Original materials - Copyright © 2020v by Gary Bachlund All international rights reserved
"In reading The History of Nations, we find that, like individuals, they have their whims and their peculiarities, their seasons of excitement and recklessness, when they care not what they do. We find that whole communities suddenly fix their minds upon one object and go mad in its pursuit; that millions of people become simultaneously impressed with one delusion, and run after it, till their attention is caught by some new folly more captivating than the first." Charles MacKay, 1841.
" 'Climate crisis trends show an increased chance of warmer, wetter winters and hotter, dryer summers, along with an increase of frequency and intensity of extremes. Better wrap up warm, stockpile food and remember there is a surprising amount of food in the average household pet. Looking ahead we are on course to sail past our 1.5 degree centigrade target putting us on track for long lasting and irreversible change'." in "Dame Emma Thompson gives gloomy forecast in Extinction Rebellion protest," BT, 5 December 2019.
Fido filet is served up the day
When panic envelops us all.
Hound dog chops -- a hyperbole, say? --
Are surprising filling, though small.
Mutt, not mutton, is served as fine fare
As crises burst into flame.
Imagine the victuals when larders go bare,
To blunt the carnivores' shame.
Indulge in indulgences, mostly in cash,
That governments would close this bazaar.
If only, yes only, the smorgasbord hash
Were cooler, not crueler, by far.
Kitty so pretty will quite fill the bill
When imagining all sorts of things.
It takes just a dame to act out this swill,
As panic its new menu brings.
Fido filet was served up the day
When rose the last socialist squall.
Hound dog chops -- doesn't history say? --
Were surprising filling, though small.
Addendum of Eating Fido I: "The tradition of eating dog meat dates back four or five hundred years in China, South Korea and other countries, as it is believed to ward off the heat of the summer months, according to state news agency Xinhua. However, this festival began in recent years, Xinhua said. City officials have distanced themselves from the gathering. 'Some residents of Yulin have the habit of coming together to eat lychees and dog meat during the summer solstice,'" the city's news office wrote on Weibo." In "China Yulin dog meat festival under way despite outrage," BBC News, 22 June 2015.
Addendum of Eating Fido II: "Video footage shows a dog apparently being blow torched alive ahead of an annual dog meat festival in China. As many as 15,000 dogs are tortured, killed and cooked to be sold at Yulin Lychee and Dog Meat Festival every year. Canine meat is considered a delicacy in China, where about £10m worth of dogs and £4m cats are sold for their meat annually." In "Yulin Dog Meat Festival: Dogs blow-torched alive in footage from China," Chiara Giordano, Independent UK, 21 June 2019.
Addendum of the Potentially Edible Living Being: "Miss Newkirk said: 'Animals are not pets – they are not your cheap burglar alarm, or something which allows you to go out for a walk. They are not ours as decorations or toys, they are living beings'." In "Don't call your pet a pet: Animal rights charity chief says term is derogatory because it makes living things sound like a 'commodity' or 'decoration'," by Victoria Allen, Daily Mail, 31 January 2020.
Addendum of One of Extinction Rebellion's Jet Setters: "Many viewers of her interview slammed Miss Jones's 'crocodile tears' and called for her and fellow Extinction Rebellion - XR - protesters to leave the area. Now the 23-year-old eco-warrior faces claims of hypocrisy after photos emerged of her carbon spewing lifestyle, globetrotting to far-flung exotic locations." In "Revealed: 'Rank hypocrisy' of globetrotting Extinction Rebellion jet setter's lifestyle after she shed 'crocodile tears' over climate protest that stopped son seeing his dying dad," by Jake Wallis Simons, Daily Mail, 25 July 2019.
Addendum of Remedies for the Irremediable: "Three causes especially have excited the discontent of mankind; and, by impelling us to seek for remedies for the irremediable, have bewildered us in a maze of madness and error. These are death, toil, and ignorance of the future—the doom of man upon this sphere, and for which he shews his antipathy by his love of life, his longing for abundance, and his craving curiosity to pierce the secrets of the days to come. The first has led many to imagine that they might find means to avoid death, or, failing in this, that they might, nevertheless, so prolong existence as to reckon it by centuries instead of units. From this sprang the search, so long continued and still pursued, for the elixir vitæ, or water of life, which has led thousands to pretend to it and millions to believe in it. From the second sprang the absurd search for the philosopher's stone, which was to create plenty by changing all metals into gold; and from the third, the false sciences of astrology, divination, and their divisions of necromancy, chiromancy, augury, with all their train of signs, portents, and omens." In "Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds," Charles MacKay, 1841.
Consider the Recent and Proven History of Bankrupt green and a Musing on The Privileges of Intellectuals
Addendum of an Alternative to Eating Fido: "Let nobody tell you that the second decade of the 21st century has been a bad time. We are living through the greatest improvement in human living standards in history. Extreme poverty has fallen below 10 per cent of the world’s population for the first time. It was 60 per cent when I was born. Global inequality has been plunging as Africa and Asia experience faster economic growth than Europe and North America; child mortality has fallen to record low levels; famine virtually went extinct; malaria, polio and heart disease are all in decline." In "We’ve just had the best decade in human history. Seriously," by Matt Ridley, Spectator UK 21 December 2019.
Addendum II of an Alternative to Eating Fido: "...the climate change crop scare is pure fiction. Presenting crop data collected by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the Global Economy website documents that U.S. crop yields are enjoying excellent short-term, mid-term, and long-term growth, with new records being set almost every year. According to the USDA publication, 'Crop Production Historical Track Records,' the past three years produced the three highest U.S. wheat yields per acre in history. The past five years produced the five highest U.S. corn yields and the five highest soybean yields per acre in history. U.S. and global crop production are a story of steady growth and almost yearly new records as the Earth modestly warms." In "Waking up on climate change: Farm yields keep shattering records," by James Taylor, CFact, 3 January 2020.
Addendum of the Necessity to Not Eat Fido: "A ban on eating dog and cat meat in Shenzhen would be 'extremely welcome,' said Peter Li, China policy expert for Humane Society International, an animal welfare group. 'Although the trade in Shenzhen is fairly small compared with the rest of [Guangdong] province, Shenzhen is still a huge city and is larger than Wuhan, so this would be very significant and could even have a domino effect with other cities following'." In "Shenzhen prepares ban on eating cats and dogs after outbreak," by David Kirton, Reuters, 27 February 2020.
That's how it works
"When the global elite are aligned against him and laughing like the immature cool kids you hated in middle school, President Donald Trump is winning When the liberal law professors are neglecting their Thanksgiving turkeys to read congressional transcripts and snarking about Trump's 13-year old son, Trump is winning. When the politicians are mad — so mad that they have shut down all policymaking to impeach the President of the United States on what constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley called 'wafer thin' evidence —Trump is winning." In "Donald Trump was elected to break the elite. Of course they want to impeach him," by Scott Jennings, CNN Opinion, 5 December 2019. [ 1 ]
That's how it works
As partisan quirks
Sink bi-partisans' ship.
That's how it goes,
As partisan woes
Drip and slip and rip.
That's how it acts,
Threats and attacks,
A partisan fever to whip.
[ 1 ] "Break the elite?" The assertion might be mere politics, but Jennings adds, "...partisanship is more important than policymaking? That House Democrats have no confidence in their party's ability to beat Donald Trump in an election. And, perhaps most alarmingly, that impeachment — once reserved for the gravest of situations — is now just another tool to inflict damage on their political opponents."
" 'Before I finished my testimony, my home and office were inundated with threatening messages and demands that I be fired from George Washington University for arguing that, while a case for impeachment can be made, it has not been made on this record,' Turley wrote in an op-ed published Thursday in The Hill." In "Anti-impeachment witness says he's received threats since Judiciary Committee hearing," by Devan Cole, CNN, 5 December 2019.
"...the regime confiscated all private firearms back in 2012. Exempted from the ban: the regime’s 'Bolivarian Militias' — modern-day brownshirts who have done much of the work of crushing protests for years now. The government says their ranks now number 3.3 million, so Maduro’s 4 million goal seems all too reachable. All around the world, earnest fans of socialism insist it has never failed, as critics claim, since 'true socialism has never really been tried.' Maduro is showing that the sure way to make it 'succeed' is for the self-proclaimed socialists to have all the guns." In "Maduro's socialist miracle: To 'succeed,' you just need all the guns," by Post Editorial Board, New York Post, 10 December 2019.
If you've each and every gun,
It's sure you'll have a lot of fun
Defined by all who will have none.
Confiscation thus has won.
If you've people without a fight,
It's sure you claim you have the right
To do most anything with such might.
Servitude rises in full sight.
"The little-publicized breakdown of how the Holy See spends Peter’s Pence, known only among senior Vatican officials, is raising concern among some Catholic Church leaders that the faithful are being misled about the use of their donations, which could further hurt the credibility of the Vatican's financial management under Pope Francis. The Vatican is currently embroiled in a scandal over opaque real-estate investments in London, which has triggered a power struggle within the Vatican's bureaucracy and led to the dismissal of its chief financial regulator. Last month, the Vatican was suspended from an international network of anti-money-laundering watchdogs." In "Vatican Uses Donations for the Poor to Plug Its Budget Deficit: Only 10% of donations to the Peter’s Pence collection go directly to charitable works," by Francis X. Rocca, Wall Street Journal, 11 December 2019.
Peter's pence amounts to cents,
As most goes towards the rent.
Charity is the rarity,
For elsewhere much is spent.
Deficits accrued quite occlude
As heaven is downwards bent.
Holy moly, the elite's not lowly
It seems peters have overspent.
Addendum of Vatican Salaries: "About 45% of Vatican City’s budget of 300 million euros, or $329 million, is devoted to salaries for 3,000 employees, according to the Wall Street Journal, many of whom are in non-essential roles, budget hawks argue. Officials say the Pope won’t approve layoffs." In "Pope Francis urges Vatican leaders to fix city's ballooning budget deficit," by Shawn M. Carter, Fox Business, 3 September 2019.
$329 million / 3K employees = $109,667 per employee
Addendum of Comparative Average Salaries s in Rome: "Average salary in Rome is EUR 49,614 (Gross). All data are based on our survey (151 individual salary entries). Average take home earning is EUR 31,970 (Net). The most typical salary is EUR 33,800 (Gross)." In "Rome, Italy Salary," Average Salary Survey, updated 18 November 2019.
Addendum of Duping, Dealing and Dubai: "Originally in 2013, the IOR [Istituto per le Opere di Religion] set up a committee to decide on how to invest €30 million. The decision was to have Futura buy out a non-performing loan of €32 million from the owner of the Exchange Palace, and then convert that loan into an 84% share in the Hungarian company redeveloping the property. But the IOR claims Futura made an undeclared profit of €11.6 million by duping the Vatican on the price of the Hungarian deal; and then by planning to sell Futura’s 90% stake in the Exchange Palace’s holding company, to Cougar Real Estate of Luxembourg, which is, in turn, owned by a Dubai firm." In "Vatican chases millions in bid to stop Malta fund from ‘abusive’ sale," by Matthew Vella, Malta Today, 14 December 2019.
Addendum of Theodore's Tithe: "Theodore McCarrick, the first Catholic cardinal to be defrocked over sexual abuse allegations, sent over $600,000 to powerful clergy in the Church over almost two decades, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post. The payments started in 2001 and went to high-level clergy around the world, including Vatican bureaucrats, papal advisers and two popes, according to the documents and former Church officials. In total, the former cardinal gave money to over 100 officials, several of whom were closely involved in assessing misconduct claims against McCarrick, the Post reports." In "Disgraced cardinal gave over $600K to popes, Vatican officials: report," by Marty Johnson, The Hill, 27 December 2019.
Addendum of West Virginia Waste: " 'I'm a Catholic — I'm a parishioner down the street, and for years it has just bugged me to no end,' Baller said. 'I've seen them waste all that money on that place and then turn around and ask us every Sunday to donate more, donate more — always asking for money. It's sickening'." In "West Virginia Catholic bishop spent $4.6M renovating mansion where he 'inappropriately touched young priests' - fitting it with a sunken bar, a wine cellar and a $20K dining table - before church quietly sold it for only $1.2M after he was fired," by Megan Sheets, Dailymail.com, 30 December 2019.
Consider the costs involving Two popes - slippery slopes?
Use a kid for politics, part two - more political optics' tricks for you
"People are suffering, people are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!?"
Save the planet by painting it with murals here and there.
The kids' crusade was quite a hit. Big Brother's gal can stare,
Glaring from each picture. How dare you not commit
To each upcoming stricture demanding you submit?
Save the planet by painting it, with great icons to transmit
A giant message to befit moneyed interests' sniveling snit.
Trading carbon forth and back will most surely benefit
The traders who'll ride piggyback on indulgences they'll permit,
Through carbon markets' access which trade what some emit,
Paint and credits coalesce, as the latest, wholly writ.
A review of previous artwork may be considered: Use a kid for politics - political optics' tricks
Addendum of Historical Precedent: "The same strong feelings of piety and righteousness that led knights to take the cross and march to war also affected the common people, who lacked the wealth or training to do the same. The repeated failure of the organized Crusades to reclaim Jerusalem and the True Cross frustrated all Christians. This combination of frustration and strong religious enthusiasm led to frequent and sometimes bizarre manifestations of popular piety, such as the so-called Children’s Crusade in 1212."
In "The Children’s Crusade," Britannica, n. d. [ 1 ]
Addendum of COP25: "In what was widely denounced as one of the worst outcomes in a quarter-century of climate negotiations, United Nations talks ended early Sunday morning with the United States and other big polluters blocking even a nonbinding measure that would have encouraged countries to adopt more ambitious targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions next year." In "U.N. Climate Talks End With Few Commitments and a 'Lost' Opportunity," by Somini Sengupta, New York Times, 15 December 2019.
Addendum of No Deal on Carbon Markets: "...almost 200 countries failed to agree on article six of the Paris Agreement, concerning the carbon markets system." In "COP25 ends with no deal on carbon markets," by Elena Sánchez Nicolás, EU Observer, 17 December 2019. [ 2 ]
Addendum of False But Profitable Solutions: " 'In most social climate summit organisations this is seen as one of those false solutions,' Isidro Castaner, one of the spokespersons for Extinction Rebellion Spain, told Euronews. For this activist, the underlying problem with carbon credits is that they perpetuate the dynamic that 'everything can be traded and measured from an economic perspective'. 'I don't believe in ecological capitalisation,' agrees Madalina Scarlat, an activist for Fridays for Future Romania." In "What are carbon markets and why are they the talk of COP25 in Madrid?" by Marta Rodriguez Martinez, Euro News, 12 December 2019. [ 3 ]
Addendum of Convening Carbon Market Participants: "IETA has a proud history of convening carbon market participants. In 2004, IETA joined the World Bank and Koelnmesse in co-founding Carbon Expo, the first annual global carbon trade fair and conference. It continues today under the banner of Innovate4Climate, still the largest and most authoritative gathering of carbon market stakeholders. IETA built on this experience to co-organise regional Carbon Forums in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and North America. This series is conducted in partnership with the UNFCCC, other UN bodies and international and regional development banks. It offers IETA members platforms to discover new opportunities around the world." IETA History, n. d. (International Emissions Trading Association).
Addendum of Every Trick in the Book: "The executive director at NGO Oxfam International, Chema Vera, believes that UN nations have just argued over technicalities, instead of committing to more ambitious cuts in emissions. 'Wealthy nations have used every trick in the book to stall progress and avoid paying their fair share,' Vera said, adding that 'now more then ever, it is vital that people across the world keep up the pressure on governments to deliver more ambitious climate action'." In " Prostituting Charity: The Oxfam Debate," by Dr. Binoy Kampmark, Counter Currents, 1 March 2018. [ 4 ]
Addendum of Stymieing Progress: "Challenges include Brazil’s insistence on a carbon accounting approach others say is baffling and Australia’s insistence on carrying over old credits to meet its Paris emissions targets, which others see as an accounting trick. Brazil and developing countries, in turn, accused the European Union and other industrialized economies of stymieing progress on financial aid for poorer countries, saying they could not be more ambitious on their climate goals unless they received more assistance." In "Under fire over climate summit, Chile blames big polluters," by Aislinn Laing, Matthew Green and Isla Binnie, Reuters, 16 December 2019. [ 5 ]
Addendum of Ironic Merchandising: "The Times [ UK ] has claimed in an analysis that despite a boom in the sale of Swedish eco-activist Greta Thunberg-related merchandise indicating greater environmental awareness, much of it is either transported from China or made from environmentally unfriendly materials. The 'Greta' memorabilia includes a variety of T-shirts, mugs, stickers, badges and bags which are currently available online via Amazon, eBay and Etsy." In " 'Greta Thunberg' Merch Made of Toxic Materials, Shipped From China – Report," by Oleg Buranov, Sputnik News, 21 December 2019.
Addendum of Ironic Merchandising II: " 'Pray to Saint Greta Thunberg, Saint of Climate Change,' the Shrine On description reads. The candle, which includes a picture of Greta Thunberg dressed up as Jesus Christ often is in votive candles, sells for $18 plus shipping. The Etsy listing is slightly cheaper at $14.43, and it reveals that the item will be ready to ship from Canada in 3-5 business days." In "Pray to Greta, Saint of Climate Change, for $18 Plus Shipping," by Tyler O'Neil, PJ Media, 7 January 2020.
Addendum of Africa's Increasing Energy Consumption: "According to the International Energy Agency, 95% of the global population without access to electricity is found in sub-Saharan Africa and developing Asia. Africa also has the world’s fastest-growing population, so the potential for increased energy consumption is huge. South Africa's Mines and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe also warmed to this theme. Noting that Africa has long exported its hydrocarbons to the rest of the world while the region remained energy-deficient itself, he told a media briefing at the conference that: 'We must consume sizeable amounts of what we produce and export what is left'." In "The new scramble for Africa is all about providing energy," by Ed Stoddard, Business Maverick, 8 November 2019. [ 6 ]
Addendum of More and More Chinese Coal: "Coal consumption is back near peak levels after rebounding over the past three years, despite China’s pledges to make steep cuts in what is the country’s most prevalent and polluting source of energy. The country is building more coal-fired plant capacity than the rest of the world combined. Infrastructure stimulus measures to offset the impact of the prolonged trade war with the U.S. have boosted consumption, while Beijing has taken a softer stance on coal use after a missile attack in September on Saudi Arabia, China’s biggest source of oil imports, underscored the country’s reliance on foreign energy. " In "In Tougher Times, China Falls Back on Coal. As worries mount over a slowing economy and energy security, coal use has climbed despite Beijing's claims to be leading climate-change fight," by Stephanie Yang, Wall Street Journal 23 December 2019.
Addendum of China's 29 Percent: "When it comes to climate change, Beijing holds the fate of the planet in its hands. China accounts for 29 percent of global CO2 emissions, more than the next three countries -- the US, Russia, India -- combined, according to the Global Carbon Project. Its carbon footprint has tripled in 20 years from 3.2 to 10 billions tonnes in 2018." In "Five Reasons COP25 Climate Talks Failed," by Marlowe Hood, International Business Times, 25 December 2019.
Addendum of Admitted Public Therapy: "He described how the young climate activist 'fell ill' and stopped eating and talking to others, staying at home for a year from the age of 11 when she was first diagnosed with Asperger's. Her recovery started when he became vegan and her mother, Swedish opera star Malena Ernman, stopped flying, Mr Thunberg said, adding: 'We are not climate activists, we never were. We knew it was the right thing to do - but I didn't do it to save the climate, I did it to save my child'." In "Greta Thunberg's father Svante reveals he thought the 16-year-old's eco-crusade was a 'bad idea' - but believes it has actually saved her from a pit of depression he feared would KILL her," by Lara Keay and Martin Robinson, Mail Online, 30 December 2019.
Addendum of Preparing for a Bonanza: "...the Greta phenomenon has also involved green lobbyists, PR hustlers, eco-academics, and a think-tank founded by a wealthy ex-minister in Sweden’s Social Democratic government with links to the country’s energy companies. These companies are preparing for the biggest bonanza of government contracts in history: the greening of the Western economies. Greta, whether she and her parents know it or not, is the face of their political strategy." In "Greta’s very corporate children’s crusade," by Dominic Green, Standpoint, 30 June 2019. [ 7 ]
Addendum of Asset Control over a Bonanza: "BlackRock joins more than 370 global investors, including pension giant CalPERS and HSBC Global Asset Management, already participating in the initiative, which aims to sway companies ranging from fossil-fuel producers to consumer-product conglomerates to be carbon neutral by 2050. With BlackRock on board, total assets under management represented by Climate Action 100+ now top $41 trillion." In "World’s largest asset manager BlackRock joins $41 trillion climate-change investing pact," by Rachel Koning Beals, MarketWatch, 9 January 2020. [ 8 ]
Addendum of the Worldwide Bonanza Meeting: "...Lucy Gilliam, a shipping specialist at European clean transport nonprofit Transport & Environment, criticized the idea of carbon offsetting to CNN. 'You're not actually removing the emissions that have been created by that plane,' she said. 'The plane will have burned that fuel, and the carbon has been released into the atmosphere'." In "Davos says it is focusing on the climate crisis, but its billionaires and world leaders are still arriving on private jets," by Sinéad Baker, Business Insider, 20 January 2020.
Addendum of a Message for an Adolescent Girl: "You’re way out of your league. You’re up against people who represent decades if not centuries-old interests, as well as -aspiring- politicians in every Parliament and even city counsel who know full well their careers will be nipped in the bud if they don’t go along with those interests. And then there’s 10,000 Middle East sheiks. Davos is not your stage, Greta, and it’s not the stage for the people who believe in you. You’re betraying them by going there, because you have no control over the stage. Still, the other side really want you to think it is, the oil companies do, US and EU governments do, Mercedes and Toyota and Ford, do. Because you are their meal ticket. They want you to believe that the problem that keeps you up at night can be solved with electric cars and solar panels and wind turbines. Because they have invested heavily in companies that produce all of those. And now there’s a trillion here and a trillion there, because people listen to you." In "'Climate Puppet' Greta Thunberg Shames Davos Attendees For 'Doing Nothing'," by Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, 21 January 2020. [ 9 ]
Addendum of the Prince's Meeting: "...the Prince met activist Greta Thunberg and used an electric Jaguar car to travel to the Swiss resort. But the MoS can reveal that in the 11 days before his high-profile appearance, Charles took three flights on private jets for official Government business and one on a helicopter." In "Prince Charles flew 16,000 miles in just 11 days using three private jets and one helicopter before proudly posing with Greta Thunberg in Davos," by Kate Mansey, Mail On Sunday, 25 January 2020.
Addendum of a Handful of Financial Giants' Gain: "What few realize is how carefully all this is being orchestrated to prepare a massive shift in global capital flows where a handful of financial giants stand to gain. ... What is becoming clearer is that the latest global push for dramatic climate action is more about justifying a major reorganization of the global economy, that to a far less efficient energy mode, implying a drastic lowering of global living standards. In 2010 the head of Working Group 3 of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Dr Otmar Edenhofer, told an interviewer, '…one must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy. One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore…' What better way to do it than to start with the world’s largest money controllers like BlackRock?" In "Follow the Real Money Behind the New Green Agenda," by F. William Engdahl, New Eastern Outlook, 27 January 2020. [ 10 ]
Addendum of Controlling Trademarks: " 'My name and the #FridaysForFuture movement are constantly being used for commercial purposes without any consent whatsoever. It happens for instance in marketing, selling of products and people collecting money in my and the movement's name,' she wrote on her Instagram account." In "Greta Thunberg seeks to trademark her name to stem misuse," by Anna Ringstrom, Reuters, 29 January 2020.
Addendum of Can and Can't in the 2020 Democrat Primary: "Dozens of scientists have endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) sweeping plan to combat global climate change after fellow Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden declared that 'not a single solitary scientist thinks it can work.' The former vice president derided Sanders’ proposed $16.3 trillion Green New Deal during a campaign stop last week in New Hampshire, adding that 'you can not get to zero emissions by 2030. It’s impossible'." In "Joe Biden Said No Scientist Supports Bernie Sanders’ Climate Plan. Dozens Just Did," by Chris D'Angelo, HuffPost, 29 January 2020.
Addendum of Why Such Optics Fail: "...many scholars are undertaking new theoretical efforts. a core effort is developing a more general theory of individual choice that recognizes the central role of trust in coping with social dilemmas. over time, a clear set of findings from the microsituational level has emerged regarding structural factors affecting the likelihood of increased cooperation. due to the complexity of broader field settings, one needs to develop more configural approaches to the study of factors that enhance or detract from the emergence and robustness of self-organized efforts within multilevel, polycentric systems. further, the application of empirical studies to the policy world leads one to stress the importance of fitting institutional rules to a specific social-ecological setting. 'one-size-fits-all' policies are not effective." In "Beyond markets and states: polycentric governance of complex economic systems'" Nobel Prize Lecture of Elinor Ostrom, 8 December 2009. [ 11 ]
Addendum of Transgressing Against the Icon: " 'It is fine to demonstrate for climate change as long as you are not asked to contribute to pay for it,' Borrell said, calling this attitude 'Greta syndrome' in reference to 17-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg. Under pressure, Borrell, a Spanish socialist, later apologized. 'I want to apologize to anyone that may have felt offended by my inappropriate reference to the important youth movement fighting #climatechange,' he tweeted on Saturday." In "EU's top diplomat under fire again for 'Greta syndrome' remark," by Francesco Guarascio, Reuters, 10 February 2020.
Girls at work
Addendum of Children Not on a Friday's Climate Strike: "No one knows exactly how many children work in Congo’s mining industry. UNICEF in 2012 estimated that 40,000 boys and girls do so in the country’s south. A 2007 study funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development found 4,000 children worked at mining sites in Kolwezi alone. Local government officials say they lack the resources to address the problem. 'We have a big challenge with the children, because it is difficult to take them out of the mines when there are no schools for these children to go to,' said Muyej, the provincial governor. 'We have to find a solution for this'." In "The cobalt pipeline," by Todd C. Frankel, Washington Post, 30 September 2010. [ 12 ]
Addendum of a Pertinent Question: "Carbon emissions have been declining in developed nations for the last decade. In Europe, emissions in 2018 were 23% below 1990 levels. In the U.S., emissions fell 15 percent from 2005 to 2016. Do Sanders, Thunberg, Extinction Rebellion and other apocalyptic greens really believe that, by raising the alarm about the end of the world, they will persuade societies to choose the low-energy path? Perhaps. But they may also fear, consciously or unconsciously, that the outsized role played by natural gas and nuclear means that climate apocalypse can be averted without any of the radical societal transformations they demand. After all, if nations were to simply use natural gas to transition to nuclear, there would be little need to stop traffic in London, moralize about the virtues of foregoing meat, flying, and driving, or deploy renewables." In "If They Are So Alarmed By Climate Change, Why Are They So Opposed To Solving It?" by Michael Shellenberger, Forbes, 18 February 2020.
Do you remember the good old days?
[ 1 ] The young leading into folly is a historical truth. As Britannica also notes: "...in early 1212 a young man named Nicholas from Cologne became the focal point for a popular movement that swept through the Rhineland. After having allegedly received divine instruction...."
[ 2 ] A "worst outcome" as the NY Times opined is that "carbon markets" did not assign "voluntary" and thereby mandatory obligations to "trade" in carbon credits. The "carbon markets system" is about traders profiting, when all is said and done. More details flesh out the reality of the "markets," which are not markets.
The mural imagery above yields to a mural defaced in only two days in Canada, followed by logos of some of the real players behind the larger "carbon" picture.
Carbon Commodities and Electronic Exchange Platforms
Among the many traders lining up to profit from a "not new" concept -- the commodity -- is Carbon TradeXchange. From their website, one learns of their "products": "Today CTX is operated by Environmental Markets Services Ltd, a UK-based subsidiary of Global Environmental Markets (GEM). Under the CTX brand, EMS trades Carbon Credits certified by the Gold Standard, Verified Carbon Standard and United Nations CDM. We also offer other Carbon Services, including: Carbon Offsetting; Carbon Neutral Certification; Carbon Project Development; and Carbon Footprinting." Carbon TradeXchange, n. d.
CTX is that "UK-based subsidiary" of a larger trader, led by Wayne Sharpe. One reads further: "Since its foundation in 2009, GEM has built its own proprietary technology and IP with the help of heavy investment. As a result, minimal 'redevelopment' is required for personalisation of the technology to suit industries and sectors. GEM also provides market operators with electronic exchange platforms that help to facilitate fair, orderly and transparent electronic exchange trading platforms that give their participants the complete confidence to trade. Furthermore, GEM has a proven track record in designing, developing and operating web-based exchange and registry systems that suit any market requirements. These requirements can range from listing new products, disseminating market knowledge and information through to facilitating trading and providing world class, real time, clearing and settlement."
What is being traded? Paper. Certificates. "The concept is not new." One may refer back to the sourced footnotes under the title, Green Job , and especially the historical details found in the second footnote.
But What Are Carbon Commodities?
And yet, the COP25 could not define a simple term, "The talking was endless: more than 70,000 hours were spent failing to define a 'market instrument,' something that was meant to have been decided at last year’s conference in Katowice, Poland. Even though the Madrid conference ran over into the weekend, making it the longest ever, the issue will be kicked into next year’s talks, in Glasgow, Scotland." In "Madrid Climate Conference Ends in Failure," by Rupert Darwall, Real Clear Energy, 16 December 2019.
Given there is no "market" without enforcement mechanisms and treaty-like obligations, it is of course difficult to define a "market instrument." What is the worth of a certificate? What is its backing? Shelf-life? Long-term value?
[ 3 ] This is a problem for the traders in "carbon" credits, pieces of certified paper more or less.
Purchase the Right to Pollute?
One reads: "The idea behind this system is that the most polluting countries can purchase the right to pollute more from countries that have not reached their emissions limits. The concept is not new. The 1997 Kyoto Protocol turned polluting emissions into a commodity. For example, the European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) is the largest in the world and has been in operation since 2015. 'Carbon markets are regulatory structures that allow, in particular, oil and gas-intensive companies or heavy industry (or, in the case of COP25, countries) to reduce their economic footprint through a series of incentives,' Reed Blakemore, associate director of the US international affairs think tank Atlantic Council, told Euronews." In "What are carbon markets and why are they the talk of COP25 in Madrid?" by Marta Rodriguez Martinez, Euro News, 12 December 2019.
Proposed for murals: Multimillionaire traders Sharpe, Gore and Blood, and their Carbon Investing and Marketing
And so Madalina Scarlat's objection makes sense, as she declared "I don't believe in ecological capitalisation." Millionaire traders do. But should nations wish to cut their carbon emissions, they may do so from within their own national borders by national and local law and regulation.
Madalina Scarlat in Madrid, not on a mural
Buying extra-national pollution credits does not reduce proposed pollutants. But it will make some very few very rich, as they take a fee from the "market" of pieces of paper. Perhaps the faces of the traders, advocating for countries to sign up to their trading services could be painted large, as murals once the ones above have lost their cache?
There is much money to be won. One reads further: "Generation Investment Management, co-founded by former US Vice President Al Gore, has raised $1 billion (£786m) for its latest private equity fund to back sustainable start-ups. Generation IM Sustainable Solutions Fund III will invest between $50 million and $150 million in companies helping the health of the planet or individuals, or those driving financial inclusion." In "Al Gore’s investment fund Generation raises $1bn to back eco-friendly start-ups," by James Cook, Telegraph UK, 21 May 2019.
CO2 Will Be Priced as an Asset, and Pollution Rights Will Be Purchased
And from years before: "The potential impact of climate change on asset pricing is highly material. For example, CO2 emissions will eventually be priced. The longer we wait, the higher the price point required to control global warming and the higher the risk of catastrophic outcomes. These events will eventually have negative stock price consequences in such industries as utilities, mining, transportation, chemicals, and fossil fuels." In "Sustainable capitalism: taking responsible investment mainstream," by Keith Ambachtsheer, Guardian UK, 16 July 2013.
So, to review: "The idea behind this system is that the most polluting countries can purchase the right to pollute more from countries that have not reached their emissions limits."
Isidro Castaner, of Extinction Rebellion, not on a mural
Those who act as middlemen stand to make money from all sides. This is what the Guardian called "sustainable capitalism." The Telegraph used the term, "eco-friendly." Climate activist Isidro Castaner, above, stated "the underlying problem with carbon credits is that they perpetuate the dynamic that 'everything can be traded and measured from an economic perspective'."
The traders would like that. Theirs are the faces of the carbon trading schemes.
[ 4 ] The "optics" of Oxfam International has been sullied, as the article refers to a Times UK article, and notes: "The revelations this month that the charity’s staff sexually exploited victims of the Haiti earthquake in 2010, a point subsequently concealed, have triggered a storm of British discontent. The revelations included a very active country director, Roland van Hauwermeiren, who revelled in sex parties as he went about his humanitarian work. Allegations of sexual abuse in Oxfam shops have also made their searing mark. The organisation has lost over 7,000 donors since the revelations, and MPs on the international development committee overseeing aid have been unimpressed."
One might imagine other sorts of murals in public spaces such imagery might bring? Optics ticks....
[ 5 ] One reads of smaller, poorer nations, that "they could not be more ambitious on their climate goals unless they received more assistance." Exactly the point, and fully rational.
COP25: A wrong turn causes delays, which could hamper ambition / HSBC-ThomsonReuters
Ambition for Assistance...
The potentially capitalist explanation is that many wish to be paid for their efforts. The likely socialist explanation is that many have greater need and therefore need "assistance," as the "ambition" now elevated into the COP discussion is for income transfers. This further amplifies the quote above that "everything can be traded and measured from an economic perspective," given the demands, expectations and push for treaty mechanisms of "credits" in the hands of traders who may profit from the "mechanism," and transfer of wealth thereby, for such reasons as any might make.
...to ambition for Wealth and Power
Prince La-di-dah and gazillionaires will make out fine, either way. "How dare you" not go along with the schemes, the optics and the clear goals -- of wealth and power for the few, when everything can be traded? Davos, anyone?
One of the ballyhooed "renewable" energy sources which appears in climate talks is wind. Of this one reads: "You may have got the impression from announcements like that, and from the obligatory pictures of wind turbines in any BBC story or airport advert about energy, that wind power is making a big contribution to world energy today. You would be wrong. Its contribution is still, after decades — nay centuries — of development, trivial to the point of irrelevance." In "Wind turbines are neither clean nor green and they provide zero global energy," by Matt Ridley, Spectator UK, 13 May 2017.
Not exactly zero, but by rounding to the nearest whole integer, zero. "To the point of irrelevance." Ridley notices the economic side of this, as one reads further: "Everything else is a political displacement activity, one that is actually counterproductive as a climate policy and, worst of all, shamefully robs the poor to make the rich even richer."
Why such skepticism? Why the media blitz? One reads: "Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media is a 1988 book by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky, in which the authors propose that the mass communication media of the U.S. 'are effective and powerful ideological institutions that carry out a system-supportive propaganda function, by reliance on market forces, internalized assumptions, and self-censorship, and without overt coercion', by means of the propaganda model of communication. The title derives from the phrase 'the manufacture of consent,' employed in the book Public Opinion (1922), by Walter Lippmann (1889–1974). The consent referred to is consent of the governed." In "Manufacturing Consent," Wikipedia article, n. d.
The Art of Engineering Consent
This is fleshed out further: "For Herman and Chomsky, the acceptance of government policies by people in the USA on the basis of the partial picture of issues offered by the mass media, denying them access to alternative views which would lead them to oppose such policies. They present this as a propaganda model in which the mass media select material in relation to the values of those in power. The concept found in Gramsci and Althusserian Marxism, in which the dominant class sustains its hegemony through engineering assent: see also ideological state apparatus." In "Manufacture of consent," Oxford Reference, n. d.
Manipulating the Unaware
Oxford Reference also notes: "An allusion to the concept of 'the engineering of consent' defined in 1947, by the Austrian-American public relations pioneer Edward Bernays (1891–1995), as the art of manipulating people without them being aware of it. Bernays, a nephew of Freud, argued that people can be enticed to want things that they do not need if these are linked to their unconscious desires, a notion pursued by Dichter, the 'father of motivation'."
One may then return to the art, as many murals have been painted recently, in this latest of the many children's crusades which have been mounted across centuries.
China Coal is a Chinese Goal
"Save the planet by painting it / With murals here and there." The carbon traders and their wealth-making images will not be seen in such murals, manufacturing consent in the Western world. But in China more coal-fired power plants are being constructed.
What do the Western activists say of this? What murals will be painted in China? Which Extinction Rebellion protest will be mounted there? What "credits" will GEM and the EU's European Trading System sell to China, when the Chinese have started their own "system" for trading pieces of paper? What "sustainable" investments will Generation Investment Management place under Chinese Communist control?
The story is not yet complete. Tick tock.
[ 6 ] How about the optics of a white north European telling Africans who are ramping up power production, "How dare you?" Not on a mural....
How about the optics of a white north European telling Chinese who are ramping up power production including coal plants, "How dare you?" Not on a mural.....
How about the optics of white Anglo-world multi-millionaires urging government-controlled "market mechanisms" to profit by trading in energy indulgences? How about "how dare you?" Not on a mural....
The Poor Dare to Want Affordable Energy, Even in the First World
One reads: "More than 340,000 electricity customers across Germany have their power cut off each year for failing to pay bills. A new proposal from one political party aims to change this. Figures from 2017 show that there were 343,865 cases of people having their electricity shut down off due to not paying a bill, an increase of 14,000 from the previous year." In "Call to prevent power cuts in poorest German households," TheLocal.de, 14 May 2019.
This, years after the observation in rhyme: green screws red . - lights or bread.
How about the optics of hundreds of thousands of Germans being threatened with power cuts or unpayable price increases? Murals and public protests by middle and upper class do not answer any of these questions, as they shout "How dare you?" When people are poor enough, they dare.
[ 7 ] In terms of optics, the "teenager" face of this is media-hyped, while other faces will never appear on murals around the world.
Printing and Selling Carbon Credits
One reads: "For Sweden’s energy titans, saving the planet means government contracts to print the green stuff. Green energy lobbyists use populist scare tactics and a children’s crusade to bypass elected representatives, but their goal is technocracy not democracy, profit not redistribution. Greta, a child of woke capitalism, is being used to ease the transition to green corporatism." In "Greta’s very corporate children’s crusade," by Dominic Green, Standpoint, 30 June 2019.
Ingmar Rentzhog, founder of a social media platform, whose
marketing motto is "Together we are the solution to the climate crisis"
What will not been seen painted on a public mural, Rentzhog alongside Al Gore, left above, is his article in Finance Monthly, August 2018.
A Game Changer? A Game?
"I think it’s beyond doubt that social media is a real game changer. Institutions and organisations don’t have the same control over their message and the image they project. So they must be much more proactive in terms of building relations with influencers and creating innovative strategies that work in today’s media landscape." In "Climate Change: We Don’t Have Time," Ingmar Rentzhog, 31 July 2018.
Green politics, for many, has meant the search for investors to place money in the hands of "green" investment managers, like Gore, Sharpe, and many like Rentzhog.
Finance, Investment Relations, Real Estate Funds and Investment Corporations
Dominic Green's article notes of this "green" public figure, whose "Swedish" social media platform operates in English, " 'Trained by Al Gore's Climate Reality Project, Rentzhog set up We Don't Have Time in late 2017 to 'hold leaders and companies accountable for climate change' by leveraging 'the power of social media'. Rentzhog and his CEO David Olsson have backgrounds in finance, not environmental activism, Rentzhog as the founder of Laika, an investment relations company, and Olsson with Svenska Bostadsfonden, one of Sweden's biggest real estate funds, whose board Rentzhog joined in June 2017. We Don’t Have Time's investors included Gustav Stenbeck, whose family control Kinnevik, one of Sweden's largest investment corporations. In May 2018, Rentzhog and Olsson of We Don't Have Time became chairman and board member of a think-tank called Global Utmaning (Global Challenge). Its founder, Kristina Persson, is an heir to an industrial fortune."
Of this "foundation" and from its own site, one reads: "The company’s majority shareholder is stiftelsen WeDontHaveTime Foundation. The non-profit foundation was founded by Ingmar Rentzhog and David Olsson, and is based in Stockholm, Sweden. Its principal purpose is to contribute to a reduced climate impact and an ecologically sustainable environment. Board of directors: Cathy Orlando, Stuart Scott, Per-Espen Stoknes, Ingmar Rentzhog, David Olsson, Jamie Margolin (youth advisor)."
One might be skeptical and conclude among its purposes is to pursue politics and investors willing to turn over their wealth to these "managers." While this foundation states it is "non-profit," the surrounding companies in which its founders are heavily invested are profit driven.
How would these whose backgrounds are in finance, real-estate funds and investment corporations look on a mural? Perhaps replacing a child? After all they, according to their own words, are "the solution to the climate crisis."
These "solutions" will take their percentage/fee for "trading" printed certificates. If investors lose, these traders will still win. And so "exchanges" proliferate alongside media-fed climate predictions.
To Generate Credits That Can Be Sold That Traders Get Paid
One reads somewhat outdated information: "Currently, there are six exchanges trading in UNFCCC related carbon credits: the Chicago Climate Exchange (until 2010), European Climate Exchange, NASDAQ OMX Commodities Europe, PowerNext, Commodity Exchange Bratislava and the European Energy Exchange. NASDAQ OMX Commodities Europe listed a contract to trade offsets generated by a CDM carbon project called Certified Emission Reductions. Many companies now engage in emissions abatement, offsetting, and sequestration programs to generate credits that can be sold on one of the exchanges. At least one private electronic market has been established in 2008: CantorCO2e. Carbon credits at Commodity Exchange Bratislava are traded at special platform called Carbon place. Trading in emission permits is one of the fastest-growing segments in financial services in the City of London with a market estimated to be worth about €30 billion in 2007. Louis Redshaw, head of environmental markets at Barclays Capital, predicts that "carbon will be the world's biggest commodity market, and it could become the world's biggest market overall." In "Emissions Trading," Wikipedia, n. d.
"Could become?" Ergo, as Green wrote above, "...the biggest bonanza of government contracts in history: the greening of the Western economies." Government contracts. Not free markets. Green calls this "the transition to green corporatism." At this point, rereading the quote above from "Manufacturing Consent" is apt. Corporatism is a form of governmental fascism, with Everything within - an original sin.
To Finance the Climate Transition
And so, government marches along to become even greater government. One reads: "To finance the climate transition, the EU plans to dedicate a quarter of its budget to tackling climate change and to work to mobilize 1 trillion euros ($1.1 trillion) in investment over the next 10 years."
But has it not been stated clearly and repeatedly that "we" don't have more than ten years?
The Associated Press also notes: "The financial plan includes a mechanism designed to help the regions that would be most disrupted economically by the transition to cleaner industries. Von der Leyen added that the commission started working on devising a 'carbon border adjustment mechanism' aimed at avoiding a situation where EU countries reduce emissions as part of their ambition to make the continent carbon neutral by 2050, but at the same time import CO2 imbedded in goods. French President Emmanuel Macron has been promoting the idea of a carbon tax at the bloc’s borders for countries that did not sign up to the 2015 Paris agreement and do not regulate CO2 emissions as strictly as the EU does." In "EU commission unveils climate law amid criticism," by Samuel Petrequin, Associated Press, 4 March 2020.
Too Little? Too Late? Too Much? Too Soon?
Such mechanisms, should they come to be by the EU Commission, predict tariffs and trade wars in the future. Additionally, with the Brexit casting a broad shadow on the EU budget itself, there will come more demands for the larger and more productive member-states to pay more to the less productive member-states. What could go wrong?
Optics, for one, as one reads: "Thunberg, 17, and other environmental groups have already criticized the proposal, saying it does not go far enough. Thunberg specifically voiced concerns over the law's failure to address emissions targets for 2030. ' 'Net zero emissions by 2050' for the EU equals surrender. It means giving up,' she and 33 other youth climate activists said in an open letter published on Tuesday. 'We don't just need goals for just 2030 or 2050. We, above all, need them for 2020 and every following month and year to come. Distant net-zero emission targets will mean absolutely nothing if we just continue to ignore the carbon dioxide budget – which applies for today, not a faraway future,' they added." In "European Commission unveils first climate law; Thunberg slams it as 'surrender'," by Justin Wise, The Hill, 4 March 2020.
" 'A target 30 years in the future does not represent emergency climate action – our house is on fire and Europe is still twiddling its thumbs,' she said in a statement." In "The European Union’s proposed climate law has not gone down well with Greta Thunberg," by Anmar Frangoul, CNBC, 5 March 2020.
Optics? Use a Child Rather Than Wealthy Corporate Traders Becasue "Doomsday"
As to Thunberg and commercialization, from the PJ Media article also above, "Another Greta candle on Etsy, also going for $18 but shipping from Chicago, casts the 16-year-old climate doomsday preacher as the Virgin Mary, complete with the sacred heart image — a heart pierced with a sword. In her left hand, the climate saint holds a globe designed like a bomb with a lit fuse."
And remember to panic. In this way, the climate change carbon credit traders can build their "bonanza."
[ 8 ] One notes that all these "investment managers" are pressuring companies and those who also invest through their management services to involve themselves in the worldwide trading systems, which will make traders a "bonanza." Where will such profits come? As always and ever, the little people will pay in increased costs in terms of prices, as the few as ever profit from the many. As an example cited above and worth becoming more aware of:: green screws red - lights or bread.
[ 9 ] As a matter of "optics" for the "sustainable" green movement, enormous frauds are not being perpetrated.
Massive Green Fraud? "Sustainable" Un-sustainability
As an example: "U.S. Attorney Scott stated: 'This billion dollar Ponzi scheme hurt investors and took money from the United States Treasury. This case represents not only the largest criminal fraud scheme in the history of the District, it also represents the largest criminal forfeiture in the history of the District with over $120 million in assets forfeited. All of this money will be returned to the victims. This scheme also targeted the United States Treasury, and we have returned $500 million to the Treasury to date. Agents, investigators and attorneys from various federal agencies are still working to continue to return money to victims and the United States Treasury. Today’s guilty pleas sends a strong message that fraudsters will get caught and will pay for their crimes. You can run, but you cannot hide'." In "Top Executives Plead Guilty to Participating in a Billion Dollar Ponzi Scheme—the Biggest Criminal Fraud Scheme in the History of the Eastern District of California," Department of Justice, U. S. Attorney's Office, 14 January 2020.
One observes that this fraud targeted "investors" in the individual sense and an investor in the sense of the government loans being made to a purportedly "sustainable" energy source.
Seeking investors -- private and public alike -- which can be fleeced is supported by the belief that all "can be solved with electric cars and solar panels and wind turbines," as the above citation states.
Massive Legal Green Fraud? More "Sustainable" Un-sustainability
A "legal" failure of another "sustainable" energy scheme took more money from governments, state and federal alike, as one reads: "Government planning and subsidies will make America the world’s green-energy superpower, create millions of jobs, and supercharge the economy—or so we’re told. The reality is closer to Crescent Dunes, a Nevada solar-energy plant that has gone bust after receiving a $737 million federal loan guarantee." In "The Best-Laid Energy Plans," Editorial Board, Wall Street Journal, 16 January 2020.
A review of many unsustainable "sustainable" projects in recent years is warranted. Bankrupt green .
[ 10 ] "Follow the money" is good advice when considering political optics and its branding. Financial giants "stand to gain?"
Wealth and Power Are Not Candidates for Public Murals
Lagarde and Carney, faces not found on public murals
Engdahl details: "It was no accident that Davos, the promoter of globalization, is so strongly behind the Climate Change agenda. Davos WEF has a board of appointed trustees. Among them is the early backer of Greta Thunberg, climate multi-millionaire, Al Gore, chairman of the Climate Reality Project. WEF Trustees also include former IMF head, now European Central Bank head Christine Lagarde whose first words as ECB chief were that central banks had to make climate change a priority. Another Davos trustee is outgoing Bank of England head Mark Carney, who was just named Boris Johnson’s climate change advisor and who warns that pension funds that ignore climate change risk bankruptcy (sic). The board also includes the influential founder of Carlyle Group, David M. Rubenstein. It includes Feike Sybesma of the agribusiness giant, Unilever, who is also Chair of the High Level Leadership Forum on Competitiveness and Carbon Pricing of the World Bank Group. And perhaps the most interesting in terms of pushing the new green agenda is Larry Fink, founder and CEO of the investment group BlackRock.
Rubenstein, Sybesma and Fink, more faces not found on public murals
Lots of "power and wealth" players among the world's "elite," one finds. And "appointed trustees" suggests no evidence of democratic control over the movers and shakers who intend to rule while accumulating more power and wealth.
Alongside this the irony: " 'There appears to be a trend towards larger aircraft, with expensive heavy jets the aircraft of choice, with Gulfstream GVs and Global Expresses both being used more than 100 times each last year. This is at least in part due to some of the long distances travelled, but also possibly due to business rivals not wanting to be seen to be outdone by one another'." In "Davos 2019: Record number of private jets set to fly into conference addressing climate change," by Adam Forrest, Independent UK, 23 January 2019.
Power and Wealth Does Not Travel Economy Class
"...Lucy Gilliam, a shipping specialist at European clean transport nonprofit Transport & Environment, criticised the idea of carbon offsetting to CNN. 'You're not actually removing the emissions that have been created by that plane,' she said. 'The plane will have burned that fuel, and the carbon has been released into the atmosphere'." In "Davos says it is focusing on the climate crisis, but its billionaires and world leaders are still arriving on private jets," by Sinéad Baker, Business Insider, 21 January 2020.
How about a teleconference instead?
The Wealth and Power Party of Davos
One observes an interesting sentiment which political optics cannot obscure. " 'Davos Man,' a term coined by nationalist scholar Samuel Huntington, is bipartisan. To be sure, Democrats tend to be more comfortable with the forum’s informal seminar-style and big-think topics like global poverty, cultural diversity and executive stress. Bill Clinton goes often, and Al Gore, John Kerry, Robert Rubin, Madeleine Albright, Joe Biden and other prominent Democrats are familiar faces. Republicans generally prefer more private venues. George W. Bush, of course, doesn’t do anything unscripted. But people like Dick Cheney, Newt Gingrich, John McCain and Condoleezza Rice have all worked the Davos circuit. That the global economy is developing a global ruling class should come as no shock." In "The Party of Davos," by Jeff Faux, The Nation, 26 January 2020.
A New Constitution Written by Wealth and Power?
Faux notes: "...Renato Ruggiero, the first director-general of the World Trade Organization, noted in a rare moment of candor, 'We are no longer writing the rules of interaction among separate national economies. We are writing the constitution of a single global economy'."
The "appointed" by wealth and power construct a "constitution of a single global economy? It is assured that the optics of this, when clearly seen though not appearing on murals and in the popular press, will contest such.
Faux concludes with a quasi-populist statement: "The Party of Davos may not be over, but the rest of the world seems less willing to foot the bill. "
And so, the "engineering of consent," as mentioned above, seems to be more and more evident by the one percent wearing their masks of "saving the planet." It will be deemed saved when they have gathered enough power and wealth -- over the many and small and poor.
Such has been the dreams found in The Privileges of Intellectuals and what has been called the "comprehensive Planetary Regime," as well as the seekers of Moolah ., whose cry will always be some version of Raise those taxes! .
[ 11 ] One surveys, as reviewed above, enormously wealthy individuals and entities standing alongside a teenage girl presented as icon for a movement. The optics is meant to convey one message and yet obscure another, all the while planning to profit from the movement. Such is therefore the pressure to form and force a "market instrument" or instruments which will generate fees and charges for traders for their sought-after "bonanza."
One-size-fits-all Policies Are Not Effective?
And yet a recent Noble Prize winner in economics assures that "one-size-fits-all' policies are not effective." In this she might well be incorrect as the wealthy and powerful angel to take their slice from "ecological capitalization" which would drive up prices on the average Joe while rewarding the traders and that governance which continues to demand taxation to fund more of what is demonstrably Bankrupt green .
Were this not so, today's Davos men and women would be wildly buying "CO2 emissions" credits as investments. Rather, one sees them merely wanting to extract fees for trading them to others and requiring their purchase by companies through edict and law. The dreamed of "constitution of a single global economy" flies in the face of a Nobel Prize winner's simple assertion that "one-size-fits-all' policies are not effective."
The choices are a "comprehensive planetary regime" -- Everything within -- an original sin -- and its forming global ruling class of wealth and power, or polycentric local governance wherein such an elite ruling class is unnecessary..
Game on, as before. This time with the latest in optics. Use a kid for politics. Again.
And then: "The prince used his speech to launch a new Sustainable Markets Initiative to help financial markets become more sustainable." In "Prince Charles calls for green TAXES as he meets Greta Thunberg in Davos and pitches radical new world economy to tackle climate change - a day after Donald Trump rejected 'prophets of doom'," by Martin Robinson, Mail Online, 22 January 2020.
Reject Assumptions in Favor of Polycentric Devolution of Power
Ostrom counsels: "The assumption that individuals have complete information about all actions available to them, the likely strategies that others will adopt, and the probabilities of specific consequences that will result from their own choices, must be rejected in any but the very simplest of repeated settings."
[ 12 ] Optics is of course a marketing strategy, which aims to employ iconography to sidestep debate, comparison and contrast, and disagreement.. Here are some photos which contrast with the optics above to show the optics of some children's reality:
African children not worthy of being painted on public murals
One might then consider: "Armed groups had made a simple gate of sticks, and everybody going in or out had to pay them money. Around 15-25,000 people were trapped inside this village made of mud and plastic bags. It was like stepping into the front yard of hell. Women everywhere were calling out their offers of sexual services to bypassers as if they were selling vegetables. Boys as young as 12 stared at us with layers of dried mud on their still-childish cheeks, shy of the bright light after days underground digging out valuable minerals. Everything brought into the village is taxed at the gate; a bottle of water cost several dollars, a kilo of meat cost $12. But because it is more expensive to leave, people stay inside just to get a meal." In "Children of the Congo who risk their lives to supply our mobile phones," Frank Piasecki Poulsen, Guardian UK, 7 December 2012.
A Swedish child worthy of being painted on public murals and photographed a lot
"Scraping through shovels-full of silt for the precious mineral with their bare hands, miners use these primitive methods to harvest coltan - the magical conductor that powers your iPhone, Samsung Galaxy or other smartphones. Covered head-to-foot in the ore-laden mud, hundreds of workers toil for 12 hours a day - in scenes reminiscent of a 19th century gold-rush. Wielding picks and shovels legions of strong men delve deep into the mountainside to retrieve the precious natural deposit, which enables our high-tech mobile world of emails, social media and the internet." In "Picks, pans and bare hands: How miners in the heart of Africa toil in terrible conditions to extract the rare minerals that power your iPhone," by Nick Fagge, Mail Online, 22 October 2015.
Minor African miner, not pictured on a mural
"Dorsen, just eight, is one of 40,000 children working daily in the mines of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The terrible price they will pay for our clean air is ruined health and a likely early death. Almost every big motor manufacturer striving to produce millions of electric vehicles buys its cobalt from the impoverished central African state. It is the world’s biggest producer, with 60 per cent of the planet’s reserves. The cobalt is mined by unregulated labour and transported to Asia where battery manufacturers use it to make their products lighter, longer-lasting and rechargeable." In "Child miners aged four living a hell on Earth so YOU can drive an electric car: Awful human cost in squalid Congo cobalt mine that Michael Gove didn’t consider in his ‘clean’ energy crusade," by Barbara Jones, Mail Online, 5 August 2017.
Uncomfortable silences and whiteness
The optics would prefer we look at Thunberg and her allies, fans and even her celebrity photographers, than at smiling Davos jet set attendees, multimillionaires with their various trading schemes and strategies being planned for their "bonanza," and certainly not at unnamed children at work to mine for a "green" future.
Amusingly, one reads: "Whenever I would question the whiteness of these spaces and how strategies didn’t take race into account, I would be met with uncomfortable silences. The last time, at a nationwide movement-building workshop last April, I was asked, 'Well then, why are you even here?' So I decided not to be there anymore." In "Why I Quit Being a Climate Activist," by Karin Louise Hermes, Vice Motherboard, 6 February 2020.
And so, climate activism mingles with issues of race, as Everything's about your colored skin - (or sadly, why these games begin).
Berövade - vade retro
"Opposition politicians, however, have blamed the government for years of inaction. 'This government has lost control over crime in Sweden. We have seen in recent years how the number of fatalities has increased. Now bomb blasts are also increasing in a way that lacks international equivalence,' said Ulf Kristersson, leader of opposition party the Moderates. Police have identified around 60 deprived areas, mainly in and around larger cities, where unemployment is high, incomes low and where drugs and gangs have gained a firm foothold." In "Sweden suffers surge in bomb attacks as gang violence rises," by Simon Johnson, Reuters, 16 January 2020.
Deprived and disenfranchised is the tale of woe one hears,
When booms and gangs and violence stir up societal fears.
Alas and alack, oh woe are they who haven't what they want.
With high, explosive energy society bears the brunt.
Deprived and disenfranchised is politics of a sort
But it does little more than 'tsk, tsk, tsk' rather than violence abort.
Addendum of the Deprived and Hopeless: "SWEDEN Young people who carry out sadistic and humiliating robberies against other young people do so because they feel hopeless and that they do not belong in society. That statement was delivered by Minister of the Interior Mikael Damberg (S) in yesterday's News. ...I don't think I should have an explanation. I'm probably waiting for criminologists and others to tell me what it is. But it is obvious that there is a total lack of moral beliefs here, where these young guys can commit almost any harsh action against other young people. It is something that is lacking in the parenting role, but also that society does not intervene early enough, says Damberg." In "Damberg (S) -- the robbers who piss their victims in the mouth: 'They feel hopelessness'," Nyheter Idag, 20 February 2020. [ 1 ]
[ 1 ] "I don't think I should have an explanation," said a government minister. Yet his explanation for "sadistic and humiliating robberies" is "hopelessness." Tsk, tsk.
Original Swedish: "SVERIGE Ungdomar som utför sadistiska och förnedrande rån mot andra unga gör det för att de känner hopplöshet och att de inte hör hemma i samhället. Den förklaringen levererade inrikesminister Mikael Damberg (S) i gårdagens Aktuellt. ...Jag tror inte jag ska ha en förklaring. Jag väntar nog på att kriminologer och andra berättar för mig vad det beror på. Men det är uppenbart att det finns en total brist på moraluppfattning här, där de här unga killarna kan begå nästan hur vidriga åtgärder mot andra ungdomar som helst. Det är ju något som brister i föräldrarollen men också att samhället inte ingriper tillräckligt tidigt, säger Damberg'."
The sadistic robbers humiliating their victims feel hopelessness. Tsk, tsk, tsk.
Starbursts and snowflakes fine to see,
Crocheted in colors kaleidoscopically.
The one begets many geometrically
That others enjoy such work with glee.
" 'These doctors sought to enrich themselves by performing unnecessary back injections in exchange for highly addictive opioids, violating their Hippocratic Oath to do no harm,' said U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider of the Eastern District of Michigan. 'Our office will continue to prioritize the prosecution of doctors whose criminal behavior puts patients at risk'." In "Four Detroit-Area Physicians Found Guilty of Health Care Fraud Charges for Role in Over $150 Million Health Care Fraud Scheme," Department of Justice, 4 February 2020.
Does each do?
Shoot us up,
And cash accrue.
Charge a lot --
Shot with fraud?
Come the cops,
And you're outlawed.
Addendum I on a Wednesday: "The charges against Patino are related to a broader investigation into the Tri-County Network of pain clinics in Michigan and Ohio, which involves over $300 million in alleged Medicare fraud and the alleged distribution of over 6.6 million dosage units of controlled substances. In connection with the investigation, 22 defendants, including 12 physicians, have previously pleaded guilty or been found guilty at trial." In "Physician Charged for Alleged Role in an Over $120 Million Health Care Fraud and Money Laundering Conspiracy Involving Sponsorship of Ultimate Fighting Championship Hall of Famers," Department of Justice, 26 February 2020.
Addendum II on a Wednesday: "Aleksandr Suris, 51, of Sherman Oaks, California, was sentenced to 144 months in prison by U.S. District Judge S. James Otero of the Central District of California, who also ordered Suris to pay restitution of $11,826,444.65 to Medicare and $17,109.39 to CIGNA. The court ordered Suris to make an immediate partial restitution payment of $500,000. Maxim Sverdlov, 45, also of Sherman Oaks, was sentenced to 144 months in prison by Judge Otero, who ordered him to pay $11,826,444.65 in restitution to Medicare. The court ordered Sverdlov to make an immediate partial restitution payment of $500,000." In "Two Los Angeles Pharmacy Owners Sentenced for Multimillion-Dollar Scheme that Billed Medicare, Cigna $11.8 Million in Fraudulent Medication Claims," Department of Justice, 26 February 2020.
Addendum III: "According to evidence presented at trial, Tompkins and others billed the federal government approximately $21.8 million for medically unnecessary compound gels and creams that were predicated on illegal kickback payments. The jury heard that Tompkins and Anoop Chaturvedi, 48, a legal permanent resident from India, created a scheme to generate compounded pain cream prescriptions and bill health care programs for injured state and federal employees. As part of the scheme, Tompkins and Chaturvedi created a separate entity - Wellington Advisors - to receive the program money from the Department of Labor (DOL) - Office of Workers Compensation Programs and Federal Employees Compensation Act. Evidence introduced at trial showed that Tompkins sought to disguise illicit kickback payments as legitimate 'marketing' expenses and continued to ship patients compound gels and creams even after patients repeatedly complained they did not want them." In " 'Compound King' Convicted in $21 Million Health Care Fraud Scheme," Department of Justice, 11 March 2020.
"I gave my phone a sobriety test this morning, entering the name of my favorite Scotch with Slide to Type. I went from letter to letter six times, with absolute accuracy. The results: Lemonier, Lemonier, Glamorous,Fleming’s, Glamorous, Lemonade. The name I was trying to enter: Glenmorangie. I think that John Gruber is correct: autocorrect is drunk, and it’s only 8:17 in the morning. And it’s gonna stay drunk all day." In "iOS autocorrect and alcohol," Orange Crate Art, blog by Michael Leddy, 13 February 2020.
Arty fish'll school you sure,
Soberly artificial, pure;
Autocorrect's a fishy lure
Oft fumbling with what's more obscure.
Smarty fish'll sell allure,
So that some become cocksure.
A sober, artificial cure
Can fix, though drunkenly unsure?
Addendum of a Language We Do Not Know: "In a language known to us, we have substituted the opacity of the sounds with the transparence of the ideas. But a language we do not know is a closed place in which the one we love can deceive us, making us, locked outside and convulsed in our impotence, incapable of seeing or preventing anything." Marcel Proust (1871-1922), Remembrance of Things Past, vol. II, Within a Budding Grove, p. 583, Pléiade, 1954.
Addendum of Auto-Incorrect: "By learning from its interactions with other Twitter users, Tay quickly went from tweeting about how 'humans are super cool,' to claiming 'Hitler was right I hate the jews.' While it was a public relations disaster for Microsoft, Tay demonstrated an important issue with machine learning artificial intelligence: That robots can be as racist, sexist and prejudiced as humans if they acquire knowledge from text written by humans." In "Robots With Artificial Intelligence Become Racist and Sexist—Scientists Think They've Found a Way to Change Their Minds," by Anthony Cuthbertson, Newsweek, 26 October 2017.
Addendum of Auto-Incorrect II: "...no Google manager programmed their tool in this way, but it was the application itself that was learning about the march. When detecting real phrases, the context of them marked the feeling that the algorithm then processed, so that the texts that were used in the training were the ones that turned this artificial intelligence into an authentic homophobic and a racist one." In "Google Artificial Intelligence Becomes RACIST," Tech Caption, " 2 years ago," accessed 2020.
Addendum of Auto-Incorrect III: "The solution to the problem of human language is... humans. 'I can’t think of many cases where you wouldn’t need a human to make sure that the right decisions are being made,' concluded Caliskan. 'A human would know the edge cases for whatever the application is. Once they test the edge cases they can make sure it’s not biased.' So much for the idea that bots will be taking over human jobs. Once we have AIs doing work for us, we'll need to invent new jobs for humans who are testing the AIs' results for accuracy and prejudice. Even when chatbots get incredibly sophisticated, they are still going to be trained on human language. And since bias is built into language, humans will still be necessary as decision-makers." In "Princeton researchers discover why AI become racist and sexist," by Annalee Newitz, Ars Technica, 18 May 2017.
Addendum of Flippy and Flippy: "Flippy the robot grabbed a fryer basket full of chicken fingers, plunged it into hot oil — its sensors told it exactly how hot — then lifted, drained and dumped maximally tender tenders into a waiting hopper. A few feet away, another Flippy eyed a beef patty sizzling on a griddle." In "The new burger chef makes $3 an hour and never goes home. (It’s a robot)," by Sam Dean, Los Angeles Times, 27 February 2020.
But what will AI do with Post-truth? and problems with definitions such as Hate speech? - rate speech
Meaning-free words in rhyme
"Some protesters on Saturday called WoLF members 'TERFs,' an acronym WoLF considers derogatory that stands for 'trans-exclusionary radical feminist.' Dansky noted that the accusation of 'TERF' is 'typically accompanied by threats of rape and death.' Crowd members, including Antifa members, made threats of violence against event attendees and even used physical intimidation — one woman was shoved by a protester. 'We are women who simply wanted to assemble and speak about women’s rights,' Dansky said. 'That’s it, that’s all we wanted to do. And we were told that that was hateful'. Dansky pointed out that the optics of an all-female group having its voices quashed, especially in such a physical way, resemble the struggles the suffragettes faced in the 1800s." In "Women's group says Seattle Public Library protests belong in '19th century'," by Dori Monson, KIRO Radio, 4 February 2020. [ 1 ]
Once upon a male
Screamed at a female
Who was once all the time.
How fast did each assail
That only one prevail,
Paradigm against paradigm.
Oh, do they bewail
In politicked detail
Irony some find sublime.
Once up, on a male,
Demands to be female,
And spurs some hateful crime.
Once constructed, sail
Abroad a societal scale,
With meaning-free words in rhyme.
Addendum of He, She, or It: "In the clip, recorded in March before he announced his campaign, Bloomberg used the language to warn 2020 Democratic hopefuls against stressing transgender issues, arguing that they wouldn't play well in Middle America. 'If your conversation during a presidential election is about some guy wearing a dress and whether he, she, or it can go to the locker room with their daughter, that's not a winning formula for most people,' he said at a Manhattan forum hosted by the Bermuda Development Agency." In " Mike Bloomberg referred to trans women as 'it' and 'some guy in a dress'," by Vincent Barone, NY Post, 18 February 2020.
Addendum of Not Going Together Nicely: "The things other people have put into my head, at any rate, do not fit together nicely, are often useless and ugly, are out of proportion with one another, are out of proportion with life as it really is outside my head." Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Breakfast of Champions, or Goodby Blue Monday, Delacorte Press, 1973. [ 2 ]
[ 1 ] A comment posted to the site: by "Alan," - "When your entire worldview and belief system is based on identity, gender, race and class, you are going to be in conflict with EVERYONE that is not staring back at you from the mirror."
The question simmers: Who just says what?
[ 2 ] Some who "simply wanted to assemble and speak" are opposed by those who would use "threats of violence against event attendees...." One finds much does not "fit together nicely." Vonnegut's fiction suggests we all may be unaware that our views are not so "actionable" as we might believe them to be.
From his Breakfast of Champions, "Kilgore Trout once wrote a short story which was a dialogue between two pieces of yeast. They were discussing the possible purposes of life as they ate sugar and suffocated in their own excrement. Because of their limited intelligence, they never came close to guessing that they were making champagne."
"Limited intelligence" keeps us guessing, it seems, WoLF members and TERF members alike. And everyone else too.... There seem to be so many meaning-free words pretending to meaning.
Bagdad Bob and Tokyo Rose
Bagdad Bob and Tokyo Rose
Ranted for a losing side
As history shows;
Lots still rides on what one knows,
Like a Bagdad Bob and a Tokyo Rose.
Like a Bagdad Bob or Tokyo Rose?
Lots is learned when words turn to blows,
As looking back shows
Those who ranted for the losing side,
Like Bagdad Bob and Tokyo Rose.