Global elites regularly decry the supposedly “existential” threat purported human-caused climate change poses to the environment, civilization, and even human survival.
These same elites propose policies intended to avert global climate disaster, almost all of them involving ending the use of fossil fuels and fundamentally changing how people live—forcing people to live in high-density urban settings along mass transportation nodes and eat locally supplied vegetarian diets. But the elites don’t act as if they believe their rhetoric.
The alarmed climate elites’ hypocritical “do as I say, not as I do, hair shirts and gruel for thee, but not for me” were on full display at the two-week-long U.N. climate conference, COP-26 for short, which was held in Glasgow, Scotland, from October 31 through November 13.
Global Saviors in 400 Private Jets
If world leaders and the mandarin bureaucrats who supposedly serve them and the wider public were really concerned that human greenhouse gas emissions endanger the earth, they could have hosted the entire conference, backroom negotiations and all, via Zoom, Skype, Streamyard, or any of the other conferencing services in existence. After all, the world just spent a year on lockdown yet somehow media interviews, international negotiations, and legislation still got done.
Barring virtual communication, COP-26’s participants could have all arrived via commercial or shared transport, and eaten only vegetarian or vegan meals, as they propose for the unwashed masses, the hoi polloi. They didn’t do that. Instead, according to the Scotsman, carbon dioxide emissions from COP-26 were more than double that emitted by attendees of COP-25 and emitted more greenhouse gas emission overall than any previous international summit in history. Sixty percent of the conferences’ more than 100,000 tons of emissions was from transportation alone, with the remainder coming from water use, heating and cooling of five-star accommodations, and meat-heavy gourmet meals.
Indeed, the world’s leading climate scolds, those wealthy self-appointed saviors of the earth who would have common people give up air travel and private cars, arrived in a stream of more than 400 private jets, spewing more emissions in a two-week period than that emitted by more than 1,600 average people in the United Kingdom in a year. If their own pronouncements of planetary doom are to be believed, it seems Bank of America, Jeff Bezos and other multi-billion dollar businesses and individuals feel you must first kill the earth before you can save it.
Conference host Boris Johnson, prime minister of the United Kingdom, jetted in from a meeting of the G-20 in Rome (where climate was also discussed), only to berate the world for its fossil fuel profligacy.
Johnson harangued the assembled attendees for their climate crimes, saying, “When it comes to tackling climate change, words without action, without deeds are absolutely pointless.” Yet, after being on the ground in Glasgow for about a day, he took a private jet back to London rather than taking the train, which emits far less carbon dioxide. Later, near the conference’s end, Johnson jetted back to Glasgow to express his belief that hard commitments to significantly reduce carbon dioxide emission were vital to saving the world. His actions spoke loudly, and they belied his words.
Not the First Time the Powerful Have Failed to Live Up to the Ideal
To be fair, COP-26 is hardly the first time those in power—who are constantly telling the poor of the world that they must live with less to save the planet,—have not lived up to the ideal they set for others. President Joe Biden’s climate czar, John Kerry, is famous for using his family’s private jet to attend climate negotiations and climate award dinners. His excuse: he’s important! I guess this somehow means he is to be held to a lower standard than others. BTW, John, usually if you want to set an example you hold yourself to a higher standard than others; just a thought.
And then there is actor/activist Leonardo DiCaprio, who once again made an appearance at a climate summit. We all know actors set the lifestyle example an environmentally conscious person should aspire to. To his credit, for once, DiCaprio flew commercial. Perhaps his image needed burnishing. After all, he is widely known for travelling repeatedly for pleasure every year via private planes and private yachts. DiCaprio has real chutzpah. As detailed in Luxury Launches,
“Despite coaching viewers to ‘work together’ to fight climate change while accepting his first Oscar in March, DiCaprio chose to fly private to pick up an award from a clean-water advocacy group at the Riverkeeper Fishermen’s Ball and back to Cannes to attend an AIDS benefit gala 24 hours later. “
He excuses his private carbon profligacy by saying he pays someone to plant trees on his behalf.
Then there is climate Cassandra-in-chief, former vice-president Al Gore, who profited handsomely, raking in $70 to $100 million from the sale of his cable news network Current TV to cable news channel Al Jazeera. How is that climate hypocrisy, you ask? Well, after years of claiming we need to abandon oil and gas production and promoting legislation and lawsuits to force that to occur, Gore sold his station to a company primarily owned by the government of Qatar. That government makes most of its annual revenue from oil production and is a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). It’s akin to Baptists taking donations from bootleggers.
Not to be outdone, former president Barack Obama appeared at COP-26—one suspects via private jet, followed by private car service—to acknowledge the existence of climate hypocrisy.
“For most of your lives you’ve been bombarded with warnings about what the future will look like if you don’t address climate change, but you see adults who act like the problem doesn’t exist,” Obama opined. “You are right to be frustrated.”
Barack Obama and His $11 Million Beachfront Home
Whom should they be frustrated with? one wonders. Obama spent eight years as president warning climate change was causing the seas to rise rapidly and that they would soon swamp much of the U.S. Eastern seaboard. Yet upon retiring, he bought, at a discounted price of $11.75 million, a beachfront home in Martha’s Vineyard, just inches-to-feet above sea level. As far as I can tell, he isn’t investing in sea walls to keep out the rising tides.
None of the people who claim that we are causing planet-killing climate change through human energy use, housing infrastructure, and agricultural systems live as if they believe this is true.
That’s something to think about the next time such a person gives a speech or appears on television saying people should give up their cars, air travel, hamburgers and barbeque, and stand-alone single family homes, in order to save the planet. They aren’t including themselves among those giving up things.
The policies that they are proposing will impose higher energy costs, which many people—the working poor, those on fixed incomes, and the lower middle class—will struggle to pay for. Yet they will make no sacrifices in their own lives. Indeed, the cost of their policies to them will be beneath their margins of error at the bank.
Wealthy climate alarmists apparently have the self-awareness and ability to delay gratification of a typical two-year old. They remind me of Democratic apologists who are claiming inflation is a good thing, or at least not so bad, admonishing the poor to “suck it up” and pay the higher costs without complaint. It’s not a good image, and it certainly doesn’t inspire confidence that they really believe the earth hangs in the balance.
Image by Jean Nomadino on Pixabay.