In Davos, Facts Trump The Fears: ‘Trump was the clear winner at the World Economic Forum at Davos’


By: - Climate DepotJanuary 23, 2020 12:10 PM

https://mailchi.mp/2897661eb8fd/in-davos-facts-trump-the-fears?e=f4e33fdd1e

In Davos, Facts Trump The Fears
The New Culture War:
How Populism Will Heat Up The Climate Fight

The US President Donald Trump was the clear winner at the World Economic Forum at Davos, despite the best efforts of climate doomsayers. —Adam Creighton, The Australian, 22 January 2020

1) In Davos, Facts Trump The Fears
Adam Creighton, The Australian, 22 January 2020

2) Davos 2020: Bankers Push Back Against Climate Action Calls
Financial Times, 21 January 2020

3) U.S. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin Says Greta Thunberg Should Study Economics Before Lecturing The World
New York Post, 23 January 2020

4) Sherelle Jacobs: Davos Doom-Mongers Herald A New Dark Age For Climate Science
The Daily Telegraph, 23 January 2020

5) Ross Clark: Kowtowing To Greta Won’t Save Woke Corporations From The Wrath Of The Anti-Capitalist Green Movement
The Daily Telegraph, 22 January 2020

6) Benny Peiser: Boris Johnson & Climate Change
Global Warming Policy Forum, 21 January 2020

7) Philip Stevens: How Populism Will Heat Up The Climate Fight
Financial Times, 23 January 2020

8) And Finally: Forget Davos — Coal Demand Growing In Developing Nations
Bloomberg, 23 January 2020

1) In Davos, Facts Trump The Fears
Adam Creighton, The Australian, 22 January 2020

The US President Donald Trump was the clear winner at the World Economic Forum at Davos, despite the best efforts of climate doomsayers.

The theme for the World Economic forum in Davos this week is “Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World”. It’s a noble aim but one that’s looking increasingly unlikely.

“Davos Man” — the pejorative shorthand for the rich liberal elite who catch up in the Swiss Alps each year — is still in control of the agenda of the world’s most elite conference. The vague nouns beloved of Davos men and women — inclusion, resilience, climate ­action, sustainability — peppered the program, which is in full swing this week with more than 3000 delegates in attendance.

But their political power is slipping away, starkly illustrated when the conference’s two highly unlikely protagonists — Donald Trump and Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg — were anything but cohesive on Wednesday.

Trump, the face of resurgent populist politics throughout the West and a conventional approach to business and economic growth, clashed with Thunberg, who shot to stardom as the frustrated face of “climate action” — a sort of Joan of Arc who demands an immediate end to fossil fuel use.

German economist Klaus Schwab founded the World Economic Forum in 1971. A not-for-profit foundation, its mission is to “improve the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas”.

No event attracts such a prestigious flock of political and business leaders. Apart from the US President, this year’s talkfest saw Prince Charles, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Alphabet chief executive Sundar Pichai rub shoulders.

And perhaps no other event emits such worthy, if banal, remarks. “We are totally committed as leaders to driving change. It’s a race without a finish line, but we will make incremental gains as we go forward,” US businessman Peter Grauer told a rapt audience.

[…]

The US, with a freshly inked deal with China, appears to be winning the trade war. The stock market, Trump’s preferred measure of success, has continued to achieve new records. And the US economy is wallowing in the longest economic expansion in its history…

Trump was sending a message not only to the world but also to his Democratic foes. “We will never let radical socialists destroy our economy, wreck our country or eradicate our liberty,” Trump said, in a none too veiled swipe at calls to stamp out fossil fuel use or impose taxes to curb carbon dioxide.

“Fear and doubt is not a good thought process because this is a time for tremendous hope and joy and optimism,” he said, calling on delegates to “reject the perennial prophets of doom and their predictions of the apocalypse”.

Trump struck the wrong, upbeat tone at a conference convened on the premise of an urgent need for action to save the planet, revelling in the US’s new-found position as the world’s No 1 producer of oil and natural gas.

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2) Davos 2020: Bankers Push Back Against Climate Action Calls
Financial Times, 21 January 2020

The leaders of some big banks and other financial companies have rejected suggestions that they are not doing enough to combat climate change and resisted calls that they should refuse to work with clients that are major polluters.

The comments came at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Tuesday, after climate campaigner Greta Thunberg hit out at companies that she said were not doing enough.

Mike Corbat, chief executive of Citibank, said it was not the job of banks to ensure that companies were adopting environmentally friendly business models by unilaterally cutting off finance for polluting businesses.

“I don’t want to be the sharp end of the spear, meaning I don’t want to have to be the one telling [companies] or enforcing standards in an industry or business,” he said.

He added: “We don’t want to find ourselves being the person that dictates winners and losers. A bank’s job is to support the communities in which it operates. It is not to dictate outcomes.”

David Solomon, chief executive of Goldman Sachs, which recently worked on the initial public offering of oil company Saudi Aramco, said his bank would not “draw a line” by refusing to advise clients that are major polluters.

“If you’re looking for a line, there’s not a line. There’s a transition that’s going on, and my view is this is going to be a multi-decade transition where we see changes in the way people allocate capital,” Mr Solomon said during a panel discussion.

“Should we not raise money for a company that is a carbon company or a fossil fuel company? The answer is no, we’re not going to [stop doing] that.”

Brian Duperreault, chief executive officer of AIG, echoed Mr Solomon’s line: while he stressed that AIG is embracing sustainability (partly under pressure of its own employees), he also said that he is not ready to impose a blanket ban on offering insurance to coal companies yet.

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3) U.S. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin Says Greta Thunberg Should Study Economics Before Lecturing The World
New York Post, 23 January 2020

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin jabbed teenage activist Greta Thunberg Thursday, saying she should study economics before lecturing world leaders about climate change.

Mnuchin slammed the Swedish climate crusader in a press briefing at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where he was asked how Thunberg’s call for divestment from fossil fuels would affect the American economic model.

“Is she the chief economist? Who is she? I’m confused,” the former Goldman Sachs executive said, adding that the remark was “a joke.”

“After she goes and studies economics in college, she can come back and explain that to us,” he continued.

Mnuchin’s swipe came two days after President Trump slammed environmental “alarmists” to a crowd at Davos that included 17-year-old Thunberg, who rose to international fame for her weekly protests against inaction to combat climate change.

Trump dismissed “perennial prophets of doom and their predictions of the apocalypse” even as he committed the US to the “One Trillion Trees” initiative meant to offset carbon emissions.

Thunberg has criticized several US environmental policies, including Trump’s decision to withdraw from the 2015 Paris agreement to clamp down on global warming. Mnuchin said Trump “absolutely believes” in a healthy environment despite that move.

“What the president objects to is the Paris agreement, because he thought it was an unfair agreement for the United States,” Mnuchin said.

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4) Sherelle Jacobs: Davos Doom-Mongers Herald A New Dark Age For Climate Science
The Daily Telegraph, 23 January 2020

Western civilisation has ditched evidence-based rigour for adolescent hysteria

There is something sinister in the stiff mountain air at Davos this year. As ever, the spectacle is almost burlesque in its grotesqueness: the world’s elite has descended on the luxury ski resort in their private jets to discuss global warming over pan-seared Indonesian soy cutlets cooked by a celebrity vegan chef flown in from Canada. But underneath the seedy hypocrisy lingers an even murkier mendacity: an unthinking consensus on how to “save the planet”.

Take the speech by Greta Thunberg, who rattled off Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change figures pertaining to requisite cuts in carbon emissions. “I’ve been repeating these numbers over and over again,” she droned as gormless CEOs and UN apparatchiks blinked at the hoodie-clad managtivist standing before them, grinding on about missed deadlines and squandered targets.

Greta’s bland, corporate-friendly strategy is intriguing; it reinforces her ruse – that the science is mind-numbingly clear, the necessary actions are unquestionable, and that her task is simply to “continue to repeat” it until we are bored.

Naturally, Donald Trump was having none of it. He let rip at this paper-shufflers’ PR stunt, dismissing the “predictions of the apocalypse” and “prophets of doom”. In his own ham-fisted way, the president was groping at – if not quite grasping – the disconcerting truth. Global warming is happening, but the climate science itself is messy, mystifying and ambivalent; the certainty with which eco-warriors present their case is thus disgracefully dishonest.

The causal links made between global warming and the Australian bushfires is one example. Greta has tweeted her despair at the world’s failure “to make the connection between the climate crisis and extreme weather events and nature disasters like the #AustralianFires”. But the inconvenient truth is that scientists have not definitively linked the bushfires to climate change alone. It may be a factor among many.

The Australian Academy of Science itself concedes: “Population growth, climate change, temperature extremes, droughts, storms, wind and floods are intersecting in ways that are difficult to untangle.”

The misleading bushfires rhetoric barely scratches the surface of the problems with this consensus. “We know perfectly well” that humans are behind the heating of the planet, Sir David Attenborough proclaimed in a recent BBC interview: this is now a “crisis moment”. But Sir David’s onomatopoeically crumbly prose can’t distract from the shaky foundations of his apocalyptic assertions.

You don’t need to dispute that man is contributing to global warming to question whether it is healthy to talk about the issue with such unwavering certainty, or to ask whether the situation is so urgent as to require the impoverishment of billions to fix it. Scientists have not indisputably proved that other factors are not also contributing. Studies of the heat going into the oceans by dissenters like the Israeli physicist Nir Shaviv, for example, suggest the Sun has a large effect on climate change. Eco-catastrophists have not credibly invalidated his findings, published in the prestigious Journal of Geophysical Research.

Such uncertainties matter when people are being asked to make vast sacrifices in the name of reaching net zero carbon. All our efforts may not make a difference anyway. But contrary views are not permitted. Some researchers are chilled by the shift from scientific endeavour based on theory and evidence to reliance on IPCC-endorsed predictive modelling. Here the cult of managerialism and the mania of eco-catastrophism have dangerously intersected – as university bureaucrats push for research projects which pull in mouth-watering computer-based investment.

Like Galileo and Descartes on the eve of the Enlightenment, scholars have found subtle ways to dodge the suspicions of inquisitorial reactionaries. They discreetly publish papers without press releases, or with incongruous “eco-consensus” inserts, even though these often jar with their findings.

When did Western civilisation enter this new Dark Age? The creepy scenes of Greta’s machinic protestations at Davos offer a clue. Managerialism, an ideology that has filled the vacuum created by the collapse of communism and post-Seventies disillusionment with market capitalism, infects every corner of society. The twist is that it relies for its survival on the flagrant denial of the chaotic complexity upon which it feeds. It deems that all problems (like all corporations) share more similarities than differences, and can thus be solved through generic, optimised processes.

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5) Ross Clark: Kowtowing To Greta Won’t Save Woke Corporations From The Wrath Of The Anti-Capitalist Green Movement
The Daily Telegraph, 22 January 2020

The environmental movement is out to smash capitalism. Corporations need to stand up to them or be destroyed

If the organisers of the World Economic Forum hoped to establish a meaningful dialogue with the climate change activists they invited to Davos it was, predictably enough, undermined by Donald Trump who turned up, denounced “prophets of doom’, banged on about US economic growth under his presidency and, by way of minor atonement for environmental sins, promised to plant a few trees.

Admitedly, I wouldn’t go to the US president if I wanted a reasoned analysis of what the world should be doing to address or cope with climate change, but broadly it is Trump who has it right in dismissing the activists. And it is the woke capitalists who thought it a good idea to invite climate change protesters to Davos this year and let them set the agenda who have it very wrong.

There is no point in the leaders of global corporations trying to seek accommodation with the likes of Extinction Rebellion. They have not come to praise you for your efforts to decarbonise your activities nor to offer you advice as to how you can cut the carbon footprint of your company jet; they have come to try to bury you.

It might have been a good idea, before sending out the invitation cards, to have read Extinction Rebellion’s “manifesto” which states “corporations need to be replaced by worker-owned co-operatives that don’t seek profit or growth”. It goes on to state: “A rebellion will not be successful by pursuing incrementalism, legitimising state power or ‘greening’ capitalism”. It doesn’t just want to finish off profit; it has called for the end of all interest-bearing loans.

Scratch below the surface and Extinction Rebellion (XR) is an anti-capitalist organisation in disguise. It grew out of the anti-globalisation and occupy movements of earlier this century – whose unashamed purpose was to try to bring down the economic system as we know it and replace it with a kind of primitive socialism.

The genius of XR’s creators was to make climate change the public focus of the organisation, to sidle up to Sir David Attenborough and preach that the Earth is facing deep ecological crisis. I suspect it was no accident that XR’s street protests last April were timed to coincide with Attenborough’s documentary on climate change. By appearing to be on the same side as the respected BBC documentary-maker they have hookwinked many nice, middle-class folk – including even the father of the Prime Minister, Stanley Johnson, who spoke at an XR rally in Trafalgar Square – to support an organisation which is really campaigning to finish off capitalism.

The woke capitalists shouldn’t expect too much in the way of co-operation, either, from Greenpeace, which is also at Davos and whose International Executive Director, Jennifer Morgan, said this week: “The West stands for a system that is deeply inequitable and is more part of the problem than the solution”. No, she doesn’t want to engage your global corporations in making the world a better place; she wants you out of the way.

As for Greta Thunberg, she might not use the language of the anti-capitalists, but what she is advocating is never the less tantamount to the destruction of the global economy. In Davos on Tuesday she demanded an immediate end to all investment in fossil fuels.

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6) Benny Peiser: Boris Johnson & Climate Change
Global Warming Policy Forum, 21 January 2020

We have a new Conservative government and Britain’s departure from the EU is imminent. Boris Johnson now has the opportunity to reform climate and energy policy in such a way that it won’t hurt families and businesses and doesn’t undermine Britain’s international competitiveness. How will he deal with costly climate and energy policies? Since his mandate also derives from voters in Wales, the Midlands and North of England, how can he help lower income families who are struggling with ever rising energy policy costs? In his presentation, Benny Peiser describes Boris Johnson’s checkered past, from radical climate sceptic and rational optimist to green campaigner and climate activist, to his current challenges on how to balance his green promises with the ever rising cost of energy policies.

Presentation 

7) Philip Stevens: How Populism Will Heat Up The Climate Fight
Financial Times, 23 January 2020

In their own minds, the left-behinds have already been swindled by globalisation and robbed by the bankers. They are in no mood to be cheated again.


© Ingram Pinn/Financial Times

[…] The success of the populist movements that have destabilised Europe’s ancien regimes is rooted in a perception, more than half-true, that those near the bottom of the pile were burdened with bailing out the elites responsible for the financial crisis. The left-behinds rather than the bankers bore the brunt of austerity. Now think about cutting carbon emissions. The same group — low earners living in provincial towns and villages — are first in the line of fire…

Motorists will struggle, however, to accept that the internal combustion engine has had its day — at least until someone invents a cheap battery with a decent range. The switch from coal, oil and gas to sustainable energy will require the replacement of hundreds of millions of household heating systems. Cheap flights will disappear. A shift from consumption of meat to plant-based products will not invite universal applause. Nor will the tax increases needed to finance decent public transport and better insulation of buildings.

The way to make this palatable, politicians think, is to wrap up the changes in “green deals” — huge packages calculated to harness public and private money, recalibrate taxes, subsidies and other incentives and compensate the biggest losers. Only this month the European Commission unveiled a €1tn programme to map the path to carbon neutrality by 2050. It is a bold project, including hefty compensation for the big losers from shutting down fossil fuels production as well as tougher regulation and a cross-border carbon tax.

But no one, as far as I can see, has come up with plans to offset the cost of this on the people it will hurt most — those who need to drive to work in the ancient, gas-guzzling cars that spew out the most carbon; the householders least likely to have decent insulation or the cash to replace fossil fuel boilers; and the people for whom cheap air travel means a chance to take their one annual holiday.

These are the voters to whom Mr Trump was speaking in Davos — the same ones who have fuelled the rise of populist parties of the far-right and left across Europe. Most often they live in small towns and villages beyond the big cities where sustainability has become a fashion statement. If anyone doubts their anger, they need only look at the gilets jaunes in France, whose year of protest against Emmanuel Macron began with an increase in fuel taxes.

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8) And Finally: Forget Davos — Coal Demand Growing In Developing Nations
Bloomberg, 23 January 2020

The International Energy Agency is expecting a steady increase in coal use the next five years as growing electricity demand in developing countries outpaces a shift to cleaner sources in industrialized nations.

While the fight against climate change ramps up, Africa’s biggest export terminal for the dirtiest fossil fuel is demonstrating that demand from developing nations continues unabated.

Coal shipments from Richards Bay last year, which primarily headed to Asia, were maintained at almost the levels of at least the previous five years. It shows the challenge for policymakers and environmentalists as coal is more affordable that most other forms of energy.

The Richards Bay terminal in South Africa exported 72 million tons of coal in 2019, 1.8% lower than the previous year. The plant, which maintains a target of 77 million tons of annually, sent 91% of last year’s shipments to Asia, Chief Executive Officer Alan Waller told reporters on Thursday. Total exports hit a record 76.5 million tons in 2017.

While global coal use had a historic dip in 2019, the International Energy Agency anticipates a steady increase in the next five years as growing electricity demand in developing countries outpaces a shift to cleaner sources in industrialized nations. Power generation from coal rose to an all-time high in 2018, remaining the world’s largest source of electricity.

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