Davos/Switzerland (22/1). The ideological debate between an economic model and the environmentalist agenda with calls to immediately call for bankers to halt funding the commodity industry dominates the annual paw-how of the rich and famous. Like any other extremist views Davos is not immune from the globalist, leftist eco-bubble.
Greta Thunberg, a 17-year cause celebre in her doomsday speech predicting all sorts of horrible things will befall us. Born in 2003 she missed a few years to actually understand the future, like the post-second World War period, communism, the collapse of the wall, the ’68 riots, which are very similar to Hong Kong riots, and rise of global wealth is in contrast to a selective group that make a living on promoting doomsdays. In the meantime the Indonesian conglomerates continue with Business As Usual. It is true that a few rich and powerful outdo the rest of the world. And it is true things need to change, but how is the question many ask.
Thunberg and her fellow apocalyptical visionaries, like so often in history, project future developments that may or may not occur. Her claims of “our responsibility” are carefully crafted narratives drawn from the global activist scene which Thunberg freely adopts.
The scripted narratives should remind us of the Y2K hysteria. All the predictions, all the paranoia, and the public panic was a non-event. The purveyor of doom reigned supreme. And today we are not in the age of enlightenment but a repeat of the decade of madness.
Whenever claims of science are made these voices lack actual science and pick science that fits the outcome. Thunberg and other hysterics are actors for the old guys. The narrative Thunberg and the neo-left greens in Europe promote are not new agendas.
It has created a society that tells us what is bad for us. Smoking, drinking, eating, plastic straws and plastic bags. We return to the jute-bag ladies of the post-war Germany which Thunberg and the lot cannot remember because she was not born yet.
Today, the result the Green agenda in the brave new world of theirs, is you can not drink a soda drink in a car because you don’t get a straw anymore. Ever tried to drink a soft drink without a straw? But then of course we are now in space of banning soft drinks driving in cars that soon will be against the law for using composition engines. Or drinking Sodas. Or flying in airplanes that will charge extra tax because the flawed argument claims we charge more therefore less people will fly therefore we are safer.
It essentially argues for a socialist regime. We been told what we can eat, what we can wear, and where we can fly. Thunberg and her allies of old leftist from the ’68 and ’80 generation of activists managed to promote for decades a one-world, all-for-better world views. It is a sad period of society when logic gives way to ideological mysticism.
Since 2014, long before Donald J. Trump was elected the American conservative mainstream rejected the Democratic left. Funding for the EPA was cancelled by then the minority Republicans. Trump is only a manifestation of the changing policy.
Thunberg does not provide any vision of what this new renewable world will look like? Where does the electricity come from we presume? The power generation of today includes visions of windmills planted all over the planet. Great. Who is involved in this power game? Actors like the former Californian politician who also runs a direct action NGO.
His staff sounds like the who is who of Greenpeace. He routinely targets Asian countries to promote not greener energies but energies that serve the vested interests of the politician. So what has changed? Nothing.
President Trump like him or hate him called for a rejection of “predictions of the apocalypse” and said America would defend its economy. President Trump did not directly name the teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg, who was in the audience. Later, she excoriated political leaders, saying the world “in case you hadn’t noticed, is currently on fire”. What was on fire were portion of Australia. Regrettable but it does not represent the entire world.
Speaking of climate activists, Trump said: “These alarmists always demand the same thing – absolute power to dominate, transform and control every aspect of our lives.” They were, he said, “the heirs of yesterday’s foolish fortune tellers”. Trump has a point.
Mr Trump also announced that the US would join an initiative to plant, restore and conserve a trillion trees. “We’re committed to conserving the majesty of God’s creation and the natural beauty of our world,” he said.
Soon after Mr Trump spoke, Ms Thunberg, the 17-year-old Swedish climate activist who has led a global movement of school strikes calling for urgent environmental action, opened a session on “Averting a Climate Apocalypse”. School strikes are cool but adopting a Hitler Youth approach is gravely concerning.
She refrained from naming Mr Trump but issued this warning to the world’s leaders. “I wonder, what will you tell your children was the reason to fail and leave them facing… climate chaos that you knowingly brought upon them? That it seemed so bad for the economy that we decided to resign the idea of securing future living conditions without even trying?”.
Despite the theatrics Thunberg nihilistic world vision and claims of children means geopolitically nothing. By early December 2018, the opposition activist group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported the number of children killed in the conflict had risen to 21,949, while at the same time 13,612 women were also killed. What steps are taken to halt this human catastrophe? None.
“Our house is still on fire. Your inaction is fuelling the flames by the hour, and we are telling you to act as if you loved your children above all else.” She strongly criticised politicians and business leaders for what she said were continuous “empty words and promises”. “You say: ‘We won’t let you down. Don’t be so pessimistic.’ And then, silence.”
What Can be Changed?
Governments in Asia, particularly the Indonesian administration of Joko Widodo has made strides to curtail the widespread abuse by the conglomerates. But this is far from enough. Real change has not been achieved.
It is business as usual if we follow the reporting on the abuses, forest destruction, the verdict for protecting the environment of the administration is poor. Leaders with the leading paper and pulp and palm oil companies are a family business. They have no interests to protect the environment. The various claims of create reservations or one-to-one conservation models are merely greenwash for the corporate propaganda machine. Sustainability, as the much abused word, goes beyond the corporate websites.
Too much power is accumulated in the hands of two families. What policy officials and civil society actors should ask is what are the benefit for society. Was society uplifted? No, so why are we keeping companies alive that are known to cause damage?
Like smoking was declared as bad for us policy officials take steps, laws were changed. The same needs to be applied for the paper and pulp and palm oil conglomerates.
Reports by the policy officials repeatedly show the little contribution the families business for society. The tax value is not optimized, the business is run by managers and former Singapore army officers who are yes-minister types. Critical examination is lacking. The media and NGO “heat” has been turned off. The NGO campaigns are largely ineffective.
Greta Thunberg and her cabal are radical in ideas but lack the skills to execute the ideas. Here is a more radical suggestion.
Break up the family conglomerates
The only solution is breaking up mega-conglomerates.
Governments do not need to bother to change the corporations. They will never change.
Change will only happen, if the oil and gas industry, the coal and the palm oil and paper conglomerates are fearing is the loss off their personal wealth. Kill the businesses that cause the damage to us. Deny the access to sell their products. Block the policy access.
Start with the Indonesian conglomerates. Limit their size by volume and value. Force the managers be accountable by name. Remove the liability protection they are granted. Deny them the sanctuary of corporate power. After all the managers making decisions. Hold the owners by name responsible for the actions of the managers. Only if the individual Tanotos, Widjayas, Tan’s, Singh, or other names are held accountable, if necessary with jail terms, than they will change.
Why are we granting privileges to corporations in Singapore that destroy the environment in Indonesia, China or Brazil? What benefits they serve to societies? Do they have building named after them? Have the invented light bulbs? Built roads or contributed to reducing the floods? No.
Remove the corporate finance manager from the boards. Since the CFOs taken over the CEO’s jobs many of the product and service quality companies descended to greed-based companies. These companies are managed by financial managers with questionable ethics. Why promoting someone who causes problems for society and its people?
The American financial accounting models is dead. American financial models are responsible for the death of the spirit of a company. Yes, bottom line profits are important but today it is about absolute power, greed and destruction that harm the public.
Financial types of managers should be disqualified from leadership and not exceeding a vice president function. If a manager has no environmental or civil society skill he should not be permitted to lead a company. Period. The bad examples are endless and this need to change.
Small is beautiful is not only a smart business decision but also smart policy. Accumulation of total power in the hands of two families in a population of 300 million citizens is bound to be abused. Vested interests, greed and excessive riches have not served societies, have not build better schools, not provided medical services or improve the reputation of the country. The companies leave a bad taste in the mouth for everyone.
Smaller companies are more flexible to respond to change and needs. Smaller companies are more entrepreneurial and smaller companies give oxygen to many serving all, instead of a very few serve themselves.
smaller companies give oxygen to many serving all, instead of a very few serve themselves
The European Union should be encouraged to ban the import of products produced by companies that have unpaid taxes, destroy the environment, and are not fire-free for at least for 4 consecutive years. If the company is above the 50 million dollar value it should be banned from trading with the European Union.
If the company is involved in any case of corruption, tax avoidance or employee and contractor abuse, are not contributing to the well being to communities and have not a tangible plan for social development in the areas they work the European Union or other trading centers should be prohibit the trade with the corporation.
Only hard, tangible and verifiable contribution of companies is imposed on these actors a change attitude can be generated.
All the claims these companies make are essentially servicing the self-interests of the corporation. These models are build on the civic affairs models of consultancies that have little experience with civic societies. Claims that they are working with communities should be verified to prevent false claims. More supervision should be applied by banks.
Here is why the NGOs, like Greenpeace failed. It sold out to the interests of the coin. Greenpeace and others NGOs are a paper tiger. It has failed society, it has failed in the function it should serve. And the only thing it has achieved is? Nothing.
Thunberg and her ilk wants radical change. Try that for a change.