"I think it's just an ideology of central planning and they're always looking for justifications. The COVID lockdowns have been a great one to advance central planning as we've seen the last year. But the climate is an enduring one and I'm sure COVID will be too. But it's an enduring one of what their natural instinct is — they don't like the idea, the messiness of human freedom and living. They want to put us all in cities, they want to pack us in, they want to have us own nothing... and they want... to regulate literally every aspect of our lives.”
MIT Technology Review: Bill Gates: Rich nations should shift entirely to synthetic beef - Bill Gates: "I do think all rich countries should move to 100% synthetic beef. You can get used to the taste difference, and the claim is they’re going to make it taste even better over time. Eventually, that green premium is modest enough that you can sort of change the [behavior of] people or use regulation to totally shift the demand." ... Gates: “I mean, these are good things – in fact, buying Beyond Burgers [a plant-based “meat” company that Gates invests in] actually drives demand, which will get the quality up and the rate premium down, so consumer behavior is important.
COVID/Climate Connection: Gates points out that the experience of the pandemic bears “strong connections” to what will happen if we don’t address the climate emergency...“There’s no simple thing like get a vaccine and the nightmare ends. You’re talking about replacing every steel and cement factory, everything you do with electricity and transportation, even food. It’s way broader, and the time to do these large-scale things is way longer.”
BMJ editorial: "International accountability: A pandemic has implications both for the residents of a country and for the international community, so sovereign governments should arguably be held accountable to the international community for their actions and omissions on covid-19."
"The 'social murder' of populations is more than a relic of a bygone age. It is very real today, exposed and magnified by covid-19. It cannot be ignored or spun away. Politicians must be held to account by legal and electoral means, indeed by any national and international constitutional means necessary. State failures that led us to two million deaths are “actions” and “inactions” that should shame us all."
When politicians and experts say that they are willing to allow tens of thousands of premature deaths for the sake of population immunity or in the hope of propping up the economy, is that not premeditated and reckless indifference to human life? If policy failures lead to recurrent and mistimed lockdowns, who is responsible for the resulting non-covid excess deaths? When politicians wilfully neglect scientific advice, international and historical experience, and their own alarming statistics and modelling because to act goes against their political strategy or ideology, is that lawful?
Martin McKee, professor of European public health, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine: "Kamran Abbasi asked, in a recent BMJ editorial, whether the leaders of countries that have experienced very high numbers of deaths from covid-19 should be held accountable for 'social murder.' ... There are legal avenues that could be pursued where a political leader displays gross negligence, such as impeachment or, in the United Kingdom, Misconduct in Public Office. ... So, if there are few obvious means in the domestic arena to hold politicians to account for failure to respond effectively to a pandemic, is there some way to do so in the international arena?
The international community has traditionally been very wary about acting in such circumstances. ... The international community has a residual responsibility to act when a state is either unwilling or unable to fulfil its responsibility to protect or is itself the actual perpetrator of crimes or atrocities. Although the subsequent United Nations resolution limits the international community’s scope to act to “genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity”, it is at least arguable, in the aftermath of the current pandemic, that this might be extended to states whose leaders preside over the unnecessary deaths of tens of thousands of their citizens when they are caused by uncontrolled spread of a virus rather than from acts of violence."
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), “cumulative reductions of about this magnitude would be required every year to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement by 2030,” stated researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology (KIT) in Germany. “Recent measurements by researchers of KIT revealed that concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere has not yet changed due to the estimated emission reductions.”
"In spite of the reduced emissions, our measurements show that CO2 concentration in the atmosphere has not yet decreased," said Dr. Sussmann in a press release. "To reduce CO2 concentration in the atmosphere in the long run, restrictions imposed during the corona pandemic would have to be continued for decades. But even this would be far from being sufficient."
After all, surely we’d all rather live in a world without Covid? Yet having attended last week’s conference, I keep returning to a question that didn’t seem to particularly trouble the speakers: at what cost?
David Rennie, Beijing bureau chief of TheEconomist, recently gave an astonishingly candid account of current ZeroCovid life in the Chinese capital:
“China’s strategy, from the start, was to have no infections at all… Still in Beijing, where we have hardly any cases, every time you step outside your door you have to use a smartphone to scan a QR code — every shop, every taxi, every bus, every metro station. You have no privacy at all — it’s all built around this electronic system of contact tracing. To leave Beijing you have to have a Covid test, to come back in you have to have a Covid test…. We basically don’t have the virus here, but the flip side is that they are keeping this place locked down as tight as a drum… It’s very hard to know where Covid containment starts and a Communist police state with an obsession with control kicks in.”
Eric Holthaus: "Declaring a climate emergency under the National Emergencies Act would give President Biden nearly everything he needs to begin radically reshaping the economy of the United States for a zero carbon world and steer American society toward an ecological future. It would be Biden’s best way of launching a Green New Deal."