able to visit hair salons or eat in restaurants. Walkom almost seems to revel in the prospect. Such amenities—the objects of his focus which he is sacrificially ready to do without—will be a thing of the past. 

I doubt it will quite come to that. The wheels are up and we still don’t know where we’re going to land. But be it as it may, or may not, such dire auguries tell us something about people like Walkom—those whom Douthat and Zubetov ruefully identified—who seem less concerned about the rest of the culture, of theater, movies, music (bands, symphonies, opera), museums, medical facilities, public lectures and exhibitions, visits to the zoo and the planetarium, sports events, in-class learning, celebratory gatherings, club outings, nature expeditions, pageants and parades, New Years’ Eve, Easter and Christmas festivities, chess tournaments, unencumbered travel to other countries and so on.

What we will miss most in the coming desolation, Walkom inadvertently informs us, is having one’s hair styled and eating out—these are the exuviae he sees fit to marshal—and concludes that “we prepare ourselves for a grim future.” 

He is right so far as it goes, a future without hair salons, and especially without restaurants, is pretty grim; there shall be no more cakes and ale. But a future without everything else, which he fails to even mention, is far grimmer. What we are calling into being, as Richard Ellis argues in The Dark Side of the Illiberal Egalitarianism in America, is a new imagined community of willful deprivation populated by “consumed souls,” who gird their loins, for example, to do without hair salons and restaurants. It’s like saying that what you most regret as you’re going down with the Titanic is the buffet and the barber shop. The rest is no big deal.

As for Walkom, he may resign himself to coiffing and trimming his own hair and content himself with Door Dash and Skip the Dishes to sweeten the grim future of mask mandates, enforced lockdowns, repressive officialdom, wide-ranging censorship and the end of normal life he is foreseeing. This is where compliance with collective authority rather than the exercise of political grit and independent thinking leads, to a weakening of sinew, a shallowness of both will and intellect, and a preoccupation with the comparatively banal.

We had it coming.

An alert population educated in its constitutional rights, aware of clinical precedents and hysterical mass irruptions, and capable of making intelligent choices would have seen through the charade and resisted rather than furthered the costly travesty that has been imposed on them. Regrettably, except for a brave and knowledgeable minority, this does not appear to be happening. 

When a free society collectively agrees to the surrender of its freedoms, undertakes to hasten its demise—Western civ has got to go—and concentrates on the relatively trivial in the process of its dismemberment, we are witnessing a failure of intelligence and a sapping of character, the besetting vices of the modern West, as they were, according to Bryant, the mortal defects of the Roman Empire. To rephrase T.S. Eliot from The Hollow Men, this is how the world ends, not with a bang but a simper.

The Attack on Energy is an Attack on You

Two goals exist in the attack on energy by the Left. By focusing on their secondary goal (the environment), Democrats accelerate toward their primary goal: destroying the global middle class. This is the demand of the Great Reset and the politicians they own in the western democracies.

A year ago we thought we were free. Today we find our energy industry under attack, ourselves unconstitutionally locked-down in urban complexes, growing increasingly distrustful of others due to useless masks and media lies, with food and housing so expensive that families are not formed, and children becoming a thing of the past.

Oh – and travelling not at all – no planes, and electric cars with an overnight stay at a hotel while “fueling” a car rather than the current ten minutes for the next 400 miles of seeing what once was a free country.

They hate your children too.

Killing energy kills the middle class, the foundation of global democracies that arose through and via the Industrial Revolution, the cornerstone of which was using energy resources (coal, oil, water) more productively than ever before.

Without a middle class, the only possible society remaining is a post-modern serfdom, living and working where, how, at what and for a labor price our betters command. The advance of Big Tech is being encouraged no longer to better our lives, but to better surveil us and to increase the homogenizing of work, speech, thought and culture as demanded by a literal handful of unelected, unaccountable billionaires who think because they’re rich they must be smart (they’re not), and that what they think is “right."

This is the story of tyrants throughout history. And, like all tyrants, these, too, are enemies of people, families, nations, cultures and progress.

As we move farther into the Information Age, what happens to those not able or willing to move into a career that entails staring at a screen all day? What happens when the work of anyone (other than a parasitical politician or indolent bureaucrat) can be offshored to anyone, anywhere on the planet?

Labor needs traditionally have been a community or a national question. The Resetters reject these needs and desires, so intent are they upon forcing us to do their bidding.

This is not a jeremiad against technical progress or a rejection of living standards that unquestionably have advanced due to the digital revolution. It is a demand that those who have most profited from these advances are not allowed, undemocratically, to use their profits to destroy the middle class.

As a culture progresses in resource productivity (food, water, energy, labor) this increased productivity allows that society to create a cohort that pursues specialization, education, travel, art, literature and leisure – the things that make life more than a short, brutal, hungry trudge from cradle to grave. The more productively a society can use resources, the more the living standards of that society increase across all socioeconomic classes.

No petite bourgeoisie wanted here, buddy.

The entire world benefits from the Western middle classes: the wealthy who invest in and benefit from their education, inventions and work, the leisure industries in which they participate, and the benefits a now-wealthier society can distribute to the less-well-off.

But that need for a middle class remains until the need for labor itself is vanquished, as long as we require food, water, shelter, clothing and energy, i.e., as long as people exist. The need for those with skills lacked by the rest of us, indeed, increases: fewer of us every generation can run a water main, repair an electrical problem in our home, or harvest our own food. If advancing technology means one worker can do what ten once did, the need for that one is more, not less, critical. If one of ten no longer can work, the other nine can supply the labor. If one of one no longer can work, who is going to repair your oven?

Trade encouraged by a world shrinking due to industrialized transportation productivity has encouraged lower-skill occupations to migrate to toward what we call the “First World.” This has provided their populations with jobs through which they could advance their standards of education and living, bettering humanity as a whole. As these populations advanced, lower-skill work travelled to less-advanced nations. Wholesale removal of work from Western middle classes for reasons of labor costs alone, however, causes nothing but destruction.

Paying workers in other countries less money to do jobs that have been relocated from the First World specifically to reduce labor costs, cannot help but reduce living standards of the First World. This decelerates all progress globally, including environmental progress and the support of benefits for the poor.

It is a simple fact that a First World country must pay First World wages… or it can’t be a First World country.

Marching for "migrants' rights" in Paris.

The plain fact is this: Western “leaders” no longer value the living standards of their populations. This is past-evident in the intentional failure of education and the offshoring of jobs over the past two generations. Reduced living standards are their goal.

At some point – the point we've likely already reached – either we retain manufacturing and energy production jobs rather than shipping them to less-advanced countries at a lower price, or those who can’t “learn to code” become a detriment to society in the eyes of the “leaders” of that society. Then what?

By killing the Keystone XL pipeline and attacking similar pipelines, as well as protesting against LNG port facilities, the useful idiots of the left are placated in the name of the non-existent global-warming hypothesized by many but supported by nothing.

But the leadership wielding the knives slitting the throats of the middle class couldn’t care less about warming or the environment. They know warming isn’t real; they aren’t stupid. They can read charts and data. Their lack of care for the environment is proven by imposing strict environmental regulations on energy production, while ignoring countries with zero environmental regulations, such as Russia or Nigeria. They also know pretending to care about the environment is a  useful tool to use in the destruction of dissent from their rule.

The entire drive to reduce energy consumption (not theirs, of course), to embrace socialism and Progressivism and the tyrannical Great Reset, is fostered by those who know the terrible harm it will cause to the people of the world… and simply do not care.