Did the Deep Ecologist Pentti Linkola Meet Heinrich Himmler?

For more than thirty years, Mikko Paunio (MD, MHS) has studied the new-old nature pantheism that was born in the UN framework, with its partners, the Club of Rome and the World Economic Forum. This religion has largely replaced Christianity in Western countries. Nature pantheism specifically draws upon the “wisdom” of theosophy, the esotericism and occultism of the world’s most famous con-artist, Madame Blavatsky, who claimed to have discovered the lost “truth” that unites world religions. Linkola’s extreme writings on population control—especially his promoted “life boat analogy”—have already probably inspired mass shootings around the world, including one in Finland.

Pentti Linkola’s Writings were Deeply Influenced by German Romanticism

Pentti Linkola, a deep ecologist, an amateur ornithologist, a fisherman and a university drop-out, was a very famous cultural figure in Finland. He has also gained a fair amount of international interest. He died in April 2020 at the age of 87 years. Outside of Finland, there is very little recognition of the fact, that he was an ardent Nazi.

Thus, it is time to revisit the dark undercurrents of German romanticism. It can be done by exploring the horrendous thinking of Linkola, whose whole extended family was strongly influenced by German culture and idealism. From his mother’s side, Linkola’s grandfather, Hugo Suolahti was a professor in German philology, who eventually became the Chancellor of the University of Helsinki. Young Pentti was very close to Hugo. Hugo’s brother Eino Suolahti was a doctor, the Chairman of the Duodecim Society and the Finnish Medical Association, with close ties to Germany. During WWII, Eino was the Chief Surgeon of the Defence Forces as a Major General of Pharmacy. He had had military training in Germany during WWI. He—as well as many other members of Pentti’s mother’s family—were actively involved in the far right political activities in the pre-war era, and were supporters of the Suur-Suomi idea (Great Finland i.e., Finland’s territorial expansion to the East) and devoted supporters of Finland’s brothers-in-arms alliance with the Nazi Germany against the Soviet Union. Pentti Linkola himself wrote in 1999, in his essay “Animal Rights in the Bible,” about his relationship with German romanticism, which readily reveals the very essence:

“And I’ve also had the kind of a flimsy idea that the cornerstone of the Western culture, Judaism, has been wholly human centered (even urban) and negative and cold towards nature and animals. I’ve even assumed I’ve seen one partial reason here for the clash between natural romantic Nazism and chillingly rational Judaism.”

August 1942: The Guest Heinrich Himmler

According to Pentti Linkola, Hugo and Eino were very close to each other. Both of them had a summerhouse in Tyrväntö. Both summerhouses were situated on the shores of Lake Vanajavesi. As a child, Pentti spent summers, from June 1st until August 31st (except late summer 1941), in Hugo’s summerhouse. Pentti’s father, Kaarlo Linkola a professor in botany, who later became rector of the University of Helsinki, died in late April 1942 at the age of 53. Thus, in 1942 Pentti had an ever-closer contact that summer with his beloved grandfather Hugo, who had just retired.

The notorious SS Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler came—in secrecy—to spend three nights in early August 1942, in Hugo’s brother’s Eino’s summerhouse. Himmler, his party, and his hosts spent a lot of time rowing on Lake Vanajavesi, or wandering in the wilderness picking berries and mushrooms on August the 3rd. The summerhouses of the Suolahti brothers were situated five kilometers apart and were easily accessible by boat.

Before going more into details of the early days of August 1942 in Tyrväntö, it is worth noting that a systematic review of Pentti Linkola’s adherence to Nazi ideology is available in Finnish. Later on, I will translate four excerpts from this review. These writings—to my understanding—have not been translated to English before. My idea is to give readers in the English-speaking world, an idea of how deeply Pentti Linkola was influenced by the Nazi ideology, and this might have a lot to do with his personal or otherwise intimate contact with Himmler as a nine-year-old boy, in a fragile state of mind, in early August 1942.

But before going to those excerpts, a few words of my own stance in regards to Mr Linkola and his thoughts and some words about the German Greens, the violence incited by Linkola’s thoughts, and his possible posthumous emergence in the Anglo-Saxon world.

Pentti Linkola’s Finland’s Green Party Program was Based on Nazi Ideology

I wrote an essay in the monthly journal of the Social Democratic Party of Finland in 1989. In that essay, I noted that the Green Party program, written by Pentti Linkola around that time, was directly copied from the Third Reich and it was not just about nature conservation, but also something else and very sinister [see, M. Paunio, “Eikö Historia opeta meille mitään—Johdatus vihreän ympäristökritiikin kritiikkiin” (“Does History not Teach us Anything—Introduction to the Critique of Environmentalism), Sosialistinen Aikakauslehti, 4 (1989), pp. 10-17]. I also predicted in this essay that authoritarian societal developments would be the result of the then already heated ecological debate. This seems truer than ever. Anna Bramwell’s famous book, Ecology in the 20th Century: A History, was published that year. In this book, Brfamwell revealed that the Nazis were deep ecologists, inspired ultimately by German Romanticism.

I wrote my essay in the aftermath of the biggest-ever committee set up by the Finnish Government—namely, the Energy Committee (1987-1988). It was set up after the Chernobyl nuclear accident. The report of the Committee, possibly the essay and my later writings influenced the developments that led to Finland’s decision to continue building new nuclear reactors.

In 1987, the Prime Minister’s office hired me to give input to the committee’s work as a young public health researcher. I was responsible for the comparative life-cycle analysis of the public health effects of different primary energy sources. I was horrified—and still am, even more so—at the non-evidence-based fearmongering of the green ideologues, such as Pentti Linkola, when it comes to energy policy, and their hatred of energy production, their total disrespect of the great importance of the uninterrupted functioning of the power grid. These ideas and their promotion in mass media has had a devastating and poisonous effect on young people’s minds in the European Union and in the US. This all ultimately leads to a deep dishonesty and eventually to a catastrophe, largely the result of the deep ecologists’ widely disseminated unscientific, romantic worldview of the soon-collapsing earth, for their worldview has become an imperative for the current mad and irrational green policies in the European Union and the US.

Germany’s the Greens were Established by the Far-Left and Old Nazis in Offenbach, in 1979

According to Anna Bramwell, the German Green Party was established in 1979, in Offenbach, largely by two factions: Disappointed Marxists and old Nazis. The latter were often protégés of the occultist (anthroposophy) and Vice-Führer Rudolph Hess. Both of these factions shared many common positions, such as an anti-nuclear and anti-American stance, pro animal rights, pro nature conservation, pro organic farming, etc.

The old Nazis were ultimately expelled from the German Green Party. However, it is remarkable to notice how similar the contemporary EU green policies, promoted especially by the German Greens, are when compared to those promoted by the Nazis: Wind power, animal rights, vegetarianism, even the EU-2000 Natura directive had a predecessor in the Third Reich, namely Das Reichnaturschutzgesetz (26th June 1935), adopted by Adolf Hitler. Furthermore, although European greens are disguised in the mainstream media as liberals, they share the same authoritarian mentality of the Nazis and communists, by demanding strict obedience to everything they stand for: climate change alarmism, nature conservation, open borders policies, LBGTQ+ rights, animal rights, etc. Even the ever-rising anti-Semitism among the woke red green left is not a coincidence.

Pentti Linkola is Well-Known among English-Speaking Crackpots

Pentti Linkola has been and still is a well-known figure among English-speaking ecological thinkers, as well as both the real and the potential violent mass shooter crackpots. In 2014, Pentti Linkola even received a letter from the notorious Unabomber, i.e. Ted Kaczynski, who is serving life-imprisonment in the US.

In 1994, The Wall Street Journal (European edition) published Pentti Linkola’s population policy and anti-technological views on its front page. In this interview, Linkola said his number one enemy is the United States of America as it stands for everything he hates: economic growth and freedom. He stressed that everything humankind has created in the past 100 years must be destroyed. He said, that he was for a radical reduction of the world population, and he was quoted concerning a possible future world war:

“If there were a button I could press, I would sacrifice myself without hesitating, if it meant millions of people would die.”

Linkola’s ”promoted” lifeboat analogy, published first in Finnish (1990), is now widely read by the crackpots on the internet:

“What to do, when a ship carrying a hundred passengers suddenly capsizes and there is only one lifeboat? When the lifeboat is full, those who hate life will try to load it with more people and sink the lot. Those who love and respect life will take the ship’s axe and sever the extra hands that cling to the sides.”

In early November 2007, Pekka-Eric Auvinen, an 18-year-old Finn, shot seven of his fellow pupils, his headmistress and then himself in a school in southern Finland. Brendan O’Neill wrote an accurate op-ed of it in The Guardian explaining how Pentti Linkola’s thoughts were behind the killing spree. At the beginning of the shooting-spree, Pekka-Eric shouted: “The environmental revolution has started.”

Pekka Eric’s mother wrote for Elonkehä, the magazine for deep ecologists, as did Pentti Linkola. They both sat on the editorial board of the magazine. Pekka-Eric published a manifesto on the Internet before his killing spree. It was similar to those manifestos published by the shooters before the Christchurch and El Paso mass killings. Pekka-Eric was strongly influenced by Pentti Linkola. In his manifesto Pekka-Eric Auvinen portrayed himself as “an Uebermensch.” The shooting and Linkola’s connection with it, became taboo in Finland fairly soon after the incident, as Pentti Linkola enjoys widespread respect among the intellectuals, artists, writers and even among the clergy. The Bishop of Helsinki, Irja Askola (The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, a State Church), symbolically donated 10 ares from Pentti Linkola’s forest sanctuary to Pope Francis in January 2016. However, very soon after the shooting, one journalist asked Linkola, if Pekka-Eric Auvinen acted upon his ideological advice? Linkola replied:

“Hardly any philosophy has been behind it. If that act had been more systematic and effective, then maybe then.”

Linkola’s Posthumous Emergence in the English-Speaking World?

A new book, The Later Philosophy of Pentti Linkola (almost 400 pages), was published in English by an American (who lives in India) deep ecology philosopher and peak oil activist Haag A Chad. In this book, the author admits that Linkola is an authoritarian thinker who condemns democracy, but Chad remains silent about Linkola’s adherence to Nazi ideology. All morality—according to Linkola—is based on the sanctity of nature and the idea that we are one species among others. This is in line with Nazi ideology. Chad praises Linkola as the most important contemporary philosopher in the world, because of Linkola’s extreme anti-technological stance, which is close to the stance of the notorious eco-terrorist and serial murderer the Unabomber. Before writing the new book on Linkola’s philosophy, Chad wrote similar book about the Unabomber’s thinking.

Excerpts from Pentti Linkola’s Non-Translated Work, Revealing His Blatant adherence To Nazi Ideology

These four short excerpts (both comments and direct quotes) make the connection clear. To my knowledge they have not been translated into English before. So, they have not been available to the English-speaking readers before:

“Are the nature conservationists able to take the lead?” Linkola considers them far too soft. He urges to look at the model of the Nazis. “The Nazis were brisk when it came seeking power. They utilized the power of the word and the power of the fist so skillfully and effectively that they received great support.”

“Hitler’s dream was wildly romantic and aesthetic; he was fascinated by bold German heroism; he dreamed of healthy, powerful, self-conscious, beautiful and blue-eyed, forever young people who, in the midst of hard work, walked along to sports festivities as Wagner’s music roared.” (“Introduction” to Thinking, p. 220).

“One example is fascism. Linkola thought, that the two of them could recognize the service that fascism did, when it freed the planet from the burden of tens of millions of Europeans. And even so, that six million left “in an almost ideally painless, unharming manner” (Diary of a Dissident, p. 133).”

“In 2011, Linkola returned to the environmental impact of the Holocaust. He compares the Nazi gas chambers, the persecution of Stalin and the destruction caused by Britain and the United States by bombing German cities. He estimated—based on a memoir by the Auschwitz Commandant, among others— that the Nazi performance was the best, most ecological and humane. The victims’ houses and belongings were not destroyed. Rail transport was eco-efficient. The victims were reassured. The gas killed quickly. “Ideal for the eco-balance sheet was still the utilization of bodies, including hair.”

Heinrich Himmler’s Summer Vacation at Pentti Linkola’s Grand Uncle’s Summerhouse in early August 1942

Now back to the late July of 1942. On July the 29th Heinrich Himmler flew to Finland from war-ravaged Ukraine, in secrecy, on a Junkers Ju-52 airplane. He spent the first three days discussing with the Finnish military and civil leaders. There is still debate about what was discussed by Himmler and the Finnish political and military leaders. It has been argued, though not fully verified, that Himmler asked the Finnish authorities to send all Finnish Jews to Germany. Whatever the truth is, Finland did not deport her Jewish citizens to Germany, though 74 Jews did end up being deported to Nazi Germany. These individuals were either prisoners of war (up to 66) or refugees (eight, of whom all except one perished) from other parts of Europe.

One of the peculiarities of WWII was that Finnish Jews served as brothers-in-arms with the Germans against the Soviet Union. There was even one occasion, when a Jewish military physician., Major Leo Skurnik, heroically safeguarded and evacuated one German field hospital, which was under heavy Russian shelling. He also alone brought one German soldier from no man’s land. Germans awarded the Iron Cross to him for his heroic actions. However, after hearing that he would receive the Iron Cross, he told the Finnish General Hjalmar Siilasvuo to convey a message to the Germans authorities, that he would not accept their Iron Cross and that he would rather wipe his ass with it. General Siilasvuo conveyed Skurnik’s messages to the Germans. They demanded that Skurnik should be turned over to them for punishment, but Siilasvuo declined.

Late in the evening, on August the 2nd in 1942, Heinrich Himmler and his party—personal masseuse Felix Kersten, SS-Obergruppenführer Karl Wolff, SS-Hauptsturmführer Werner Grothmann and SS-Obersturmführer Josef Kiermayer came to Eino Suolahti’s (Pentti Linkola’s grand uncle) summerhouse in Tyrväntö. The accompanying Finnish hosts included three State Police officers, who were ordered to provide security to Himmler and to make a report of Himmler’s whereabouts during his visit to Finland. A copy of this report was available from the National Archives. I read it with my daughter, to see if any there was mention of a nine-year-old boy being close to or being introduced to Himmler. If so, Pentti Linkola, in a fragile state of mind after his father’s death, would have met personally Himmler.

State Police Report of Himmler’s whereabouts in Finland and Tyrväntö

The State Police report did not provide any evidence that Hugo Suolahti or his grandson were present at Eino’s summerhouse when Himmler was visiting, nor was there evidence that accompanied Himmler and his party when they walked in the forest and rowed on the lake all day on August the 3rd. However, Hugo Suolahti—very close to his brother, Eino—and a professor in German philology would have been an ideal companion to join the visiting Nazis that day, with his language skills and knowledge of the German culture. The report does not mention Pentti Linkola’s uncle Eino “Nenno” Suolahti’s presence that day. He was very close to Pentti, his younger brother Martti and older sister Airi. “Nenno” was also close in age to Pentti’s mother, Hilkka. Regardless, “Nenno” Suolahti did accompany Himmler and his party that day and during the entire visit, taking photographs.

Even if Pentti Linkola didn’t have any direct contact with Himmler, he must have had the opportunity to see the photographs taken by his uncle. They are still in the possession of the family. With certainty, Pentti Linkola was in Tyrväntö in early August 1942. Even if he didn’t have the opportunity to meet Himmler personally, he might have been greatly influenced by the visit. Obviously, he did at least have very intimate indirect connection with the visit as well as direct family ties. These ties could well have contributed to the grandiose, violent thoughts about his significant role in world history. He brags in his writings of the elite status and prominence of his extended family (“Thoughts and Memories—About the Old Educated Class—A View into the Century’s Ideological History,” 2006). Thus, as his extended upper echelon family was chosen to host this extremely influential but notorious historical figure, it could have contributed to his grandiose and sick thinking. On December 5, 2007, in the aftermath of the Jokela school-shooting, Helsingin Sanomat (the largest newspaper in Finland) asked Pentti Linkola on his 75th birthday, if he had met Heinrich Himmler? Pentti Linkola denied it by saying:

“No, Himmler was my grand uncle’s guest.”

In 1946 Pentti Linkola went to see a photograph exhibition in the Helsinki Art Hall of the just freed concentration camps and saw the horrific images. He came home upset and shouting. He was firmly convinced that what he saw was blatant war propaganda.

Pentti Linkola’s Monumental Failure to Live according to His own Teachings

Pentti Linkola tried disingenuously to show by his austere way of living as a simple fisherman in Tyrväntö, by Lake Vanajavesi, that he lived as he taught. This was his trademark. Pentti Linkola’s extreme stance against technology had only one exception—nylon fishing nets. They were the only things he would accept publicly as fruits of modern technological and scientific advancement. Because of this extreme anti-technological stance, as already mentioned, Pentti Linkola received a letter in 2014 from the notorious eco-terrorist and a serial murderer Ted Kaczynski, i.e., the Unabomber. Linkola never replied, as he deeply hated not only English-speaking countries, especially the US and England, but also the English language as well. To Pentti Linkola, “Germany was the country where culture was born and England was a despicable country in the North Sea covered by fog.”

Although Pentti Linkola has gained wide recognition in Finland and many other countries for his attempts to live as he taught, he failed this test miserably and monumentally. For example, he contracted juvenile diabetes, when he was 63 years of age. For the next 25 years, he received insulin three times a day, most of which was paid for by the National Health Insurance (KELA). Insulin for human therapeutic use was originally derived from the pancreases of cows and pigs and was produced and harvested from these animals for decades. However, by the time Linkola contracted the disease, biosynthetic human insulin for clinical use—manufactured by recombinant DNA technology—was already available for him. Thus, thanks to the advancements in science, there has not been any need to use animals to produce insulin since the 1980s.

Pentti Linkola chose the benefits of the Western science he so deeply hated and chose to live another 25 years instead of living as he had taught. At the end of the day, he was a phony imposter celebrated by the corrupt elite and even by the State Church of Finland, and apparently even by Pope Francis when he accepted Linkola’s symbolic forest sanctuary donation. He still is a celebrated disgrace of the Finnish elite class.

Pentti Linkola did everything in his life to throw Finland—including our National Health Insurance—under the bus. If he had lived according to his own rules, based on deep ecology, he should have chosen a shorter life-span. But he did not.

National Health Insurance can pay healthcare costs only if we manage to safeguard our vibrant export industry, sound energy system and sufficient economic growth, i.e., everything Pentti Linkola hated sincerely. He was able—along with the mainstream greens—to delay investments in the primary energy production in Finland for at least for 20 years. We thus now face an almost certain era of grid collapses in large areas of Europe, including the UK. Pentti Linkola and people like him have played an important role leading to this derailment process, which has ultimately resulted in the utopian and destructive European Union and the Green Deals of the US government.

Do Globalists have something even more Sinister waiting for us than Just the Crackpot Great Reset?

Two years before his death, a biography of Pentti Linkola, Ihminen ja legenda (A Human Being and a Legend), written by Riitta Kylänpää, a journalist, was published. It got the Finlandia Award in 2019 in the non-fiction book series. The prize was awarded by YLE’s (Finland’s BBC TV) news anchor, Matti Rönkä. YLE TV-news has repeatedly disseminated disinformation about acute public health effects of the Chernobyl accident. Five years ago, YLE-TV news was condemned by the industry’s own watch dog (JSN) for doing just that, 35-years after the Chernobyl accident; and YLE-TV news did it again this year 40 years after the accident. I have commented on similar false claims made in the recent popular HBO Chenobyl miniseries, in a British outlet, Reaction. The new biography by Kylänpää does not mention Pentti Linkola’s indirect role in the school shooting and remains silent about the excerpts given here above, in an apparent attempt to protect Pentti Linkola’s glorious reputation.

Reviewers and intellectuals praised the biography, and the newspapers, radio and TV were full of stories glorifying Linkola.

After Linkola’s death, the incumbent Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland, Pekka Haavisto, and Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Krista Mikkonen, both from the Green League, expressed their condolences and praised Linkola’s significant efforts for nature conservation. Haavisto said that Linkola had influenced generations of environmentalists; and as Linkola did not defend human rights, there never was any disagreement about the conservation. Pekka Haavisto further tweeted:

“The news that Pentti Linkola has passed away stopped me. My own thinking was strongly influenced during school by Linkola’s pamphlet Dreams of a Better World. Linkola was creating a green movement. He lived as he taught. The great conservationist is gone.”

Pekka Haavisto and Krista Mikkonen are ardent globalists. Similar red-green politicians are in power both in the European Union and in the US. These politicians support the global sustainable development agenda of the United Nations, which is increasingly influenced by the ultra-rich oligarchs and Pope Francis, with their strange ideas of dismantling capitalism with the Great Reset program and making it more humane. I cannot escape the thought that the globalists have something even more sinister in their minds for us than just the Great Reset. We ordinary people have to stay vigilant now.

The reader can visit the photo gallery of Heinrich Himmler’s 1942 visit to Finland. Pentti Linkola’s beloved uncle Eino “Nenno” Suolahti took these photos.


Mikko Paunio, MD, MHS is Adjunct professor at the University of Helsinki, Department of Public Health. This article was originally written in May 2021 when the Greens in Germany peaked in polls before Bundestag Autumn elections and it for a short period it seemed that they would get the First Green Chancellor since 1945.

Agenda 2030: The Next Crisis in the West

Supposedly, “Goal 8” of the 2030 Agenda aims to combat inequality and promote sustained economic growth. The reference to this sustainable growth quickly ties in with the dogmas of the green and gender agenda.

Social and Inclusive Growth

Growth must be inclusive, i.e., positive discrimination of women (and LGTB collectives and the alphabet crew that follows) must preside over economic policy, because “Goal 5” states as a goal: “Adopt and strengthen sound policies and enforceable legislation for the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls at all levels.” In Spain, the new Equality Plan, devised by Irene Montero and her troupe, will receive 20,319 million euros from the budget, which obviously comes out of the pockets of the middle classes. Despite the rhetorical boasts of more taxes for the rich, the harsh reality is that the largest body of taxpayers belongs to the middle class, which, according to data relating to the last decade, contributed 54.4% of the State’s total income. The rich, those who have more than 150,000 euros of declared income per year, are only 0.24% of the population, and it is the companies, together with the middle class, who bear the tax burden on which public spending is based.

Spain is the country that has increased its tax burden the most during 2020. Tax reforms and the impact of the coronavirus crisis have increased the indicator by 1.9%. We now have a tax burden of 36.6% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), more than three points above the average of the countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which remains at 33.5%. This increase in the tax burden is closely linked to the increase in public spending, but does not translate into a substantial improvement in public services. The ideological spending on gender policies sponsored by Agenda 2030 means the waste of 10% of tax revenue. A 10% that impoverishes the middle classes and reduces the competitiveness of Spanish companies.

The trompe l’oeil of feminism 2030, masks the harsh reality that today an ordinary household needs two salaries to be part of the middle class, while in the past it was enough with only one salary. This is the real wage gap. To sustain this set-up that puts capitalist production before the family, and prevents each household from having a comfortable and stable source of income, under the label of inclusive policies, abortion, low birth rates and alternative families are encouraged; which, as in Sweden, lead to growing old in utter loneliness. And these policies, as the communist Pasolini sourly criticized in his day, are the ones defended by the good little boys of the new left.

Sustainable Climate Development

Worse still are the climate policies that Agenda 2030 sponsors in its Goal 13. The apocalyptic discourse of the UN aims to intimidate the population into accepting its global governance policies without complaint: “Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time and its adverse impacts undermine the ability of all countries to achieve sustainable development… The survival of many societies, and of the biological support systems of the planet, is at risk.”

The UN has dared to use a hysterical teenager like Greta Thunberg to spread its climate sophistry: “We need drastic and immediate annual cuts in emissions as the world has never seen before… People in power can continue to live in their bubble full of fantasies, such as eternal growth.” The climate ideology serves to justify anything, as we have seen with the intervention of Gustavo Petro before the UN General Assembly this September: “Cocaine causes minimal deaths and coal and oil can extinguish humanity.” This is not the extravagance of an ultra-left-wing Ibero-American leader, the former member of the terrorist group Movimiento 19 de Abril, is merely endorsing the postulates of the UN, which, through its Secretary General António Guterres, warns us: “Either we stop our addiction to fossils or it will stop us. Stop brutalizing biodiversity, stop committing suicide with carbon, stop treating nature like a toilet.”

Well, under this umbrella of nonsense, a decarbonization policy has been imposed throughout Europe that has led us to the current energy disaster.

To begin with, there is no scientific consensus on the causes and consequences of climate change. In contrast to the IPCC, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which points to humans and their economic activity as directly responsible for climate change, there is another platform of scientists (ICSC, the International Climate Science Coalition) that denies that there is any empirical evidence to prove this hypothesis. And if there is no consensus on the causes, there is even less consensus on the consequences. The IPCC itself has changed its forecasts over the last few years. The truth is that predicting what the climate variation will be in 50 years and its effects on life on Earth is more of a guessing exercise than a scientific certainty, no matter how much the UN, large corporations and mass media sell the opposite to us.

What is undisputed is that the very expensive economic and environmental measures aimed at limiting CO2 emissions in Europe are absurd. The European Union as a whole emits 2,724 million tons of CO2 per year, while China emits 10,065 million tons, India 2,654 million tons and Russia 1,711 million tons. None of these three countries will sacrifice their economies to reduce their emissions. So, we Europeans are, in colloquial parlance, the hangers-on in this whole global warming racket. Reaching 2050 with an emissions cut of around 85 or 95% would cost us Europeans as a whole some 9,699 euros of annual per capita income. Naturally, the distribution of this drop in living standards would not affect everyone equally. Once again, the middle class would be the hardest hit.

It is clear that rising energy costs are putting many SMEs on the brink of being unable to maintain their businesses. But far from giving priority to the real crisis that we are suffering today, (last August 22nd, the market price of natural gas traded on the German THE (Trading Hub Europe) was quoted 1000% higher than a year ago)—the UN keeps insisting on the Race to Zero campaign to eliminate fossil fuels, justifying these measures in the supposed climate crisis of tomorrow. Ursula von der Leyen has just announced that the European Union will not rectify the mistake and will remain stubborn in following the goals of the Agenda 2030, because what we must do is “strive to accelerate the transition away from all imported fuels and develop self-sufficient green technology systems.” It matters little that the gas supply cut-off due to the sanctions imposed on Russia has put the truth on the table and shown that the technological development of renewable energies is still far from being able to produce cheap and sufficient energy to cover all the needs of homes and businesses.

We are not going to analyze the report of the Rand Corporation, the most powerful think tank in the United States, on the double purpose of harming Russia and the Europeans themselves with the economic sanctions imposed by the European Union as a result of the conflict with Ukraine. What is clear is that even the dimmest person is capable of understanding that when the cost of energy skyrockets due to its high cost, producing more at the cheapest possible price helps to reduce this price increase. But the recipe that the European Union is trying to give us is not to recover coal energy production due to the extraordinary circumstances we are going through (it is true that in Spain we could never do so because “smart” Sánchez has blown up the thermal power plants), or at least to give priority to nuclear energy with the same emphasis as renewable energies, rather than collecting “more than 140,000 million euros” in extra funds for governments to pass on to consumers with financial problems. In Germany, however, they have had to put up 8 billion euros to rescue the energy company Uniper. That is to say, the European Union’s stubborn stance on energy matters means higher tariffs for consumers and more taxes, which, of course, will end up being paid by the usual people, the middle classes and SMEs. Nor does it seem very adventurous to say that the famous ecological transition of Agenda 2030 has driven an energy policy that can only be described as a “real plague” for Europe.

Economic Degrowth

In view of the situation that exposes the scam of the green transition, which despite the fact that between 2009 and 2019, as recognized by the UN itself, has invested a whopping 2.6 trillion dollars in renewable energies, without having had the slightest capacity to alleviate the current energy crisis, a new doctrine is emerging to defraud public opinion and advance in the establishment of the new world governance.

Economic growth is incompatible with the already excessive consumption of resources, energy and waste generation, which especially in the higher income countries, i.e., in the West, is causing the problems of ecological unsustainability. This is the new movement to justify the impoverishment of Western societies that is causing the climate policy of Agenda 2030. In another turn of the screw, every day more and more voices are heard from the “progressives” in favor of what is already known as “post-growth,” the theory that tells us that the world must abandon the idea that economies must continue to grow, because growth in itself is harmful.

This theory uses two arguments to convince us that being poorer will make us happier. “You will own and you will be happy,” the Davos Forum announced at its annual meeting in 2020. Of course, as you can well imagine, those who preach this have no intention of getting poorer or seeing their standard of living decrease. As with the communists when it comes to distribution, it is the others who must decrease or have nothing to be happy.

The First Argument is Ecological

Unlimited economic growth is responsible for the planet becoming uninhabitable. “Resource depletion and pollution are starting to set limits, and we need to talk about it,” announced Richard Heinberg, American ecologist and university professor (how could we not). “Supplies are running out, and even if we didn’t have to address the problem of war, it would still happen.” Again, the apocalyptic threat. It is not new; since the 18th century, several variants and versions of Malthusianism have been telling us that the earth’s resources will not be enough to support the growing population. In the 1970s, using Hubbert’s peak theory, we were told that oil reserves would be exhausted by the beginning of the 21st century. Today, when that future has arrived, what is exhausting is the drumbeat to stop using fossil fuels.

Now it turns out that what is incompatible is living “within environmental limits” and maintaining the welfare state of advanced societies. The recipe of the ideologues of degrowth is that the richest countries should apply the Goals of the Agenda 2030 to the hilt and collect more taxes to invest in a greener economy, move forward without ley-up in the energy transition to stop using oil and coal, end carbon emissions and embark on a social engineering operation to change the “chip” of an excessively consumerist population to convince them that impoverishment is necessary to be happy. “Decrease to survive,” because in order to keep our economies growing we would be depleting resources and destroying nature.

Of course, it is a lie that there is a risk of depletion of our resource reserves. There are raw materials, energy sources and crops, which together with technological advances, are enough to keep humanity growing. The crisis we are experiencing, the energy shortages we are suffering, the inflation we are experiencing, have political causes, not eco-planetary ones. Nor is it true that economic growth is the enemy of the environment. It is precisely in those advanced economies of the West where there is more respect for the environment and more measures for the care of nature. The West is blamed, but if we look at the list of the 10 most polluting countries in the world, China appears as the most prominent, followed far behind by the United States, India and Russia. Among these 10 countries, only one European country appears, Germany, in seventh position.

The reality is that economic growth encourages concern for the environment; and, thanks to this growth, advanced societies are increasingly demanding environmentally friendly policies from their leaders. The fact that Bangladesh, Pakistan, Mongolia and Afghanistan are among the most polluted countries in the world indicates that in developing countries, where economic growth is in deficit, there is no such concern for the environment. We are certainly not going to hide the fact that the extraction of raw materials in the third world to feed the growth of the most advanced economies leaves much to be desired in terms of labor rights and care for the environment, but the solution does not lie in the degrowth of advanced societies, but in the growth of backward societies, until a strong middle class is established in them, which, as has happened in the West, demands and promotes policies of stability, which first achieve social improvements and then restore and care for the environment in their production processes.

It is not precisely the same people who have largely caused the current energy crisis by their obsessive fight against carbon emissions, who should now be giving lessons, which, in the end, are nothing more than a flight forward in their hasty and irresponsible green energy transition policies.

The Second Argument is Social

The consumerism on which the Western growth model is based alienates the individual and exacerbates inequalities. The increase in economic wealth would not in itself guarantee an improvement in social objectives, a categorically false assertion that is often found among post-Marxist authors. The generation of wealth results in a higher standard of living for all social strata, as is shown by the per capita income figure, which has increased tenfold between 1750 and 2000. However, inequalities have also decreased, since if we look at the Gini index, which calculates the distribution of income among the entire population and ranges from zero (perfect equality of income between individuals) to one hundred (maximum inequality, in which all income is held by one individual), it has fallen by eight points worldwide. This is clearly not a spectacular advance; inequalities continue to be particularly glaring in the Third World; but also throughout the West and in many emerging countries, the decline is evident. Moreover, the poverty rate in the world has fallen by 80% from 1970 to the present day. No one will deny here that large capitalist corporations benefit from growth, ostensibly increasing their bottom line; but no one with a minimum of intellectual honesty can deny that it contributes significantly to the enlargement of the middle classes, progressively incorporating the poorest into their ranks. Authentic sustainable growth must guarantee this social mobility and promote economic, fiscal and labor policies that seek to expand the middle classes.

From the Great Reset to the Great Impoverishment

Maslow’s famous Pyramid theory defines a hierarchy of human needs and argues that as people satisfy their most basic needs, they develop higher needs and desires. In short, when growth is generated, when more wealth is made available to people and their lower subsistence needs are met, social progress is driven. On the contrary, degrowth is a regressive force that prevents the development of the individual and the satisfaction of his higher needs, pushing him to focus on satisfying his most basic needs.

This is the Great Reset they have in store for us. The pillar of prosperity in Western societies is the middle class. Its growth stagnated in Europe in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis; and the pandemic coupled with the current inflationary crisis is reducing it by leaps and bounds. Middle-class households’ consumer spending, especially on energy, has risen much faster than their incomes. At the same time, their taxes and social contributions, far from decreasing, are increasing every day, because the policies of Agenda 2030 do not loosen spending, especially in the green transition, and demand more resources in social aid to cover the enormous damage they are causing to the lower classes.

The supporters of degrowth are in luck—the purchasing power of the Western middle classes, according to various economic analysts, will decrease by 25% due to the consequences of the pandemic, inflation and the energy crisis. It will be this reduction in demand that will succeed in curbing inflation over the next few years. The result will be a society with more inequality and less middle class—the globalist elites will achieve their desired degrowth and the dependence of large masses of population on the State. A State disconnected from the national community and dominated by large capitalist corporations and a socialist-style bureaucracy. In addition, technological advances will soon make possible a social control that Orwell or Huxley only vaguely dared imagine.

The Ministry of Social Rights and Agenda 2030 has just launched an institutional publicity campaign for Agenda 2030 under the slogan “Enough dystopias. Let’s re-imagine a better future.” That better future, thanks to the elimination of the middle classes with their critical spirit, their initiative and their freedom, will not only be a mass society, saturated with media messages that build an artificial narrative from above, as Jean Baudrillard denounced, but thanks to the virtual reality that will soon reach us, it will allow a daily life disconnected from the true reality, which will erase any threat of dissidence. A better future is certainly on the horizon… for the elites who aspire to world governance.


Mateo Requesens is a judge in Spain. [This article appears courtesy of Posmodernia].

The Agenda of the COP27 Climate Change Conference in Egypt

The EU is pursuing one of the most radical climate change policies of the major CO2 emitters, having committed itself to reducing its net greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels, and to eliminating such emission by 2050. To achieve this, the EU, unlike China, India or Russia, is willing to sacrifice its economy, its industry and its middle classes to advance climate ideology. Reaching zero emissions by 2050 would require a decrease of 1.4 GtCO2 each year, comparable to the fall observed in 2020 emissions because of COVID-19, to achieve which would imply no more and no less than the paralysis of all Western economies.

At this COP27 climate summit, the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, once again resorted to his usual apocalyptic discourse to say that “we are on a highway to climate hell with our foot on the accelerator.” With the gall of the best trickster at the carnival, Guterres said that “to avoid that terrible fate, all G-20 countries must accelerate their transition now, in this decade.” The same time span, a decade, in which the apostles of the climate religion went from talking about a new Ice Age to a dangerous warming of the planet, between the 1970s and 1980s.

Unmoved by the serious energy emergency we are experiencing, those attending COP27 did not spend a minute reflecting on the need for abundant and cheap energy to maintain the welfare states in developed countries and to promote economic progress in developing countries. Renewable energies today are neither the cheapest nor do they produce enough to supply the demand of homes and industry. What is urgent today is not to save the planet from a climate change whose origins and consequences are unknown. What is really urgent is to solve general inflation and, in particular, food and energy price rises to avoid a global recession.

Regardless, COP27 went ahead with what is undoubtedly the biggest scam in the history of mankind, declaring an emergency for something that is hardly changing our way of life, nor does it really affect our immediate future. The farce of the climate conference in Egypt has given birth to a pact to create a “loss and damage” fund, to repair the worst effects of extreme weather on the most vulnerable nations, spreading the deception that hurricanes, floods and other catastrophes that have always been recurrent throughout history are the result of man-made climate change.

To refute this fallacy that they make us swallow like fools, remember that the year 2021 was the year with the lowest number of hurricanes worldwide since 1980. However, the stupidity that these catastrophes are the planet’s response to our aggressions against the environment continues to circulate. It doesn’t matter that the prophecies of the climate religion have been unfulfilled for 30 years.

The needs and well-being of Europeans do not matter; they are not a priority, as announced by the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Rishi Sunak: “As there are other priorities, we think that the climate can wait, but it can’t. The climate emergency is already here. The climate urgency is already here. We don’t have to wait for tomorrow.” We Europeans are guilty. That’s why we must pay the poorest countries for the damage caused by weather phenomena that climate change caused that is turned caused by our industries. Macron has already said that “we have to stand up and support the poorest countries with 100 billion dollars to fight against the climate crisis.”

The green policies promoted by the globalist elites through indirect carbon taxes and subsidies to things “eco,” to renewable energies and other ecological prohibitions and obstacles, are becoming another way of plundering the wealth of the Western middle classes. But if the climate change business has reached huge proportions in the developed world at the expense of consumers, in the third world it condemns thousands of people to remain in poverty and live a miserable life. When the IMF refuses to provide funds for coal-fired power plants in Africa or forbids the use of synthetic fertilizers in Sri Lanka, the poorest lose access to cheap energy and affordable food production.

After the pandemic, we have seen how science is easily manipulated and its empirical objectivity is easily corrupted to benefit the political and economic elites. When a hypothesis is elaborated by a group of researchers that can serve the purposes of these elites, the doors are opened to the financing of more studies in that direction, more publications, more papers in congresses, and in the end a semblance of scientific consensus. It is more profitable for any university department to focus its studies on the influence of climate change in a given area, than to explore other alternatives. If there is also the backing of supranational organizations and governments, the pressure becomes irresistible. Naturally, the mass media takes it upon itself to reaffirm the official doctrine and ostracize its detractors, while sowing alarm among the population.

The climate-belief apologists serve a more ambitious social engineering strategy, which aims to destroy the social, economic and political model in which we live, in order to replace it with the objectives that, under the label of Agenda 2030, are pursued by the globalist elites. They have given birth to hysterical teenagers like Greta Thunberg, who are followed as a model by brainless ecological activists, such as those who have dedicated themselves in recent weeks to attacking works of art in museums. But above all, they serve the goal of destroying the West as it had been configured up until the end of the Cold War.

The sovereignty of nations has already been considerably reduced with the prominence of supranational organizations and the phenomenon of globalization, which no longer makes it possible to control national financial and economic flows in an interconnected world market. This allowed P. Bobbitt to speak of what he called the “market-State,” referring to a structure whose purpose consists exclusively in its economic functionality. But it is clear that with Agenda 2030, it is being transformed into something different, into another type of State, in which the protagonism of the national community has been replaced by the protagonism of the state bureaucracy—large corporations and globalist elites grouped around conferences, such as the one held in Egypt: the perfect breeding ground for the formation of the new world order.


Mateo Requesens is a judge in Spain. [This article appears courtesy of Posmodernia].


Climate Change: The Wrong Focus

First things first: The question of whether climate change is a man-made phenomenon whose sole cause is carbon dioxide particles in the atmosphere is not going to be addressed here. That is the official narrative; and it is from this perspective that the inadequacy of the solutions offered is here demonstrated. Indeed, this perspective should also make everyone doubt the promises of salvation that are made to us, to save the planet.

After a period of silence, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the IPCC, released a new report this year. The panel, which brings together scientists from around the world to share their findings on climate change, concluded that carbon dioxide emissions would have to be reduced by about 50 percent by 2030, if we still want to avert the great catastrophe that has been announced.

Several years ago, the IPCC concluded that the 1.5-degree Celsius target set by the nations of this world in the Paris Agreement was actually no longer achievable, and that it would prove difficult to limit warming to 2 degrees. Nevertheless, the governments of many countries are spouting an optimism that cannot be understood with common sense.

This is probably fed by the fact that they believe they have found the solution to all this. And the solution is, of course, quite simple: renewable energies and sustainable technologies. Everyone now knows what this means: if we simply generate our electricity from wind turbines, photovoltaics and hydroelectric power, and drive electric cars instead of the dirty gasoline and diesel vehicles, then everything will be fine—or so we are regularly told. But is that really the case?

Dirty Technologies

The problem with renewable energies is that they are not renewable. Of course, wind is always blowing somewhere in the world, and the sun will continue to shine for several billion years. Yes, and even water flows incessantly. The energy sources are therefore not the problem. The situation is quite different, however, with power plants. Wind turbines have to be built first, as do solar cells and hydroelectric power plants.

In the process, the most toxic processes that industry has to offer are used. This begins right with the mining of the required resources. Here, aluminum, copper, gold and the so-called “rare earths” are needed in large quantities. In other regions of the world, the mining of these raw materials destroys entire regions.

Wind turbines, for example, require more metal than any other type of power plant. Rare earths, such as neodymium, are also used here. When this material is mined, large areas of whole regions become radioactively contaminated. This is because the mining process releases uranium and thorium, which are released unhindered into the environment. The same applies to metals and rare earths in general. In addition, wind turbines contain large quantities of plastic resins as well as glass fibers.

This poses a huge problem of disposal. After all, the average life of a wind turbine is 20 years. After that, it has to be dismantled—but recycling plastic resin and glass fibers is not possible. Composite materials, such as those used on the turbines, cannot be separated again and are therefore simply disposed of somewhere. This creates a huge disposal problem with disastrous consequences.

But wind turbines also pose an ecological problem during their lifetime and even before. This is exemplified in the documentary film, Headwind 21, by Marijn Poels. The filmmaker accompanies an activist in Sweden who fights against the deforestation of the pristine forests in the north of the country. The deforestation is being done to make way for a wind farm. For this, entire forests are cleared over a huge area. Often the ground must also be prepared by blasting, before even wind turbines can be placed at all. Large areas of land are completely destroyed in this way just for a few wind turbines.

And this wind-farm will not even serve the country of Sweden, but is being built to supply a newly developing technology park in Finland. Thus, energy that was previously obtained from fossil fuels is not simply obtained in an ostensibly renewable way, but an additional energy demand is covered. This is simply added on top of the previous energy demand. Thus, nothing is gained by the wind turbines—but more of nature is destroyed to gain additional energy—when nature is an important carbon sink that absorbs our emissions.

In addition, wind turbines promote climate change! This is because the wind-farms extract moisture from the soil and additionally warm the ground, which leads to droughts. The wind turbines erected in Germany through 2018 alone have given the country an additional 0.27 degrees Celsius temperature increase as a result—and that’s in just five years. Erecting even more of them, and clearing forests to do so, is absurd—if the fight against climate change were really the issue.

Wind turbines also endanger birds and bats. These are often killed by the rotor blades, as they cannot anticipate this danger. In addition, people and nature are exposed to noise or infrasound, which can lead to illnesses, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease. In close proximity to residential areas, cast shadows also pose a problem. The constant change from light to dark and back again, the so-called “strobe-effect,” is a strain on every organism, be it human, animal or even plants in the field.

Photovoltaic plants or hydroelectric power plants also rely on substances that are highly toxic and whose degradation entails great destruction of nature.

There is also the problem that when demand fluctuates, utilities shut down wind turbines first because it is much more profitable to run nuclear power plants, which can also cover the base-load of the grid. In the documentary Planet of the Humans produced by Michael Moore, all the madness associated with renewable energy is illustrated. Moore shows how power plants have to be started with the help of fossil fuels; how solar plants are built in the desert and then deteriorate—and most importantly, all the destruction associated with mining the materials needed for so-called renewable energy.

Hydroelectric plants also create another problem that wind turbines and solar plants do not. This is because entire rivers are often dammed for such a hydroelectric plant. This interrupts the natural course of rivers, and animals such as salmon can no longer swim up and down the river unhindered. But they have to, because they usually live on the lower course of the river or in the ocean and only return to the upper course of the river to spawn.

This spectacle, called migration, can be witnessed every year unless the rivers are dammed. The dams present insurmountable obstacles for the salmon. After spawning, they often die and are then dispersed by the current in the floodplains and in the course of the river. This makes them an important food source for other animals, bringing nutrients from the ocean up the river. The natural flow of these nutrients is also interrupted by the dams, causing sediments to pile up on them that were supposed to reach the lower part of the river. In this way, dams kill the water body as well as the life around them.

Mobility

Another aspect that is always mentioned in connection with climate change is electromobility. This has been increasingly promoted in recent years. Tesla built a plant specifically for this purpose in Grünheide near Berlin.

But electromobility is not as clean as it might seem. A lot of plastics and metals are also used here. These vehicles are virtually bursting with electronics, the effects of which on the environment have actually been known for a long time.

Then there are the highly toxic batteries needed for these vehicles, because they contain, among other things, lithium, the mining of which is highly damaging to the environment.

For example, there are large lithium deposits in South America, especially in Bolivia, Argentina and Chile. There, the light metal is extracted from salt water by pumping it to the surface from great depths in salt lakes and evaporating it. Chemicals are then used to separate the lithium from the salt and other substances. What remains is a chemical-salty solution that contaminates the surrounding groundwater.

Many people have already lost access to drinkable groundwater in this way, and the regions are becoming increasingly desolate. The chemicals, especially heavy metals, are also spreading in the area, causing livestock to die. In addition, since the water from the rivers is used for drinking and to irrigate the fields, agriculture is no longer possible in these regions. However, the increasing demand for lithium means that more and more new deposits are being developed in previously untouched regions.

The residents of the plant in Grünheide are currently experiencing what the production process of the vehicles means in itself. This region, which has already been struggling with a shortage of drinking water for some time, is now experiencing a further worsening of the situation. Large quantities of water are also needed to assemble the vehicles.

For this reason, the local authorities have already set an upper limit for water consumption. If this is exceeded, fines are imposed. However, Tesla is probably not affected by this, otherwise the company would not have settled there. The company is allowed to use vast amounts of water for the construction of environmentally harmful vehicles and batteries, while local residents have to think twice about every shower.

There was also a recent accident there in which toxic paint leaked out. According to Tesla, this could allegedly be completely removed and did not reach the environment. However, it should be common knowledge as to what to make of such statements on the part of the manufacturer. It also shows that there is a potential for environmental catastrophes here, should the accident or leak ever turn out to be somewhat larger. In addition, the use of toxic paint shows how far off the environmental friendliness of the vehicles really is.

Finally, the disposal of the vehicles causes considerable difficulties. Once again, the batteries are a major factor here, as they are pure poison for nature. In addition, as with all supposedly renewable technologies, there is the energy-cost of production. For example, the emissions backpack of every electric car ex-works is already twice as large as that of a conventional car. In addition, it has to be charged with energy again and again. If the proportion of electric cars increases, the energy requirement also rises automatically.

This energy, however, is usually obtained from fossil fuels or nuclear power plants. Thus, for the feeling of clean driving, whole swaths of land are polluted elsewhere and fossil fuels are extracted and burned. Electric cars are thus not one bit clean or environmentally friendly. Quite the opposite.

The fact that governing politicians cling to the so-called renewable or green technologies—despite all this destruction—has a simple reason: It’s a business.

Elon Musk, owner of Tesla, is now one of the richest people on earth for a reason. Thus, under the guise of saving the world, a market is being created that promises big sales but destroys nature on a large scale. There is also the reason why this meets with so little opposition—the focus on climate change and thus on carbon dioxide as the only factor.

For a long time now, the issue of climate change has been decoupled from that of environmental protection. Supposedly, climate change is the biggest threat of all—the contamination and destruction of nature plays no role in the discussion. The slogan is—carbon dioxide fuels climate change, it will destroy us all, therefore we must avoid every gram of carbon dioxide. The complex issue of nature destruction and environmental protection is thus reduced to a simplistic factor.

Through this narrow focus, people lose sight of the insane destruction that is being wrought. Yet even in the prevailing discourse, it is noted, albeit rather rarely, that the climate is a complex system—if we destroy nature, if we cut down forests as carbon sinks, if we poison the oceans or dry up the swamps, or if we persist in monoculture agriculture, then this has a negative impact on the climate.

Nevertheless, “carbon neutrality” is put forward as the only goal, and now also serves as a label for all kinds of products, so that consumers can get elude their complicity in the destructive system—at least in the way they feel—in a cheaply bought cleansing of conscience, a kind of “indulgence trade.”

At the same time, the blame for everything in this way is actually shifted solely onto the individual consumer, who through his or her choices would have the opportunity to influence the system in such a way that it would promote environmentally friendly alternatives, which of course is not the case. This is because the individual is always faced with a fait accompli in the supermarket or wherever, and has no way of influencing the manner of production, nor any control over the quantity produced. But by means of eco-labels and product descriptions as “climate neutral,” the impression is created that the consumer is contributing to saving the world with his choice.

Distraction

But the real question is quite different: Why do we fixate on a single substance and strive to reduce its emissions at all costs, only to avert something that, according to all the IPCC reports, can already no longer be averted?

Why are people encouraged to buy an electric car or reduce their electricity consumption, but not being prepared to live in a world where climate change is happening right now? Why are we not preparing for floods, for droughts? Why are we not adapting agriculture to these conditions, our cities, our work? Now, some would suggest that this adaptation is not happening because climate change either does not exist or is not man-made. And yes, it is also very striking that while the individual is to be educated with a moral finger to save energy, industry and industrialized agriculture blithely continue to consume energy.

But the explanation is probably quite simple:

A transformation of our society, an adaptation to a changed world, which perhaps really switches off the destruction of nature and uses drastically less energy, is simply not economical. Because capitalism would then actually have to be abolished, and supply would have to be ensured locally again.

But that doesn’t suit those who, in the current system, make very large profits from destroying nature, producing useless goods and shipping them all over the world. Focusing on carbon dioxide and its removal, on the other hand, makes a veritable business out of wind turbines, solar panels and electric mobility. As a result, the debate focuses on these, rather than addressing the real causes of nature’s destruction.

And of course: many of the arguments put forward here also apply to fossil energies or nuclear power. For these, too, nature is destroyed, air, land and water are polluted, and what is to be done with the nuclear waste is still not clear after 70 years of nuclear power. But instead of causing more destruction for a technology that does not solve the problems of our time, we should turn to the causes. Only a society that gets by with a minimum of energy consumption, that focuses on what is really necessary for life instead of constantly throwing new, useless products onto the market, is truly acting sustainably.

To do this, we also have to say goodbye to something that so many still believe in: the idea of eternal progress that would improve our lives. Progress, that is technical innovation, new products and developments. But it is precisely this progress that has led to the problems of the destruction of nature, the extinction of species, plastic waste and sewage and waste in the first place.

The example of so-called renewable technologies shows where all this leads to, where wanting to eliminate the destruction caused by this progress is only through further progress. Moreover, it is a false idea of progress that is being marketed here. Because progress is also reduced to marketable products. Progress is therefore only what can be sold. Social developments, up to a frugality that makes all these goods superfluous, do not appear in this belief in progress.

The history of this progress has shown, however, that it knows no end. It only brings us more and more new problems, new devices and products that have to be consumed and then end up as waste in nature to keep a capitalist machinery going, which leads us to ruin and hardly improves our lives.

Which is not to say, of course, that every discovery and development is exclusively negative. But we should separate ourselves from this unconditional dogma of eternal progress. After all, has the eleventh smartphone, the latest tablet or car really brought us any further or made us happier? Do we live better because we can consume coffee to go, while walking or on the subway? Are we better off because technology corporations and governments can monitor us everywhere, that we are increasingly digitized in order to live?

True progress would be a social weighing, combined with a penchant for less, a frugality that is at peace with itself and the world. However, this should not be a frugality decreed from above, a “Great Reset” that drives this society with momentum against the wall and claims countless victims in the process. On the contrary, a truly human change can only come from below, from the people who are affected by it themselves, who are fed up with a life on the hamster wheel, as a cog in the wheel.


Felix Feistel writes about the idiocy of this world and also against it. In a world reduced to numbers and data, which has always been alien to him, he searches for humanity and the meaning of life. He tries to use his powers and talents to create a world worth living in by opposing injustice and destruction. Despite the madness that is rampant everywhere, he is not ready to give up his belief in the goodness of man and his potential to transform the planet into a paradise. This article comes through the kind courtesy of Rubikon.


Featured: “Castor et Pollution,” by Max Ernst; painted in 1923.

The Dutch Farmers’ Protest: Hecatomb for the Green Reich

Farmers provide us all with food. When they are no longer willing or able to do so, our food supply suffers. In the Netherlands, farmers have been demonstrating for weeks, blocking border crossings, access routes and even supermarket entrances with their vehicles. This has led to supply shortages in this European country for the first time in a long time—and the reason is not Ukraine. Rather, it was the pronouncement of a woman with the fancy job title of “nitrogen minister” that brought farmers’ anger to a boil. The government demanded a reduction in nitrogen oxide and ammonia emissions to meet ambitious climate targets and callously accepted the destruction of the livelihoods of some 30 percent of livestock farmers. Instead of understanding, authorities responded to the farmers’ plight with police brutality.

The farmers’ protests in the Netherlands, which have been going on for weeks, continue to expand. After initially blocking access routes and later border crossings, the protesters targeted ports and the distribution centers of major supermarket chains at the beginning of July. Among other things, they prevented loaded trucks from delivering their goods to supermarkets, triggering the first supply shortages of fresh products, such as bread, vegetables, fruit and milk.

In addition, confrontations with the police intensified. On a freeway ramp, near Heerenveen in the north of the country, police officers shot at a tractor driven by a sixteen-year-old on July 5. A video circulating on the Internet proves that the police-account that they acted in self-defense is not true.

The mainstream media in Germany has almost completely ignored the development over the past weeks, but can no longer pass over the incidents, given the escalation that has become known via the Internet.

What triggered the protests?

The protests were triggered by statements made by Christianne van der Wal, who has held the newly created post of “Minister for Nature and Nitrogen Policy” in Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s fourth cabinet since January 2022.

Van der Wal proposed legislation to the Dutch Parliament on June 10 to achieve climate targets. It calls for a 50 percent reduction in nitrogen oxide and ammonia emissions by 2030, up to 70 percent near nature reserves and as much as 95 percent in some places. Provincial governments would be given one year to develop plans to meet this target.

The consequences would be dramatic. According to official government estimates, about 30 percent of ranchers would have to give up their farms. “I know this has enormous consequences for farmers who have been living in uncertainty for a long time,” van der Wal justified her plan in parliament. “This is terrible. At the same time, we have no other choice. Nature cannot wait.”

Van der Wal’s party colleague, Prime Minister Rutte, came to her rescue. “It’s just terrible,” he said. “Especially when you’re talking about farms that are passed down in the family and that want to continue with pride.”

A statement from the House official said: “The honest message is that not all farmers will continue to farm and that those who do will have to farm differently.”

It was primarily the condescending tone and indifference with which those in power commented on the destruction of the livelihoods of several thousand hard-working farmers that sparked a wave of outrage among them.

What is behind it?

But what is behind this major attack on the agricultural middle class in the Netherlands? Why are such plans being pursued, especially in the current already tense economic situation, and in a country that has never cared about emission limits in the past?

To answer this question, one must first look to Brussels, where the EU has been working for some time to achieve its supposed climate goals. However, it is obviously not pursuing them in the interests of EU citizens, nor in the interests of the environment, but for the benefit of the lobbyists of the world’s largest industries, and these include the agricultural and agrochemical sectors.

As early as 2019, the highest court in the Netherlands, under pressure from the EU, ruled that EU nitrogen standards must not be exceeded, but to no avail. In the meantime, however, the pressure has intensified considerably. The EU Commission, led by Ursula von der Leyen, adopted the “Green Deal” at the end of 2019, which calls for a gradual reduction in emissions to zero by 2050.

While the measures needed to meet these ambitious standards will not, as officially claimed, make a decisive contribution to saving the world’s climate, they will destroy more than 15,000 farms in the Netherlands.

As the Netherlands is currently the world’s second largest exporter of agricultural products, it does not take a clairvoyant to know who will compensate for the government-enforced production losses. The U.S., the world’s largest exporter of livestock, has four giant corporations—Cargill, Tyson Foods, JBS, and National Beef Packing—that are just waiting for the opportunity to take over the business of the bankrupt companies. Incidentally, mega-asset managers BlackRock and Vanguard are among the largest shareholders in three of these four.

The pressure from these lobbyists is thus basically merely continuing a trend that has already been going on for many years, namely the ever-greater concentration of money and market power in fewer and fewer hands. In 2000, Holland still had more than 100,000 farms; in 2021, there were only 52,000.

The Great Reset Agenda

Looking to Brussels, however, is not yet enough to understand the pace and the harshness that the government in The Hague is putting forward in the dispute with farmers. But a look to Davos sheds more light.

In recent decades, the World Economic Forum (WEF) has become one of the most important centers of power for the global elite. Not only do the richest and most powerful people in the world meet there, but since 1992 a large proportion of the leading corporate CEOs and politicians of our time have also been trained there. According to WEF founder Klaus Schwab, the WEF has succeeded in recent years in “penetrating some of the most important cabinets in the world.”

Less well known may be the fact that Mark Rutte is not only officially listed as a “contributor” by the WEF, but is one of Klaus Schwab’s favorites, along with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and has devoted himself wholeheartedly to his organization and its current agenda, the Great Reset.

Particularly interesting in this context is the role he played at the WEF’s virtual annual meeting in January 2021. That is where the Food Innovation Hubs (centers for innovation in the food sector) were launched.

According to the WEF, this is an important multi-stakeholder platform to leverage technology and broader innovation to strengthen local ecosystems as the global food system transforms. Rutte pledged at the time to fund this initiative over several years and to have its global coordinating secretariat established in the Netherlands.

The role of this coordination secretariat, according to officials, will be to “coordinate the efforts of the regional centers and align with global processes and initiatives such as the UN Summit on Food Systems.”

Who the secretariat will actually work for, and in whose interest, becomes apparent when one takes a look at the organization’s official partners. In addition to the Dutch government, these include Rabobank, Unilever, PepsiCo, Master Card and the world’s largest agrochemical company, Syngenta, which was acquired by Chinese state-owned Chemchina in 2017.

These usual suspects are unlikely to ensure that world hunger is curbed and that impoverished small farmers in Africa, Asia and South America, whose livelihoods have been systematically destroyed for years by large transnational corporations, get back on their feet. Since BlackRock and Vanguard are the largest shareholders in Unilever, PepsiCo and Master Card, it should once again be clear who is pulling the strings in the background.

The magic formula of the future: laboratory meat

But there is another reason for the enormous pace destruction of the livelihood of livestock farmers in the Netherlands, which has so far remained largely hidden from the general public. It is the biggest upheaval in the global meat market due to the development of lab-grown meat.

All the major meat producers in the U.S. are currently making the largest investments in precisely this area, and it’s no wonder.

If it were possible to artificially produce the meat the world needs, it would create a gold rush in the industry. The costs of raising and maintaining the animals, of pastures and stables, of feed, transport and slaughter would all be eliminated.

The only problem at the moment is that mass production of lab-grown meat is not yet ready for the market. However, numerous start-ups are working on this in the background, and it is probably only a matter of time before the first lab-grown meat—accompanied by a global campaign against factory farming steered by the meat producers themselves—is in the works.

However, in the initial phase, this lab-grown meat will still be more expensive than conventional meat. What could be better for the producers than for a government like the Dutch one to ensure in time that thousands of competitors in this sector are driven into bankruptcy?


Ernst Wolff grew up in Southeast Asia, went to school in Germany and studied in the USA. Because of the worldwide financialization brought about by deregulation, he has been focusing for years on what he considers the most important area of global society: the financial sector. Wolff lives as a freelance journalist in Berlin, writes regularly on current topics and gives lectures around the world that illuminate current events against their financial policy backgrounds. He is the author of various books, including, Pillaging the World: The History and Politics of the IMF. [This article appears through the kind courtesy of Rubikon].


Featured: “Abandoned Farm,” by David Vance; 20th century.

Food Supply, Food Security

The Swiss Association of Industry and Agriculture (SVIL) has always clearly and unequivocally opposed the decimation of productive agriculture.

Since the 1980s, however, agricultural self-sufficiency has come under increasing pressure:

The WTO demanded an opening of agricultural free trade. The warning voices, which did not want to include agriculture in the free trade negotiations, as had been the case in the previous GATT for decades, were thrown to the wind, along with the historical experience with supply crises. In the WTO, it was now believed that the dismantling of trade barriers would also increase security of supply in the food sector, which is now becoming increasingly clear that this was a mistake that could have been avoided.

Soil and cultivated land loss are increasing in two ways. On the one hand, as a result of too high immigration with resulting settlement growth (jobs, residential areas, supply infrastructures), and on the other hand, as a result of deconversion of cultivated land for nature conservation.

The death of farms because of too low an income and loss of land continues.

An ecology debate has been unilaterally imposed on agriculture by conservation organizations, instead of first addressing the causes of conflict stemming from the overall economy. Green reform organizations believe that the ecology problem can be solved by reducing production and cultivating nature differently. With overall unchanged direct payments and production services, agriculture was forced to provide additional uncompensated care services.

In addition, the ecological critics do not want to recognize any connection between the settlement density in Switzerland and the dwindling biodiversity, but blame this conflict solely on agriculture. More and more, agricultural policy has also become an object for extended demands on the living environment. In the process, ever more drastic ecological regulations are imposed on agriculture, without addressing the macroeconomic causes. Likewise, food-labeling organizations also focus solely on marketing their unique selling points, without addressing the basic macroeconomic conflict of underpaying agriculture.

Because of this multiplicity of conflicts, Parliament has abandoned AP 22 and instructed the Federal Council to present a revised concept by the summer of 2022.

Now, in addition to the already strained relationship between population size and land base, there are additional uncertainties regarding supply through imports. Whereas global supply chains were previously the main argument for deregulation and free trade, against all warnings, supply chains are now the sore point, as evidenced by significant price increases for raw materials.

As a result, the supply situation for Switzerland—with a degree of self-sufficiency of just under 55% and a high proportion of imports—has also become more than uncertain against the background of this increasing turmoil. For these reasons, the call for Plan Wahlen 2.0 (analogous to the 1941 program) to expand the potato and bread grain area and to adjust the diet is political precaution. Today, this means an emergency programmatic re-expansion of arable land, reclamation of extensification areas and no further water expansion projects, which, according to the conservation organizations themselves, deprive agriculture of up to 50,000 hectares of prime irrigable land.

It is now a question of secure supply in the event of disrupted supply, which is what agricultural policy must be pragmatically geared towards.

The same considerations apply to the required reduction path in agriculture. A reduction in input leads to a collapse in production is the wrong move in the looming crisis. It is therefore also wrong to impose a reduction path on agriculture, in addition to the adjustment process that is already underway, while energy and raw material prices are still rising.

In order to be able to replace auxiliary materials with ecological intensification, the current industrialization pressure on agriculture must be eliminated, because this economic pressure prevents ecological intensification. However, this requires a longer-term recultivation process. Measures that stifle production and risk “Cambodian conditions” (relapse into poverty and hunger)—or conversely, adapting our livelihood to economically generated conflicts—are misguided.

Recently, there have been arguments against self-sufficiency that the auxiliary materials, such as fertilizer, diesel and animal feed would have to be imported anyway, which makes self-sufficiency illusory in any case. Such argumentation only contributes to further lowering the currently low level of self-sufficiency in this crisis instead of increasing it. After all, it is precisely fuels and fertilizers from fossil sources that can be stored in sufficient quantities without any problems.

After all, the fact that a few years ago, in national supply law, stockpiling was significantly reduced compared to the past seems to be in line with the “policy” which today causes supply shortages in an inhumane manner.

The ambivalence of ecological criticism of agriculture and industry and the danger of global famine?

More and more urgently the question arises, which agenda does “green politics” follow, especially in the current crisis, when domestic production should be secured and expanded. These organizations criticize productive agriculture and also want to cut off the supply of fossil energy and auxiliary materials.

Not only is fertilizer production being affected, but grain prices are also skyrocketing due to disrupted supply chains as well as unprecedented ownership encroachments in the payments system (sanctions). Wheat prices of $20 per 100 kg in 2020 rose to $34 per 100 kg before February 24, 2022. Meanwhile, the U.S. holds itself harmless as a net importer in the world grain market with its self-printed dollars. Currently, the price continues to rise to $45 per 100 kg, making food unaffordable for millions. Covid has broken supply chains, India is experiencing heat waves, and lack of rainfall in Europe is also depressing yields. Western sanctions are shockingly blocking fossil fuel energy use, from fertilizer to industrial production. Add up all these disruptions, orchestrated at the monetary and legal levels, and devastating supply shortages are occurring.

In contrast, the export share worldwide of Russia and Ukraine combined was about 3% of wheat production before the crisis. It is not the production volume that is the problem but the explosion of prices due to sanctions and disruption of logistics.

And as if that were not enough, an energy supply emergency and destruction of the economy is being “accepted” for reasons of “ecology.”

Who is served by such an approach, which openly targets a supply crisis?

Only industry can reduce entropy in the long run. The sought-after “ecological turnaround” precisely cannot therefore begin with the increase in the price of energy. The reduction of raw material consumption is the long-term product of SME-supported technology development, which is now being damaged by the sanctions policy. These connections are overlooked by the protection organizations!

As far as world food is concerned, the dependencies that have arisen in the grain supply of the Middle East and North Africa are the result of previous global political wars. In Iraq and then Syria, a rich grain culture was destroyed, which also increased the dependence on grain imports in these countries. This, in turn, increased Eastern Europe’s specialization in the production of food commodities.

It is not progressive policy to abuse these internationally created mutual interdependencies as a target for sanctions in order to launch international emergency and politically exploitable shock strategies. Are consumers to experience painfully what it is like when the gas tap is turned off and fertilizer production is interrupted? What explains the long-standing opposition to Nord-Stream 2? Is it about “ecology and climate,” or is it about access to gas resources, or about the question of who should own them “rule-based” in the future?

In this way, the ecological conflict is increasingly becoming a powerless appendage in the economic conflict over resource bases. The destruction of self-sustaining economies creates internationally disruptive dependencies and enormous attack surfaces for interventions, sanctions, etc. Energy embargoes exacerbate international crises.

With supply and hunger crises, every social life is brought into dependence on global behavioral regulation. This is obviously an attempt to continue the previous colonial domination. The fact that an energy embargo is taken in all seriousness as a contribution to sustainability shows the progressive economic and political loss of reality.

The emancipatory power of industry and its ability to solve the entropy problem is being destroyed by this supposedly “ecological” energy policy. It is a regression to an immature society which regulates life, material and energy-flows in an authoritarian and sacrificial way. This process, promoted by the Great Reset, leads to ecodictatorship.

That is unless Europe summons the revolutionary spirit to a confederate Europe, from Lisbon to Vladivostok, against the imperial refeudalization under transatlantic auspices which is spreading more and more.


Hans Bieri is an architect (ETH/SIA) and regional planner and Executive Director of SVIL (Swiss Association of Industry and Agriculture [formerly Innenkolonisation]), which is concerned with the question of food and regional development. He is committed to ensuring that agriculture retains a solid footing in industrial society and that security of supply is not further weakened—in short, a sovereign and still neutral Switzerland.


Featured: “Harvest scene near the village of Ladby,” by Laurits Andersen Ring; painted August 30, 1892.

A Critique of Ecology: A Conversation with Bérénice Levet

Bérénice Levet, philosopher, essayist and author speaks about ecology with Christophe Geffroy, founder and director of La Nef. Her latest book, L’écologie ou l’ivresse de la table rase (Ecology, or the Intoxication of the Clean-slate), offers a thorough and devastating critique of modern ecology and the many movements that it has spawned which now drive the West into all manner of self-destructive postures. She is also the author of Libérons nous du féminisme! (Let’s Free Ourselves from Feminism!) and Le crépuscule des idoles progressistes (The Twilight of Progressive Idols). We are indeed grateful to La Nef for giving us the opportunity to publish this perceptive and delightful interview.


Christophe Geffroy (CG): Although you are severe with a certain kind of ecology, your book nevertheless shows your attachment to real ecology. Could you define ecology as you conceive it? And in what way is ecology “conservative?”

Bérénice Levet (BL): The ecology that I denounce is indeed the ecology as embodied today by Europe Ecology—The Greens, or by Anne Hidalgo in Paris, and by associative and militant movements. As well, this ecology is a green doxa buzzing away in the cave. That the ecological concern has won us over seems to me a very positive thing. However, preempted by the left, it is a Pyrrhic victory. The victory turns into a defeat for those who are truly concerned about nature, about animals, but also about human beings and the ties that bind them to each other. Indeed, ecology, the word oikos defines it, which means habitat, is not the study and the discourse of nature but of the relationships between the living—it is placed at the juncture.

Ecology is conservative in its essence and in its inspiration; it is a concern for the preservation, conservation and continuity of nature; a nature that has proven to be fragile and perishable. Ecology was born with the industrial revolution, when man acquired the means to alter, in an irreversible way, the given of natural. But we must go further. Ecology is conservative in that it carries a philosophy, a certain idea of man that goes against modern philosophy, called progressive, of the untied, disaffiliated, self-sufficient man—it articulates man to what is not him; it reminds us that to be born is to enter a world that was there before us and that must remain after us. And this world is at the same time nature and culture—the form of our civilizations, language, history, arts are realities not less vulnerable than nature; and together, they count; they must be able to count on this creature that is man to take care of them. In other words, ecology poses man as obliged. It thus calls for our gratitude, for our willingness to see in what is given to us as a donation, a present, a gift.

Bérénice Levet © Hannah Assouline-L’Observatoire.

A certain idea of man and a certain understanding of life are thus at stake in ecology. True ecology, and not that of Sandrine Rousseau or Greta Thunberg, enjoins us to rehabilitate human dispositions considered obsolete, judged to be “old-fashioned” and yet so salutary for nature—tact, scruples, consideration; these beautiful notions with obsolete accents must be put back in the center of the game.

CG: The West, with the white European man behind it, is accused of all the evils, especially in ecological matters with industrialization and the unbridled search for growth. How do you handle this accusation?

BL: What is indeed striking, first of all, is the hatred of man. Recall Marcel Gauchet’s pioneering article published in the Revue Le Débat in 1990: “sous l’amour de la nature, la haine des hommes” (beneath the love of nature, the hatred of men)—which animates our ecologists. To read them, to listen to them, there is no doubt about it—there is too much man on earth. A word has been coined to incriminate human nature and its activities: “Anthropocene.” The thesis imposed, conveyed by the most authoritative voices, is that in the end everything started to go wrong for nature in the Neolithic period, when man became a sedentary farmer and builder. Do people think I am caricaturing? Not at all. And I show this through several examples. The reader can have immediate proof by consulting the February issue of the learned journal Histoire: “Néolithique: l’agriculture a-t-elle fait le malheur des hommes?” (The Neolithic: Did Agriculture Create the Misfortune of Humans?”)

The question is not a question. The thesis is asserted, peremptorily, since it is not discussed; the editors abandon the monopoly of legitimate speech to the professor of Protohistory, Jean-Paul Demoule, who “proposes to trace the catastrophic effects for the environment back to the Neolithic revolution”: “Some people only start the Anthropocene with nuclear energy and the 1950s,” he observes, “others with the Industrial Revolution or still others with the great discoveries. One can say that its true beginning coincides with the Neolithic.” And the specialist then gives his sanction to ecofeminism—the domination of men on nature and on women are linked; together they emerge in the Neolithic. And the editorial staff of the monthly magazine is behind these conclusions: “There is no question here of denying the way in which technical ‘progress’ has durably aggravated and often justified predations, massacres, injustices or the domination of men—and women—by men,” warns the editorial.

Salvation will come; and the European Union is monitoring the situation, multiplying the decrees in this sense, by the “rewilding” of Europe, no matter what carnage is committed by wolves. No tears for the lambs, the sheep… La Fontaine, from whom I quote a magnificent fable, is no longer with us.

Let us set the record straight. It is not the domestication of the earth that is guilty. I am an advocate of homo faber, of man as a builder. Man does not only inhabit the earth as a poet—for in this capacity we would not have lasted long in the bosom of nature—he has the concern to manage this earthly sojourn in order to make nature a hearth, a home, to make it hospitable, friendly to men, which it is not spontaneously. But it is naturally advisable to distinguish between the man who collaborates with nature and the man who exhausts it. As I said, ecology was born with the industrial revolution and the utilitarian mentality, when man began to relate to the natural given as to a stock of resources and substitutes for the care of fertilizing it; this beautiful word, charged with peasant traditions and religious connotations, became the will to make nature productive, profitable.

CG: In what way is political ecology at the service of the “deconstruction of the old world,” in connection with intersectional feminism, decolonialism, Islamism, wokism, “cancel culture?”

BL: Ecology exults, more or less under the radar, in adding its share of victims, of which the West, according to the ideologies you mention, is the great factory. After, and with, women, homosexuals, lesbians, gays and other BTQI, blacks, Muslims, in short, the “racialized,” here now comes danger for the earth, the animals, the climate.

Ecologists have made their own the grand narrative of a Western civilization whose entire history has been written by the heterosexual Catholic or Jewish white man, and whose mainspring of action is the domination of everything that is not him—domination, or rather predation.

I have observed that since the emergence of the me-too movement, the predator/prey pair tends to supplant the dominant/dominated pair. We understand why—the portrait of the white man as a predator, in other words as a carnivore, has something infinitely more formidable. If in 1990, Gauchet could detect beneath the love of nature, the hatred of man, over time things have become clearer—beneath the love of nature, it is the hatred of Western man that prevails. And this thesis is defended by the most authoritative voices, in particular a professor at the College de France, Philippe Descola. “De-Westernizing” is our only way out.

CG: You say, with Paul Valéry, that all politics implies a certain idea of man. What is the idea of man for the ecologists?

BL: On the one hand, the “man” of the ecologists is a man without a past, without history, without temporal depth, flattened on the present alone; a living being in short. The prestige of the first name “Zoe,” among families said to be ecologically aware, is in this respect revealing. Zoe is life in the biological sense of the term; strictly human life in Greek is called bios, which is found in “biography.”

The man of the environmentalists may cultivate his garden, but he is not connected to any historically constituted community. The idea of the school defended by ecologists is a good indicator in this respect: it is a school that definitively renounces getting people to know, understand and love civilization; the form of life specific to the country, whose child is called to become a member and a citizen, for which, in other words, he will have to answer. Jadot promises a school which allows the child, like a flower, to “blossom,” busy, as already in the cities run by ecologists, “tending a vegetable patch,” in establishments with “disgendered playgrounds.”

That rootedness, in the sense that the philosopher Simone Weil attaches to this notion, the inscription in a place but not less in a history, is the most fundamental need of the human soul, is perfectly foreign to the environmentalists, and even makes them pull out their hair. Ecology was, is the occasion to answer this need after decades of contempt. But, and to paraphrase Rousseau (the philosopher), ecologists are men of paradoxes, because they are men of prejudices; they are desperately dependent on morally qualified mental nodes, proper to the progressive conscience. Roots are bad; and environmentalists remain globalists.

But this is only the one side. Ecologists are desperately of their time; and they are perfectly committed to the ideology, of Anglo-Saxon import, of diversity and identity. The individual must be recognized, exalted in his particular affiliations, his gendered, sexual, ethnic, religious identity. Nothing is more legitimate for them than the thundering claim to “visibility.” Man no longer has a soul for them; he has an identity. It is no coincidence that the mayor of Grenoble, Éric Piolle, finds himself completely flummoxed when the Islamist wind blows through the demand for the right to wear a burkini, a seaside burqa, in the municipal swimming pools. The policy of “cultural rights” that he practices, in the cities of which they have become the princes, because of the municipal elections of June 2020, is another masterful example.

CG: Faced with ecological problems, “the West harbors its own antibodies,” you write. What are they, and how can they “solve” the ecological problem?

BL: The West conceals its own antibodies because the West, in its noble inspiration and in its glorious achievements, has never ceased to affirm and attest that man is dedicated to a nobler task than that of consuming, exhausting, destroying. Our history cannot be reduced to a history of pillage and oppression.

Western civilization, provided it finds its soul, conceals treasures to respond to the ecological crisis; and particularly France whose genius, that is to say the spirit, the inspiration, is not economic. France against robots, against the mechanization of the world, against exclusively utilitarian logic. Bernanos mobilized his contemporaries by reminding them of the French singularity. We must regain this confidence, this faith in our model of civilization, and of which Madame de Staël made the adage, “grace, taste, cheerfulness,” resonate magnificently. There is measure in French composition.

Obviously, I do not claim to hold the key that would make it possible to “solve” the ecological problem; but one thing is certain— salvation does not necessarily, inevitably, pass through de-Westernization—there is Western faith in man, the meaning we give to human adventure, as research, investigation, the thirst and the pride to know, to understand, to shape our sojourn here.

What, in the West, is to be questioned is the only thing that ecologists not only do not challenge but exalt—modern anthropology, called progressive, of man as an entity entering society fully armed, self-sufficient; this philosophy of unbinding, the idea of the individual as a subject with rights to assert. Rather than starting with rights, we should have started with duties, corrected Simone Weil, whose Rooted bears the subtitle “Prelude to a declaration of duties towards mankind.” All the misfortune of men, says the philosopher in essence, comes from the fact that they are as if in levitation on the earth. But it is through the links that we weave with other men, with the earth, with animals that we attach ourselves to something, so that life takes on its meaning. Nothing uglier, she said, than a man without loyalty.

Ecology cannot and must not be the primary policy. To rebuild a sustainable world, we must start again with people. To be repatriated on earth and in our lands. Ecology calls for a policy of civilization, of civilized man. Let us form, let us cultivate, I repeat, those properly human dispositions—without which there is no civilization—scruples, torments, the capacity to admire.

CG: Faced with the depletion of nature, you advocate a certain “self-limitation.” Could you explain it to us, and in what way is this self-limitation different from the “happy sobriety” advocated by the followers of degrowth?

BL: I separate myself from degrowth advocates, as I separate myself from all problem-solvers. The virtue of the moment we are living, if we knew how to grasp it, is to be “returned to the harsh reality to be embraced,” to be as if summoned to become, to become again “peasant,” according to the word of Rimbaud that I placed in the opening of my book.

I am wary of big words, of those who hold themselves to be the enlightened avant-garde, and as such hold themselves to be authorized to supervise and punish. To be ecologists is, and should be, to renew with the particular, with the carnal reality. Self-limitation, a term that I borrow from Solzhenitsyn, comes to remind man that he is to himself, and for himself, instance of limitation. We are too accustomed to ask the law to stop us, to prevent us from conceiving everything and to forbid us to dare to do everything, as Tocqueville said of religion. But, with freedom, Leo Strauss says, we have been given a kind of “sacred terror,” “the presentiment that not everything is allowed.” Certainly, among some, and in particular among the ecologists, ardent militants of medically assisted procreation, of surrogacy, this sacred terror is stifled. This is why, nothing was more antinomic, and frightening, than to hear the EELV candidate for the Presidency of the Republic, Yannick Jadot, vociferate, during the meeting at Lyon, “We are the life impulse. We are life.” Life is voracious. It follows its course, indifferent to all that surrounds it.

CG: You evoke Lynn White, who accused Christianity of being at the origin of the ecological crisis (1967). How do you respond to this accusation?

BL: I see this book as a reply to the prosecutors of the West, who are eager to turn young people, in particular, into a court of inquisition. We must not leave the last word to the contemptuous of our civilization. Elevated to universal consciousness, flattered by adults, Greta Thunberg, dark-eyed, thunders against the West, of which she knows nothing except that it is guilty; and everyone bends and folds.

Christianity is in fact the indefatigable defendant in the great ecological trial, with, alas, sometimes the complacency and the spirit of repentance of the Catholics themselves, willingly inclined to beat their chests. Christianity, like Judaism, supposedly granted to men the power to subjugate the beasts and the whole of nature, and the words of Genesis and the words of God after the Fall are repeated. Now, the imputation is more than hasty; the letter sins here against the spirit, because Christianity is a philosophy of finitude—man is a creature; therefore dependent on a Creator, not everything is allowed to him—created in the image of God, man cannot with impunity degrade himself [I have reversed the order of the propositions]; nature, the work of God, is entrusted to him, handed over to his care; he is its depositary, not its owner; created in the image of God, man cannot degrade himself with impunity.

And then, historical reason, which makes the ineptitude of the lawsuit striking—it is in a dechristianized world that the reduction of nature to an object of exploration and of scientific and technical exploitation is inaugurated; in other words, in a world where religion is not sufficiently alive to prevent from conceiving everything and to defend from daring everything. I recall moreover that it is in a fully Christian Occident that the most beautiful and the most profound pictorial and musical hymns to nature were made. See and hear.

CG: Descartes, who is said to despise nature and animals, is put in the dock by ecologists. Do you plead not guilty?

BL: I am not pleading not guilty; but here again I cannot accept that a philosopher like Descartes should be reduced to two formulas, which have been retracted. Incidentally, our era has the formidable ability to hide its laziness under virtuous indignation, and this is how it dispenses with reading the great authors of the past centuries by accusing them of complicity with evil; it dispenses with, but also and more wrongly, it deprives the younger generations of interacting with these immense and such delightful and deep and fertile minds. Descartes is one of them; and I have tried to communicate the passion I have for this outstanding writer. I have therefore reopened the file.

The theory of the animal as a clockwork was constantly discussed and disputed in Madame de la Sablière’s salon, which was frequented by La Fontaine, one of the most severe critics of the French philosopher. I quote three magnificent fables which are as many replies to Descartes. But Descartes himself admits the controversy, responds to it, argues, nuances.

Finally, the animal-machine is not the last word from France on this question. There is La Fontaine, but also Buffon, whom we hardly read anymore, but whose Natural History left a strong mark on our culture.

The exhibition at the Palace of Versailles, “Les Animaux du roi” (“The King’s Animals”), which has just closed its doors but whose catalog remains, shows to what extent we have had, our painters of course but also our kings, eyes to see and marvel at the beauty of animals. Let us not be intimidated by those contemptuous of the West, on this point, as on all the others.


Featured image: “Allegory of Europe,” by Jean-Baptiste Oudry; painted in 1722.

Which “Ecological Conversion?”

Ecological frenzy feeds on the fear of collapse and gives rise to many very different attitudes. Between the excesses, the integral ecology of the Church traces a path respectful of all balances which only achieves its full coherence in a process of conversion.

To make the libertine of thought feel how dizzying their emptiness is before the Everlasting, which understands them and which they can only try to understand, in order to prepare their souls for conversion – such is the famous approach of Pascalian apologetics. Fright as a propaedeutic. Anguish as a preamble to metaphysical conversion. And this is also the method of a certain ecology of the doom-and-gloom variety.

The call for “ecological conversion” is fueled by the anguish of collapse. It is necessary to describe a crisis so that the feeling of ecological urgency arises, and with it the call for a radical change of lifestyle, a reversal of perspectives. The almost metaphysical vertigo, which engenders the consideration of the fragility of life and its conditions of existence, therefore, seems to entail a religious attitude.

It is one of the paradoxes of our time to seek in ecology the most ultimate contradiction to its technical frenzy. As if the consumption of organic quinoa seeds could make modern humans forget their addiction to new technologies. The recent investitures of so many mayors bearing this label of ecology, during the last elections in France, revealed both the omnipresence of the question of ecology in people’s minds and the great diversity of realities that it covers. There is Cassandra with apocalyptic prophecies, aka, Greta Thunberg now consecrated as priestess and pythia of this new spiritual order, which has given rise to public demonstrations of disturbing fervor, when it does not use openly pagan voodoo rituals, as in the case, for example, of the term “Demeter” used in viticulture.

It may be enlightening to read on this subject, Murray Bookchin, a thinker who worried about the epidemic rise of a “spiritual” ecology, and according to whom ecological problems are emptied of all social content and reduced to a mythical interaction of natural forces. Even among some Christian environmentalists, it seems that the way to Heaven sometimes resembles a bike trail, so that the question arises whether the way is even now clearly understood. Thus the “Green Church” label recently set down by the French Bishops’ Conference might well raise questions. Should the epidemic rise of this spiritual ecology worry Catholics? Is it a prelude to a radical conversion of the soul towards its Creator and Savior, or an ersatz conversion within the Church itself?

It appears that the relationship that man has with the Earth, which welcomes and precedes him, brings to light three possible attitudes that engage the individual in various ways.

Surface Ecology

The first attitude is a surface ecology, well-intentioned but really just navel-gazing, and steeped in inconsistencies. This explains the paradox of the Whole Food movement in the United States, offering “organic” products from all over the world, and also prospering on the awareness of the undeniable ravages of an ultra-productivist agricultural policy on the other side of the Atlantic. The recent takeover of this sector by the giant Amazon shows how much the logic of the market has taken hold of this attitude to better serve increasingly hegemonic group interests. In La Cyberdépendance: pathologie de la connexion à l’outil Internet (Cyberdependence: Pathology of the Connection to Internet Use), the psychiatrist Philip Pongy writes: “Capitalism is a past master in the art of recovering everything, including its most critical and virulent opponents. Promoting conviviality on Twitter strengthens Silicon Valley. To talk about degrowth on TV is to serve the entertainment industry.”

Thus, the consumer who eats quinoa seeds and soybeans from the ends of the earth, after leaving the overheated gym, can afford good intentions at little cost. The attention paid to the nutritional quality of food from large-scale distribution only reinforces the domination of a system of culture and consumption, sinful in its very essence. This ecology in no way educates the selfishness of consumers, governed by their pleasure principle, but rather adorns their impulses with a green polish. It is therefore not a question of a conversion of the individual but of the exaltation of his desire. It is not surprising that this pageantry-ecology can culminate in the apology for PMA, or in protests, because the endocrine disruptors contained in the waters of the Seine from the contraceptive pills discharged by Parisians which are causing a sex-change in fish, thus promoting “gender fluidity” among the lower orders. The primacy of the individual at the expense of the Whole is thus the matrix of this first green imposture.

“Deep Ecology”

The obverse of this surface conversion, is the second attitude, which is not mistaken in calling itself “deep ecology.” This Malthusian and guilty ecology, far more ideological, makes the Whole triumph over the individual. Humans are too many; they are a parasite; potential polluters who can be easily intimated by their carbon footprint, and must be destroyed. The appalling number of vasectomy treatments, the new face of this thousand-headed hydra that is the culture of death, illustrates the dissemination of this thesis to the general public. This ideology of Greenpeace activists, who immolate themselves when a whale is slaughtered, or castrate themselves to avoid giving life, is part of a vegan and animalist movement ranging from the agit-prop of League 214 (which wants to highlight the suffering of animals by shocking acts) to the candidates of animalist parties that we saw appear during the last European campaigns. It is no longer a question of exalting the desires of the subject, but of refusing any preeminence of human nature.

In this new face of transhumanism, man is nothing more than the link in a chain of mammals, all equally capable of suffering, and therefore all potentially subjects of law. The regulations protecting farm animals are thus underpinned by the recognition of their sensitivity; that is to say, of their capacity to feel pleasure, suffering and emotions. In France, it is Article L214 of the Rural Code (codification of a law of 1976) which mentions their character as sensitive beings. In 2015, the Civil Code recognized that animals are sentient beings, who yet remain subject to the regimen of property. On January 29, 2021, the National Assembly adopted at first reading, with modifications, the bill aimed at strengthening the fight against animal abuse.

Integral Ecology

Consideration of the singular vocation of the human soul and the duties which bind it to Creation, which has no rights but towards which the human sou has duties, can resolve this antinomy. Man is not an animal like any other precisely because his freedom makes him capable of taking care of Creation that is entrusted to him. This answers the anti-speciesist.

Ecology can thus only be chosen in an integral way; that is to say, by involving all dimensions of existence, and by requiring coherence. Such a consideration, to which the luminous encyclical of Pope Francis, Laudato si, beckons, is therefore at the same time an ecology of nature, a human ecology and an ecology of peoples, with each of these three orders meriting its balance to be preserved by the application of a principle of precaution. Ecology, which seems dangerous when it abolishes all transcendence in order to spiritualize matter, takes on meaning if it opens a Franciscan path of poverty and sobriety that takes care of the common home by considering creation as the image of the Creator, a mirror of His greatness. The “ecological conversion” is therefore neither ontologically nor chronologically first – it is the consequence of the choice to follow Christ, so that the most successful model of ecological life is undoubtedly the monastery.


Maylis de Bonnières is a French educator in philosophy. (This article appears through the kind courtesy of La Nef. Translated from the French by N. Dass).


The featured image shows, “Rocky Mountain Waterfall,” by Albert Bierstadt, painted in 1898.

The Great Reset! The Gospel According To Klaus Schwab

There is a book everyone should read, an exceptional book, which promises to be among the classics of contemporary literature. It is Covid 19: The Great Reset. Its author is the humanist and scholar Klaus Schwab, the founder and president of the World Economic Forum in Davos, a club of people of the world. This group of merry fellows meets for a while to breathe the fresh air, experience the vertigo of the peaks and yodel about on barrels. In the evening, in front of a campfire, they reread aloud a few pages from Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain. They make money, of course, but they are aesthetes above all. Schwab’s masterpiece has still not gained much traction, even among nationalists camp, which is a pure scandal, so exquisite is its style and its precious content.

Schwab writes little, but when he writes posterity trembles. His style makes Christine Angot pass for Marcel Proust and Marc Lévy for Julien Gracq. “In today’s complex and adaptive world, the principle of non-linearity means that suddenly a fragile state can turn into a failed state and that, conversely, a failed state can see its situation improve with equal celerity thanks to the intermediation of international organizations or even an infusion of foreign capital.” What insights! What turn of phrase! We are struck by a very colorful style. To accomplish this task, Schwab enlisted the help of Thierry Malleret, an economist who writes as he thinks. Before publication, the book received feedback from a few bosses in the circle of reason. This is to say how much those who know how to make money have both taste and culture.

Herr Schwab’s book should be read as a road map, an economic and social program designed to meet the great challenges of the West after the epidemic. Schwab, not pondering the origins of Covid 19, however sees the virus as a real opportunity. Covid is a great and formidable opportunity to change society. Opportunity, they say, makes the thief. In short, this pandemic crisis reveals the limits of a global, technocratic and neo-liberal system. Schwab recognizes that this world, his world, is wrong, but it is up to people to pay the consequences, with or without their consent. The self-proclaimed and co-opted elites agree to change the system for the people to follow, so to speak.

The book was written in 2020, during the first lockdown. Undoubtedly motivated by boredom, Schwab discovered the vast range of possibilities offered by this peaceful, creative, enjoyable moment of retirement. In his ivory tower, he announces the color: “The worldwide crisis triggered by the coronavirus pandemic has no parallel in modern history.” This very subtle sentence makes it clear that the crisis and the management of this pandemic are the causes of the turmoil and damage the world is experiencing, not the virus itself. It is only at the end of his epic poem that Klaus von Ravensburg recognizes that Covid 19 will hardly kill anyone and that it will not make history. He could have announced this from the start; then he would not have needed to lay down a political program to change the entire face of the world. What shame! In his Introduction, Schwab continues, “Many of us are pondering when things will return to normal. The short response is: never.” What a relief!

Now, thanks to the Boss, we are sure of one thing: history is being written ante-covidium and post-covidium. Schwab, at the beginning of his book, explains that the Black Death caused profound changes in medieval society (the disappearance of chivalry and feudalism) and copies the effects of all that on to Covid to justify the Great Reset. What then does the Sumo Poeta advocate? A confinement of one to two years, more or less strict, followed by generalized vaccination. Then will come the great changes necessary for humanity. When you have twisted, creeped out, oppressed a population to such an extent, it is not difficult to make them submit to any change. His Majesty, the Lord of the Flies is such a genius that Machiavelli himself could not have done better to manipulate his people. Because the Covid, he explains, is changing our society, it is imperative to change the program and reinvent ourselves, based on four major ideas: a new capitalism in the light of technology, the ecological emergency, universal healthcare, and inclusion of minorities. These notions complement each other and are linked to each other.

Containment and measures require working remotely and therefore being hyperconnected. Many people will have to adapt, others will lose their jobs. We must therefore rethink a more just, egalitarian and ethical capitalism. Because the virus is, according to him, linked to global warming, it is urgent to save the planet. He who says climate change, also says climate -regulation. Deregulation is therefore a malfunction: only technical measures are able to resolve it. This is without counting on the youth who believe in progress and who are able to save what we have as the most precious thing: the earth. Because the virus affects our lives, our relationships, and kills thousands of people around the world every day, it is necessary, to protect ourselves and others, to wear a mask, to adopt concrete measures, to respect new rules of distance, to be vaccinated. Death, on the model of the climate, is a disruption of life, a deviance, a problem. We must therefore find the means to resolve death. And all this on behalf of others. We find the thought of Master Attali and his concept of altruism already formulated for forty years in his opera omnia. Many people, ante-covidum, from among minorities were excluded. We must therefore rethink a more just, green world, based on inclusion, tolerance and progress.

Graf von Schwab speaks of benevolence in the last chapter of his book. It’s really cute! Nationalists, identitarians, ardent defenders of sovereignty, of tradition, are villains who are in retreat. Obscurantism, intolerance. It’s all terrible. It’s all about openness and sharing. It is only fair that His Holiness Klaus VI does not ask us to be charitable and make a donation for the little lepers. Wisely, he advocates “reinventing our mind map,” striving for ethical capitalism and “being creative.” The Right Reverend Abbot even becomes a Rousseauist, when he tells us that “nature is a formidable antidote,” and adds that “it will gradually become essential to pay more attention to our natural assets.”

It is all beautiful, very beautiful even, but it does not exist. At Strasbourg Cathedral, we find the statue of the Tempter. The young man, charming, seductive, offers a cut to whoever desires it, but on his back swarm toads, scorpions and snakes. Likewise, behind every beautiful and good idea that Jean Jacques Schwab and Klaus Rousseau articulate, hides the devil himself.

Remember that an idea is not generous, it is true or false. To quantify happiness, kindness, altruism in a society, is confusingly ridiculous, gross stupidity. In other words, well-nigh dotage. Likewise, “nauseating,” rancid “are not concepts, just as kindness is not a given that can enter political, economic or social thought. Schwab pretends to advise the world. He wants to appear to controls events, knows everything and foresees everything in advance. He is a man who has too much influence and too much power for his own good and ours. He thinks his ideas are necessarily the best because he and his friends have a lot of money. Parody is added to megalomania, ridicule to dotage, mediocrity, role-playing. This great pontiff from the University of Geneva has the historical and philosophical knowledge of a passable student in a management school. He looks like a Z-List Goldfinger who doesn’t understand he’s dead-end, out of touch, a nerd long past his sell-by date.

This book, a tonic cocktail of muscular Attali, ultimately offers nothing new of what has been known since Alain Minc’s Happy Globalization of 1997. Nothing learned, nothing understood. There is not an extra gram of imagination; it’s poor and repetitive like a pulp novel. The world elite has neither thought nor genius. It’s the little utopia of a banker who only knows the world by going back and forth between a Sofitel and two airports. These globalists claim to be at the forefront of modernity, advocate openness, but have a narrow and stunted view of the world. Schwab talks about money, people, the others, the land and the world; these are abstractions which do not refer to anything real. Has he been out on the streets over the last ten years? I doubt it.

The minstrel from across the Rhine brilliantly asserts ready-made truths, ideas thrown into the air; gives figures without a source; demonstrates nothing, but announces; makes shortcuts, bordering on sabotage; launches studies as if they were going out of style. When ideas are a little hard to find, Schwab turns into a commentator, exhibitor, and calls on experts who are always on his side, friends of his. Such is European governance. When the ideas are sympathetic, he becomes a decision-maker and prescriber, with the peremptory tone of a wise man among the wise who has inhaled a little too much Alain Minc, extra fine.

This book is the Oktoberfest of BS. Let’s have a laugh, then: ” a vacuum of global governance and the rise of various forms of nationalism make it more difficult to deal with the outbreak;” ” As the critique of economic growth moves to centre stage, consumerism’s financial and cultural dominance in public and private life will be overhauled;” “COVID-19 was a determining element: George Floyd’s death was the spark that lit the fire of social unrest.” Hats off to the artist!

The big reset is a Davos-style mafia stunt: we take Godfather; take out the spaghetti; put sauerkraut instead – and we have Schwab. It’s a tour de force, a huge hostage-taking. President of the global crime syndicate, he says nothing about the terrible consequences of this great reset. He recognizes that ” The global economy is so intricately intertwined that it is impossible to bring globalization to an end.”

Destroying millions of jobs as a result of the Covid, Schwab concedes, putting people into unemployment, replacing part of the workforce with robots, would be an evil, certainly, but a necessary evil: ” In all likelihood, the recession induced by the pandemic will trigger a sharp increase in labour-substitution, meaning that physical labour will be replaced by robots and ‘intelligent’ machines, which will in turn provoke lasting and structural changes in the labour market.”

For example, there is this very enigmatic sentence: “The small restaurants that survive the crisis will have to reinvent themselves entirely.” What? Will they have to succumb to Uberization, subcontracting, giving way to large restaurant chains that can make both pizzas and sushi? Just water off of Schwab’s back. Technological, hyperconnected capitalism therefore promises the collapse of part of the wage and entrepreneurial middle-class, and an increased and definitive polarization between the richest, blessed with globalized metropolises, and the poor in “not very interesting” jobs.

Schwab is not unhappy to see all the structures blow up for the benefit of the individual, atomized, who is then more apt to subscribe to globalism, to the law of victimized minorities, to youthism. Better stray sheep than a strong flock that lives on. Ecology with Schwab becomes globalism, since it gives the individual, wherever he comes from, consumer and employee, the responsibility of saving the planet, the climate, the seas. Only this ecology is just the flip side of the same coin which faces capitalism, financial domination. Doctor Klaus and Mister Schwab do not say everything: behind the idea that death would be a mistake, hides the desire to impose a generalized post-covidium surveillance company: ” the containment of the coronavirus pandemic will necessitate a global surveillance network capable of identifying new outbreaks as soon as they arise.”

After all, new viruses will emerge because of global warming. In the name of the good, that is, health, Frankenschwab wants a society of testing, tracing, a kind of global health dictatorship established by governments and maneuvered by the exploits of technology. It is reminiscent of the fact that a dictatorship is never imposed in the name of evil, of dominating in order to dominate, but always in the name of a higher and collective good. Tyrants are, above all, the little fathers of peoples. Small tasty detail – Schwaby goes so far as to recommend connected toilets to control our health, just in case the mess of the day before does not bode well. What a brilliant idea!

Schwab is committed body and soul to the “vanguard of social change.” Of course, societal progressivism, in the absence of a real social struggle, always makes it possible to rescue capitalism and accept its rule. Schwab is, as Audiard would say, a synthesis. Jean Claude Michéa speaks of a liberal-libertarian alliance. It’s Cohn-Bendit, just a bit less despicable; Thunberg in a necktie. In other words, we allow surrogacy and assisted reproduction in the name of individual freedoms. But we are also fully masked and are subject to curfew. Everything is allowed, but nothing is possible, as Michel Clouscard said.

Schwab will also have to explain to us how he intends to “to rethink governments’ role.” All this, of course, will happen through one world government: ” if both the nation state and globalization flourish, then democracy becomes untenable.” And to continue further: ” A hasty retreat from globalization would entail trade and currency wars, damaging every country’s economy, provoking social havoc and triggering ethno- or clan nationalism.

The establishment of a much more inclusive and equitable form of globalization that makes it sustainable, both socially and environmentally, is the only viable way to manage retreat. This requires policy solutions addressed in the concluding chapter and some form of effective global governance.” Living in a green and completely sanitary world will not lead to the best of all possible worlds. In the name of ecology, one could think of excessive taxation, repeated confinements, the one-child policy, the establishment of a tax on the air we breathe. Nothing like paradise.

Emperor Palpatine’s words are so contradictory, once one gets lost in his intentions. He struggles to bring out a good idea, floundering in his book as on the Bodensee during a vacation. The end of the book, which we finished with disgust, so much did the language of this Kojak of Davos sicken us, nevertheless did warn us. These changes will be painful, and not everyone will make it. Without being threatening, Schwab draws back, slithers about, dodges. Does this mean that we will have to get rid of part of the harmful and recalcitrant population and return to global Malthusianism in the name of ecology and health?

In 2009, at the Copenhagen summit, physicist Hans Joachim Schellnhuber said: “This is a triumph for science because at least we have managed to stabilize something; namely, the estimate of the carrying capacity of the planet, that is to say, one billion people. What a triumph! On the other hand, do we want to come to this? I think we can do a lot better!” In France, Laurent Alexandre and Jean Marc Jancovici, in a work of evangelism of the young elites of the country, decreed that there would be for tomorrow the men-gods, mastering technology; and the others, the slaves, the unproductive, minimum wage-earners who pollute because of their overly high standard of living. We will have to think about what we want.

Is this book a program? Some will readily see the trajectory of the reset taking shape. Schwab also enjoys, let’s be honest, the conspiratorial aura that revolves around his multinational organization. Because he has influence and an address book, he is credited with the means to do harm. Does he really have the means? There is something terribly burlesque, even parodic, in the way he plays rector mundi. This book is in many ways a dotard’s dream, the masturbatory delirium of a bourgeois globalist in front of his little comrades. Doubt is possible. Let’s hope that Schwab does not become a prophet.


Nicolas Kinosky is at the Centres des Analyses des Rhétoriques Religieuses de l’Antiquité. This articles appears through the very kind courtesy of Monsieur Christophe Geffroy of La Nef. Translation from the French by N. Dass.


The featured image shows, “A four-footed monster,” a print by Samuel De Wilde, printed in 1807.

For the Birds and the Rest of Us

Whether your only experience with birds is that of chasing away pigeons stubbornly trying to nest on your balcony, or whether you spent your last pre-Covid vacation trudging through tropical forest in search of the elusive Pinto’s Spinetail, Richard Pope’s Flight from Grace: A Cultural History of Humans and Birds (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2021) is a must read. Passionately engaged, wide-ranging, eye-opening, witty, and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, the book asks the readers to consider the relationship of humans and birds throughout the millennia, ultimately posing a sobering question: is humanity willing to do anything to stop the extinction of birds that is occurring at a shocking and ever-accelerating rate.

Pope, a distinguished scholar of Russian literature and culture, poet, writer, and a dedicated bird-watcher, brings a scholarly rigour but also a delightful sense of humour and a decidedly fresh perspective to an examination of how humanity thought of birds from the time that humans could think.
His account of the fraught human-bird relationship begins with prehistoric art, images of birds found in caves so deep in the earth that getting there is a terrifying and hazardous journey even today. It is in these caves, or as Pope memorably describes them, these “vast, hidden power sites deep underground in the forbidden realm of powerful spirits…ideal spots for vision quests, rituals, and magic…[like] geodes—plain and unprepossessing on the outside but repositories of stunning beauty inside” (13). that we find images of birds.

Most of these bird images—some painted and some scratched into the cave surface—yield little information to a non-birder. Pope, on the other hand, encountering a 30,000-year-old etching of what is, to the non-initiated, a vaguely-owlish looking bird on the wall of the French Chauvet Cave, teases out a wealth of insights: the etching is most likely that of the Eurasian eagle-owl, “a top predator of impressive size and fierceness, perhaps the largest owl in the world” that frequently inhabits caves; the parallel markings on the body are actually indicative of a back view, with wings folded and “its full face twisted at 180 degree angle to look straight at us over its back” (18). Owls, in case you didn’t know, are among the very few creatures to be able to rotate their faces fully—“something else that makes owls unique and magical…Owls see all” (18). It is inconceivable, Pope argues, that the Owl of Chauvet was drawn only for aesthetic satisfaction; instead, “The owl, in the most sacrosanct part of the cave, was a bird deity with power and capabilities” (19).

Beginning with the Paleolithic owl deity, Pope takes the reader on a dynamic six-chapter tour through time and space, with chapters dedicated to the sacred birds of Mesopotamia and Egypt; Peru; and those of Greece and the Judeo-Christian world. Altogether, it is an impressive demonstration of how an early worship of bird deities morphed into the bird goddesses of the Neolithic era, and then—as humans became more anthropocentric in their outlook—into anthropomorphic gods whose sacred status was reinforced by an addition of wings or who had bird avatars: from the owl deity to the owl of Athena. Here again, Pope’s avian lens allows him to re-examine and challenge well-established conventions. For example, in Homer’s epics, Athena is described as glaukoopis; for those of us who need to brush up on our Classical Greek, Pope helpfully explains that glaukos, when applied to eyes, usually means green or blue, which is how her eyes are rendered in most translations. But another meaning of glaukos (gleaming) is connected to glauks (owl), because that is how the owl’s huge eyes appear to the observer. In Athena’s case, Pope posits, the word really means “owl-eyed, in reference to her knowing glare and that of the bird she once was” (119).

Owls were not the only birds to be deified. Vultures (associated with the cult of the dead), ibises, eagles, doves, and a host of other birds were worshipped for one reason or another, and their images, statues, figurines, and objects associated with them were documented at countless archeological sites all over the world. But why this worship of birds? What is it that makes birds so special and exciting to humans? Pope points to two main factors: flight and song, and devotes two thoroughly documented and lavishly-illustrated chapters to each of these in the second part of his book.

Flight is almost solely associated with birds and, Pope contends, is one of the main reasons for seeing birds as sacred: “flight is miraculous and godlike…and wings are its agent and symbol,” which is why severed avian wings abound in Paleolithic sites (136). From winged ancient goddesses like Ishtar, to winged Greek gods and winged magical creatures, such as Pegasus, wings have always been perceived as the sign of divinity. Drawing on his expertise of working with medieval texts, Pope shows how wings were assigned to angels in Christian iconography from fourth-century onward as a way of visually identifying them as divine (halos were already taken for saints). Pope quotes John Chrystostom, a fourth-century Christian theologian, who explains that angels are shown flying “not because angels have wings…[but to show] the loftiness of their nature. The wings, then, reveal the lofty natures of the powers above” (142). Humans, as ancient myths suggest, and Renaissance-era sketches confirm, have always longed to replicate bird flight, a mark of divinity, and failed to achieve it until recent times, although as Pope points out, flight by plane “is a mere surrogate for real, unassisted flight, and is entirely lacking in magic” (136).

Besides envying the birds their flight, humans have been enthralled by their song. Because of the association of birds with the divine, it was assumed since ancient times that bird song carried arcane knowledge (hence, Roman augurs who specialized in interpreting the will of the gods through birdsong). It is birdsong, Pope contends, that “tightly links humans and birds to each other and both of them to the divine” (164). According to neurobiologists, he writes, humans are closer to songbirds than to their closest relative, the great apes, when it comes to speech acquisition; humans and birds also share a surprising number of neurological similarities. Over and above that, humans and birds share the sheer joy of making music (it turns out that avian brains flood with pleasurable dopamine when they sing), something that poets knew all along, Pope shows, by citing lines about birdsong from the poems of Shelley, Frost, Keats, and other poets.

Indeed, one the many delights of the book is Pope’s readiness to support and further his claims not only by mining various archeological, anthropological, zoological, neurobiological, ecological, and historical sources, but also by finding illustrations in sources as diverse as the Qur’an, Dante, Schopenhauer, Mozart, Lucretius, the Venerable Bede, Marx, J.K. Rowling, and—taking advantage of his superb knowledge of Russian literature and culture—Leo Tolstoy, Nikolai Gogol, Mikhail Bulgakov, Dostoevsky, Russian icons, Russian medieval tales, and so forth. There is also a plethora of photographs of various bird-related artifacts, some of them little known and stunningly beautiful, and of birds themselves, as well as paintings by El Greco, Chagall, and others. The book itself, in fact, is an object of beauty, with the jacket, by the award-winning jacket designer David Drummond, showing a detail from a Georgian-era portrait, where a bright yellow bird perches trustingly on a shoulder of a young woman, and with the light-blue front and sunny-yellow back flaps evoking bird plumage, but also the skies and the sunshine of the birds’ higher element. Pope would have undoubtedly pointed out here (as he does in the book) that we share our sense of aesthetics with the birds.

All this beauty makes the ugly picture that Pope unfolds for us in the ultimate section of the book, titled “Our Betrayal of Birds,” even more shocking. Pope’s central thesis is that as humans moved toward anthropocentrism from the Neolithic era onward, and developed modes of thinking which encouraged homo sapiens to see himself as separate from and towering above all the other species on the planet, our attitude toward all other creatures who share the planet with us became shamelessly predatory. Focussing on the Western Civilization, Pope argues that Judaism and Christianity, in particular, promoted a worldview in which man was created in an image of a non-animistic god, and completely separated from his fellow creatures, and that the rise of science during the Age of Reason drove “the last nail into the coffin of animistic thought” (219) with dire consequences for our fellow creatures.

Taking among his examples the lines from Genesis 9:2-3, about God telling Noah that all beasts, fowl, fishes, and other creatures are delivered into his hand, Pope makes the case that Judaism and Christianity convinced followers that all non-human life forms are to be used as humans see fit. One could, of course, counter this argument by pointing, for example, to the prohibition in Deuteronomy against plowing with a donkey and an ox tethered together, as God’s directive that mankind should take care of animals and their needs. Nonetheless, the evidence that Pope marshals of the appalling ways humans have actually been treating their fellow beings, namely birds, over the last two millennia is both disturbing and undeniable. That birds should be treated this way, creatures whom we have once worshipped and who still obsess us (Pope writes that almost 1 in 4 North Americans is a bird enthusiast), is particularly outrageous.

We have killed birds for their meat, their feathers (as part of our fashion industry and our cultural practices—ceremonial headdresses made out of eagle plumes, birds of paradise feathers, and the like), their habitats (forests cleared for farmland and golf courses), the damage they do to crops (forgetting that they also kill insects that wipe out our crops), for science (no matter how inane the experiment and how obscure its purpose), for exercise (hunting), for fun (that’s how the great auk became extinct), on purpose and inadvertently (the bird population of the island of Guan was wiped out after the unintentional introduction of the brown tree snake). Pope pulls no punches: we are all culpable, from industries and large corporations, to small-time farmers, to denizens of tall buildings (bright lights confuse and kill migrating birds), to backyard gardeners (depriving birds of food by dousing our plantings with herbicides and insecticides), to cat owners (free-roaming cats kill “between 1.3 billion and 4 billion” birds a year [202]). We, humans, homo sapiens, the species, are responsible for the decline of bird populations throughout the world and for the extinction of 190 species of birds in the last 500 years alone (currently, 1,200 species are under threat of extinction). No wonder Pope chose as an epigraph for his concluding chapter the words of the embittered prophet Jeremiah: “Destruction upon destruction is cried…all the birds of the heavens were fled.”

But Pope’s book is not a dirge—it is a call to action. Any student of Russian literature will recognize the title of his last chapter, “What is to be Done?” as the title of the 1863 radical novel written by Nikolai Chernyshevsky with a prescription of how to take Russia to a radiant future—a novel frequently called a revolutionary’s handbook. Pope is also advocating for a revolution—a revolution in how we think about birds and nature itself. We, humans, are not that different from birds, nor are we separate from nature, and the decisions that we make in our everyday life must take into consideration our larger home and all of our fellow residents, feathered and not. Ultimately, we must become “better stewards of the earth” (240).

Unlike the utopist Chernyshevsky, however, Pope cannot be accused of naivety: “Because of our propensity for violence, our greed, and our selfishness,” he writes, “it is unlikely that we humans will act collectively and soon to halt the degradation of our biosphere…Most people simply do not care and are quite unwilling to make any sacrifice for nature if it entails any degree of discomfort for themselves” (245). All the same, Pope points out, if we are too corrupt as a society to act collectively, we can still act individually—in fact, we must, even in the face of failure: “Make no mistake about it,” he writes, “the issue is one of morality.” To that end, Pope provides a 13-point practical list of what each one of us can do to “slow down and even prevent some of this degradation [of the biosphere], helping birds and other animals to survive and giving our own lives more meaning through ethical conduct and a closeness to our environment” (239).

Essentially, Pope proposes that each one of us becomes a dissident within our criminally indifferent society, no matter how hopeless it might seem. Citing Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s position on the “ontological existence of evil and its unstoppable nature,” Pope comes to the same conclusion: “We may not be able to stop [the desecration of nature], but we can refuse to abet it” (233). Is it a foolish act when seen in the context of the seemingly inexorable degeneration of our biosphere and our individual helplessness? Perhaps. But Pope leaves us with this thought: “True folly is to assume that we will not damage ourselves severely if we sit back and just watch as others recklessly damage the planet” (248). A world without birds is a horrible prospect. Let’s hope it never comes to pass.


Maria Bloshteyn, PhD, researches Russia and the West and is the author of The Making of a Counter-Culture Icon: Henry Miller’s Dostoevsky. She is also a literary translator and has published Alexander Galich’s Dress Rehearsal: A Story in Four Acts and Five Chapters, and Anton Chekhov’s The Prank.  Her various translations have appeared in a number of journals and anthologies, including The Penguin Book of Russian Poetry. Her most recent book is Russia Is Burning. Poems of the Great Patriotic War.


The featured image shows, “Young woman with parrot,” by Frédéric-Pierre Tschaggeny, painted in 1872.