Davos Elite Won’t Tackle Climate Crisis and Global Inequalities

Yves here. Readers may regard the title as “dog bites man,” but our supposed betters expect to be treated with a great deal of deference. That includes not having Davos hypocrisies called out, like acting as if they will of course keep their lavish lifestyles while the lower orders make sacrifices, including on the climate front, for them.

By Paul Rogers, Emeritus Professor of Peace Studies in the Department of Peace Studies and International Relations at Bradford University, and an Honorary Fellow at the Joint Service Command and Staff College. He is openDemocracy’s international security correspondent. He is on Twitter at: @ProfPRogers. Originally published at openDemocracy

The 2023 World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Davos started five days ago amid an air of pessimism.

Months beforehand, 73% of business leaders surveyed by PricewaterhouseCoopers had predicted a decline in global growth in the coming year, with inflation, volatility and geopolitical conflict topping the risk list. It is hardly a surprising figure given 2022 ended with global stocks having fallen by nearly 20%, with market losses of $30trn, the worst since 2008.

Despite that grim economic forecast, the first three days in Davos were taken up with discussions on EU/US trade issues and then Ukraine, with German chancellor Olaf Scholz and President Zelenskyy the leading speakers.

But day three of the summit also saw a speech from UN secretary-general António Guterres, which emphasised the urgent need for radical decarbonisation, as well as the amplification of systemic global inequalities by a “morally bankrupt financial system”.

The founder of the Forum, Klaus Schwab, has long wanted it to examine broad global problems, but all too often smaller, specific issues dominate discussion, with matters like Guterres’s concerns over socio-economic divisions and climate breakdown sidelined. The major corporations and opinion formers at Davos are focused on short-term results and shareholder requirements for strong returns, not longer-term challenges.

Schwab himself may be critical of traditional shareholder capitalism and keen on what is termed ‘stakeholder responsibility’ or ‘stakeholder capitalism’, which aims to replace the primacy of profitability and shareholder reward with a wider concern over issues such as climate change and economic marginalisation. It may itself be a questionable concept – but in any case there is little evidence of such a transformation being in prospect for the Davos elite.

Two glaring examples of lack of change came to light just as the WEF got under way. The first related to one of the few achievements of the COP26 climate summit, the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), a grouping of 450 organisations in 45 countries with assets exceeding $130trn. Its collective aim was for members to align their investments to help limit the global temperature rise to 1.5°C.

However, indications in the past year reveal little change in behaviour. According to Reclaim Finance, among the banks aligned to GFANZ, 56 of the world’s biggest have invested $270bn in fossil fuel corporations for expansion, while the 58 largest members of the asset management grouping within GFANZ retain $847bn in assets in fossil fuel companies.

Perhaps it is taking time, but time is something we do not have.

The second example of business as usual was the confirmation of a long-held suspicion that fossil fuel companies have known for decades from their own researchers that climate change is directly linked to fossil fuel combustion.

A new study by analysts at Harvard University and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research reveals that scientists at Exxon, the world’s largest fossil fuel corporation, “were uncannily accurate in their projections from the 1970s onwards, predicting an upward curve of global temperatures and carbon dioxide emissions that is close to matching what actually occurred as the world heated up at a pace not seen in millions of years”.

The researchers examined more than 100 company documents and peer-reviewed scientific papers covering the period from 1977 to 2014. Bear in mind that by 1977 campaigners were already arguing for green policies in relation to fossil fuels. The first period of climate concern had come in the mid-1970s after the publication of the seminal ‘Limits to Growth’ back in 1972.

Exxon’s response was to do its own studies – with those uncannily accurate conclusions. If Exxon had then put serious money into renewable energy resources, other fossil fuel companies would have followed suit and we would be at least a decade further down the road to a decarbonising world. Instead, it doubled down in rejecting the science and went full tilt to exploit fossil carbon for as long as possible.

If global heating and climate breakdown have figured little at Davos, then the same applies to Guterres’s other concern: systemic global inequalities. As with climate issues, there is little new in this: inequalities are becoming extreme as the dominance of market fundamentalism fosters an environment of runaway wealth. Even so, the way in which the financial disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has allowed massive increases in wealth for a few is little short of breathtaking.

In the four-month period from April to July 2020, as lockdowns took hold, the world’s 2,189 dollar billionaires increased their wealth by a staggering 27.5%, a remarkable example of ‘disaster capitalism’ at work.

This year, Oxfam once again timed its annual report on wealth distribution to coincide with the start of WEF, and presented yet more evidence of a system failing the majority of the world’s people. It reported that since January 2020, 63% of all the new wealth generated – some $26trn – went to the richest 1%. It also noted that for the first time in a quarter of a century, the rise in extreme wealth was being matched by a rise in extreme poverty and called for wealth taxes to be levied on the world’s super-rich.

This is hardly likely to happen on any scale, so the prospect of a bitterly divided and environmentally limited world looms. As the economic geographer, Edwin Brooks, put it over half a century ago, the risk is of “a crowded glowering planet of massive inequalities of wealth, buttressed by stark force yet endlessly threatened by desperate people in the global ghettoes”.

It doesn’t have to be.

At least on the climate issue, change can happen quickly. Public concern is close to turning to anger at political inaction, just as the risk of repeated wild weather catastrophes emerges. This is paralleled by the rapid emergence of viable options for radical decarbonisation that could, even now, be implemented quickly enough to prevent the worst excesses of climate breakdown.

That may do little for transforming the neoliberal economy into a genuinely sustainable alternative, but a public consciousness that is up for the challenge of preventing climate breakdown can set the scene for an economic transformation. Just don’t expect the World Economic Forum to be anywhere near the forefront of change.

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43 comments

  1. clarky90

    John 8:44
    English Standard Version

    You, “DAVOS MAN”, are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

    Reply
  2. Paradan

    Now hold on a second here. Don’t you think that before they do anything they should assemble a panel of experts to decide the best course of action?

    Reply
  3. cnchal

    I am taking a shine to ‘global warming’.

    Every day that salt isn’t poured onto the roads in wintertime around here is a good day, which means my nearly three decade old freedom machine that sees winter miles lasts one day longer.

    I should stock up on Exxon stawk.

    Reply
  4. JohnA

    Davos seems to be dominated by demands to send more and more weapons to Ukraine to continue the conflict there. Leaving aside the human misery, deaths and injuries, for a moment, this is also massively disadvantageous for climate warming with all the bombs, fuel combustion, not to mention the gas released from the sabotaged Nord Stream II pipelines.
    And yes, even skolstrejk för klimatet so-called heroine Greta Thunberg has flown to Davos by jet.

    Reply
    1. Bruno

      Having just been arrested for resisting State Terrorism, Greta had prepared her Davos indictment for the next day. A speech not for the billionaire scum, but for the people of the world–to be followed the next day by her second arrest in the ongoing protest against State Terrorism. You are So Green! Your Idealism should let you envision how she should make that round trip without any fossile fueling. But then you bullshit like an economist. So I expect you to say “assume a flying carpet…

      Reply
  5. Ignacio

    I liked the article. yet you can go directly to the last phrase and there it is the simple reality. It would be more useful to repeat it once and again than do all the previous reasoning. The WEF is not a Forum for changes. It is a forum for more of the same organized by and for the people that benefit the most from the status quo.

    Reply
  6. John Steinbach

    “At least on the climate issue, change can happen quickly. Public concern is close to turning to anger at political inaction, just as the risk of repeated wild weather catastrophes emerges. This is paralleled by the rapid emergence of viable options for radical decarbonisation that could, even now, be implemented quickly enough to prevent the worst excesses of climate breakdown.”

    Much hopium is encapsulated in this short paragraph. “public concern” hasn’t the slightest influence on the elite’s behavior, nor has anger unless it is organized, targeted & mass-based, like during the Great Depression. The only “viable option” available to “prevent the worst excesses of climate breakdown,” is radical conservation, and this must start at the top.

    Reply
    1. jefemt

      Hmmm….I agree radical conservation is a part of the answer, and it is the lowest hanging least-cost easiest fruit. However, I quibble with ANYTHING starting at the top.
      Leaders, being political animals, follow, and are the last to start anything.
      Nothing ever will start from the top.
      Individual choice and action.

      I read again, for the umpteenth time, MLK Jr.’s last speech before his assassination.
      There is quite a bit of it dedicated to the power of individuals, in peaceful action, to foment change.
      He mentions the power of the dollar and spending.
      It makes sense, when the power peeps are ‘capitalist’ politicians interlocked with corporate interests.
      Take away their dollar, listen to them hollah…

      Every time I see folks at the pump, present company included, I think, my god, we don’t bat an eye at this.

      Imagine if we each made an effort to walk, bike, or carpool for 1/2 of our transportation ‘needs’ . Or, we did a work around and stayed put and did bidness electronically. A 50% reduction is yuuuge.

      Imagine demanding 50% less. Vacations elsewhere. Distant out of season foodstuffs. Etc.

      2023- my resolution – Do little with less. Starve The Beast. The Great Opt Out.

      Garden and learn and practice an art or two. Get to know your neighbors. Visit more and bustle less.

      BTW, Greta is being lambasted for her attendance, transportaion to, the whole WEF. Perhaps rightly. But, she got a fair bit of press and suffered like a crucified Jesus for speaking truth to power, pointing out the absurdity of expectation Oil Gas, entrenched power people, to foment any change from the status quo. Her observations are sort of the genesis of this article, eh?

      Reply
      1. Tom Pfotzer

        Jefemt: All well-said.

        I remember attending many, many a green do-gooders meeting, wherein tiny fists were raised, and anger expressed at all those elites who were standing in the way of Fixing the Problem.

        When the meetings ended, every single one of those people got in their car and drove away. Shortly thereafter, they filled up at the Exxon station. Went to the groc store, to buy Chilean grapes, beef steak, etc.

        Everyone is standing around, waiting for something or someone else to solve the problem. We’re waiting for someone else to suffer the (momentary) indignities of a reduced std of living while we transition to an economy that designed to fix the environment as it provides us a living.

        Jefemt has it on the cross-hairs:

        Leaders, being political animals, follow, and are the last to start anything.
        Nothing ever will start from the top.

        In fact, quite the opposite. The people at the top _like_ how the world currently works; they’re in the apex social position. The elites are going to be dead-last in the “race for problem-solving change”.

        Reply
        1. JEHR

          And the wealthy elite will be last to be dead when climate has changed irreparably; thus “dead-last” and” last dead” is a good motto for them.

          Reply
          1. Tom Pfotzer

            Yes. That is a particularly annoying fact, that the people that most caused the catastrophe will be the last to suffer from it.

            If all this plays out as it looks (major human-affairs crash into the environmental bridge abutment), be sure to do your part to acquaint the perps with their full, maybe even generous, measure of consequences.

            I’ll reiterate: the perps – those vaunted elites – couldn’t be doing what they’re doing without major, galactic-scale buy-in and complicity from the masses.

            Please don’t forget to observe that fact.

            Reply
            1. thousand points of green

              Its hard to bite the hand that “feeds” you when it is wrapped around your throat.

              That is also a fact worthy of being observed.

              Reply
              1. Tom Pfotzer

                Do you have a plan – one that might actually work – for de-wrapping that hand from around your throat?

                Would you agree that complaining doesn’t seem to be working all that well?

                So if you, or anyone else reading this has a viable plan, and it won’t suffer from being made public, I suggest you air it.

                Reply
                1. thousand points of green

                  I would start with not accusing the masses of major, galactic-scale buy-in and complicity with a system the masses have very little choice in.

                  Would you agree that accusing the masses of “complicity” with things they have very little choice in doesn’t seem to be working out all that well either?

                  Reply
                  1. Tom Pfotzer

                    That’s right where we differ, TPofG. And I’m glad you framed the debate so clearly.

                    We are _not_ helpless. Collectively we comprise billions of people, each with agency, control over their own household, over purchase (consumption or investment) decisions.

                    Nearly all of us have elected, in one form or another, to not engage the problem. Some hide from it, some blame others, few devise solutions – of which there are many to choose from – and implement those solutions.

                    This is a dead thread, so I’ll not devote time to laying out those solutions. Instead, I invite you to contest my assertions at the top of a new (appropriate thread), and let’s get into it.

                    You’re smart, and have a great deal of emotional power. It’s worth it to me to engage this debate with such a capable respondent.

                    May I frame the debate as “are we helpless, or do we have enormous latent power we’re not currently using?”

                    Reply
                    1. thousand points of green

                      I actually agree that we are not helpless. The problem is that at the moment our freedom of action is within a very narrow range tightly bounded from above and all around us by the Action-Restriction-Design engineers and the elites they work for.

                      My comment elsewhere in this thread linking to the Low Tech Magazine is intended to bring here the kind of personally understandable and actionable information that individual car drivers can act on as soon as they understand the information and the theory behind it. If one, two, twenty, or ten thousand car drivers apply the information, it means nothing to the wider system.

                      If tens of millions of car drivers apply the information, it begins to have a systemwide effect. In lesser part, it would lead to some attrition of gas revenues reaching the gasoline-industrial complex. In greater part, it would
                      at least create the possiblilty of all these conservation drivers and hypermilers becoming aware of eachothers’ existence, and beginning to coalesce into a self-aware “conservation culture”. If such a culture became strong enough, it could support a self-aware conservation movement ready to become a political warfighting movement ready to understand the political-social system as a battlespace and a terrain replete with high value targets, objectives worth conquering, holding, and breaking out of, etc.

                      Black Americans show an example of that approach over time. The Slaves evolved a Slave Church which the immediate post-Slaves evolved into the Black Church which became a strong enough cultural platform to be able to support a Civil and Human Rights Movement. The Black Church came before the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which came before such visible high profile hero-leaders such as Dr. King. There is an example of Culture, then Movement, then Political Combat and Conquest (even if made to look peaceful).

                      As long as people are helpless in their own minds ( well-taught helplessness well-learned), then they are helpless. They first have to be offered some things they can actually do in order to discover that they are not helpless to do those things. If enough people discover that and discover eachother discovering that, then they can begin to use their currently very small latent power to conquer more latent power to be used for conquering yet more latent power to eventually get themselves / ourselves into a power position to be able to wage and win the cultural and political Civil War we will have to wage and win against the Pro Global Warming enemies of all humanity.

                      So for now I will keep doing the thing I am best at, which is finding information and sometimes offering it here for other people to see and decide about applying or not.

        2. Bruno

          So, to spite the “élites” you boycott chilean grapes. so how many Chilean farmworkers do you want (despite your so charitable intentions) to plunge further into poverty by boycotting them? And if you “succeed,” how much will your triumph cut from the Balance Sheet of Davos Man? $.01? $.01i?

          Reply
          1. Tom Pfotzer

            Bruno: there are several points to consider, in addition to wages of Chilean farm workers, like the amount of energy it takes to move those grapes, and the fact that grapes as export is basically a water export. Water is heavy, and from South to North America is a lot of thousands of miles to carry water, even if it’s in a ship. Still expensive.

            Note that those farm workers whose cause you rightly champion could also be trained to, for example, make copper wire, or electric motors, or circuit boards by performing a value-add function on Chile’s most crucial competitive advantage: copper. Right now, most of that copper is exported as billets (slabs of copper, no value-add). The jobs I just listed pay way more and are less hard on the ol’ bod than vineyard work.

            And from the environment’s point of view, that would be a “re-design of the economy” that actually made sense.

            So, there are many facets of the problem to consider.

            Separately, where did you get this “to spite the elites” motivation? I’m pretty sure that didn’t come from my text. I understand that spite is a common motivation among we humans, but I try to avoid it.

            Instead, I advocate taking action that “advances _my_ interests”.

            Reply
          2. agent ranger smith

            If every out-of-season grape consumer in the Global North all stopped eating grapes out of season altogether, that would reduce enough revenue streaming to the air-freighters and the jet-fuel sellers that they would feel it and notice.

            It would be a little thing. But enough such little things might reduce the amount of carbon emissions. If all the Chilean farmworkers lose their jobs as part of the price of my survival on a livable earth, that is a price I am willing to see paid. In the War for Survival, if it is them or me, I pick me.

            If you reeeeaaaally care about the Chilean farmworkers, you will find a way to give every one of them an AK47 and several thousand rounds of ammunition apiece. That should help them be able to find better jobs.

            Reply
      2. Otis B Driftwood

        Agreed on criticism of Thunberg. Climate deniers love to latch on to lapses in activist purity as if this makes the climate emergency irrelevant.

        They are far worse. Far more worthy of contempt.

        Reply
      3. thousand points of green

        The people at Low Tech Magazine wrote an on-line article called . . . ” The age of speed: how to reduce global fuel consumption by 75 percent “. The article itself goes on to explain how this could be done within the current technologies and even ownership-patterns we have. Should it really be necessary for me to try reprising the article itself? The article itself explains what to do, how to do it, and why it would work. Here is the link.
        https://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2008/09/speed-energy.html

        Lets say, for ease of thinking, that 25% of the population is Opt Outers and 25% of the population is Coaly Rollers. With determined application of creative Opt Out living, the Opt Outers may be able to reduce fuel use more than the Coaly Rollers can increase it no matter how much the Coaly Rollers “roll coal”. And then the 50% in the middle may begin passively going along with one side or the other. If more passive followers default-join the Opt Outers than join the Coaly Rollers, the Opt Outers can force down fuel use deeper and harder than the Coaly Rollers can force it back up.

        And at some point, if enough Opt Outers see eachother Opting Out, some of them might begin organizing into political combat strikeforces and warfighters, and any unit of government they can take over they can then use to suppress and undermine the Coaly Rollers harder and harder and harder.

        Reply
    2. lyman alpha blob

      Radical conservation is the only option, however rather than starting at the top, perhaps it’s necessary to get rid of the top.

      Reply
  7. BeliTsari

    Those hurting the worst: firestorms, plague, euthanasia, floods, malnutrition, indentured serfdom, drought, WAR, incarceration, lethal pollution, dictatorship, terrorism, ethnic cleansing, official oppression, subjugation, death-squads… are Catastrophe Capital’s poster children for maintaining oligarchic status quo. Disease in China, warfare in Ukraine or rampant inflation, homelessness, PASC medical debt & upwards-redistribution of pretty much EVERYTHING is going to set the precariate on each-other; triggering cascading right wing, authoritarian kleptocracy. Win-win for Davos. All they need to do is monitize what their great-grandparents did with Bolshevism, anti-colonialism, wobblies, NSDAP, Japanese Imperialism, Mao….

    They’d had to put off AGW rectification, until fracked methane set off run-away global warming, then monitize: geoengineering, carbon sequestration, GE monoculture/ CAFO monopolies, bailing-out fission, “bridge fuel” BS, bio-mass… by reactionary sockpuppets, in a complicit media by, for, of & exclusively from a 1% perspective?

    Reply
  8. Alice X

    Vast inequality is precisely what the Davos coterie is looking for. After all, they get their wealth by looting everyone else.

    Reply
  9. Susan the other

    all things considered, I’m glad Greta shows up. For that matter, I think Schwab’s thinking is good, everyone is a stakeholder. Profitability for sustainability is a good goal. The reason we can’t divest fossil fuels is because we need them to create sustainability. It will take two decades to divest. Two things we could do would be make war an international crime, including incitement and treachery. And have a big paint party making all roads into bicycle lanes except for one narrow lane in each direction for cars. The morally bankrupt financial system is the cause of CO2 pollution bec it perpetuates the profit motive strictly defined by that token of reality known as money. If the tokens were defined by sustainability they would eliminate that contradiction. Etc.

    Reply
    1. tevhatch

      Two things we could do would be make war an international crime.

      Good thing the USA always ignores any international law that gets in its way, or the economy would collapse.

      Reply
    1. thousand points of green

      Some of those investments seem to run against the concept of carbon-emissions restriction and energy-use reduction. But some of them seem to support those concepts. Now . . . how much money would Gore “lose” if he were to switch all his invested money into companies or other things which were actively reducing energy use as against their main-stream alternatives or counterparts? If he were prepared to “lose” that money as part of switching all his investments into anti-fossil or counter-fossil companies, he would be doing something major and might even enhance his public credibility profile.

      I remember reading the first reports about his “energy hog” mansion in Nashville. I don’t know if those reports were true because they were in conservative media outlets. But if they were true, Gore missed a very good brainwar combat opportunity. He could have held a press conference where he would announce that he will ” go silent” for a while as he considered how to “address these charges”. He could have had publicity people drop stealthy hints of “action to come” in places like People Magazine, the National Enquirer, Hollywood Star Spotlight, and stuff like that there.

      Once his publicity team had raised public anticipation to an unbearable level, he could have re-emerged in public with a ” Come to Green Jesus” meeting and moment, and then started doing things like bring the This Old House team into his mansion to make it totally green and energy self-sufficient and etc. The series of episodes tracking the up-greening of the Gore Mansion could have been titled : This Old Mansion Goes Green. Ah well . . . opportunity missed.

      Still, it raises the question of why left-wing politics hobbyists and left-wing politics consumers insist that their left wing heroes prove their personal credibility and non-hypocrisy by starving and freezing to death under bridges. Hasn’t Lambert Strether pointed out from time to time that successful and effective left-wing stuff-doers should be able to make a decent living doing effective left-wing stuff? Otherwise how do we incentivize people who are effective at getting stuff done to go get left-wing stuff done if they can’t make a decent living getting left-wing stuff done?

      Reply
        1. thousand points of green

          Well, as long as the “left” expects left-wing activists to live more-or-less like the people in this photograph, the “left” is not going to attract or support any effective stuff-doers.

          I more had in mind the up-greenification of Gore’s mansion to the point where it did not use any more energy than it could harvest from itself and the property it sits on . . . ideally.

          Or at least a credible approach towards that goal.

          Reply
  10. Arvid Martensen

    Davos is a Board meeting of World Capitalism Inc. The attendees are there to make sure that the right decisions are made to ensure continuing profits and profit opportunities.
    Attendees are there to protect interests. That is all. Their interests do not cover social responsibilities or stopping global warming, neither of which are money making propositions.

    But to keep the crowds under control, their PR has to “look” as if they are taking these things seriously.
    And the PR must show that the Davos crowd “cares” about the crowds being flooded by biblical level rains, burnt in massive wildfires, frozen in blizzards and starved by crop failures. Especially crucial to look caring to the idealist young generation who might take to the streets and arent easily be neutralised by the usual smear tactics..

    Thunberg was used by the investors in alternative tech for PR purposes only. She was taken up because her parents are well connected in Sweden. Then she started to say things investors didnt like and so they took the microphone off her. If she starts being a thorn in the side of Branson and others, first she will be ignored, then she will be laughed at(already happening, see press pack bullying video at Davos) then she will be demonised (also has happened).
    Will she end up being a PR doll or continue as a principled activist? We will have to wait to see.

    Reply
  11. thousand points of green

    Since Davos is a visible symbol of oppression and exploitation, it makes a fine visible target of opposition and counter-organization and counter-action.

    Even while we are doing all that, I wonder if we should take a moment to consider the following . . .
    Perhaps Davos (WEF) is Hollywood for the Noovoe Reesh and the fame-seeking power-broker wannabes.
    Does anyone ever see representatives or members of the generations or centuries-old Dynastic Families of Great Wealth showing up there? Who are the hidden rich and the stealthy wealthy for whom the whole system is engineered? How do they quietly make sure that the fame-seekes at Davos do nothing and consider nothing which would discomfort the hidden rich and the stealthy wealthy?

    And can we the Opt-Outers and the Slow-Downers target our Opting Out and Slowing Down against the hidden rich and the stealthy wealthy in such a way as to actually undermine them . . . extend and unbalance them enough to where we can eventually tear them down personally and physically and stamp on their faces forever with mountain-climbing boots and golf cleats on?

    If we can at least formulate the Beautiful Vision, would that be a first step towards organizing the hundreds of millions of middle class and lower class normals to pursue the Beautiful Vision?

    Reply
    1. Tom Pfotzer

      Let’s start here. What’s your Beautiful Vision?

      Separately, but relatedly: recall the technique used by many social-redress movements: the re-direction of purchases – which is a key form of support – the re-direction of purchases is very effective.

      It can gradually reduce the flow of nourishment to one branch of the tree, while increasing it to another.

      Stated another way, when plant breeders want a different trait in a plant, they apply “selection pressure”. They either remove the errant plant, or they don’t allow it to propagate, and/ or they apply extra nourishment to the plant that’s exhibiting the desired traits.

      And it works, of course. It takes time and effort, but there’s no question that it works.

      So back to your point about Beautiful Vision. What are the traits we’re trying to breed?

      Reply
      1. thousand points of green

        Different ” We’s ” will consider different traits to be part of their different versions of the Beautiful Vision.

        I personally consider the ability to cultivate decades of patient application of effort in a certain direction to be a part of pursuing my Beautiful Vision. And one thing among others that decades-of-patience could be directed towards would be maintaining the properly targeted hate against the classes of people who have engineered our ugly reality, and the pursuit of effective revenge against those classes and the people who make those classes up.

        I consider the ability to inspire many millions of individual people to excercise the small choices they have been permitted to retain in a focused way against the ruling classes who have made those choices so small.

        For example, the Upper Class in general ( Firestone Tire and Rubber, General Motors, Standard Oil of New Jersey in particular) conducted a conspiracy to destroy trolleys and streetcars all over America in order to artificially increase the vacuum to be filled with their cars and buses and gas and tires. The masses have zero choice about whether to take a streetcar or trolley because that choice was taken away from us decades ago.

        The narrow choice we have been permitted is what kind of car to drive and how to drive it. So we can still exercise that choice within that very narrow range of choice. Or at least some of us can. That “some of us” can drive less than we drive now and can drive at-or-under the speed of “hitting the air wall” as described in the link I offered in a comment up above .. .
        https://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2008/09/speed-energy.html

        That kind of fuel-use reduction through conservation driving has been further described in further detail at sites about “hypermiling” . . . like this . . .
        https://www.wikihow.com/Hypermile
        and numerous links which can be found.

        Since hatred and revenge are a strong motivator for many people, offering the right targets for hatred and the right methods for pursuing revenge would be important in making the Beautiful Vision possible.

        Imagine 50 million Americans all hypermiling and conservation driving . . . since the choice between “driving” or “taking the streetcar/trolley” was destroyed for us all decades ago without the excercise of any complicity on our part. Imagine 50 million pairs of strong blue hands wrapped around the throat of Big Koch and Oil. Is it not a beautiful step towards a Beautiful Vision?

        I think it is. And that is the kind of information I have offered from time to time and will continue to offer from time to time in pursuit of it.

        Reply
        1. Tom Pfotzer

          And while you’re fanning the flames of resentment, I’ll busy myself developing viable alternatives to the bad choices we currently have.

          After the rage exhausts itself, we will still be stuck if we have no alternatives.

          All that emotion is a valuable resource. Are you planning to direct it toward something that offers a viable future, or just a big helping of revenge?

          And your post reeks, positively reeks of helplessness. Sheep bleating their rage at their predators, instead of equipping themselves to outwit and out-maneuver their predators.

          I prefer to think, plan, and build; you seem to prefer to emote. Let’s see which strategy works better.

          ======

          About this point you made…

          the ability to cultivate decades of patient application of effort in a certain direction to be a part of pursuing my Beautiful Vision

          … now that one offers some promise. But the “what” you devote that patient effort toward….not so much.

          Reply
          1. thousand points of green

            ” I show you the moon and all you see is my finger.”

            – – – old Russian proverb

            If you want to keep refusing to acknowledge the actual information I brought in a couple of comments on this thread and other comments of mine down through time, that is what you will keep refusing to do. If other people actually read the information and visit the links, then the seeds I scatter, have scattered, and will keep scattering will grow.

            Revenge is a powerful motivator. It motivates millions all over the world. If it motivates millions to adopt conservation living designed to attrit and degrade the revenue streams and hence the power of the pro global warming class enemy, hence weakening it enough to where we can move in for the final kill, then it will have motivated those millions to enhance their own, and their society’s, long term survival chances.

            I’ll do me and you do you.

            Reply
    1. thousand points of green

      It sounds like just another political surveillance technology to me. It would allow the physical and locational tracking of “counter-carbon warriors” to see where they gather in groups and how often. It would be used for repression and suppression against them. Perhaps little stealth-assassin drones would be sent into their meetings disguised as houseflies . . . releasing high power cancer gas to give them all mysterious cancers in the months to come after their meetings. And so forth and so on.

      Though I suppose the visible tip of the invisible surveillance and suppression iceberg would well be the manipulation of guilt-tripping against the random normal traveling eaters of meat.

      Reply
  12. Karl

    Garret Hardin’s Tragedy of the Commons would predict this:

    … the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), a grouping of 450 organisations in 45 countries … [pledged] to align their investments to help limit the global temperature rise to 1.5°C…..However, indications in the past year reveal little change in behaviour.

    Hardin would say voluntary self-sacrifice for the common good in a competitive world cannot work. To the extent that such “climate responsible” investments would be more costly than alternatives, such organizations would just be imposing a “conscience penalty” on themselves. Such firms would be punished because they’d have to charge more, and they’d lose market share, etc. etc.

    But virtue-signalling is a free PR benefit. So, these organizations will very publicly commit to being exemplary green citizens, then do nothing. What FRANZ ignored was the “free rider effect” of basking in virtue and hoping the 1.5 deg. C goal is met by the virtuous actions of everyone else.

    Hardin would say that such voluntarism is doomed to fail. That is the Tragedy of the Commons. Only “mutual coercion mutually agreed upon”–i.e. an enforceable mandate to align investments to the goal–will achieve the goal.

    The Davos illusionists will never allow that, so each year they will continue to bask in their lovely annual reports, because you see, virtue signalling is its own reward.

    Reply
  13. agent ranger smith

    If enough people patronised those firms to keep them from going extinct, and enough such firms and people kept ” self-inconveniencing” for the good of the whole, and they saw eachother seeing eachother see that the good of the whole is not advanced . . . . they might move on to forming political warfighting movements to try conquering government power and forcing mutual coercion mutually agreed upon against the unwilling along with themselves.

    Reply

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