Diary of an Acclimatised Beauty: Gloving

Ten a.m. is not generally the time I find myself at a bar but I’m being photographed at The Kensington for having won the World Economic Forum’s New Champions Award. I’m actually quite happy about being featured… anything to take the focus off the disastrous United Nations Climate Change Conference (Cop27). It was bad enough that the media made a big deal out of the 100 private jets, but beyond that it showed that we did not progress commitments, or show evidence of improvement. So when they suggested shooting me in Stella McCartney, Armani, and Fendi, I was all in.

I also didn’t mind the early hour as the Kensington is just three miles from my childhood home in St John’s Wood, where I’ve been staying off-and-on since lockdowns. 

We’re on a short break because I guess it’s what one does post-Covid and the wardrobe mistress needed to explain to the photographer why my gloves don’t fit and why she can’t get another pair. So I made a call to my assistant—no answer. Then I rang my father who told me perfection is the enemy of good but agreed to fetch a pair of gloves from mummy’s wardrobe.

Stella, saving the world one glove at a time.

‘Are you sure?’ Daddy asked.

‘Yes of course I’m sure!’ I said. ‘The ones they gave me could fit The Hulk’.

‘No, I just meant are you sure, because my coming to you adds to the carbon footprint of your eco-award’.

UGH! ‘See you soon,’ I said, and rang off. 

Just then my assistant strolled in, latte in hand and apologising for not being available all day yesterday. I hadn’t even known she was out-of-pocket yesterday too, but now that I think about it she was supposed to prepare some climate numbers for my interview. Instead she wanted me to go over some appropriate gifts for my Christmas swag bag. ‘Socks that Plant Trees' was the first suggestion. I nixed it because they actually don’t plant trees — though purportedly someone somewhere, is more likely to be able to plant trees since he bought these socks. Hard pass.

Next up Bees Wrap Food Wrap—it's waxed paper that I have to wash (without soap) and re-use—no thanks. Next up ‘Grow Cocktails’. How could that be bad? Except it's just an egg carton that grows herbs. And not even juniper berries. Then there were robes made from repurposed saris. Double hard pass. First I don’t accept there are that many saris waiting to be repurposed and when I look back to a week in the life of a sari—no thank you. This wasn’t working, but just then Daddy had arrived with several of Judith’s gloves—and they fit—just like a glove.

The 19-something male model they hired to pose behind me had just arrived in London and all but admitted he was working without a visa. Maybe he thought I’d see this as a reason to help him along but I needed to think about the upcoming interview. This was, after all, about recognising my contribution to the planet. Daddy stuck around to run questions with me…

‘So…The Africa Cop…’ He began. 

‘Well, technically it was slated as “Cop27” but yes, the focus was Africa…’ I said.

‘Right, so Africa… to highlight innovation? Progress?’

‘NO Daddy, because Africa needs $2.4 trillion due to its vulnerability to climate change’.

‘…And they are more vulnerable because they lack resources and manpower?’

‘No…okay, admittedly they are a mess, and they don’t do anything well, but if we want them to be better caretakers of the planet we have to pay for it’.

What "white savior" complex?

‘OK so we have to pay. And in order to find this $2.4 trillion we have to be more productive—but somehow productive in a way that doesn’t also use more energy or resources? Did I get that right?’ he asked.

‘Well, yes’. I said, ‘But otherwise we can just give our extra money—money we already have!’ 

‘I see. Our extra money. The money we don't really need. So your plan is we make ourselves poorer so that the most resource-abundant continent on earth can manage their resources the way we tell them to’.

UGH! ’Yes, if you have to put it that way… YES!’

Daddy got up, gave me a kiss on the cheek and said, ‘Well, you look lovely, kitten, and I’ve brought you three pair from which to choose… kidskin, silk, and poly-satin. This way you can choose whom to offend’.

That’s Daddy. But I was grateful for the delivery, and honestly the silk ones were divine. I doubted I could find these in any store today.

My assistant was back with another set of options. Reusable paper towels? No on every level. Plant your pencil? A pencil that when finished is pushed into the ground and actually contains seeds. No. Reusable make-up remover pads… I could just see me leaving them in every hotel bin… NO.

‘What about a counter-top trash composter?’ she asked.

‘NO! And NO!’ I said. ‘I’ve had very bad luck with composters as gifts’. I told her the story, briefly reliving my previous embarrassment.

‘But this one is a living composter…you put in food scraps, and worms and…’

‘WORMS? Worms on a kitchen counter?' I shrieked. ‘NO!’

Readily available!

I sent her to chat with junior James Bond and opened my laptop to look for gifts. I landed on the Citizen Eco Watch. PERFECTION! I quickly sent a link to my father and rang to ask his opinion.

‘Well?? It’s eco. Right?’ I asked.

‘It uses FEWER batteries, Jennifer, it runs on light sources, but a back-up battery will still need to be changed about every ten years’.

‘But less is more, right? I asked. 

‘But why not a self-winding watch? No battery at all?’

‘Cause it doen’t SAY eco-watch. This one is named "The Citizen Eco Watch"—perception is everything!’

He had no argument. And as he very well knows… perfection is the enemy of good.

In Egypt, a Sharm El-Sheikdown

Some 200 grifters and blowhards are meeting this week at lovely Sharm-al-Sheik for COP27, a U.N. global warming conference in Egypt. Among the grifters is Venezuelan Marxist narco-dictator Nicolas Maduro. Among the notable attendees are American blowhards John F. Kerry and Al Gore, both of whom seem determined to destroy America’s strength and middle class, stoking exaggerated claims of environmental catastrophe from fossil-fuel emissions. This, while the two of them are each emitting more hot gases than almost anyone on the globe. The idea of this charade seems to be to stick the Western industrialized nations (us) for all the troubles in the Third World, which explains why the countries that emit the most fossil fuel emissions—China and India—don’t seem to be joining the party.

Aside from the slim, well-refuted science behind the claims that the CO2 has caused and will continue to increase, environmental disasters the record is clear that industrialization has led to marked improvements in lives all around the world, improvements made possible by increased capital which industrialization can generate. The site Human Progress tracks a number of indicia which establish that on a material basis the world has much improved, and if you look at the chart there, the number of deaths worldwide which can be attributed to natural disasters has very sharply decreased. So have deaths attributable to pollution.

Improvements in the lives of millions puts paid to the media and grifters' doom tales. World poverty has greatly decreased. From 2012 to 2013 global poverty fell by 130 million poor people. At the turn of this century the aim was to decrease it by half--instead by 2015 only 10 percent of the world’s population lived under the poverty line. China and India, the world’s biggest emission producers, led the way in the dramatic reduction of poverty. Do you suppose they will abandon their reliance on fossil fuels?

What, us worry?

The media plays along with scenes of Bangladeshis wading through flood waters and sob stories about Vanuatu sinking forever beneath the waves unless we all turn off our heat and air conditioning and instead bike from the suburbs to the cities. Unfortunately for them, the record does not bear this out.

Take the small low lying reef islands in the Pacific, like the media favorite Vanuatu. They aren’t sinking and CO2 emissions are not responsible for the islands' shifting sizes. Ocean swells seem to partially eroded some western shorelines but the coastlines grew on the leeward sides protected from the swells. Bjorn Lomberg reports a Vanuatan resident was not concerned about global warming there. She and her family wanted running water, a toilet, fixed electricity and a boat to make trips to the clinic faster and easier. She complained that the government taxed the residents but did nothing to provide these essential services.

And then there’s Pakistan, to take another failed state with its hands out. Jim Steele at wattsupwiththat details the complex dynamics that drive Pakistan’s monsoons and droughts. It’s not you. And it’s not “climate racism.” If there’s a human hand in this recurring weather crisis, put the blame  on “past corruption and ineptitude.” Natural causes are to blame for the rest: rapid transitions from El Nino to La Nina; and the seasonal shifts off the Intertropical Convergence Zone; when it goes northward it brings the wet season to India and Pakistan and when it retreats southward in winter these countries experience their dry season. Says Steele:

Rainfall over India does not provide any evidence of a global warming trend. Three major regions of India have declining rainfall while two have increasing trends, and when all the sub-divisions of these regions are examined, the majority show neither increasing nor deceasing trends.

He reminds us that the Himalayan ranges also play a part (as the mountains in America’s West do). Heavy rains stay on the Himalayan southside, but the northern side is extremely dry. The drumbeaters for "climate change" have argued that rising CO2 levels will make this variability worse. There is no evidence for this. In fact, “Pakistan’s floods contradicted such climate crisis claims.” Atmospheric circulation shifted the moisture, not the fact that halfway across the globe you drive a gas-fueled car.

Part of the fun of living in Pakistan.

There’s much more here demonstrating the weather changes in these regions of the globe are the product of the “earth’s natural oscillations” but there’s no money in acknowledging that, nor does it fuel narcissistic beliefs that we can control the weather. So what do the conferees in Sinai hope to achieve?

The most significant funders of the "climate change" crew are governmental. In essence, it is a form of first-world foreign aid groups helping poor third world countries pirate ever more funds from their own countries' near-boundless national treasuries. It is these largely government funded outfits that supply the content for the media’s obscuration of accurate science on weather.

Last year at the U.N.’s COP26 conference the richer countries blocked a proposal for a financing body to cover “loss and damage” to the Third World, opting instead for three more years of “dialogue”—i.e. conferences at nice places around the world. It’s unlikely this year's conference will settle the questions of liability or set binding compensation. It’s also unlikely in my view that in the face of a looming recession any Western nation will agree to do so this time. 

Perhaps aware of this, helpless Vanuatu is asking the International Court of Justice to rule that nations have a right to be protected from adverse climate impacts on order to strengthen their case. The evidence they can present in support of their position will be thin-to-none, especially if Chinese and Indian scientists weigh in.

You can’t fault failed states for trying to get us to bail them out, any more than you can blame students with expensive but useless college degrees from wanting to be excused from paying off their school loans, or failed states to want to be unburdened by unemployed and unemployable refugees from their mismanagement and corruption. But you can certainly blame the doomsayers for lying about “climate change” and political leaders for playing along even for a minute with this scam.

Boris and Rishi Buy the Pyramids

For a brief moment Rishi Sunak, Britain's new prime minister, looked as if he might resist joining the rush over the cliff of climate catastrophism. Initially he decided not to attend the COP27 "climate change" summit in the former Israeli (now Egyptian) Sinai peninsula resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh on implementing the U.N.-brokered plan to cut the world’s carbon emissions to Net-Zero by 2050. Then he said his mind was open to going. Finally he went.

My interpretation of his early reluctance was that he didn’t want “to be trapped into making commitments on Net-Zero that might later be inconvenient to his overall energy and budgetary policies.” If so, that was a very prudent judgment. And to be fair, the Prime Minister resisted a great deal of political and international pressure to stick to it. Then Boris Johnson, his predecessor, announced that he would be attending the climate jamboree. That proved to be the last snowflake that triggers the avalanche. Rishi felt he had to go.

Product of British colonialism fights climate imperialism in Africa.

Even on the day before he set off to Egypt, however, it became clear that his initial prudence was as amply justified as it has been brutally violated. Consider the back story of Britain’s finances. And pay attention because recent news stories may have given you the impression that the short unhappy episode of Liz Truss as prime minister was responsible for the dire straits of Britain’s fiscal situation that includes a budgetary “black hole” of 50 billion pounds, a proposed set of tax hikes amounting to 25 billon pounds, and spending cuts of about 35 billion pounds.

In reality both Ms. Truss and her chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, are entirely innocent of this Mother-of-All-Shortfalls. They were in office only about a month, and none of their proposed tax-and-spending changes were even introduced in that time. When they left office, they bequeathed to their successors the same exact inheritance of fiscal and monetary problems that they had inherited. Those problems in turn were the results of the massive expenditures on Covid-19 and the lockdown, of the stay-at-home rules that have shaped a workforce that today refuses to go to factory or office, and of the quantitative easing that built up a monetary backlog that is now emerging in rapid inflation and high interest rates.

And who is responsible for all those? No one more so than the former chancellor, Rishi Sunak, unless you count his prime ministerial boss, Boris Johnson. They’re starting to look like a tag-team trying to win the race to insolvency before any other national team. And they have jointly taken a giant’s leap forward towards that result by their speeches and, yes, their commitments at the COP27 Summit.

BoJo: the damage he's done lives on.

Having pushed Rishi into going, Boris then gave a speech to the summit that pushed his former colleague further into massive financial transfers from the U.K. to developing countries. He did so by making the case that Britain was historically responsible for global warming because it had invented the industrial revolution:

The United Kingdom was one of, if not the first, industrialized nation. The first wisps of carbon came out of the factories and mills and foundries of the West Midlands 200 years ago. We started it all.

Historically speaking, that was nonsense. Even if you think that man-made carbon emissions are the sole cause of "climate change"—which is not the scientific consensus—Britain put extremely small amounts of carbon into the atmosphere for the first two hundred years of the industrial revolution. "Global warming" began in the 1970s, after the spread of modern industry around the world. Nor is it remotely true, as the leftist theory bizarrely embraced by Boris holds, that the industrial revolution was a privileged blight from which Britain and the early industrialized world derived all the benefits while the developing countries got none.

Quite the contrary. Among the benefits it brought to the whole world were modern medicine that eradicated entire diseases like smallpox and cured almost all the transmissible illnesses known to mankind; modern agricultural methods that ended famines and alleviated hunger and malnutrition; and new industries that lifted billions of people out of endemic poverty, increased living standards worldwide, and extended life expectancy well beyond “three score years and ten.” Any cost-benefit analysis that weighs those benefits against the costs of "climate change" would have to deliver a favorable verdict for the industrial revolution, which is why developing countries are all anxious to proceed with their own local versions of it.

Boris himself must have realized that he had just opened a Pandora’s Box full of prospective U.K.-financed transfer payments of incalculable expense to Africa and Asia. For he immediately tried to evade the responsibility he had just conceded by giving it a gloss of technology:

What we cannot do is make up for that in some kind of reparations. We simply do not have the financial resources. No country could. What we can do is help with the technology that can help to fix the problem.

But that realism was too late, as realism usually is for Boris. Leaders of the developing world were soon in full cry demanding the “implementation” of these and earlier promises from Western leaders. Negotiators for the U.K. and its G7 allies in the corridors and back rooms of COP27 were signaling that they were prepared to concede more money for “loss and damage” funds—a bureaucratic term of art now morphing from emergency disaster aid into reparations in disguise. And the bandwagon began to roll.

The Camp of the Saints awaits the West.

By the time that Rishi Sunak stood up to give his address only hours after Boris, he had conceded a moral responsibility to assist poorer countries to transition to a carbon-free world without actually using the word reparations. But he said that the U.K. would deliver its full pledge of 11.7 billion pounds from previous COP summits and—though vaguely—much more than that.

The bandwagon was picking up speed. But that's the purpose of COP climate summits. Once you’re at one, you can’t say nothing, and if you say something, it can’t be "no."

11.7 billion pounds too is an interesting figure—slightly more than one-fifth of the amount of money needed by the current U.K. Chancellor to fund the existing budgetary black hole in the nation’s finances. One doubts if the prime minister really wants people to remember it in ten days when the chancellor delivers his punitive tax-and-cut budgetary statement. That may explain why the government briefing of the U.K. press in Egypt, to judge from the next day’s headlines, switched from celebrating the U.K. taxpayer’s generosity at COP 27 to hailing an as yet uncompleted deal (originally embarked on by then-PM Liz Truss) for the U.K. to buy lots and lots of natural gas from the U.S. to keep Britain warm this coming winter.

As Rishi Sunak reflects on all this, he may remember uneasily an old WWII poster, revived for the Covid lockdown: Is your journey really necessary?

Rishi Sunak: the Worm Turns

Writing a few days ago on Britain's new prime minister, Rishi Sunak, this author expressed some hope that his decision to reimpose a nationwide ban on fracking (a ban which Sunak had opposed when standing for leader, it should be noted), "was merely Sunak recognizing the reality on the ground, which is that fracking isn't particularly popular among elected MPs," and suggested this objectively bad decision would be offset by other, saner resource sector tweaks. Sunak himself argued that the platform the party was elected on in 2019 promised a fracking ban, and he felt bound to respect that. Fair enough.

But now Sunak has deflated those hopes. After saying on several occasions that he had no intention of attending this year's United Nations Climate Change Conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt (known as COP27), Sunak has once again changed course, and while spouted hackneyed warmist jibberish to boot:

Sure, Rishi, all of human prosperity depends upon the rich-and-powerful flying their private jets to Egypt to sit around in air conditioned rooms talking about how important you all are.

Sunak's elevation has been widely touted as a return to "grown-up" governance. But, as the British journalist Ben Sixsmith points out in a piece about Sunak, to call a major politician "a grown-up" is to damn him with faint praise. "Grown-up" in politics, Sixsmith argues, is a codeword for someone who makes journalists feel all warm and fuzzy inside. They invariably wear nice suits, have sensible haircuts, and speak fluidly and confidently when a microphone is in their face. What they say is of little importance.

This writer is less certain on that last point. To me, the title "grown-up" is bestowed by the media upon those who have promised not to offend elite sensibilities on any important topic. It isn't a partisan designation -- there are plenty of ostensibly right-of-center figures who have been so complimented, with George Bush the elder, John McCain, and Mitt Romney being standouts in this category. Of course, it is worth mentioning that ultimately losing elections is what allowed those three to maintain their "grown-up" status.

This is something Rishi should probably take note of as he begins his Green-ward turn. Meanwhile, his change-of-heart is winning praise from all of the wrong people in British life. For instance:

Funny how the Strange New Respect a move like this inspires can't even sustain itself for the life of an entire tweet.