The Tower of Babel Rises Again

Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.

-- Proverbs 16:18

Although human society, generally speaking, has undergone massive cultural, political, scientific and technological changes over the millennia, the structure of the human psyche has remained stable. The moral code of the Judeo-Christian West, honored more in the breach than the observance, is still intact, however occluded. The deadly vices and the cardinal virtues remain in place. The personality types are similar.

The myths, stories, characters and admonitions we read in the Hebrew Bible are as relevant today as they were in the 15th Century BC, in particular the familiar tale of the Tower of Babel. (Genesis 11:1-9.) The story is known to everyone. After the flood, a wandering people found a plain in the land of Shinar where they settled, and said “let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven.” It did not go well for the over-reachers. The Lord came down, as the passage reads, confounded their language, and “scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth.”

The Tower of Babel, a word-play for Babylon, mocks the grandiose plans and brazen presumption of megalomaniac personalities. The Book of Daniel, written thirteen centuries after Genesis, takes up the same theme. King Nebuchadnezzer, who gloried in his regal splendor, built “the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty.” The city that rose on the alluvial plain—in actuality, the plain of Shinar—was meant as a tribute to his authority and grandeur. He was shortly reduced for his self-exaltation to the condition of “the beasts of the field,” until his reason returned to him and he awakened to the folly of his pride. 

What's past is prologue.

The biblical account of human hubris, dismissed as a mere fable, is a warning we have failed to heed. Here the wisdom of the prophet Habbakuk would apply: “I will take my stand at my watchpost and station myself on the tower, and look out to see what he will say to me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved.” (Habbakuk 2:1.) The tower in question is a watchtower, a vantage point from which one detects and renounces the conceit associated with that other Tower.

The point is, of course, that there are mysteries we should not tamper with, that exceed our powers of understanding and control. While extending our reach to acquire knowledge, to plumb the Creation, and to harness nature to our benefit, there are limitations to human pride and impetuosity we would do well to acknowledge. It is a fine line but an irreversible one that should not be crossed. What may be a mortal sin in a theological view of life may be regarded as an unforgiving error in a secular world. 

Man does with dangerous curiosity
These unfathon’d wonders try:
With fancied rules and arbitrary laws
Matter and motion he restrains;
And studies lines and fictious circles draws:
Then with imagin’d sovereignty
Lord of his new hypothesis he reigns.

-- Matthew Prior, On Exodus III

In our present moment, Green technology fetish is a typical example of so transgressive a blunder. A quasi-scientific fiction of how reliable energy can be generated in an environmentally friendly way, it is worse than a mere fantasy. It is an intervention into the forces of nature that leads to the destruction of the environment, the production of noxious substances, the uprooting of economies from their productive base, and the near-impossibility of safe and efficient re-cycling.

Wind turbines rise like micro-installments of the Tower of Babel, promising to exploit the weather in ways that have proven ineffective and, in fact, harmful. They are “technological, financial, and ecological scams,” distorting the landscape, causing hecatombs of avian and insect life, producing prodigious amounts of radioactive waste and neurological hazards like ILFN (Infrasound and Low Frequency Noise). The acoustic signature of wind turbine noise can be profound; moreover, as Australian acoustical engineer Steven  Cooper confirms, the signal pulsations occur across entire frequencies, and are not just limited to the infra-sound region. Indeed, the only windmills worth tilting against are wind turbines. One needs a revitalized and success-oriented Alonso Quixano the Good, aka Don Quixote, to eviscerate a public mirage, Green energy, whose reason for existence is predicated on faulty and deceptive computer models

Wanted: a modern man of la Mancha.

Michael Crichton was right when he urged in State of Fear that we need “more people working in the field, in the actual environment, and fewer people behind computer screens.” Once again, he writes, “the measures being urged have little basis in fact or science. Once again, groups with other agendas are hiding behind a movement that appears high-minded. Once again, claims of moral superiority are used to justify extreme actions.” Green is a theory without adequate basis in reality. Anthropogenic Global Warming is a prepossession advanced by the extortionate and the ignorant, who divide the “territory” between them.

An equally if not more destructive foray into the structural complexities of the natural environment involves the project to reduce global warming—the most hypothetical of theoretical constructs—by tampering with stratospheric chemistry. Bill Gates, our contemporary Nebuchadnezzer, has advanced a preposterous and dangerous bioengineering plan to spray tons of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) dust into space to dim the sun’s rays.

This is a prelude to disaster, an intervention of the worst kind, and a telling instance of the obtuseness and naiveté of the supposedly super-brilliant. Though generally favorable to Gate’s solar engineering venture, Forbes reminds us that such science comes with unpredictable risks and that a “[m]ajor disruption of global climate could bring unintended consequences”—drought, crop failure and famine. 

In this respect, Gates resembles Obama’s Energy czar John Holdren, who absurdly proposed last-resort interventionist options, such as “shooting pollution particles into the upper atmosphere to reflect the sun’s rays”—an atmoforming scheme that would unleash a geoengineered climate debacle. One recalls, too, the loony 1975 IPCC proposal to spread black carbon (soot) across the ice fields to absorb the heat of the sun and so reduce global cooling

Another no less destructive intervention into the complexities of nature, in this case human biology, entails what is euphemistically called “gender confirmation surgery,” especially with regard to young children encouraged to “transition.” Turning males into females and vice versa is considered by many—rightly, I believe—as an abomination, an intrusive manipulation of biologically established sexual identity that will often lead to a lifelong condition of traumatic dysphoria. Some regard this as a violation of a Divine dispensation, others as crime against nature and a psychological travesty. Whatever perspective we may adopt on the issue, the mission to permanently reorder or denormalize the givens of genetic and physiological codes and structures is a form of meddling with the parameters of life that almost inevitably issues in misery and confusion.

Still another infringement of natural law involves the introduction of so-called vaccines to combat the coronavirus infection. As I have written in a previous article for The Pipeline, they are not “vaccines” as we understand them. They are experimental mRNA strands injected into and systematically altering a person’s genetic code, and may severely exacerbate the degree of suffering we are seeing. Global Research makes no bones about this. The mRNA “vaccines” made by Pfizer and Moderna “are a dangerously new exotic creature…that actively hijack[s] your genes and reprograms them.” Dr. Tal Zaks, chief medical officer at Moderna Inc., admits that “We are actually hijacking the software of life.”

Adverse consequences abound: facial paralysis (Bell’s Palsy), blood clotting, anaphylaxis, and even death. According to the National Vaccine Information Center, there have been as of February 26, 2021, 25,212 recorded adverse advents and 1,265 deaths. These are conservative estimates since less than 1% of all vaccine injuries and deaths are reported to VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System), a passive, government funded database that relies on voluntary submissions.

It is cold comfort indeed that the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) has informed clients that “Policyholders should rest assured that nothing has changed in the claims-paying process as a result of Covid-19 vaccinations.” That alone tells us what we need to know. 

We should keep in mind that Covid is a digital virus, constructed from a computer database generating a genomic sequence. The vaccine was not based on “an actual isolated sample of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.” Neither its long- nor short-term safety and effectiveness is assured. Global Research points out that these “vaccines” are really operating systems installed not in computers but in our bodies. Approximately 15 countries to date have suspended the AstraZeneca vaccine. (The AstraZeneca product has not yet been approved for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.) 

Of course it's safe -- why do you ask?

The prognosis is sobering. Once we have reached the inflexion point of re-engineering the sky, scrambling sexual differentiation and re-mapping the genetic code, we will have crossed the line of no return, and the Tower of Hubris we have raised will crumble before us. We will never be the same. As the Bible warns, we will scatter in disarray, we will babble in futile recriminations, victims of an overweening arrogance that has breached the natural limits of our tenure on this planet. 

Will our reason return to us and will we awaken to the folly of our pride, as happened providentially to the Babylonian tyrant? “The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee,” the prophet rebukes the self-important, “thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground? Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the LORD.” (Obadiah 1:3). One need not be a believer to take the exhortation to heart.

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.

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.

On the Left, an Era of Fascist Magical Thinking

The genius of the Left's success in achieving their favored policy positions is found in their favorite tactic: first, posit a counter-factual and, second, act on it as if it were true -- with maximum governmental force.

Examples abound: that men can transform themselves into biological women by simply wishing it to happen, and then can be protected -- nay, favored -- by a raft of new laws designed for their "protection." That the real women are offtimes physically damaged by this malignant fantasy matters not one bit. After all, "rights" are more important that reality.

The mass hysteria over the nearly non-existent threat of Covid-19 to the great mass of humanity is another. Yes, Covid has been hell on morbidly obese people over the age of 85 (just about any illness is), but to shut down the world's economies and, worse, political freedoms in order to protect "the most vulnerable among us" (in one of the Left's favorite simpering phrases), was not only insane, it was evil.

Now, as the Phantom Covid Menace fades, the Left has turned back to its real target -- the energy industry, which it magically holds responsible for another non-existent threat, "climate change." Naturally, the most clarion calls to effectively outlaw and bankrupt the oil and gas business comes from a state basically founded upon the principle of the internal combustion engine, California:

To save the planet from climate change, gas guzzlers have to die

The numbers paint a daunting picture. In 2019, consumers worldwide bought 64 million new personal cars and 27 million new commercial motor vehicles, a paltry 2.1 million of which were electric-powered. Climate scientists tell us that we have less than a decade to make meaningful reductions in carbon emissions — including those from internal combustion engines — if we have any hope of staving off the worst effects of global warming.

Yet manufacturers are still making, and consumers are still buying, overwhelming numbers of vehicles that will, on average, continue to spew carbon into the atmosphere for a dozen years after they first leave the lot. That means new cars bought this year will still be on the road well into the 2030s — long after the point when we should have slashed emissions. Like we said, a daunting picture.

And what's the solution to this non-existent problem, which is argued from authority without the slightest acknowledgement that the harum-scarum of "climate change" is almost entirely politically motivated, much like letting male fighters crush women's skulls and quarantining healthy people in order to "protect" them while destroying their lives and livelihoods? Government force, of course:

What will it take to throttle back the gas burners and expand exponentially the number of vehicles that run on electric batteries, hydrogen fuel cells or other non-fossil energy sources? Political will, strong government thumbs on the scale to favor zero-emission vehicles over gas burners (an all-out ban on their production and sale is likely too radical for the world, but it would certainly help), and increased spending on developing and producing clean energy sources, battery technologies and charging capabilities.

The constant push for fascism from our corrupt, lickspittle media, such as the Los Angeles Times cited above, only exacerbates the situation. Without the media-driven madness surrounding the Wuhan flu, few ever would have noticed it. Without the airy-fairy theory of "global warming," most sane people would have gone about their lives completely unaffected by the madness of others.

And, really, who would buy an electric car, except as a virtue-signalling status symbol? Only at gunpoint, I suspect.

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.

'Climate Change' Boondoggle Upon Boondoggle

Shortly after his book Climate: The Counter Consensus was published in 2010, the late palaeoclimatologist and climate-change skeptic, Professor Bob Carter, told me that he thought that the tide was about to turn. The scientific consensus would be upturned. Reason would return. He was wrong.  Now, eleven years later, the climate-change juggernaut is well past the point of no return. Its anchor in science has become neither here nor there.

Temporarily recalcitrant; the Australian government is now part of the international posse chasing the chimera of zero emissions by 2050. It recently promulgated a technological roadmap to a low-emissions future. Five priority areas are identified: clean hydrogen, electricity storage, low emissions steel and aluminium production, carbon capture, and soil carbon sequestration. It’s fair to say that clean (aka green) hydrogen is the favoured child.

We in Australia are on a hydrogen high in momento. Andrew (“Twiggy”) Forest of Fortescue Metals, which exports huge quantities of iron ore to China, announced a massive research effort into producing green hydrogen and green steel. Green hydrogen is a product of using renewable forms of electricity, solar and wind, I imagine, to extract hydrogen from water. "Green" steel uses green hydrogen as an input instead of coking coal. Obviously, the process must also be powered by carbonless energy. It has to be a virtuous circle to be green and clean.

Fill 'er up!

Prime Minister Scott Morrison explained that getting the cost of hydrogen down is a key to zero-emissions by 2050. A national hydrogen strategy has been established. Australia aspires to international prominence in hydrogen power. What’s that, you say? Join the queue. Germany, France, Japan and Canada among numbers of others have similar aspirations. Can Joe Biden’s USA be far behind?

Not everything which is scientifically and technologically doable makes economic sense. Hydrogen power likely falls into that category. Extracting hydrogen from water takes a lot of power; and, non-trivially, a lot of water. Hydrogen is hard to handle and transport. Its conversion back to electricity via fuel cells is costly in terms of power loss.

When it comes to the use of hydrogen fuel cells in cars, Elon Musk is unequivocal. “Mind-boggling stupid,” he calls it. James Morris in Forbes concurs. Regardless, vehicle manufacturers will no doubt press on with R&D in search of breakthroughs.

My point, however, is not at all with forming a view on the economics of hydrogen power. Unlikely as it seems, a hydrogen revolution might possibly happen. Who knows? I certainly don’t know.

What I do know is that the worldwide effort to prove hydrogen will draw in billions of dollars, including from governments, and thousands upon thousands of researchers. It is yet another storey on top of the many already in place in response to so-called climate change. Boondoggle upon boondoggle. The edifice grows.

Whence did it start? Some suggest with Maurice Strong, the founding executive director of UNEP - the United Nations Environment Programme, established in 1972. Whatever its beginnings, political buy-in gave it impetus and funding. Politicians didn’t miss the opportunity to save the world. The edifice had its foundation.

At first, you might recall, action to combat ‘global warming’, as it was formerly called, was primarily wrapped around the ‘precautionary principle’. To wit, the outcome might be so bad that even a small probability of it occurring is unacceptable. That was never going to fly high enough to justify spending vast amounts of money and turning the world upside down. So, global warming inexorably morphed, as a purely political necessity, into imminent catastrophic climate change as a proven and established fact. Actions have kept pace with growing alarmism.

Green makes the world go 'round.

Myriads of committees, councils, associations and agencies supported by governments and international forums have been put in place. Subsidies and regulations abound. Alan Moran, puts the annual costs of climate-change polices in Australia at AU15 billion. That would of course pale when set against costs in the E.U., Japan and North America. Evidently, governments are willing to spend and regulate bigtime to cool the planet. In a saner King Canute-kinda world you’d ridicule their chutzpah.

Next comes the physical manifestations of subsidies. Upwards of 150 million solar panels littered the planet in 2019; 341,000 wind turbines despoiled the land and seascapes in 2017. The first number is my very-rough estimate (so query it by all means) based on installed capacity; the second is widely reported. The numbers will have since increased, though I couldn’t verify or update them by consulting the World Wind Energy Association or the Global World Energy Council or the International Energy Agency or the International Renewable Energy Agency.

Sorry, I gave up while knowing that there are many more energy bodies I could have consulted. No end to them. And now, on top, we can look forward to massive investments in hydrogen technology.

Best to draw breath and recall where this and everything else in the climate-change edifice comes from. It comes from a hypothesis, based principally on (tenuous and contested) modelling, that man-made CO2 has caused most warming since around 1975; and will go on warming the planet to an unsustainable extent, unless something is done and done urgently.

As Twiggy Forest puts it, “if we wait until 2050 to act, our planet will be toast.” Probably a misprint. I doubt AOC or Al Gore, or David Attenborough or Prince Charles would be relaxed about waiting anytime close to 2050. Twiggy might reflect and replace 2050 with 2030.

Good luck.

Imagine: new incontrovertible evidence comes to light. The received scientific wisdom is mistaken. CO2 is not the devil-in-gaseous form. Now imagine light emerging from a black hole. You’re right, it can’t. The edifice of money, vested interest and political power is simply too gigantic and complex to be toppled by having the hypothesis beneath it pulled away. Galileo had more chance of convincing the Inquisition that the earth moves around the sun.

Catastrophic anthropogenic global warming is as settled a scientific proposition as can be found in the textbooks. Object as you like. Proffer new evidence. It will do no good. You will be cancelled. The Age of Reason is well and truly behind us.

 

Rush Limbaugh, RIP

A great man died today: Rush Limbaugh was 70. He was perceptive on many social and political issues, including the ludicrous claims on the Left that human beings are causing "global warming" or "climate change," when in fact the "crisis" was and remains simply another "progressive" path to power and domination -- "a political movement disguised as science."

A notion that carbon-based life forms (us) are destroying the planet (ours) by means of carbon emissions is profoundly anti-human. Rush's greatest legacy may well turn out to be how accurately he exposed them and their malignant misanthropy on this and many other subjects. Let us never forget his lessons and continue to face down the enemies within with humor, wit, intelligence and, above all, courage.

Diary of an Acclimatised Beauty: Caring

With all the excitement of coming to Davos for the World Economic Forum, I completely forgot I can ski here!  Skiing was obviously the last thing on my mind when a new friend from Lyford Cay mentioned they’d be able to smuggle me in among the climate gurus and environmental titans but here I am.

Landing was a bit of crush and I could see why some opt to take the train from Zurich-it’s not only because the trip is so majestic and reminds us of what we are fighting for… but Davos can’t possibly accommodate that many jumbo jets all arriving within hours of one another.  Rows and rows from heads of state made it look like the U.N. roll call of jets. And that doesn’t count the larger number of climate-minded oligarchs who selflessly give of their time and money.

But as I came in from Copenhagen, (chartered but shared) I landed right in the heart of things.  I did wonder if they even have traffic controllers here, it felt like that six-way stop in Beverly Hills just below Sunset where one car goes and then another and miraculously no one collides. Add to that the people who took helicopters from wherever they landed their jets and you have a very crowded airfield! 

It was on this airfield that I saw bellmen hauling skis and boots and I remembered it was originally a ski town.  Alas… I’ll have to rent. 

What better place for a Great Reset?

The conference is by invitation only (obvi!) but this year proved a bit tougher as the event has moved underground.  Daddy had been several years back (work stuff) and advised me to fill my dance card before I arrived, and boy he wasn’t kidding!

With the arrival of the dreaded Covid, the conference technically moved to next May in Singapore. So they just re-titled the January event as “The Davos Agenda” and made it fully virtual.  And who can blame them? If things go as we hope, The Great Reset is going to re-shape our entire world! And by extension my beloved planet. 

I feel as though I had a bit of a jump on everyone… having gone to so many underground parties in London during lockdown.  Who knew that the iceberg homes would prove to be the police-proof solution to a party. As things got more sophisticated in the London parties, we were asked to submit to a ten-minute coronavirus test before being allowed entry and obviously had to pay in cash under threat of having to split any fines incurred should we get busted. 

But there were no such tests here in Davos, owing—I assume—to the fact that the leaders of the free world and the gilt-edged would have managed to run by a vaccine.  And I can tell you my poor over-swabbed nostrils were grateful. We were however, sworn to no mobiles, no texting, tweeting, posting, or sharing under penalty of some mandate I couldn’t quite understand, but am sure was all for the betterment of our poor planet.  

When I checked in they gave me a folder which I hoped would contain a schedule of everything but it only listed the conference schedule and a list of “starred must-watch sessions”, how to submit questions… blah, blah… whatever!  All virtual computer stuff. Luckily I had a host of WhatsApp invites with detailed instructions, and one even said to delete the invite itself.

I was looking a bit tired from travel, and the week with Daddy in Copenhagen,  so I slathered on a deep moisturising masque and opened my computer to watch the conference going on in some adjacent building.

The first video was “the welcome” and showed four masked, and distanced speakers… “live from the studio in Geneva”, which might have been true when they taped it but I’d just seen one of the very distinctive looking ladies stepping out of a helicopter. In the next screen was Klaus (Schwab) who was probably, admittedly, in Davos, and a stern un-masked woman who seemed to be sitting on a toadstool. Turns out I was wrong and she was not going to talk about mycology-it was just an unfortunate choice of chairs for a video conference. 

Klaus began saying, “2021 will be a crucial…it will be a pivotal year for the future of humankind”. 

Not really going out on a limb there but OK…I agree. 

Then he went on to say, “It will be crucial because we have to continue to fight the virus—BUT we have to move out of the pandemic".

Which is it??? Stay and fight or move out?  

Then he continued, "BUT…

Another BUT…

“…above all we have to restore trust in our world… in order to overcome the Kaisers.” 

WHAAT?  The Kaisers?  I needed a cup of tea. I rewound: "hin orduh zu overcome ze Kreisiz." The crisis! Dr. Strangelove has nothing on this guy.

 A knock on the door signalled my tea had arrived and so I answered with my white masque on.  That’s the great thing about a place like this… they pretend not to notice.  

I watched another few videos and they all had one thing in common. Super-fast talking and a limited lexicon. They all seemed to use the words “sustainable”,  “unprecedented”, “massive”, and “inclusive”— no matter what they were discussing. It was a good thing this wasn’t a drinking game!

And more absurd… “coronavirus” a word that infected every single sentence. It was the reason to be, the reason not to be, the reason to remember, to forget, to change, to remain…and yet they sat two feet apart, pulling off and donning masks like it was some musical chairs game at a children’s party. 

I looked at my phone to decide whether I would go to the Urban Transformation or Energy Infrastructure receptions.  I decided on Energy because someone might know my father and I just couldn’t listen to how coronavirus affected the poor disproportionately. Everything affects the poor disproportionately but it was the response to coronavirus that was more likely to affect the poor than anything else.   

Day Two and I am not drinking or eating anything. I had more champagne, wagyu beef, truffled lobster mac and cheese, and fatty tuna belly to get me to spring. I called Daddy to ask a few questions but he didn’t pick up. I opened up my computer to see what was on and if it should pre-empt a spa visit. Now playing was the session on how the forum is shaping media and entertainment. Well I can tell you… different actor, same script. Here’s what she said verbatim:

“Media was the first to go through massive digital disruption. Without a strong ecosystem you cannot sustain that kind of change.” 

Yes, believe it or not, that is what she said. “Massive”, “ecosystem”, “sustain.” Same words, new topic, making zero sense. And who wants to ‘sustain media disruption’ ?  It’s what she actually said.  But if you just listen to the buzz words instead of what she actually says… it seems sympathetic. And important.

How I wish Daddy would pick up.  I’m so lost and I can’t believe the point of this was to confuse. If I did reach him he’d likely ask me what did I expect. And then he’d tell me to go skiing. I think I shall. It will be massive, but not unprecedented.  

Of Golden Idols, Covid-19, and 'Climate Change'

A Christian friend of mine once offered an observation that explains virtually everything about Leftist behavior, including their reaction to the coronavirus and the foundations of climate-change alarmism. He said, "people who lack faith have a God-shaped void within them."

It's a profound observation and he's absolutely correct. It is exactly why every failed policy that Leftists and Democrats devise are doomed to fail from the outset. It is because, in place of God, Leftists are searching to fill that God-shaped void with badly-formed policy.

Once you understand the profundity of my friend’s statement, you realize why idolatry and false prophets are punished so forcefully by God in the Bible.  Take a look at Exodus 32 and you will see the obvious parallels to contemporary society.

When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods[who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.”

Aaron answered them, “Take off the gold earrings that your wives, your sons and your daughters  are wearing, and bring them to me.”  So all the people took off their earrings and brought them to Aaron. He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, “These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.”

Moses had gone up the mountain to talk to God and get the Ten Commandments. He was away for 40 days, and the Israelites panicked. They had faith that Moses would lead them to the promised land because they believed that God had ordained Moses to be the guy. 

So when Moses disappeared, the Israelites suddenly had a God-shaped void inside of them to fill. So Aaron collected everyone's gold, melted it down, and created a golden calf that everyone started to worship.

Verse 25 has different interpretations, but basically the Israelites were running around naked and wild, or "unrestrained" as certain texts read.  Moses has to destroy the golden calf and get everybody back in line.

Not that golden calf.

In this case, it is Leftists who can be compared with the Israelites, perhaps the only time that I would ever dare compare a Democrat to an Israelite. Because Leftists eschew faith, and even outright mock and attack their fellow citizens who are believers, they have nothing at the center of their souls. It is indeed a literal void. Everyone needs some kind of compass to live by.  Judeo-Christian values are that compass, and those values come from God.

Instead, Leftists seek to fill that void with something they can pour their beliefs into, and that's why they routinely fall for false prophets. If there’s a vessel they can fill with some belief, no matter how loony, they will do so.

This is exactly why climate change has become such a pressing issue for the left, separate and apart from the fact that the movement is so well-funded.

Climate-change alarmists replace God with Mother Earth. Rather than serve God, they insist that they are serving Gaia. Those who do not do so are heretics. Note the fundamental difference between the idolatry of the alarmists and the faith of believers in God. Individuals who believe in God rarely attack non-believers, or openly condemn them.  They don't see nonbelievers as the enemy.  Only a tiny minority of believers are such firebrands.

Yet every single climate-change crank is so zealous about his cause that you are indeed considered an enemy, if not outright evil, if you don't subscribe to his particular religion.  Note also how it is that attitude that is projected onto most conservative Christians, which couldn't be further from the truth.  They don’t recognize this inability for acceptance in themselves.  They project it onto Christians.

Christians don't go around parading the fact that they are Christian. They want to share the word of God and hope that individuals will come to the Lord of their own choosing. Climate-change alarmists are experts at virtue-signaling, insisting that the world is going to come to an end in the very near future unless everyone repents and worships their same false idol.

The other problem with false idols is that it's really easy to engage in hypocritical behavior when one places value onto something that is both imaginary and lacking in authenticity.

This Golden Calf.

One of the core tenets of all the major faiths is that to err is human, and that forgiveness is always available. Not only is that something unique and specific to God, but it is also a compassionate attitude to have towards oneself, whether one is a believer or secular .

That's not the case with man-made "climate change." While believers regard confession and self-awareness and reconciliation with themselves and God as a central part of life, climate-change heretics are burnt at the stake. You’re either with them or against them.

Yet at the same time, ask any climate-change alarmist what exactly they are doing to forestall the imminent climate apocalypse, and they'll respond that they are recycling cans and bottles and drive a Prius.

False idols and false prophets are also rotten to the core. That's why they're called "false." There is no set of specific rules or dogmas. It's just whatever makes the believer feel good in the moment. That's why you will see the Left fall over themselves to push their particular political agenda, such as defunding the police, only to reverse that belief when circumstances warrant.

We see the exact same dynamic with the Left's reaction to coronavirus. There is only one true path regarding coronavirus, according to Leftists. The virus will kill everyone, everyone must submit to the most absurd and contradictory restrictions placed on them by the false idol known as "government," and those who do not believe such precautions are necessary – or even worse, violate such restrictions – are considered heretics and evil.

Notice another pattern across climate change, coronavirus, and the golden calf: without the central unifying force of God, the people literally lose their minds. Without a true anchor in the center of their souls, they spin out into hysteria.

“They are a stiff-necked people. Now leave me alone so that I may destroy them."

The Israelites were dancing around naked around the golden calf.  Climate-change alarmists don't simply say that it might be a good idea to be better stewards of the earth, but rather that were all going to die in the very near future unless we are "saved" by completely changing our lives to serve Mother Earth.

The same goes for the COVID-19 “Maskholes.”  There is no thoughtful reasoning or rationality surrounding proper risk assessment and data analysis -- only that everyone is going to die and we need to be "saved" by wearing masks and staying far away from each other.  Never mind the consequences to mental health, the economy, and tens of millions of destroyed lives.

Such as the ultimate, long-term danger that the climate-change alarmism presents. In their zeal to protect themselves and everyone else "for their own good,"t hey fail to see what collateral damage may result. That  damage is everywhere, from the California wildfires to EPA overreach that destroys people’s livelihoods.

The Left is right about one thing.  Zealots are dangerous.  The problem is they don’t realize who the zealots actually are.