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Market Oracle FREE Newsletter


Elite Fear Themes – Security And Prosperity

Politics / Social Issues Jul 29, 2013 - 10:28 AM GMT

By: Andrew_McKillop


“Frankly, we may get to the point where the only way of saving the world will be for industrial civilization to collapse”. Maurice F. Strong, Opening address, 1992 UN Earth Summit.

This was Strong's pitch for sustainable development. Despite the hard knocks and the general lack of interest the UN soldiers on, and on, spending millions on always-failed conferences trying to ram this meme down our throats, because it is elite cult-think. The Earth Summit of 2012 cranked the same elite prayer wheel.

Frankly, the logic is terrible. Launching sustainable development – whatever it is except “new, different, and good for your grandchildren” - supposedly first needs the collapse of industrial civilization, with a probable eighty or ninety-percent dieoff of the human race. Only after that, would “we” be able to save whats left of the world with sustainable development.

Similar portentous and catastrophic wraps are applied to selling us the need for the modern police state, to prevent “us” from being attacked by Islamic terrorists or other crazies. This kind of elite pitch, when delivered with the right amount of pomp and circumstance, is built out by elite-friendly media as “frighteningly logical”, when in fact it is rubbish.

The global warming pitch is the same. The coming great flood of all the world's coastal cities may be the only way to make “us” interested enough, that is frightened enough to save the world's climate. But after the great flood it will be too late to save anything much at all. Nice logic?

The latest version, showing serious reality fatigue, is the Polar Ocean Physics Group at the University of Cambridge saying that Arctic thawing will release so much methane (called natural gas when its imported from Russia and Qatar) that it will set off what they call an “economic time bomb” incurring costs of 60 trillions of dollars. The  increased release of methane will affect the developing countries in the world the most, by bringing extreme weather conditions, flooding and drying, a knock-on effect on agriculture, and have serious public health impacts. The Cambridge scientists say they are shocked that neither the World Economic Forum, nor the IMF are interested, at least presently. How was Arctic ice during the Medieval Warm Period of about 950-1250 AD, when Greenland was habitable?

Maurice F. Strong can certainly accept plenty of the blame, that is coming, from hard-line greenies and climate crazies with paint on their faces for the accelerating loss of political clout and the loss of their business class seats on the sustainable-everything gravy train. Elite doom mongering, pushed into the realms of popstar frenzied moneymaking by Al Gore, is more simply called crying wolf. Crying wolf – lying wolf. The storyline only works when it portrays seemingly logical threats to gullible persons.

When the elite scare campaigns go off target and stray into wildly eccentric New Gothic themes – like Jim Lovelock's Gaia Blue Planet movement (Gaia is the Blue Fairy who is sad about “us” warming the planet) – this soon gets much too complicated for average mortals. They get bored, rather fast.

Sustainable development and global warming were elite propaganda themes linked to and dependent on the environment-ecology movement. The various stages of this movement, rapidly colonized by doom mongers are heavily studied and documented, but we can say that the 20 years from about 1972 to 1992 was the highwater mark. After that, the oceans rolled back - even if slow-moving, slow-witted politicians only felt comfortable and safe gargling green themes much later on.

Like we know, the national security cult based on the fear of terror attacks, usually Islamic but others will do, is another multi-billion-dollar business based on a propaganda meme - which has been caned into the ground. Beaten flat and all the slender logic it ever had drained away. In the past 10 years, since the turn of the century mainstream politicians have been telling us we need to be filmed by thousands of security cameras every time we drive anywhere, walk in the streets, take a train or use a public lavatory. Because terrorists are waiting to strike! Even if there's no proof you have to believe it – and you are paying for it.

The same politicians, also in the last 10 years have felt a weepy hand-on-heart obligation to tell us the planet is burning, the oceans are getting acid, coral reefs are disappearing, deserts are advancing, food and water are running out, along with oil and energy, and both “the ecology” and “the climate” are threatened by something even worse than Islamic terror - making “low carb” sustainable development our only hope, after we beat the terror threat.

Only in the past 5 years, since 2008, those same so-sincere politicians have felt obliged to also tell us the economic future is canceled because national debts got right out of hand. But this wasn't their fault you know! They are there to generously help out their friends the crony banksters - and apply austerity and mass unemployment to everybody else. There really is No Alternative.

Elite propaganda themes have been multiplying fast, like out of control rabbits, and one result is they are fuzing together, melted down by their white-hot rhetoric. Six years ago, pulled along by huskies, the British politician David Cameron visited a Norwegian glacier and told the UK media that climate change is a global challenge. He also promised growth and prosperity through “economic reforms”. By voting blue, for his Conservative party, “we” could go green and be rich. Now his party is promoting hydraulic fracturing to unlock Britain's shale energy resources, and “economic reforms”. To be sure, he is a highly active bank-bailer-outer, with hundreds of billions of GB pounds already gone.

When Kevin Rudd became prime minister of Australia in 2007 he said climate change is the “greatest moral challenge of our time”. A few weeks ago however, he forgot all about that and massively slashed his high-profile carbon taxes, to cut the price of coal for Australian power producers. This was to ensure “lasting prosperity”. Cynics said he did it to buy votes, and keep his party in power. Rudd didn't explain how his action also helped in the war against terror and against debt, but it almost surely does help. Ask his speechwriters for the details.

Barack Obama, as we know, soldiers on with Guantanamo and the moral equivalent of nuclear war – imprisoning Bradley Manning forever and licking his lips in the hope he can do the same to Edward Snowden. But Obama is also fighting the awful menace of global warming, as he said in his recent Georgetown climate action speech. He is such a great man!

Super-Obama’s big chance came in December 2009 at the ill-fated Copenhagen climate summit. He was at the height of his political power. His Democrat party controlled the presidency, the Congress and Senate. Yet Copenhagen ended like every other climate change summit which followed it. It set and sealed their fate. The global reach of “sustainable development and green low carbon” was vastly weaker than its overexcited, over-hopeful and over-arrogant architects had imagined. Mr Obama signally failed to persuade the governments of New Delhi, Beijing and Brasília, let alone Moscow. The reason for this failure was in fact very very simple. Nobody wanted to know.

Curiously, the mega-failure of 2009 only hardened the green movement, making it even more moralistic and sanctimonious. Its new stance, while it secretly hopes against hope there can be simultaneous high profile disasters of the told-you-so sort, like catastrophic weather events able to whip public opinion back into line, is that sustainable development is a moral mission. Nothing must get in its way. It is a new religion so it doesn't need facts and figures. It is Our Planetary Mission, like ensuring national security by hacking into every e-mail message, every telephone call.

There was no doubting the huge ambitions of green movers-and-shakers during their moment in the sun, as with horror they contemplated the world's rising oceans – at the terrifying rate of 0.7 millimetres a year (according to the IPCC). Whatever the economic, social or political price – always paid by somebody else - they were avid to get close to power. Today, time is up. The politicians who had oozed onboard to pump a new green platform theme after decades of studying its public opinion and voter appeal, and who briefly championed green politics, are now in full retreat. They are dropping the hot potato and beating the retreat back to Good Old Terror! What was ecology, anyway?

Green-tinged politicians are operating an accelerating climbdown. In Barack Obama's Washington, his administration says no troublesome government regulations will be allowed to stand in the way of the USA's shale gas and shale oil boom. The 'Artists Against Fracking' can scream and shout, and fly to wherever they want in business class or higher, as smug celebrities do, but the boom will continue. In Cameron's London, and Rudd's Sydney shale gas is now frankly respectable, not a subject only for consenting adults in private. In Germany and Spain the big cutback on formerly unquestioned and massive renewable energy credits and subsidies has begun, and especially in Spain is now a rout. Trade disputes over dumping solar power panels and windmill towers between the US, China and Europe are rife but business will overcome. This concerns industry and business – not morals.

The big news is however not yet in the media. National security hype is locking on like a runaway Spanish train to the same wipeout curve that killed “the ecology”. What a short decade of political respectability for “green things” has done to its business model is sobering, avoided like the plague by nearly all the media. Why they avoid it is because as soon as the politicians got really into this elite propaganda theme, they massacred it.

They are doing exactly the same, and very fast, to the elite terror and security theme. What we can call its CQ or Credibility Quotient has slumped even lower than Obama's standing in opinion polls – and that really is low! If for example we looked at Egypt, or even Syria, these are home-baked, home-based civil wars or potential civil wars. Maybe Al Qaeda is involved, but that isnt the Big Thing. Basically its not too much to do with us – which we can be thankful about.

Talking about that boring subject – reality – doesn't figure for Doom-and-Terror peddlers. If we only took world CO2 emissions since 1997 and the “flagship” Kyoto Treaty, the growth of Chinese and Indian emissions – to produce the iPhones or laptops the greenies fondle in business class on their gravy train – has been about 20 times more by weight than the reductions of emissions obtained by Europe's post-2008 big ticket green energy programs. Since 1990 world CO2 emissions have increased by about 50 percent. 

If you don't like facts, that really is too bad.

Osama Bin Laden probably died a long time ago, but even using the official Barack Obama calendar he died a couple of years ago and was given a very nice sea burial. Apart from the clearly artificial and very fake “Islamic terror” attacks that have taken place, in a lot of places since 2001, most of the others are publicity-seeking events cooked up by marginal or minority groups, or freaks. Real Islamic terror operates at the domestic level in a swath of countries including Pakistan, Syria, Iraq, Sudan and Somalia, and possibly soon Egypt. Taking away nail clippers from air travelers in Milwaukee or Manchester isn't likely to change that.

The big problem is that the unworkable futility of “sustainable everything” and “the security state” diverts our attention and energy away from our real problems. The elite propaganda themes are designed and operated – and paid by us, the citizens in taxes – for diversion. Above all they seek to deflect our attention from real problem. Everything is done to make us imagine that current crisis-wracked industrial capitalism is the only economic model for our future. There is No Alternative.

But even by its own logic, 19th century type industrial capitalism is finished. Stripping aside the pathetic talk about “competitiveness”, if we defend the shibboleths of the liberal economy like free trade, Europe exporting all its industrial capacity and jobs to Asia along with Europe's emissions, is so logical and natural it is the only way to go. Let them poison their environment while we ride around on Asian-made carbon fibre bicycles!  For as long as the party lasts, of course.

Yes we know that once the environmental impact of imported goods has been added to the carbon footprint of producing and shipping them, Europe has clearly failed to keep its two-faced hypocritical environmental promises. Bjorn Lomborg relishes all the details.

Much better to produce the stuff at home. If David Ricardo's “classic comparative advantage” disappears, too bad for 19th century Liberal economics and its experts, at least as hypocritical as our green ideologues. Saying that Europeans or Americans should “get competitive” with industrial Asia is simple. Skilled industrial workers in Asia get paid $1 per hour, $160 per month. How many European or American workers will do that – and still be able to eat? Not our liberal experts, that's for sure!

Green enthusiasts, and their slayers like Lomborg are kidding themselves if they blame the global economic slump for either causing, or starkly showing the failure of sanctimonious climate change and environment policies. The global economy, without the need of asking any high-paid experts, has spontaneously transformed itself since 2008. Not a pretty sight, but real. The theory of the sustainable economy and the security state are both illusions. When our so-respectable politicians get around to accepting this dangerous reality is hard to call – but there really is No Alternative!

By Andrew McKillop


Former chief policy analyst, Division A Policy, DG XVII Energy, European Commission. Andrew McKillop Biographic Highlights

Co-author 'The Doomsday Machine', Palgrave Macmillan USA, 2012

Andrew McKillop has more than 30 years experience in the energy, economic and finance domains. Trained at London UK’s University College, he has had specially long experience of energy policy, project administration and the development and financing of alternate energy. This included his role of in-house Expert on Policy and Programming at the DG XVII-Energy of the European Commission, Director of Information of the OAPEC technology transfer subsidiary, AREC and researcher for UN agencies including the ILO.

© 2013 Copyright Andrew McKillop - All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisor.

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