Diary of an Acclimatised Beauty: Mining

As is (almost) always the case my hard work has really paid off. I say almost because nearly everyone knows how my Olympic equestrian gold was stolen from me, but today I can proudly say that all my hard work—hunkering down in the Bahamas, has landed me a big, fat, juicy, client. SO big that, were I tell his name everyone would certainly know it. Shall we just say tech baron?

As it turns out, my bug soirée was a much bigger smash than I’d imagined because despite a paltry twenty-five guests, the event was lauded as “exclusif” and got picked up by Paris Match, Semana, Hello!, Tatler, and Vanity Fair.  Oh and obviously also by my new “Baron”. Frankly I shouldn’t be surprised, because I was way out in front of this whole bug-eating trend. I mean the WEF had talked a good game but when it came down to it, their pet source was SO not ready for prime time.

So when “Baron” went looking for someone to head his personal push to lessen reliance on traditional protein sources, all paths led to me. At the same time the U.S. is experiencing a once every 17-year infestation… or rather burgeoning... of cicadas! These too are edible, and an excellent source of protein but Americans are understandably loath to try them because an unfortunate bit of press came out rather early… warning against allergies to the cicadas when it turns out only those with shellfish allergies need to take heed. 

Hostess with the mostest.

My baron hopes that together we can turn this bounty into a sort of ‘gateway' to eating more bugs. The good news for me is I am the hostess who served them (instant credibility), and the good news for the planet is that with more people eating bugs we will rely less on large animals that create more greenhouse gases. Also the sheer sound of the cicadas in some parts of the East Coast is deafening—and who wants that? Surely less is more. 

I’ve already contacted the Boy Scouts of America, 4-H,  and the Future Farmers of America to see if they can begin some sort of hunting/harvesting exercise. The Boy Scouts already got back to me with a definitive NO—owing to the fact that they apparently ‘do not have a cicada patch’ and cannot get new patches approved in less than a year’s time—which if you think about it, is truly intolerable given that the cicadas will be gone by then.  And second of all, I didn’t ask for a patch, I asked for a programme.

I coordinated to get so very many publications to run recipes that feature cicadas.  Among the best was  Spicy Popcorn Cicadas  fish soup with chicken and cicadas   and Cicada Cookies. Things were going well until I went to upload these pictures onto my website and started to gag. This time it wasn’t the thought of the crunchy legs getting stuck between my teeth but seeing the juicy insects floating in the fish and chicken soup—I just imagined them alive and swimming on my tongue and down my throat and that was it for me. Vomit-central. I only made it to the trash bin near the bar. 

It was a good ten minutes before I wasn’t flop-sweated and felt I could control my need to gag. The pictures were not getting uploaded—at least not by me. I closed my laptop and went down to the port in search of a cocktail.

To start my employ I flew to meet the baron’s yacht and then stayed on until we docked at Port de Saint-Tropez where I checked into the Byblos. I don’t know his plans for the next three days but at the end of the week I’m meant to host another insect cocktail party, this time for a hundred and with an even greater variety of bugs. The thought of which was making me queasy; the stacked hard shells, the squish, the crunch, ladies with leg-bits stuck to their lip gloss… I began to hurl again. Good Lord, please tell me there are people one can hire to just… OMG.

If it's good enough for Mick Jagger...

I called Daddy and he suggested when in bug distress I place a large silver coin on my tongue near the back of my throat, claiming it helped him through a few excessive drinking situations at Oxford. 

‘But how am I supposed to talk?’ I asked, nearly swallowing the coin.

‘You aren’t’, he said, ‘that’s the point, you don’t lift your uvula, you don’t take that breath in, and you don’t lose your job. That was the point, wasn’t it?’ 

‘I don’t know.’ I said, spitting the coin into my hand. This was a disaster. The press would like nothing more than to tear down the girl they just praised. She can’t even look at the stuff, they would write. 

‘I think the press will have a bigger issue with your environmental conflict if they were to find out your robber baron paid you in Bitcoin.’

‘How? Bitcoin is about fairness,’ I explained.  ’It allows the people to have power at long last, instead of only banks and a few families. Also, they say…’

‘Ah yes, THEY. The famous they… I think best you ask your robber baron to pay you by check, or wire transfer, or actual coin.’

‘Actual…no.  it’s no risk.  I already got my first payment and converted it to cash.’

‘Well that’s great except ‘it’ is exceedingly bad for the environment and as he’s your green baron, you should be giving him better advice.’

‘How?? It’s mined on computers. It was basically a peaceful revolution that brought the power to the people, even people who previously had no access to banking systems.’

Talk about a carbon footprint!

“But that’s not your client is it? And these people of whom you speak are not owning their own banks, or data mining centres or even computers. The power my darling girl, is mostly coal power because most of these are China-based mines, and they use the cheapest electrical generation, most of which is derived from coal-fired plants.’

Ugh, another disaster! ‘Why is it always China!’ I wailed.

‘Why is the left always focused on something like making us eat bugs?' he replied. 'And tell me, how was the boat ride?’

He just had to get the last jab in.  I pecked away on my computer for a bit longer finding that Bitcoin consumes more energy than Malaysia, Sweden and Argentina combined, and causes more carbon emissions than Conoco Phillips and American Airlines. Not looking good. 

I couldn’t undo the transfer but at least Bitcoin activity is under the radar—or at least I assume it must be given it’s the choice of illicit trade.  Oh, boo. I would indeed have to tell him to pay me by traditional methods—for his reputation as well as mine.  And even if I might not be able to down a juicy cicada for the camera, I would be able to help him not look like an obvious hypocrite. Surely that’s what he’s paying me for. 

Enemies of the People: George Soros

In London, the G7 vs. Humanity

The assembly of clowns, charlatans, and senile old men pretending to be President of the United States are about to deliver themselves of a malignant mouse and call it progress:

G7 leaders were on Sunday urged to take urgent action to secure the future of the planet, as they finalised new conservation and emissions targets to curb climate change, and wrapped up a three-day summit where revived Western unity has been on show.

Veteran environmentalist and broadcaster David Attenborough told the gathering of the world’s richest nations the natural world was “greatly diminished” and inequality was widespread. “The question science forces us to address specifically in 2021 is whether as a result of these intertwined facts we are on the verge of destabilising the entire planet?” he said.

“If that is so, then the decisions we make this decade — in particular the decisions made by the most economically advanced nations — are the most important in human history.”

With all due respect to Sir David, bunkum.

What's got into Boris Johnson? Apparently his brush with Covid-19 has permanently addled his pate and he is now all but indistinguishable from your average lefty climate nut. And don't be fooled by the "building back greener" trope -- if "green energy" were real, we'd have been using it long since. Instead, it's just more toffish nonsense from the Davos crowd, part of the Great Reset they have in store for us.

Enjoy your friend green cicada and bat-butt soup while you have the chance -- things will get much, much worse.

 

Deus lo Vult -- but Whose God?

Fighting on multiple fronts often ends badly. Not always. Israel fought on three fronts in the Six-Day War and won but then there was no survivable fallback option. Maybe that was the pivotal factor. In any event, this isn’t about warfare in the usual sense. However, it is about survival. Survival of our way of life and the forces which threaten it.

There are many foundational features of our Western way of life. The centrality of the traditional family. National cohesiveness. Trust as a default. Free market forces. Numbers of individual freedoms. A lot to undo. Time and chance cometh even to Marxists and their ilk.

Take over schools and colleges and teach children that their sex is matter of choice; that family settings are equivalent however structured; that the contrary opinions of others are hateful; and, if white, that they suffer from racial animus consciously or not and, if of colour, that they’re victims. Promote equity, diversity and inclusion at the workplace. In other words, ennoble the old prejudice of valuing appearance over competence. And the job is half done.

1099: where is Godfrey of Bouillon when we need him?

Enter climate change alarmism. Little in common you might think with wokeism. True at one level. At another, both strike at our way of life. Cheap, reliable and abundant energy is key to progress and prosperity. Costly, unreliable and intermittent energy will make us poorer. If only that were the end of it. Impoverishing changes can’t be foisted onto societies without accompanying coercion. Such is the scale of the changes envisaged that only overwhelming force will do it. We ain’t seen nothing yet.

The inroads of renewable energy and electric cars is miniscule as of now. But imagine: everyone is made to drive electric cars; to rid their homes of all heating besides electric; to insulate their homes; and, inevitably, to economise on, and regularly shut down, their power usage. Little or no meat, more nut burgers, complemented with insect pie, if you want to get really green (around the gills). Those in charge will need to devise ways of making people and businesses obey. Free market forces on both the supply and demand side will be so compromised as to be unrecognisable.

Then comes chance, delivering the coup de grâce. To wit, Covid-19 and, its disciple, Covid-fearmongering. It could not have been better timed if it had been planned. Klaus Schwab and his billionaire fellow travellers filled a straight flush. The Great Reset (unveiled in May 2020) was off and running. Australia, The Lucky Country, is a case study into a possible dismal, unlucky, future.

From Bastard to Conqueror in 1066: never underestimate the enemy.

As I write in early June, the entire Australian state of Victoria is in its fourth lockdown after just a handful of positive tests. People hundreds of miles from the scene have been ordered to stay close to their abodes and mask up. Yet only three people are in hospital; only nineteen in the whole of Australia. None in ICUs. No-one has died of the virus this year.

In Australia, eradication is the name of the game. What this means is that the virus, unlike any virus heretofore known to man, must behave. For, if it keeps misbehaving and escaping from one of those quarantine hotels, which leak like sieves, lockdowns will be never-ending. Remember, along with North Korea, Australia shares the distinction of preventing its citizens from leaving; lest they want to return.

Greg Sheridan is a sensible and sober foreign affairs journalist. Sadly, he is one of many who’ve been struck with Covid derangement syndrome. This is a taste of his writing; this time in the Australian newspaper on June 3: “But this cunning, adaptive and supremely successful virus is by no means beaten yet... And if we ever do get to that possibly mythical land beyond Covid…”

Putting Covid behind us, you see, is akin to reaching Camelot. Pause here. There is a threatening truth in that. A $200 million 500-bed quarantine centre is to be built close to a Melbourne airport. It’s Australia; it will take a longish time to build. Most everyone will have been vaccinated. Those flying in will most definitely have been vaccinated. Those in the know obviously know something that we don’t.

Having had more infections, most countries don’t suffer from delusions of eradication. Nevertheless, it would be extremely hopeful to expect a return to reason any time soon. I suspect that the world will be tangling gormlessly with Covid or son-of-Covid for some time to come. Vaccine-resistant strains will keep on popping up. Sheridan notes that of the people infected in Victoria several of them had been vaccinated. He says that the strain called Kappa is more probably more vaccine-resistant than Delta. Can anyone keep up with this increasing menu of virulent strains?

If it were only a morbidity with less outreach; like heart disease or malaria, as examples, which kill many more people. But alas, no, Covid is striking out at some of our foundational freedoms. Freedom of movement. Freedom of assembly. Freedom from enforced medical treatment. Freedom to worship. Freedom of speech – promote Ivermectin if you dare. Freedom from discrimination.

Alesia, 46 BC: are we Vercingetorix, or Caesar?

A fellow at my gym said to me, OK don’t have the jab but don’t take up a hospital bed if you get sick. This wouldn’t be said of someone with the flu or someone whose lifestyle contributes to their sickness or makes them prone to accidents. Here’s another Australian newspaper journalist, Peter van Onselen (June 5): “Most [getting seriously ill or dying] will be anti-vaxxers who arguably get what they deserve.”

Fascism creeps down from governments to apparatchiks to journalists to woke corporations to the police to scolds on the street. And once it takes hold, will it ever really go away? Might I  be more optimistic if I lived, say, in Florida or South Carolina? I’m not sure. Can any jurisdiction hold out indefinitely against vax passports? Their citizens won’t be able to travel and move freely. “Papers please” will likely become part of the new world-wide normal.

Add it together. What do you see? I see the Great Reset or one of its possible manifestations. Big government, loss of freedoms, loss of family values, loss of social cohesion, loss of trust. Bear in mind, this anti-Enlightenment prospective leaves out the cultural dislocation which is arising from mass controlled (and uncontrolled) immigration, particularly from the Islamic world. I didn’t want to get too depressive. It’s bleak.

But not time to give up. Backs against the wall nowhere to go. Truth on our side. An empire of lies on the other.

Diary of an Acclimatised Beauty: Zooming

I would scream but I assume that’s frowned upon in Paradise. I’m still working from the Bahamas but the crowds have thinned, and I’ve had enough of working by Zoom because everything I put together on the virtual platform has fallen apart virtually overnight.

I had ‘inked the deal’ to get beautifully packaged cricket and sago worm snacks into the swag bags at the Golden Globes (no small feat I might add!). Only to find the entire Golden Globes show has cancelled. Yes, cancelled! And not even postponed due to the dreaded Covid but actually cancelled. They cancelled themselves over purported ‘lack of diversity’ and I’ve now just had it. Must we all become zebras or kill ourselves?

It’s not like I didn’t do my research before spending time on this. The Golden Globes are run by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which is by any definition… pretty diverse! I mean… it's ALL FOREIGNERS. But on top of that it is made up of 90 international journalists from 55 different countries. The whole of Africa has only 54 countries, and trust me, it’s not terribly diverse.

When I got the news about the death of the Globes I almost fell off my chair because EVEN I KNOW it’s a pay-for-play scheme, so why get all moralistic now? The whole point is for the 1% of the 1 percent to preen for the cameras in borrowed diamonds on a magic red carpet.

Digging a little deeper I read that the L.A. Times complained about “a widespread culture of schmoozing”. Really? This is a complaint? The actual raison d’être for the HFPA was to get access (and gossip) about Hollywood. I’m hopping mad.

That's not Singapore!

So with a glut of crispy bug snacks, I went back to my own green roots… straight back to the World Economic Forum, knowing surely I could find a receptive audience for freeze-dried crickets only to find they cancelled themselves too—yet again. Initially, there was the annual January meeting in Davos, which then became Singapore in May, and was pushed back to Singapore in August, only to now be pushed back to who-knows-when in 2022. I expected more from my fellow environmentalists, who well understand how few years we have left to save the planet.

This was a crushing blow and I was sad for the whole rest of the day. I just didn’t see how the top social, business, and government leaders couldn’t figure this out. Or why Bill Gates all on his own couldn’t have managed the vaccines for Singapore given how important the WEF is to him. Separate from all that, we mostly all arrive by private plane anyway, so how are we risking anyone else’s life?

I took a cleansing breath and moved to the terrace with my laptop. I’d been working on a collaboration with Well Health-Safety—a company that, for a fee, provides a literal seal for businesses to put on their front door so that people can feel safe going inside. On the face of it, I like it, but I need to dive deeper, given that my last two projects just blew up in my face. I really really, really, don’t want to call Daddy for his input so I’m trying to look at it as he would. The first thing that jumped out at me was “World-renowned scientists, public health specialists… and celebrities.” CELEBRITIES? Ugh! This is looking like the merger of The Golden Globes and the World Economic Forum.

“Hello Jennifer,” my father said after picking up my call. “How is Paradise?”

“Mostly wonderful.” I said, hoping he wouldn’t ask about the WEF. “So I’m just looking at doing a collaboration with a company called “WELL Health-Safety.”

“Healthcare?”

“No, Well Health-Safety”

“OSHA?”

“No Daddy, it’s a company that provides certification seals to retailers and restaurants… so that people can feel safe going inside."

“People are afraid of buildings? I wasn’t aware. Or do you mean like when the IRA planted a bomb inside Harrods?”

“Not that either,” I replied. “it’s standards in cleaning and protection.”

“Ah, Germs! Protection from germs. Would have been great to get one of those seals before Covid!”

I did not reply. This was Daddy. Always too quick on the uptake, he began again, “Is it like our Trading Standards? he asked.

“No, it’s not the government, it’s a private company that gives training, and suggestions… and seals.”

“Gives or charges?” he asked.

That ought to do it.

I rang off knowing this was going to be slog. My research led me to something similar in the states called the Better Business Bureau which according to this article sounds just like a racket. You pay for protection and as soon as you stop paying they take away their seal of approval. They don’t actually refund money to consumers if something goes wrong so what was the point?

I called Daddy back and asked if he thought this sounded like the mob. He said ‘perhaps’ but also ‘a lot like Greenpeace… who somehow gave China environmental awards and accolades but beats up on the US’. I didn’t want to hear that about Greenpeace (my fellow green comrades) but I knew this to be true. I also found that the BBB gave Disneyland (a non-joiner) a D-minus. Would Well-Health declare Disney to be unclean if they didn’t pay?

It seemed to me that this newly formed organisation had capitalised on people’s post-Covid fears and that did not make me happy. I could however make a very strong argument in favour of any business that is trying to do all it can to make their customers feel safe, and concluded that had to go hand-in-hand with best practices, so I decided to go ahead with them.

And I have Daddy’s friend, a Chinese engineer, to thank for this. He had once explained to me that jade has no intrinsic value, it was only worth what you can get someone to pay for it, but that Chinese people believe that if they pay more, it is worth more, and for that reason it is. Who would have guessed I’d be looking to the Chinese for a green solution to my green solution. And I’m feeling rather Well (health) about it.

Beware the Triumvirate of Fear

Bad news everybody: turns out we’re going to die. Everyone of us. No exceptions. Sorry to have to break it to you this way, but I’m a “rip the bandage off as quickly as possible” kind of guy.

Not sure of the exact dates of demise of course, but despite all of our valiant efforts over the last fifteen months, death has not been eradicated. You survived infection after catching the Covid vaccine? That’s great. You’re still going to die. You want to keep wearing your mask for the rest of your life? Terrific. The important thing to remember is that the phrase “the rest of your life” always ends in a full stop.

It’s ironic, but the healthier a society and the more a society is successful in identifying and minimizing risk, the more risk-averse society becomes.

Happy rest of your lives, snowflakes!

America is now at a point where millions of its citizens are not only willing to sacrifice many of the joys of life in hopes of extending existence by a few years, most of this group firmly believes that everyone else should be morally and legally obligated to share their fearful, neurotic views.

Risk and living – truly living – are intertwined. Attempting to lead a risk-free life is not living, it’s mere existence, reducing what should be an adventure into panic-room level exercise in survival. As a general rule, most Americans have grown ever worse at reasonably assessing and responding to risk issues. Fear among average American citizens seems to grow in inverse proportion to our increasing ability to identify and manage risks.

There is no shortage of self-interested organizations and corporations willing and able to advance narratives that exploit the current climate of fear. Environmental NGOs can’t wait to paint the slightest potential hazard in apocalyptic terms. With few exceptions, politicians of all stripes willingly accept such narratives, sensing the votes that come along with going along. The vast majority of journalists, with little to no personal understanding of foundational technical issues are naturally inclined to support whichever position the left adopts and insists upon.

This trio of special interests are thus able to create “realities” that are detached from reality. In general, the more technically advanced the topic, the more emboldened the triumvirate of fear feels emboldened to push their particular agendas.

Looking for salvation in all the wrong place.

We’ve just undergone fifteen months of risk-avoidance on overdrive. It will be some time before sober, credible sources who do not have an agenda will provide accurate assessments of how well prevention-of-transmittal measures balance out against the societal and economic costs of those policies. I truly do not know how that valuation will come out. However, I am certain that anyone attempting to define that valuation at this point is engaged in speculation, not science.

Were we needlessly and overly cautious? As I said, we can’t be sure at this this point. My speculation: probably, but that’s water under the dam. Time to move on. Moving on means accepting victory, rejecting an eternal state of emergency and emergency powers, and starting to address the risk/reward proposition in rational terms again.

From everything I can discern and based on what the CDC is now saying, if you have either: 1) survived Covid infection, or 2) had one of the vaccines, you’re good to go mask-free in public. Surely certain businesses like restaurants and airlines will continue to require masks for a while and that’s just fine. In a free society, everyone can choose or not choose to wear masks in privately-held venues and suffer the consequences if their preference doesn’t align with venue policy. This is analogous to how we can choose or not choose to wear shirts and shoes while expecting service in a convenience store. The markets will figure it out in the long run.

The point is that the “big-mask” era is drawing to a close and we will finally be able to shout “Free at last! Free at last!” once more. What comes next is up to us.

Talking the Talk on 'Climate Change'

What are we to make of an article by William Hague, a former U.K. Foreign Secretary from 2010 to 2014, that predicts Britain’s armed forces may one day be sent into action abroad to safeguard the natural environment from such predators as oil companies and loggers? Quoted by the Daily Mail from an article in the journal Environmental Affairs, Lord Hague writes:

In the past the UK has been willing to use armies to secure and extract fossil fuels. But in the future, armies will be sent to ensure oil is not drilled and to protect natural environments.

That prediction is startling from several standpoints. To begin with, it could be read as confirming a frequent left-wing allegation—hitherto hotly denied by the British and other Western governments—that in the two Gulf Wars the West intervened not to prevent Iraqi aggression or to stabilize the Middle East but to get its hands on Arab oil. I don’t think that’s true, as a matter of fact, but if it is, it’s a big admission and a big news story. And it was merely the first of several startling predictions.

The Mail’s succinct report was a paraphrase of a 6000-word article, “The Great Convergence,” by the former foreign secretary in a new journal, Environmental Affairs, in London. I don’t suppose Mr. Hague thinks the paper’s summary did any favors to his long and detailed argument which seeks to show how Britain (and by extension the West) should bring about a convergence between its policies on climate, foreign affairs, and towards China to ensure their all-round success.

He may be wrong about the Mail, as I shall argue below, but there’s little doubt that Hague’s article kicks off a serious attempt by the U.K. and international establishments to explain how their policy of Net-Zero carbon emissions by 2050 fits comfortably, even necessarily, into their other principal foreign policies like a missing jigsaw piece.

Go on, give it a try!

The signs of a political influence operation are all there. Policy Exchange is one of three influential conservative think tanks close to the government. Environmental Affairs is an impressive new venture. Its contributors include leading figures from the global climate change establishment and the U.S. foreign policy establishment, notably General David Petraeus. And its first publication arrives at just the point when governments are suddenly nervous of two fundamental political problems with Net-Zero:

For already there are growing symptoms of domestic and international resistance to Net-Zero—as Hague himself points out. His “Great Convergence,” rather like the World Economic Forum’s “Great Reset,” is a rhetorical device to shore it up by combining it with policies supported by other influential constituencies such as the defense establishment and China hawks. Hague’s opening gambit therefore is to establish that climate change is a threat not only to the prosperity of nations but also to their national security and thus to global security as a whole.

That’s a theme increasingly heard from Western governments—and I’ve expressed skepticism about it before. But the former Foreign Secretary said it first in 2010, and he thinks his forecast has been borne out by events:

In Iraq, farmers were driven to join ISIS once opportunities to provide for their families dried up along with local water sources. In Somalia, jihadists have cut off water supplies to punish areas of the country outside of their control. And in Syria, social unrest, exacerbated by droughts driving Syrian farmers into cities, spilled over into civil war just a few short months after my remarks, leaving hundreds of thousands dead and millions scattered across the world.

But the problem with these examples is that they are the effects of civil war, terrorism, and oppressive government rather than of "climate change." It’s possible that climate change may have played a part in making them worse—as the Russian winter complicated Napoleon’s invasion of Russia—but it would never have caused them in the absence of war, terrorism, and oppression. Most of Syria’s neighbors, after all, have helped refugees rather than persecuting and robbing them. And there are far easier and less dangerous ways of adapting to small rises in temperature than press-ganging your neighbors or ethnically cleansing them.

One way to stop climate change.

Not that Hague, a prudent statesman aiming at pacific solutions, is anxious to send in gunboats. His main stress is on diplomacy and trade which he would send in ahead of the troops:

[A]s climate change climbs the hierarchy of important political issues, it will be increasingly difficult to square our climate change policy with agreeing to a free trade deal with a country that clears a football pitch-sized area of the Amazon rainforest every minute.

He's talking here about Brazil, but he could equally be talking about China and coal-powered stations, or Saudi Arabia and oil, or Russia and pipelines. So let’s not underestimate the boldness of Hague’s statement here. It overturns something very important.

Free trade is a central element in the kind of liberal conservatism that Hague, Cameron, and Boris all represent—and that global economic institutions have upheld in practice since the end of the Cold War. It’s how they believe mankind makes progress—by developing and trading new ideas and products in peaceful competition between nations. Hague’s willingness to subordinate that method of human progress to the stern sacrifices of Net-Zero shows the extent to which climate policy has become an dogma overriding all other considerations in Western policy. It’s now an unquestionable article of faith.

Yet if we are to base military, diplomatic, and even trade policy on the economic and security consequences of climate change, shouldn’t we also take into account the consequences of the policy of combatting climate change? Governments candidly admit that Net-Zero is likely to impose heavy costs on the economy and to require seriously unwelcome life-style changes from their populations.

But it seems shortsighted and rash to ignore the likelihood that these consequences would create tensions--tensions at least as serious as those Hague predicts from climate change—between different social, ethnic, and religious groups within countries. And that goes double for international tensions between countries.

Welcome to Syria.

After all, the potential international conflicts that Net-Zero seems likely to foster include: angry demands from the developing world for decarbonization subsidies from the West; broken Net-Zero promises from a China surging ahead on cheap, reliable fossil fuels; and attempts by a declining West to compel the rest of the world to implement Net-Zero targets—attempts that fail and prompt airy talk of intervention.

Hence the value of popular journalism—seen here in the Daily Mail’s selective compression of Hague’s 6000 words into one simple conclusion: “In the future, armies will be sent to ensure oil is not drilled and to protect natural environments.” It brings us hard up against reality.

Under whose authority would these troops be sent abroad? Obviously, Hague was not proposing a Western coalition of the willing to halt Brazilian logging or shut down Bahrain. That would be too much like a re-run of the Iraq War for comfort’s sake. There would have to be a U.N. force of some kind under the authority of the Security Council. Consider, then, the following three points:

  1. Russia and China are among the world’s largest energy-producing and energy-consuming countries respectively.
  2. Both countries are also two of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and enjoy the right of veto on any U.N. use of force.
  3. And there is zero chance that either country would allow any U.N. use of force that threatened its vital economic interests.

Indeed, only last month a Security Council debate on whether climate change should be treated as a threat to international security revealed (not surprisingly) that there was support from India and other energy-rich and energy-hungry countries for Chinese-Russian skepticism on the point. Only a very small country is at risk of being invaded by British or other Western troops for crimes against the climate.

Lord Hague makes a fair point when he says about climate policy that Britain "cannot get away with talking the talk without walking the walk" indefinitely. Since we can’t walk the walk in reality, however, maybe we should be a little more careful about talking the talk.

Diary of an Acclimatised Beauty: Entertaining

I called Daddy to discuss a few details of my upcoming party but to no avail. It goes without saying that Judith (mummy) is more the person to consult when it comes to parties but this is meant to promote both my newly expanded life coaching business, and to incorporate my love for the planet.

I’m not mocking those who push to ‘do what you love’… but taken literally… my job would be reviewing posh resorts and spas. Practically speaking though, the planet does matter to me, and I’ve taken up the Great Reset Agenda in tandem with furthering my work. Some of which was Daddy’s idea… unfortunately Judith answered.

‘Yes, I’m still in the Bahamas… yes, all going swimmingly… (OMG!) YES I’m wearing sunscreen… is Daddy there?’ (as if I’m twelve). ‘Yes, I’m working, loads of clients on the horizon… is Daddy… no not technically on the horizon, some are actual clients, I just need to ask him some questions about a party… a BUSINESS party.’ 

Always be closing.

Then she went on about invitations, and how themes generally fall flat before eventually telling me that Daddy was out.

‘Out? How can he be out? You’re in the country.' I insisted.

‘I think he’s gone duck hunting,' she said, in an uncharacteristically high voice.

‘In spring?? Unlikely. This wasn’t going well. I checked my watch for no reason and asked, ‘Can you just have him… NO, MOTHER I’m fine… I just…’ Oh my double god! ‘Can you please just… thank you. Goodbye.’

Truth was, it had been Daddy’s suggestion that I do some real promotion while I’m here amongst the leisure working class, and that I get a jump on the Great Reset folks, why wait for the WEF to dictate a timeline. He’s suggested instead of just posting videos and admonishing like they do… that I really implement. So I’m doing cocktails for a hundred and serving the most sustainable options: Cocktails that come packaged in barrel pouches, paper straws, eco-friendly everything, cheeses from farms that convert buffalo waste into clean energy, and of course bugs—the greenest of all proteins.

I just wanted to ask if he really was in favour of serving bugs… I certainly didn’t see anyone serving them in Davos and the idea made me shiver but I thought… maybe he’s right and I needed to really dig in, but every choice created a dilemma.

Tastes like yakitori!

For instance the cocktails in recyclable barrel pouches… forget that they would have to be shipped here especially, but unless I made a big deal about it, I mean really point it out… who would know? I run the risk of virtue signaling, which is the exact opposite of what I’m trying to do.

It was a dilemma until I realised this crowd wasn’t going to want anything other than known commodities anyway (Veuve, Monkey 47, French reds…) If I were going to introduce the eco packaging, I’d have to just send everyone home with a sample of the pouch cocktails, which again they’ll likely never drink so… hmm.

I called the third sustainable cheese farm on my list and was told, "People don't think a lot about poop when they think about sustainable cheesemaking, but they really should.” And I knew I’d reached the right place. But best keep that slogan off a cocktail napkin though.

I was going to need backup, so I flew in an assistant I’d used in the past. Straws, too, were creating a huge dilemma as everyone knows the paper ones just don’t work. I’d personally had good luck with pasta straws but they weren’t gluten-free.

Meanwhile my assistant had been making a mood board on whose authority I didn’t quite grasp, but which she says is ‘essential to really nail down the concept’. Ugh! She had researched “everything from movies, to fashion, to art”, and after half a day spent, it looked like a party in which I was marrying myself.

‘GREAT RESET!’ I yelled at the top of my lungs before realising I sounded like I needed a Xanax.

But Xanax I did need when I found out that the much-touted bug supplier…for all their preening and wailing, actually didn’t have any bugs at all! None I could serve anyway. Their “current line” catered only to agricultural needs (fertiliser) and pets. PETS?? Now I really wished I’d saved my scream.

How dared they go on chastising the rest of us, bragging about a higher protein source and more sustainable and no greenhouse gases and getting the rubber stamp of the WEF! Little creatures, big change my ass! I was livid. Twenty years ago Harrods had sold chocolate-covered ants which were considered a novelty but it actually existed. I wanted this bug supplier kicked out of the World Economic Forum and beaten with sticks.

The Chinese just love scorpions-kebab!

Just then Daddy rang and I had all I could do to not start crying. He listened and then said, ‘So if I understand the problem… your eco-food isn’t fit for human consumption… do I have it right?’

I was too pathetic for words. He had it right, which momentarily made me laugh, and then I did start sobbing. He just let me go on and on while he googled and found a solution.

‘It’s going to sting a little…’ He began… ‘but if you agree to overnight delivery there’s a company out of Thailand that sells cooked and dehydrated bugs—seasoned with salt! It says right here, edible grasshoppers, crickets, silk worms and sago worms’.

I was silent. ‘I thought for sure I had you with sago worms.’ He added, trying to cheer me up. Just then the idea that I truly was serving bugs hit me and I started to vomit. I thanked him and rang off.

After sorting myself out, I returned to find my assistant on the phone chatting up a DJ. Maybe. It was hard to tell with all the ‘totally’ and ‘kif-kif’ going on. It was then that I decided SHE ALONE could be on bug detail and I explained to her just how important this particular component was, and that she should create an ICP (ideal customer profile). Listen, I had just learned the term myself but I needed her to take this seriously.

It was party time and while I thought it would be the men clamouring to crunch down on one of these edibles, it was the women, who somehow conflated high protein with lean, and saw these critters as the fast-track to a flat stomach. I had to keep drinking because every time I thought about crispy cricket legs breaking away from a body and being pressed back by someone’s tongue I started to hurl. I couldn’t even face my guests. Had I seen any food stuck in anyone’s teeth I’d have lost it.

It was indeed too soon to leave my own party, but a hangover couldn’t come soon enough.

What is 'Stakeholder Capitalism'? Part Two

As we saw in Part One, Klaus Schwab, the principal architect of the "Great Reset," contends that international organizations have been “too remote and impersonal for most people,” too opaque for “individual stakeholders to relate to.” The response, therefore, “must be to implement decision-making processes to include all of their stakeholders.” How is this to be done?

Somehow or other, all stakeholders will be included in a “consultative stage,” which seems more than a little farfetched. The “paperwork” would be endless and consensus difficult to achieve. And even if agreement were possible, it could easily be ignored by a supervisory committee. Yet, “stakeholder engagement in government” and “coordination on a global level” are presented as eminently feasible propositions, though their utopian shadow is scarcely to be disguised or dismissed.

Of course, it all sounds benevolent, commiserative and enlightened; we are assured that “companies, governments, international organizations and civil society can reinvent themselves” to the advantage of all. What could go wrong? 

I've got yours, Jack.

In some respects, the stakeholder blueprint reads like an update of Tommaso Campanella’s 17th century visionary treatise City of the Sun (predicated on Thomas More’s Utopia) in which private property and wealth disparities are expunged, citizens have no possessions, advanced technology is on display, and a cenacle of officials presides over just distribution of goods and chattels.

Ernest Callenbach’s Green pastoral Ecotopia lurks behind Schwab’s bucolic program as well. There is also more than a whiff of Plato’s ideal city-state as developed in The Republic, with its three social classes comprising the Commons (craftsmen, merchants, etc.), the Auxiliaries (police), and the Guardians (rulers, from which the Philosopher-King is selected). One remembers that these are all fictions with almost no purchase on reality. 

Indeed, to my mind, the project resembles an elevated, mandarin version of Portland’s CHAZ—Capital Hill Administration Zone—ruled not by gun-toting thugs but by a platoon of sophisticated oligarchs who think—or pretend—they can fence out the world of practical politics, high finance, competitive passion, the profit motive and, in brief, unreconstructed human nature. The fallen world will be replaced by an Arcadian substitute governed by a council of prebendary sages. Once the fictive paradigm is transferred to the world of practical affairs, we have a recipe for unintended consequences of the worst sort. 

For the system Schwab is proposing, as should be obvious, can neither be created nor maintained in the absence of rigid and authoritarian control by the helmers of a global fiefdom, as Joel Kotkin warns in The Coming of Neo-Feudalism. One recalls the Juvenalian maxim: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? As for the “stakeholders” among the common people, they will irrevocably find themselves occupying serf-like status, dependent on Big Government, subject to constant surveillance, rendered largely sedentary, and generally deprived of agency.

"Stakeholder Capitalism" ultimately favors neither labor, small business, the middle class nor an open, free market economy. Politically, it is Karl Marx redivivus, whose “dictatorship of the proletariat,” elaborated in his seminal The Class Struggles in France, 1848-1850, leads inevitably to the dictatorship of a privileged elite, as history has decisively shown. Milovan Djilas’ The New Class and Karl Popper’s The Open Society and Its Enemies are essential reading here. Culturally, it is Antonio Gramsci released from his cell to sherpa the long march through the institutions. Herbert Marcuse’s “repressive tolerance” is the name of the game. Clearly, the only stakeholder who will benefit from the Reset is the manorial elect of politicians, technocrats and the super-wealthy.

We're ba-ack!

To give Schwab his due, he writes well. The prose is clean, his facts, though selective, are cleverly arrayed, and his claims, though outrageous, appear to attest to a modest and empathetic sensibility. He is a formidable adversary.

The reader must remain alert to Schwab’s sources and the historical context from which his argument arises: the mix of Fascist practice, that is, the intimate alliance between business and government, or syndical corporatism—as Cardiff University historian Kevin Passmore points out, the word “totalitarianism” was invented by Italian fascists—and Communist theory, the putative erasure of class distinctions and the emergence of an egalitarian society in which the state controls all property, resources and wealth.

Democratic capitalism is a deeply flawed system which nevertheless yields better social and economic results than any other. Moreover, it is always subject to improvement over the historical continuum. What Churchill said of democracy applies to its economic offspring, free-market capitalism. In a speech on Nov. 11, 1947, he reminded the U.K.’s House of Commons that “many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.” This is vintage Churchillian wisdom, which is sorely lacking in all world-utopian schemes like Schwab’s. 

Those who suspect that “stakeholder capitalism” is a euphemism for a nefarious plot using climate change and COVID as pretexts to capture the levers of power, shut down the functional energy sector and replace it with a futuristic iteration of techno-primitivism, kill small business, reduce the population to a condition of civil subservience, eliminate the free market, crash the economy and Reset to Zero may not be wide of the mark. Caveat emptor.

What Is 'Stakeholder Capitalism'? Part One

The concept of “stakeholder capitalism,” proposed by Klaus Schwab in his various books on the subject—in particular COVID 19: The Great Reset, co-authored with Thierry Malleret, and his latest foray in the field Stakeholder Capitalism, which faithfully reprises the points and principles of the earlier volume—is far more insidious than it sounds. From the perspective of the Left, the progressivist, the woke, “Capitalism” is, of course, a loaded word, but it remains the engine of the world’s most advanced economies, and its kinetics cannot be dispensed with. Market-dominated societies are perforce competitive and revenue-driven.

“Stakeholder,” however, is a detergent term, bleaching the semantic grime from its verbal companion, which is why it functions as a remedial descriptor. It comes across as friendly, compassionate and inviting. In its current usage, the word derives from the education industry, where it has become ubiquitous, highlighting the educators’ presumably favonian sympathies toward their students, fawningly regarded as “stakeholders.”

Originating in John Dewey’s child-centered, student-oriented educational theory, which he called “progressivist,” the idea has proliferated to the present day when students are empowered to issue demands, decide whom they want to be taught by and whom they want to be fired. It explains why we should be wary when it is used to qualify a social and economic program as vast and disruptive as the Great Reset.

Trust me, I'm German.

Placed under the loupe, stakeholder capitalism reveals itself as a sobriquet for international socialism. The corporate impetus is no longer exclusively directed toward profits but will be supervised, guided and restrained by government intervention. Or so we are led to believe.

In the wake of the pandemic, Schwab writes in The Great Reset, “Societies could be poised to become either more egalitarian or more authoritarian…[ E]conomies, when they recover, could take the path of more inclusivity and more attuned to the needs of our global commons.” Ironically, as history has proven time and again, in order to become more egalitarian, society will of necessity become more authoritarian. It’s a dynamic that approximates to a historical law. 

Schwab assesses the social and political impact of the pandemic in the five domains of Society, Economy, Environment, Technology and Geopolitics. This is what he calls the Macro Reset (of which the Micro Reset—industry and business—and the Individual Reset are specifications), a transformation which involves a “redefinition of the social contract” in the direction of “stakeholder capitalism and environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations.”

The result will be a “better world,” portrayed as “more inclusive, more equitable, and more respectful of Mother Nature.” He envisions a tectonic shift from capital to labor, of wealth distribution from the affluent to the needy, and of greater government interventions in the functioning of the economic system, customary arrangements, social architectures and cultural dynamics in order to ensure “global sustainability.”

It's easy, too!

A proper management of the economy and social life will entail a number of salient factors. Companies, for example, will have to reconceive their “fundamental purpose” from unbridled financial profit to that of “serving all their stakeholders, not only those who hold shares.” Wages will be raised and substantial health benefits guaranteed, regardless of the bottom line. The massive expansion of stimulus funding will create “37 million nature-positive jobs” and a Green economy will be resolutely promoted to fight climate change, generating employment and profits along the way. There exists, plainly, not a shred of empirical evidence to justify Schwab’s prognostics.

It is hard to say whether Schwab’s arguments—or some of them—are cleverly devious or childishly naïve. For example, he urges us not to fear the dystopian fatality of entrenched tech-and-government surveillance following recovery, since it is “for those who govern and each of us personally to control and harness the benefits of technology without sacrificing our individual and collective values and freedom.” This analysis seems a colossal oxymoron. Surveillance will be pervasive but our values and freedoms can somehow be preserved.

When he argues that governments must do “whatever it takes and whatever it costs” to ensure our wellbeing, otherwise people afraid of the virus will not shop, travel or dine out, thus hindering economic recovery, he appears oblivious to the fact that it was intense government panic-mongering that led precisely to the adverse consequences he wishes to avoid—probably the greatest political error of a generation. Is Schwab deceiving us or deceiving himself? Such instances of double-think can be multiplied throughout his text.

As to be expected, Schwab has bought wholesale into many contemporary shibboleths and intellectual sedatives. He enthusiastically accepts the dodgy hypothesis of "global warming" and is indifferent to both the uselessness and devastation wrought by the costly scam of Green energy as a replacement for reliable fossil fuels. “The climate risk is unfolding more slowly than the pandemic did, but it will have even more severe consequences”—a premise that has been robustly challenged by some of the most reputable and knowledgeable researchers in the field.

Money for nothing, and stuff for free.

In The Fourth Industrial Revolution, Schwab supports the accelerating “innovation in genetics, with synthetic biology now on the horizon,” involving “biotechnology techniques using RNA and DNA platforms… to develop vaccines faster than ever”—except that these substances are not vaccines but computer-like “operating systems” that alter “the unique mRNA sequence that codes for a protein,” and rely on pathogenic priming that can make people sicker than the disease would have.

In Stakeholder Capitalism, we learn that Schwab is all for “contact tracing” which “has an unequalled capacity and a quasi-essential place in the armoury needed to combat COVID-19”—the “quasi” is a bet hedger, just in case things go sideways. He is an avid supporter of Mark Zuckerberg, whose Facebook is a censuring giant, and regurgitates Zuckerberg’s deceptive and self-serving pitch that greater regulation is needed to hold companies accountable.

Schwab regards COVID-panic-stricken, shut-down countries like New Zealand as “trailblazers.” He is a Net-Zero Telamon for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Agenda 2030 with their animus against individual property rights. He has proposed a scheme of “non-financial metrics” to chart a company’s progress toward virtue, and affirms that “such virtuous instincts can become a feature of our economic systems,” assuring us they will continue “creating prosperity for all their citizens and businesses.” John O’Sullivan correctly notes that “the hairshirt economic policy of Net Zero [is] a dystopian delusion.”

[Part two tomorrow]