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“You’re Committing a Crime”

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:
https://www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk/videos/view/695

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!

Damn.

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!

20 thoughts on ““You’re Committing a Crime”

  1. Pingback: “You’re Committing a Crime” – Today,s Thought

  2. LOL. Very good Alex. A merry Christmas to you too.

    Does she ever get out of London I wonder? Does she even have the foggiest notion that there exist many places in deepest, darkest England that do NOT have public transport? I lived in a village in the sticks. There was one bus, which you had to phone up and book in advance, which served the entire local community for miles around. I’ve moved from there now. There is no public transport here whatsoever. If you haven’t got a car, you have to walk to work, walk the 5 miles to the nearest shops or 8 miles to the supermarket, or thumb a lift from a passing climate criminal in their gas guzzler, who hopefully may be seeking to mitigate their climate sins by car-sharing. She obviously thinks the metro-luvvie streets and cafes of London, seen through the wafer-thin but impenetrable walls of the middle class ‘climate-concerned’ bubble, are what constitute the real world.

    Figueres on eating meat:

    “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.”

    I don’t eat meat. I haven’t done so for years. Not because I’m concerned for my health, certainly not because being veggie is ‘climate friendly’. I gave up because of the proven, actual, abysmal and horrifically cruel treatment of many farm animals caught up in the meat industry. That was even before they started slitting their throats whilst fully conscious to cater for ‘peaceful religions’. As if living conditions for farm animals and slaughter malpractices weren’t bad enough, we then had to cater to the bloodthirsty ‘traditions’ of Medievalists. So no, I won’t eat industrially produced meat and even avoid giving it to the dogs as far as is practicable. But Figueres seemingly couldn’t give a rat’s arse about animal welfare. Avoiding meat is primarily a ‘planet saving’ exercise for her and her kind.

    If gut-wrenching hypocrisy, astonishing ignorance and willfully inhabiting a moral sewer can be deemed to be criminal acts, then Figueres should be holed up in a Category A somewhere.

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  3. In case anyone reading this doesn’t know, Alex has a vast collection of transcriptions of videos, radio interviews, etc at https://sites.google.com/site/mytranscriptbox/ arranged by date, source and names of participants, providing a fantastic insight into the thinking of our rulers and their acolytes on all matters green and climatical. I’ve spent a few hours transcribing some of the material myself, and I can honestly say that it changed my life – not in a nice way.

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  4. I hope some reporter, who didn’t read this post all the way to the end, asks her to comment on her quote about teleconferencing.

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  5. I had a dream. Dreamt that leaving coal in the ground was now
    considered a crime against a nations productivity.

    I had a dream. Dreamt that politicians adopting UN Treaties on citizens’ behalf was now
    considered a crime against a nation’s liberty.

    I had a dream. Dream that guvuhmint officials cut back their own travel-to-far-places activity
    – and left us alone.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Many thanks for all the comments!

    Looks like more than 20,000 people attended COP24 in Katowice to agree that 156-page Rulebook. Maybe someone should introduce them to Google Docs. 🙂

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  7. So if the climatocracy goes virtual and stops their hypocrisy, will that make the nee Council of Nicea more or less relentless in its March to tyranny?
    If Christina is willing to criminalize daily living to save the planet we can safely assume she is not an outlier. She is a leader of the climatariat.
    She is the Tomàs de Torquemada of Climate Consensus, here to bring the joys of Orthodox Climate Concern to us all.
    Just like good ol’ Tomàs, she is a powerful international Spaniard. She, like Tomàs, merely wishes to make certain the one true faith is practiced with consistency by those under the power of the enlightenment she has has been gifted with.
    https://www.britannica.com/biography/Tomas-de-Torquemada

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  8. I still don’t get it.
    Why would eating meat be fundamentally different from burning biomass?

    Burning biomass = good
    Eatng meat = bad

    Pigs eat biomass, man eats pigs

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  9. Hunter, thanks for this.

    Have skipped through so far, will digest more deeply later. I think the connection to actual memetics is thin, but there are some steps in the right direction, albeit also some probably misjudged alarm. Emotive memes (the ones that actually matter in this context – having high selection value) and memeplexes have always been with us, but also constrained by realities too. ‘Tribal’ is an overlapping term with different implications depending on context, but if it is intended to mean that today they are especially competitive of narratively aggressive, this is not so. Religions are examples of memeplexes for instance, and span a vast range most of which has now passed away. The major long-term survivors evolve to be net beneficial (which at any point in history doesn’t always mean net nice in terms of current values), otherwise their hosts would be brought down. And memes are blind, they have no ‘purpose’ as such, e.g. to win a culture war via any specific means, or anything else except via selection, to survive, which also is in the context of co-evolution and per above keeping a healthy enough host population (in the longer term, i.e. should they survive long enough for this to matter). I think some of the aspect of this blind drive has been captured, yet the language also seems to grant deliberate purpose (admittedly, agential language is always an issue describing memes because we have few appropriate terms which don’t imply agency).

    The internet provides a new space and greater speed / reach for interactions, yet is also a medium for the realities that constrain emotive memes, and first writing and then printing (plus to a lesser extent the telegraph and then email) similarly created changes and also imbalance at first, which spread out from the original deployment in time / space. (And there are also far more people on the planet that need reaching, if a memeplex is to punch at top level). The internet is in essence just another step on that same stair, and likely equilibrium will re-establish itself. In truth all movements have always been split and split again and in constant change and turnover and subject to multiple tensions, albeit at some times holding more surface coherence than at others. Memeplexes are co-opetive, so have internal competition as well as co-operation. The apparent ‘fracturing of everything’ portrayed here is likely an artefact of the fractures being more obvious to folks after the internet step, plus much larger populations being able to support more fractures without getting down close to only one member per fracture. Far more humans are also more materially well off, which means there are less reality constraints opposing emotive memes that can hitch a ride on the back of their resources and time without actually breaking their hosts. None of this necessarily means ‘worse’ long-term, it just means the same thing on a bigger stage. Shorter term, maybe.

    It’s interesting that while empires do fall and societies do encounter some crisis points (e.g. a revolution or whatever), memes claiming that ‘our’ society or ‘our’ time in history for humans is especially in some kind of new existential crisis (where ‘our’ is an identification of all societies throughout history), seem always to have been common (even in times of success, in which case can be in the sense of ‘this is the peak, we must fall’). Such memes may form a component of successful memeplexes, albeit in different guises; anyhow it seem to me that this meme runs all the way through the article, without having been recognised 0:

    Much appreciate you sending this my way 🙂

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  10. In truth all movements have always been split and split again and in constant change and turnover and subject to multiple tensions,
    The Dutch proverb “two persons is a denomination, three is a schism” noted already the inherent splitting nature of memeplexes.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. If you don’t post again in 2018 does it mean your behind bars (being fed lentils by staff who all walked to work) for committing the crime of having an independent opinion?

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  12. Warm is the new hot. Now climate crime is the name for living. Another example of how the climate consensus gives us winter with Christmas and Lent with no Easter.
    It reminds one of the popular TV shows in the US, “Orange is the New Black”(for the color of modern prison garb).

    Like

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