Late in the evening, after a long day at work, I settled down in front of the computer and went on the internet to see if I could find the source of a quote by Christiana Figueres, the ex-head of the UNFCCC. Bjørn Lomborg had written that she said she wanted to see people who ate meat treated like smokers and being forced to eat outdoors. I happened on a video which might have the quote in it somewhere, and started listening to parts of it. She was speaking at an event at the Oxford Martin School last month, called “What now? Next steps on climate change” – it’s here:
The “ostracise meat-eaters like smokers” comment eluded me. But then I found myself listening to Ms Figueres, at the 55:34 mark, listing the things people could do to fight climate change:
“Behavioural changes – four, for each individual. Are you ready? Number one. If you’re still eating meat every day of the week, you’re committing a crime. Okay? Eating meat is the easiest thing – stop eating meat or decline your eating meat is the easiest thing that every individual can do, particularly in this country. You can’t say the same for other people in impoverished developing countries, but in the UK, if you’re eating meat every day – excuse me, zero responsibility, okay? Zero responsibility. So if you’re eating meat seven days a week, cut it down to five. Six months from now, cut it down to three. Cut it down to one, cut it down to zero. You can do it. I know you can. [Audience laughter and applause]. So, be aware of what you’re eating. I’m sorry, that’s just meat but it goes through all our, you know, fancy-dancy stuff that we import, etc., etc. Okay. Fine. So, be careful about what you eat – not be careful, be intentional about what you eat. Because everything that you put in your mouth, not only has some impact on your body – which, meat does not have a good impact on your body – but it also has an impact on the planet. So either you do it for your health, your personal health, or you do it for the health of the planet. Be intentional about what you eat.”
So, the builder going to the cafe for his full English breakfast, before doing a hard day’s work – climate criminal! Got it.
“Number two – transport. Now, in this country one of the things – and I live in London – one of the things I absolutely love about this country is the fact that we have public transport in this country, most places, certainly in London. But in addition to having public transport, you’re still cruising around, you know, on your own, on four wheels that are burning some kind of fossil fuel – hello… You’re committing a crime.”
So, the pensioner driving her petrol car to the shops, instead of waiting for a bus which might come just once every half hour – climate criminal! Got it.
“Number three. To those sitting down here, because the youngsters probably are not there yet – do you know where your finances are? Do you know where your pension money is? Do you know where your savings money is? If any of your pension money, your savings, your – you know, whatever, your bank account, whatever… If any of that money, if any of that money is invested in high-carbon assets, my friends, you’re also committing a crime.”
So, just about everyone with a bank account, investments, savings or a pension plan – climate criminals! Got it.
“Number four – voting! Oh my god! Voting! We would have completely different results – [Next comes a strange interlude where a woman in the audience announces that she has a pact with a bunch of 17-year old students (as you do) to nag her into getting out and voting during an election.] The interesting thing about this movement is the young people are not telling you how to vote, right? They’re just raising your awareness about the fact that there are millions of people on this planet – for whom we are determining the future – who have no voice in those elections. And so if you’re privileged, a) to live in a democratic country that has voting, and b) if you’re old enough to vote, and you don’t go vote? You’re also committing a crime! You are!”
So, a hapless UK citizen faced with the usual utter shower of candidates and not feeling represented by any single one of them, who decides to stay at home on polling day or even deliberately spoils his or her ballot paper in protest – climate criminal! Err, okay, got it.
“I mean, we have to understand that if we do not address climate change, it is a crime against humanity. It is a crime against future generations. Because we’re knowingly causing something, right? Knowingly. The IPCC has told us. So we’re knowingly walking down that path. So – food, money, transport, voting – four things that everybody can do.”
In other words, virtually the entire population of the UK must be climate criminals and ought to be behind bars. Got it, fine.
But then… Things took an unexpected turn. Christiana Figueres stood up abruptly, and there was an unfathomable expression on her face. The audience fell silent as she spoke once more.
“There’s another behavioural change I want to add, and this is a new one. Let’s call it number five. International conferences. When I was head of the UNFCCC, I went to international conferences so many, many times, year after year after year. There are climate conferences, you know, the COP15, COP16 – COP-whatever, we’re now up to COP24, can you believe it? Thousands of people all over the world fly in jet planes, burning fossil fuels by the ton just to attend these things. I mean, hello…”
Well, this was new! There was murmuring in the audience and I continued listening, with mounting astonishment.
“And the number of people flying to these conferences in private jets. Private jets! Excuse me? And it’s not just the attendees being extravagant, it’s the organisers, the armies of staff, the tons of materials, all the fancy-dancy food and entertainment, and… And you know, it’s not just COP24 and COP-whatever, it’s the World Conference on Climate Change, it’s the World Economic Forum in Davos, it’s the UN Sustainable Development Summit, it’s the International Conference on Sustainable Development, it’s the Earth Summit, it’s the Green Climate Fund, it’s the International Conference on Green Energy for Sustainable Development, it’s – and on, and on, and on.
So let me tell you this – if you believe that climate change is real and it’s happening… And it is – the IPCC have told us. Right? That’s how we know. If you believe – if you know that climate change is going to change this world forever if you don’t address it now, and you continue flying to international conferences every year – you’re committing a crime.”
There was turmoil in the audience and I turned the volume up, strained to catch her next words.
“Because we have the ability now, we have video conferencing, we have the internet, we’ve got Skype – green technology! It’s here, it’s available. If the people who organise and attend these international conferences knowingly ignore this greener technology and continue to spend the world’s resources and burn fossil fuels just so they can be there in person, then – strictly, according to their own stated beliefs and convictions – they are committing a crime. They are!
“And what is worse, if they – we – continue knowingly down this path, the millions of people who don’t fly to attend these conferences, who don’t know about the IPCC, who don’t care one way or another about climate change – they will begin to suspect that this is not, and has never been, about the climate, about the environment, or sustainability or green whatever. They will suspect that this is just the global elite, the people who enjoy being in charge and telling the rest of the world what to eat, how to travel, what to wear, how to live – this is just the elite enjoying meeting their fellow elite and, year by year, tightening their parasitic grip on the masses.”
I could scarcely believe my ears. There was confused shouting in the audience, calls for order.
“And you see what’s happening in France right now. If the masses suspect that this is all it ever was, that it was never really about the climate but it was mostly a convenient pretext for the globalists gaining more and more power and control over the lives of ordinary people, then they might start to wake up, to question things, to rise up, to make demands. They might begin to take steps to get rid of us, finally. You see the risks, you see the danger!
So I don’t want to be a Macron. Here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to be responsible and walk the talk. [She placed her hand over her heart]. I’ve made a vow. I’ve made a solemn vow, personally, not to fly to international conferences ever again. That’s right. I’ll never, ever -“
And that’s when I woke up with a start. I’d fallen asleep! I shook my head to banish the cobwebs. The video was still playing but I paused it and then moved it back several minutes, so that I could hear again about that quite astonishing behavioural change number five.
Alas, it wasn’t there. There was no number five. Food, transport, money, voting – that was it, up to the 1:00:03 mark. The rest had all been a dream!
If I don’t post here again in 2018, just to wish one and all a Merry CliScep Christmas and a Happy (and interesting) New Year!