When the Great 'Reset' is Really Overload

It was a humiliating debut for Hillary Clinton. The then-new Secretary of State met with Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov and presented him with a button activated switch with a Russian caption which she thought meant “reset” but was actually “overload.”

The Western world was beset with the turmoil and economic loss due to globalization that had sent jobs to lower-cost-labor countries; meanwhile, in China, a weaponized new strain of the flu was brewing in a Wuhan laboratory. Released near the end of 2018, it has caused a global panic, its death toll overhyped by international experts and a scaremongering media.

Now we're being offered yet more of the same global nonsense in the form of something called The Great Reset. It’s overload, and I don’t think we will or should buy it.

How do you say "Oops" in Russian?

The World Economic Forum advances a witless new idea. What, you might ask, is this outfit? It describes itself as “the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation”. It annually hosts the global elite annual meeting in Davod, Switzerland to discuss global issues and put their soi-disant collective genius to the task of improving the world while residing and eating in the most luxurious way.

In my younger years I might have found this a good idea. with advanced age it reminds me of Benito Mussolini’s corporatism. "Fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power." However egalitarian you phrase it, it ends up as a means of making your friends rich with public revenue and advantages and using the power of the state to smash their competitors while increasing your own powers..

This year’s meeting of 3,000 ran the gamut from heads of state to movie stars and  the Swedish adolescent Cassandra Greta Thunberg, the founder of the Chinese technology firm Huawei, and George Soros. Great numbers of those participating arrived there on private planes while yammering about sustainability and getting us to reduce our carbon emissions. The comparison to medieval sumptuary laws comes to my mind.

In the year just ended, its agenda was more grandiose, perhaps fueled by all that lobster and champagne: "The Great Reset" project, a five-point plan concerned with enhancing sustainable economic growth following the global recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns. The Great Reset will be the theme of WEF's Annual Meeting in January 2021.

You have only to read the plans for the Great Reset set forth by Klaus Schwab, its executive Chairman, to see its flaws and dangers. (Of course, some knowledge of world history wouldn’t hurt either.) He begins with the economic and human cost of Covid-19, a loss to my mind occasioned more by government mismanagement and lockdowns than the virus itself.

And he leaps from that to a claim that “All of this will exacerbate the climate and social crises that were already underway.” That seems debatable. If the lockdowns reduced travel as they certainly did, CO2 emissions which to these same people are changing the climate should be way down. And every study I’ve seen says that is the case.

The Great Resetter.

So how does Schwab  find it otherwise? “Some countries have used the Covid-19 crisis as an excuse to weaken environmental protections and enforcement, and frustrations over social ills like rising inequality -- US billionaires’ combined wealth has increased during the crisis--are intensifying”

But he neglects to note that in the U.S. the billionaires got richer, not by predation but by government fiats which forced the shutdown of small businesses and forced consumers to use big marketers like Amazon, Walmart and Costco. Left to their own best judgment consumers might well have preferred shopping at smaller stores with less possibility for transmission. Left to their own devices, restaurants, bars and smaller shops would have remained open and the owners not bankrupted or their workers unemployed. See the brain twist here? The various governments created the inequality and these are the same powers that Schwab thinks will better address inequality than we can.

But Herr Schwab is a Big Thinker with a plan:

First, steer the market toward fairer outcomes by improving “coordination, upgrade trade arrangements, and create the conditions for a ‘stakeholder economy.’  There’s a lot of flowery language in this but there are some specifics "changes to wealth taxes the withdrawal of fossil-fuel subsidies and new rules governing intellectual property trade and competition.”

In English this means the Western world -- particularly the U.S. -- would be subject to higher taxes, more expensive energy and labor costs for the western world. In refutation, I note it is the U.S. which has to date had enough surplus capital to beat Europe and China in environmental protection through technological improvements. The United States is a world leader in protecting the environment and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. From 2005 to 2018, total U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions fell by 12 percent. In contrast, global energy-related emissions increased nearly 24 percent from 2005 to 2018. It's capital that makes the difference, not high-blown chatter.

Second, baffle them with word salad, e.g. “ensure that investments advance shared goals, such as equality and sustainability." He explains for the befuddled, "building green urban infrastructure and creating incentives for industries to improve their track record on environmental, social and governance (ESG) metrics.” He has it backwards, I think.

Well run corporations producing goods and services consumers want  create jobs and capital surpluses available to clean the environment and lift all boats. Using such idiocies as requiring diverse management instead of the best, most competent management does not. I note, for example, the worst environmental depredations have been in socialist countries.  The least protection for the health of workers also occurs there.

But Schwab has more: he would “harness the innovations of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to support the public good, especially by addressing health and social challenges.”

I would remind Schwab that the vaccines to prevent Covid-19 were produced in the U.S. -- not in Europe or Russia or China -- and by private corporations which achieved this in record time by substantial infusions of tax revenues made possible by our free market system.

Some people think the Great Reset is but a cover for a conspiracy to bring about a New World Order.  I don’t know that it’s a conspiracy, just more of the same globalists’ dream, actually not far removed from a standard European mindset that experts should call the shots and that a complex society can be ruled top down by these geniuses instead of by millions of people making their own independent choices. With the experiences of  the Imperial College’s  phony, inaccurate projections on Covid-19, Dr. Fauci’s unscientific and conflicting proscriptions, the clear political agenda of the CDC , the economic devastation caused by governors like Whitmer and Newsom, I don’t think we’re in the mood to buy this Schwab brand of baloney.

Diary of an Acclimatised Beauty: Celebrating

Happy New Year from Lyford Cay! I can’t imagine being anywhere else but here—away from border closures and shuttered shops. We are proving that there is life during Covid. Common sense would tell us that commercial flights and large resorts are a recipe for shutdown. Here… we wisely have none of that.

After big fireworks last night we ended up dancing on the beach, but it was mostly the guests of residents who don’t know the way of things here and stayed out late. That’s the thing with the non-residents… even if they weren’t frightfully easy to spot, one can always sense them nervously tugging at their pockets for vibrating cell phones that are a big no-no in this club and so many others that they obviously haven’t frequented.

The residents are of course mostly all lovely people, who’ve made their mark and can now focus on the things that matter. Speaking of just that sort, I had so wanted to talk to philanthropist Louis Bacon about all things environment. We’ve a strong contact in that one of my clients -- well, my former client -- is a big to-do in the Audubon Society. And Louis has received the actual Audubon Medal.

There's life after Covid.

I haven’t had the chance to talk to him owing to the fact that my hosts are on the Nygard side -- that’s Peter Nygard, who shares a property border with Mr Bacon and for whom a once-peaceful adjacency eventually led to duelling feuds and some sort of federal racketeering suit in Manhattan. I had hoped to at least bump into his wife but she’s a second wife and… well you know how those things go.

I've heard whispers that he's not really as committed to the environment as he seems to be,  and he did sue Wikimedia for publishing some bits he considered libelous, and there was even some suggestion of foul play when his estate manager was found floating naked in a hot tub, but I refuse to believe that someone who gives millions of dollars and thousands of acres for easements and wildlife could be in it for the wrong reasons.

I have to assume such a beef was bound to happen as their houses (the Bacons and the Nygards) are on the beachfront where the homes get quite close to each other, and in that area, one man’s dining room is only 200 feet from the other’s revolving acrylic discotheque.

As for Mr Nygard, my hosts maintain there is mostly nothing to the FBI raid and arrest at his fashion empire on charges of sex trafficking and racketeering. Here in Lyford he’s mostly disliked for his efforts to dredge the sea floor around his estate that eventually caused his cay to be seized by the Bahamian government. And then something caused a puddle that caused a feud between neighbours and here we are. As I’ve heard daddy say, one man’s cocktail party is another man’s sleepless night. Whatever the ruckus—he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Happy New Year to you too, Ma'am.

Which got me to thinking… I should just go and chat up Her Majesty’s newly remarried (and newly gay) cousin Lord Ivar Mountbatten. He and daddy are quite chummy, and I met him with his daughter Ella at the Royal Windsor Horse Show. Surely he’ll make the introductions—landowners tend to be big environmentalists.

This year, rather than silly resolutions I’ll be making significant intentions that support, empower, and manifest a joy-filled existence. I think it’s so important.

I made my way down to the New Year’s brunch in the pink tented dining pavilion. I was seated with some Austrians and I got excited that they might know Mr Bacon. Yes I know he’s an American but he obtained Austrian citizenship due to a special treatment for celebrities who have provided notable achievements for Austria. No one seems to know what the notable achievement was, but I hoped they were his guests. Sadly they were not, and didn’t know the least thing about him despite his celeb-status. 

Once they heard I lived in Los Angeles they wanted to talk election stuffs and rant about Trump. I wasn’t sure what he’d done to them specifically but they seemed in favour of the Paris Climate Agreement. Well, so am I! Very much so, but I wasn’t stupid enough to think anyone could slip it past the Americans and hope they wouldn’t realise they had to comply more and pay more than anyone else.

I was quiet for a bit. Where were the Austrians who stood on principle so very many times? Not to mention they were the first to say there was “no path back” when one of their stupid teens ran off to be a brood mare for ISIS. This was a puzzlement. And so I began:

“Is it Americans you dislike? Or do you simply share an all-consuming love of our planet?” I asked in the queen’s English. What followed was such nonsense I wondered how they could claim to stand for anything. I changed the subject so deftly I’d have made even Judith (mummy) proud. I just don’t get the blanket hatred for America thing… all things considered-they really are good caretakers of our earth.

Top this, Europe.

I asked them where they stood on Austria’s drastic move away from coal? They had no informed opinion. On their very own MAGA (Make Austria Great Again) rockstar Sebastian Kurz? Didn’t know. Nygard vs Bacon? (OK that was totally unfair but these two were getting on my nerves). But they somehow knew they were right to hate America for pulling out of the Agreement and didn’t have to be the informed sort of haters.

I lied about how much I’d enjoyed talking to them and excused myself. These two were such boors and were hardly going to help me manifest my higher purpose to save the planet. And no sooner had I focused on my destiny than I found a handsome hedge fund billionaire to chat up. Happy New Year Everyone!

WHO Done It?

To say that the World Health Organization badly mishandled the Covid-19 outbreak right from the outset might be the understatement of the century. In the early months of the crisis, as the virus was spreading throughout Wuhan and then China, the WHO consistently downplayed what was happening, praised China for its effective response, declined (at Beijing's behest) to declare a health emergency, and generally repeated CCP talking points about what was actually going on.

This while their inspectors were being denied access to Wuhan itself, to the wet market where the virus apparently first infected humans, and then to patients who were suffering from the virus.

The global response to the virus has been hysterical, but had the WHO not bent over backwards to minimize what was happening in China -- the New York Times reports that every word of the WHO's initial report on the crisis had to be approved by the CCP -- perhaps Covid could have been contained.

The WHO doesn't want this to become the commonly accepted narrative. If it is, taxpayers around the world might begin asking their governments why they contribute to the organization's $4.4 billion annual budget when it clearly only has the interests of one particular country at heart. So, they obfuscate and misdirect.

For the latest example of this, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus -- who is not a doctor -- has released a video statement for this past weekend's International Day of Epidemic Preparedness saying that the present pandemic should remind us how important it is to get ahead of the next public health emergency. He was referring, of course, to climate change.

Here's what the Director-General said:

The pandemic has highlighted the intimate links between the health of humans, animals, and planet... Any efforts to improve human health are doomed unless they address the critical interface between humans and animals, and the existential threat of climate change, that is making our earth less habitable.... [T]his will not be the last pandemic... but with investments in public health, supported by an all-of-government, all-of-society, One Health approach, we can ensure that our children and their children inherit a safer, more resilient, and more sustainable world.

His point in favor of a collectivist approach to such problems is strange since it was his globalist organization working in concert with a communist country with imperial pretentions which caused the crisis in the first place. But the reference to climate change and a "more sustainable world" is meant to distract from the incoherence. This is an appeal to virtue signalers worldwide. How can they stay mad at a man who is so clearly on their side?

Not that the country for which the WHO consistently carries water is known for its environmentalist friendly policies, but liberals pride themselves on embodying F. Scott Fitzgerald's maxim that the mark of "a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time." By that measure, they're off the charts.

The Green Covid 'Relief' Bill

On Sunday, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and minority leader Chuck Schumer announced that they had come to an agreement on the details of a second Covid-19 relief package. There had been a lot of public wrangling over what the bill should look like, with senators Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) calling for $1,200 payments to Americans to compensate them for the economic disruption of the government-imposed lockdowns, a provision which President Trump supported but which was ultimately thwarted by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.).

There was debate about whether businesses should be granted immunity from Covid-related lawsuits (to which the Democrats objected), and whether state and local governments adversely effected by the pandemic should be bailed out (to which the Republicans objected). In the end, after a number of compromises, senators were left with a neat, tidy bill which they could all be happy with.

Or at least, that was what leadership expected them to say. In fact, the text of the bill was more than 5,000 pages long, and wasn't released until two hours before it was to be voted on. For once, AOC is right:

Not reading it didn't stop Congress from passing the $2.3 trillion legislation by huge margins on Monday. To echo AOC's leader on another massive bill, I guess they had to pass it for us to find out what's in it.

That's exactly what we're finding out now, and there are quite a few howlers, from $10 million for Pakistani "gender programs" to the creation of a committee to combat performance enhancing drug use in horse racing. But the surprising provisions which feature the most prominently in the actual text of the bill are all climate related. This is from an AP report entitled "Congress takes aim at climate change in massive relief bill":

The huge pandemic relief and spending bill includes billions of dollars to promote clean energy such as wind and solar power while sharply reducing over time the use of potent coolants in air conditioners and refrigerators.... The energy and climate provisions, supported by lawmakers from both parties, were hailed as the most significant climate change law in at least a decade. “Republicans and Democrats are working together to protect the environment through innovation,” said Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

The sprawling legislation also extends tax credits for solar and wind power that are a key part of President-elect Joe Biden’s ambitious plan to generate 100 percent “clean electricity” by 2035. Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware... said the bill would cut pollution from school buses, air conditioners, refrigerators and more, while creating thousands of American jobs and helping “save our planet from the climate crisis.″ “Make no mistake,″ he said, the new legislation “will soon be some of the most significant climate solutions to pass out of Congress to date.″

For all of the hand wringing over this being the second largest bill in American history, as well as attempts by  Johnson and others to trim down benefits to individual Americans, Republicans and Democrats conspired to shower taxpayer dollars on questionable and controversial green priorities which have nothing to do with the virus, without saying a word about it in public.

It's almost as if the pandemic is just an excuse to do whatever they already wanted to do to begin with.

Toyota Chief on Electric Cars: Slow Down!

The Observer reports on some very striking comments by Toyota Motor Corporation president Akio Toyoda, on the topic of Electric Vehicles. EVs are hot right now, with the automotive industry investing heavily in them, and governments throughout the world (prominently, as The Observer mentions, those of Great Britain and California) looking to aid their development by banning the sale of gasoline and diesel engines in the not-too-distant future.

But Mr. Toyoda is not convinced that they are the answer. At a recent press conference, he pointed out a few problems with the projected shift to EVs. First, he claimed that “the current business model of the car industry is going to collapse" if the industry shifts to EVs too quickly. No word on whether he thinks that the oft-discussed 10-15 year timeline put forward by activists in and out of government falls into that category, but it wouldn't be surprising if that is exactly what he had in mind.

Next, he pointed out that "Japan [for one] would run out of electricity in the summer if all cars were running on electric power." There just isn't enough electricity to go around, especially with battery technology being what it is. He estimated that "the infrastructure needed to support a 100 percent EV fleet would cost Japan between 14 trillion and 37 trillion yen ($135 billion to $358 billion)," a hefty percentage of GDP for a famously stagnant economy like Japan's.

Worth noting that it is a lot cheaper to generate the electricity a given vehicle needs on site -- that is, within the vehicle itself, as a gasoline powered combustion engine does -- than producing it elsewhere and transporting to the car.

And, following up on that point, he called attention to the fact that "most of the country’s electricity is generated by burning coal and natural gas, anyway," so the stated goal of leaving fossil fuels behind by shifting to EVs isn't going to happen. In his words:

The more EVs we build, the worse carbon dioxide gets… When politicians are out there saying, ‘Let’s get rid of all cars using gasoline,’ do they understand this?

Unfortunately the answer to that question is probably "No," both for the politicians and the propagandists in the media.

The Media: Foot Soldiers in the 'Climate Change' Wars

Lest there be any doubt about the complicity of the corrupt mainstream media in the Climate Change Hoax, a survey of recent articles in major publications confirms it.  Nothing but certified lunacy is on display in everything from the Washington Post to Politico and beyond.

One of the tactics used by Climate Change Hoaxers is one used by Leftists in general.  They attempt to change objective facts and then use the revised narrative to support their otherwise untenable argument.  In the case of climate change, there is no change unless one can refer to a baseline of some kind.   There must be something to compare the change to.

David Policansky, in an obtuse article in the  Post, tries to do exactly this by utilizing a concept known as  “Shifting Baseline Syndrome” (SBS).  SBS essentially argues that because baseline periods used as standards against which changes are measured change from time to time, a false impression is thus created regarding what the baseline actually is.

Left... left... left, left, left...

Policansky claims that because the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) updates its 30-year baseline every ten years, it allegedly masks increases in global warming.  Why?  Because warming has been going on for awhile, so shifting the timeline by ten years absorbs that increase and renders it as the new normal.

However, Policansky demonstrates his rank partisanship by failing to mention that NOAA accounts for this:

We also compute “normal” in two additional ways: the Optimal Climate Normal (OCN) approach and the Hinge Fit approach. We won’t get into the heavy statistical details here, but you can think of the OCN as a “smart” average where the data values tell you how many years to average over. The Hinge Fit is a different animal altogether—in fact, it’s not even an average but a statistical fit through the data values. Generally speaking, the Hinge Fit is relatively sensitive to recent shifts upward or downward versus the 30-year normal, while the OCN reflects the effects of recent shifts more moderately.

This isn’t good enough for Policansky because it doesn’t skew the alarmist narrative enough.  So he has proposed his own baseline of 1951-1980, which he claims, “covers some cold and warm periods but also is recent enough that many current weather stations existed in their present locations then. It also is mostly before the effects of human-caused climate warming were clear.”

Convenient, isn’t it?  What if we just looked at the entire data set that goes back as far back as possible?  Seems easier and more accurate, doesn’t it?

Next, we have Politico.  A “special report” by Zack Colman warns us that the next great mortgage crisis may occur because of climate change!  He strings together a series of postulations in order to support his argument that areas that are not currently regarded as floodplains may turn into floodplains as a result of global warming.

Buyers and lenders are now able to assess the risks of climate change damage by using simple apps — a technological revolution that is placing a warning label on millions of properties from seaside New England to low-lying areas vulnerable to hurricanes across the Southeast to the arid, fire-prone hills of California. And once buyers start refusing to pay top dollar for such homes — and insurers stop underwriting policies on them — the more than trillion-dollar Fannie-Freddie portfolio could take an enormous hit, big enough to knock the economy into recession or worse.

Colman doesn’t provide any evidence that climate change is creating floods anywhere right now, or where those floods might occur in the future as a direct result.  He just leaps to the conclusion that it will happen.  In fact, these floodplains are actually called “100-year floodplains” because there is a one percent chance that in any given year, those areas may flood.  The argument is that this risk is under-assessed without any basis in fact.

What's our angle, chief?

In any case, those homes don’t require flood insurance.  Should there be a climate-change driven mass flooding catastrophe (or series thereof), then federal agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be on the hook for homes that are destroyed by said flooding.   That will trigger a second mortgage crisis, right?

Yes and no (mostly no).  The mortgage crisis of 2008-9 was caused by a systemic failure in the entire mortgage system, which has since been completely reformed.  Colman happens to single out Hialeah, Fla., as an example in which  an above-average number of home mortgages are backed by the federal agencies.

The first mortgage crisis resulted from failing mortgages all over the country.  Any flooding that might occur is already accounted for in risk management, because the likelihood is one percent in any given year per floodplain.  It would be even more highly unlikely that flooding would occur in more than one plain at the same time.  Thus, some mortgages might fail in certain specific areas – hardly a crisis.

What Colman suggests is that global warming will cause lots and lots of these floodplains to become active and thereby wipe out all the homes in them in a very short period of time.

Officials at the FHFA, which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, maintain that taxpayers are protected by flood insurance requirements. Parts of Hialeah, though, don’t fall into the floodplain, a result of outdated maps that do not consider future flood scenarios arising from climate change — a problem that, policymakers maintain, is replicated in communities across the country.

But pricing climate change into mortgage terms would wreak havoc in the real estate market — a hit that, while protective of taxpayers in the long run, runs counter to the missions of the relevant agencies. Turning off the mortgage spigot in communities affected by climate change would disproportionately affect people of color, whose neighborhoods are more likely to be plagued by violent weather.

It isn’t only America that has lost its mind regarding "climate change."  Time Magazine heads to Europe, specifically Portugal, to press the case that climate change is (ready for this?) a violation of children’s human rights.

Reporter Ciara Nugent details the case of two poor kids from Lisbon, Sofia and André, who watched wildfires and heat waves “tear through Portugal.”  So they and a few other kids filed a case with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), “arguing that governments in 33 European countries have not done enough to prevent the impacts of climate change from violating their citizens’ human rights."

The summer of 2017 was hugely stressful for Sofia and André Oliveira, then aged 12 and 9. From their home in Lisbon, they watched a season of record wildfires and severe heat waves tear through Portugal, killing 120 people. For the children, it was already clear that the extreme heat –which scientists linked to climate change –would not be an isolated chapter in their lives. “We’ve always talked about climate change at home,” Sofia, now 15, says over video chat, sitting next to her brother at the family’s dining room table. “And we wanted to do something—something big.”

Dear kids, we're so sorry, love, the media.

Apparently, the ECHR has decided that human rights issues, such as protecting Christians and gays from persecution in Muslim countries, isn’t quite as important as this issue, as it moved the case to its priority list.  I wonder if the ECHR saw my article demonstrating that wildfires have nothing to do with global warming.  I’m guessing it didn’t.

Why does this matter?  The media’s dishonesty and alignment with Leftism isn’t just bad for journalism or democracy.  The media has become the public relations arm of the Democrats and of leftists.  Journalism and investigation have been replaced by activism and coordinated messaging.

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In the height of irony, a published analysis in the journal Environmental Research Communications says that the New York Times wasn’t doing a good job on educating readers about the facts – the “facts” that support climate change.  In other words, they argue the Times wasn’t skewing the truth enough! Here's the bad news:

This study quantifies the presence or absence of basic climate facts within climate news articles of a major national newspaper. In an analysis of nearly six hundred news articles in The New York Times (NYT) that cover climate change, we find that, with one exception, basic climate facts appear in those articles today with vanishingly small frequencies. The one exception is the fact that global warming is happening now, which appears in 31% of current NYT news articles.

The good news is, hoaxes sell newspapers.

Empty the Head that Forswears the Crown

Earlier this year Prince Harry, like so many frustrated young men before him, left home and ran off to California with a pretty girl in the hope of hitting it big and changing the world. Of course, being royalty, he didn't move to Haight-Ashbury to start a mediocre folk group and get stoned at anti-war protests. Instead, he and Meghan moved into a $14.7M mansion in Beverly Hills, signed a mega-deal with Netflix, endorsed Joe Biden, and became environmentalists.

Still, like the folkies, Harry has felt it necessary to inflict his faux-poetic thoughts on the rest of us.  Here he is speaking at an event for WaterBear, a new subscription service for environmentalist documentaries:

Every single raindrop that falls from the sky relieves the parched ground. What if every single one of us was a raindrop, and if every single one of us cared?

Far out, man. You can almost hear this being sung by Scott McKenzie or the Mamas and the Papas. No word on whether he thinks the universe might be just a single atom in the finger nail of some enormous being. Of course, to change the world you have to tackle the tough issues of the day, and Harry didn't disappoint on that score. He made it a point to tie the ongoing pandemic to the environment, saying:

[I]t’s almost as though Mother Nature has sent us to our rooms for bad behavior to really take a moment and think about what we’ve done.... We take so much from her and we rarely give a lot back.

But, as Joanna Williams points out in the Spectator, we really shouldn't laugh. For all of his vapidity, Harry is clearly making a play for increased cultural cachet, and he's doing so by parroting  the sentiments of our cultural elite. These are all common views among our beneficent rulers.

Consider another of the prince's insights: "But the moment you become a father, everything really does change... you start to realize, well, what is the point in bringing a new person into this world when they get to your age and it’s on fire?" This is a perfect encapsulation of elite climate hysteria, and it is becoming increasingly normalized.

Williams discusses the fact that this image of the world burning irresponsibly encourages eco-anxiety, a growing problem for both adults and children, many of whom have been psychologically harmed by the propaganda, as Greta Thunberg apparently was after watching a (now-debunked) David Attenborough film.

But there's also Harry and Meghan's longstanding vow to have no more than two children, for environmental reasons. Their public declaration is clearly meant to influence the choices of regular people, making them feel that it would be irresponsible to have more (or any) children, despite the fact that our country has below-replacement birthrates and Americans already have fewer children than we claim to want. Who are these people to say your dream of being a parent is irresponsible?

Talk about privilege.

Canadian Ecopoets' Dream Is Albertan Nightmare

 Seamus O’Regan, Newfoundland pseudo-nonce-poet, Canada’s natural resources minister and all-round “weightless politician” (as Rex Murphy dubs him), has turned to poetry, offering a homiletic assessment of Canada’s bright Green future once Canada’s oil-and gas giant, the province of Alberta, has been economically destroyed. In a poem, or rather, a piece of anaphoric doggerel, entitled ALBERTA Is, the poet- minister informs us

Obviously, Alberta is, and can be, none of these. Hydrogen, batteries, geothermal, and electric vehicles are all dead letters. They are unworkable. The evidence is incontrovertible. Moreover, in a cramp of logical thinking, if Alberta is everything O’Regan says it is, then capture technology has no place in his catalogue. The Twitter post capping this feeble attempt at poetic afflatus, Alberta is vital to [Canada's] clean energy future, is an emblem of perilous inanity. As Michael Shellenberger has shown in article and book, clean energy is remarkably dirty. A functioning Alberta is vital not to a non-existent “clean energy future” but to Canada’s energy independence, industrial survival and national prosperity. O’Regan’s Alberta is a radical environmentalist’s baleful fantasy.

O’Regan may not be a poet in any meaningful sense of the word, anymore than he is an effective minister, but he has the backing of Canada’s poetic community. Acclaimed Canadian versifiers like Dionne Brand, Michael Ondaatje and George Elliott Clarke have signed on to an ecological movement known as The Leap Manifesto: A Call for a Canada Based on Caring for the Earth and One Another, which has targeted Alberta for destruction by transitioning Canada away from fossil fuels.

A poetically influential school known as ecopoets or wilderness poets have added their collective voice to the call for deep-sixing the energy sector and replacing it with abortive renewables like wind and solar, which are known to be unaffordable, inadequate and environmentally disastrous.

For example, in “At the Center, A Woman” from Tourist to Ecstasy, voluminously published ecopoet Tim Lilburn revives an indigenous fable enjoining us to return to the feminine source of unspoiled existence and the spirit of nature— 

Her voice is black water under wheat’s erect earth.
Uh.    Uh.
Her teeth are armies.   Uh.
Her throat’s flex, tree, flowing mass. Cottonwood, beech.
She songs the forest. Energy mezzos.
Mmho  Mmho  Mmho  Ho Ho Ho Ho

Apparently, the time for a new understanding has arrived. We have come to “the edge of the known world,” he informs us, “and the beginning of philosophy.” The beginning of philosophy entails the end of the energy sector and the apotheosis of water, wheat and forest. O brave new world that has such poets in it. 

Ecopoetry’s most famous Canadian practitioner, award-winning Don McKay, argues in an essay for Making the Geologic Now, "[T]he intention of culture… has been all too richly realized, that there is little hope for an other that remains other, for wilderness that remains wild.” In order to assure a revivified nature, we must cease “digging up fossilized organisms and burning them, effectively turning earthbound carbon into atmospheric carbon, drastically altering the climate.

Rather we must affirm “the visionary experience of wilderness as undomesticated presence”—though domesticated, it turns out, by much scarred terrain where “rare earths” are mined and featuring landscape-devouring and soil-poisoning solar panels, 285 feet high wind turbines, unrecyclable blades and masts, bird hecatombs and, as Jean-Louis Butré writes in Figarovox/Tribune, lamenting the despoliation of the French countryside, “new concrete blockhouses to maintain these monsters.” The result is “le déversement de tonnes de bétons dans nos campagnes.”

O nature, pleine de grace.

The costs of eventual land reclamation will be, as he says, “pharaminous” and an insupportable burden on municipalities. How this fact consorts with McKay’s environmentally-conscious urging to “amend our lives, to live less exploitatively and consumptively,” and to honor spirit of place remains an open question.

Indifferent poets have also contributed to the wilderness-inspired trashing of reliable energy production. To take one example, in Regreen: New Canadian Ecological Poetry, Mari-Lou Rowley presents us with “Tar Sands, Going down”:

Look up! look way up-
nothing but haze and holes.
Look down!
bitumen bite in the
neck arms thighs of Earth
a boreal blistering,
boiling soil and smoke-slathered sky.

Environmental Catharism is now the name of the game. As Abraham Miller explains, lamenting the deterioration of California’s infrastructure, the Green mandate has shifted state expenditures to providing renewable energy rather than maintaining power lines. Rolling blackouts are the result. In addition, the environmental lobby has prevented prudent clear cutting in order to ensure “nutrients for the soil,” creating forests of highly combustible underbrush and dead trees. The trouble is, Miller warns, “What happens in California never stays in California.”

Very true. Once Alberta is decommissioned, California Dreamin’ is Canada’s future. So much for wilderness, the virgin bride of Canada’s poetic suitors. Unfortunately, Mmho  Mmho will not take us very far.

Just ask a real poet.

In his celebrated essay, A Defence of Poetry, Percy Bysshe Shelley, among the great Romantic poets of the early 19th century, claimed that “Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.” Shelley was determined to refute the thesis of his friend Thomas Love Peacock, who in The Four Ages of Poetry had argued that poetry had become useless in the era of the Enlightenment. Rather, Shelley asserted, poets are innovators, revolutionaries, visionaries of the “highest order,” and the source of “those social sympathies [and] elementary laws from which society develops.” The true poet runs counter to the shibboleths of the time, rejecting the modish fancies and social trends that imbue the culture. His mandate is skepticism and critique.

Regrettably, our poets no longer challenge the fads and superstitions of the day. Like the politicians, journalists, and academics who have plunged headlong into Green, they have become supine followers of the climate mandarins, lobbying for renewable energy and the abolition of the oil and gas industry. Alberta bad. Energy disaster good. They have become Seamus O’Regan.

There may yet be hope. W.H. Auden, one of the best and most intelligent poets of the modern era, wrote that “Poetry makes nothing happen.” Alberta has a mighty struggle on its hands but, if Peacock and Auden are right, it need not worry about its poetic adversaries—except when, like O’Regan, they happen to be politicians.

BoJo's Bizarre Climate Scheme

Boris Johnson's Tories won the 2019 British election in a landslide on the strength of their promise to "Get Brexit Done," but for most of the time since they've been distracted by Covid-19 and by Boris's odd dalliance with climate hysteria. On the latter point, he seems to believe that expending political capital on building wind farms and mandating electric cars will help him maintain his hold on those working class, traditional Labour voters whose support he promised not to take for granted on election night.

This seems a bizarre play, as polling suggests that climate issues are fairly low priority to Brits in those former "Red Wall" seats in the North and the Midlands. Throughout Britain healthcare, the economy, and Brexit remain people's top concerns. A recent survey has what is referred to as the "climate emergency" prioritized by just 23 percent of the populace, and less than that (unsurprisingly) in those working class outposts which the P.M. is targeting.

Nevertheless, Johnson is determined to go full speed ahead with what he's calling Britain's "green industrial revolution." He recently released a 10-point plan, which includes pledges to ban the sale of combustion engine automobiles by 2030, quadruple offshore wind farms by the same year, invest heavily in the development of various "green" technologies, and to transform London into “the global centre of green finance.” This plan, BoJo assures us, will generate "up to 250,000 jobs," and all for the low, low cost of £12 billion!

In response, Matt Ridley has put forward a 10-point demolition in the Telegraph. First off, he points out, that jobs-for-pounds ratio isn't actually that impressive.

£48,000 per job is a lot. Cheaper... to create the same employment erecting a statue of Boris in every town. Anyway, it’s backwards: it’s not jobs in the generating of energy that count, but jobs that use it. Providing cheap, reliable energy enables the private sector to create jobs for free as far as the taxpayer is concerned.

Then there's the fact that Johnson is "hugely underestimating the cost." Among other things, he's relying on the wind industry's own claim that their costs are coming down, when the actual "accounts of wind energy companies show that both capital and operating expenditures of offshore wind farms continue to rise." Should wind energy be mandated, Britain's already high electricity prices will actually increase, which "will kill a lot more than 250,000 jobs."

Ridley makes several more important points, including that the prime minister "misreads how innovation works," and thus foolishly assumes that pumping money into the problem will necessarily generate new technology required to make his plan work. It won't. He concludes,

My fear is that we will carry out Boris’s promised 10-point plan, cripple our economy, ruin our seascapes and landscapes, and then half way through the 2030s along will come cheap, small, safe fusion reactors. The offshore wind industry, by then so stuffed with subsidies they can afford to lobby politicians and journalists even more than they do to today, will suck their teeth and say: “no, no, no – ignore the fusion crowd. We’re on the brink of solving the reliability issue, and don’t worry, the cost will come down eventually. Promise!”

Fingers crossed, no doubt.

One Age, Two Zeitgeists

Joe Biden making a “pledge to be a president who seeks not to divide but to unify,” seems rich coming from someone representing a political party which has been unremittingly intent on undermining the 45th president since before day one. But there it is. On the left, hypocrisy never flags.

I am not, of course, an American but I do make claim to being an irredeemably deplorable conservative chump. As such, I have beliefs. Here is a short selective account.

The way we were.

What else do I or don’t I believe? Lots actually. But you get the picture. And I’d like to think, and do think, that my beliefs are shared, to a very great extent, by people on the conservative side of the political spectrum. But many people don’t share them. In fact, it is safe to say, those belonging to the modern left share none of them. The two sets of beliefs are non-intersecting.

In the west, there is no longer one defining spirit and mood of the times. There are two. Truly, we are a house (acrimoniously) divided. Thus, calls for the U.S. population or the population of any western nation to come together in unity is pie-in-the-sky.

Let me put it this way. Will those on the political left ever be happy to go along with conservative government? It’s a silly question. They have an agenda and it doesn’t include kumbaya get-togethers with their political opponents.

The way we are.

How about those who collectively might be called right of centre? Okay, there are many milquetoasts-cum-pantywaists in this eclectic category of people. They are easily peeled off to become useful idiots on behalf of the left; e.g., John Kasich, Jeff Flake, Mitt Romney, among political notables in the US. However, stalwart conservatives simply can’t buy any of the left’s bill of goods.

Consider the antithesis of each of the beliefs which I set out above. Put them together and what do you get? A destructive empire of lies; undermining the values which have served us so well for so long. Hard to swallow. How can anyone swallow them? Many evidently can.

Give or take, half the United States votes left. And this isn’t the left of such a little way back as the time of Bill Clinton. This is the modern loony version, exemplified by the Squad and the 110-page Biden - Sanders manifesto.

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It’s an amazing document. I was struck by a comparison of Australia’s scheme in 2009 to help the economy out of recession and increase the energy efficiency of houses, by providing the installation of free insulating ceiling batts, with a much grander U.S. scheme, of “upgrades to up to two million low-income households [and to] incentivize tens of billions of dollars in private-sector investment to retrofit four million buildings.” What could possibly go wrong?

In Australia a lot went wrong in a short space of time. Four deaths and ninety-four house fires later the so-called “pink-batts scheme” was quickly canned. There’s electrical wire in those roof spaces and, overnight, lots of ill-trained wannabes became batt installers.

Of course, I have barely touched on the madness in the manifesto. And before you say no-one reads this kind of thing, the universities are churning out people who don’t have to. They live and breathe its destructive dystopian drivel and go on to occupy every nook and cranny of influence.

The political battle is no longer between adversaries who have broad objectives in common. And, make no mistake, the battle is uneven. Among the political class, stalwart conservatives are a declining breed. A potential saving is that their values and policies are still broadly in sync with the instincts of blue-collar and agricultural workers and, more generally, with that body of the population which through religious faith or through life experiences has managed to retain their common sense despite the onslaught of absurd wokeness. Does this offer a chance to hold back the leftist tide? Can the tide ever be turned?

The way we're headed.

I used to think Trump was the last best hope, as slim as it was. Without at all counting him out at this stage, I can’t afford to think that now. The fight has to be fought however slim the chances of victory. Covid exposes the leftist creed for what it is: cowardly, mean, miserable and godless. Evidently, those on the left can never get enough of masking, social distancing, hand-sanitizing, lockdowns, curfews, any and all rules restricting freedom; including, notably, the freedom to worship. Compliant and dependent, searching for safety in a government womb.

Idolatry had many forms in the past. Golden idols loomed large. Money is a more modern manifestation. Both seem less foul than genuflecting to government. Whining to be kept safe by the nanny state is not edifying.