Donald Trump and the perennial prophets of doom

This article was not published.

Davos, Switzerland is an odd turf. During the World Economic Forum it is hard to distinguish between those who are important and those who feel important. The promenade of the sleepy 10,000 souls town is filled with flashy marketing tents and houses of countries and companies; it is window-shopping where nobody is buying or selling anything. 

The question of “Why Davos?” would need a long answer, because the history of the World Economic Forum is an extensive one. That said, one of the advantages of the mountain village is that it gives protesters a hard time. At an elevation of 5,120 ft, with police-ridden narrow streets, and ice-cold wind at about 14 degrees Fahrenheit, screaming about global warming could be more comfortable. 

That said, the followers of Greta Thunberg were still giving attendees a hard time, as enough of them had made their way to Davos with trains and over hiking trails, after Swiss police had barred foot traffic from the mountain roads. With chants such as “Power to the people!”, and “The ocean’s are rising, and so are we”, all they were getting were frozen toes and annoyed taxi drivers stuck in traffic.

Greta Thunberg herself made her way to Davos, expressing her frustration that the demands of climate change protesters have been ignored. The Swedish activist also met with Prince Charles, who at a Davos event was quoted saying: “Do we want to go down in history as the people who did nothing?” Certainly quite rich (pun intended) coming from someone who — in only 11 days surrounding the summit in Switzerland — flew 16,000 miles in a private jet (emitting 162 metric tons of CO2, which is 18 times that of an average UK inhabitant), at a taxpayer cost of $365,000.

Did Greta Thunberg endorse nuclear energy in an effort to bring down carbon dioxide emissions? She did not. What she did do however was demand abandoning the idea of net zero emissions, and replace it with a zero emissions policy. A net zero emissions policy, known as carbon neutrality, demands that while reducing emissions, countries can get to a net wipeout of its carbon dioxide emissions through carbon removal, i.e. planting trees, or through direct air capture and storage (DACS). Thunberg dismisses this idea, and demands no emissions whatsoever. That in itself is neither a policy, nor does it amount to any common sense.

Confronted with the “policy” of ending all fossil fuel use immediately, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said at the World Economic Forum that Greta ought to go back to school and study economics. President Trump expressed himself more elegantly in his annual speech at the WEF:

“This is not a time for pessimism, this is a time for optimism. Fear and doubt is not a good thought process, because this is a time for tremendous hope and joy and action. But to embrace the possibilities of tomorrow we must reject the perennial prophets of doom, and their predictions of the apocalypse.”

He continues by calling these activists socialists and alarmists, who have the intention of controlling every part of our lives. In a subsequent press conference, Greta Thunberg was asked how she feels about the “disparaging comments” made by the president and cabinet members. 

What soaks through is that those asking about “disparaging comments” have already made their minds up on the issue. Greta Thunberg has never had a class in economics in her life — and probably won’t if she continues to be out of school. Her demand to get to zero emissions (not zero net emissions) is A) a demand and not a policy B) neither realistic nor necessary even by the UN’s IPCC report. Her idea of demanding solutions, not providing them, makes her nothing but a tool for those who seek absolute control, but most of all, she is not giving us anything new or of value. She used to be a hype — now Greta will either become a religion or a tiring broken record.

Whether Donald Trump announces — as he did — a programme to plant one trillion trees or not is irrelevant to Greta and her supporters. Ideologically, they are on the side of those who would rather have us go back to the Stone Age than emit any more carbon dioxide. They are also in cahoots with the radical left, that promotes the idea of “climate justice” being “social justice”. In France, the slogan “climate emergence and social emergency: same fight!” is even being adopted by its biggest union, CGT, which currently fights for the rights of opera artists who retire at age 42.

“The perennial prophets of doom, and their predictions of the apocalypse” is a very note-worthy quote from Trump’s speech. It emphasises the Malthusian nature of today’s climate change activists, and why they ought to be dismissed.

Pictures are Creative Commons.

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About Bill Wirtz

My name is Bill, I'm from Luxembourg and I write about the virtues of a free society. I favour individual and economic freedom and I believe in the capabilities people can develop when they have to take their own responsibilities.

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