A private jet stands ready to take its payload of a few VIPs off round the world.
Standing atop a massive pile of money, the elitist looks down angrily at the poor man who merely asks for a pay raise.
In his gas-guzzling private jet, the elitist travels half way around the world to angrily tell the poor man to use less energy:- The Gurning Grandad from Grimsby
Every year leading figures from business, politics and entertainment gather at the World Economic Forum to discuss the world’s most pressing problems. This year’s theme is “Globalization 4.0: Shaping a Global Architecture in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution”.
The summit itself is a meeting of the global experts and influencers from politics to business, culture and the media. During the week these elite will meet and discuss a range of topics, including the economy, climate change and international relations.
The WEF’s, a bunch of paternalistic neo-liberals like to pretend they are safeguarding the interests of the planet when really all they are interested in is looking after the interests of corporate business and the global elite. Thus their Global Risk Report for 2019 revealed that environmental crises, such as failures to tackle climate change, “are among the likeliest and highest-impact risk that the world faces over the next decade”.
Founder and chief executive of the WEF Klaus Schwab, said it was “humanity’s most existential challenge” and that it “requires urgent global action”. He wrote: “Never has science been clearer in its concern about the risks of climate change and the stress this places on our oceans and other vital ecosystems, including tropical forests and freshwater sources.
“Yet our response to melting glaciers is glacial. While solutions increasingly exist, especially in the energy sector, there is as yet no movement on global action commensurate to the challenge.” Perhaps he thinks we have not noticed that all the solutions the elites amd their pet ‘experts’ have so far proposed involve the working and middle classes sacrificing our lifestyles and pating punitive ‘green’ taxes which are used to fund ‘green’ projects that boost corporate profits and shovel our tax money into the coffers of businesses and the landowners who have put wind farms and solar farms on their property in order to scoop up the subsidies for ‘sustainable’ power that the ‘green’ taxes and levies on our fuel bills fund.
When he says “our response to melting glaciers is glacial,” there is no intended irony in his words, he cannot be unaware that an anticipated 1,500 private jets will descend on Davos and nearby airports in Switzerland this week as the international financial and political elite gathers to talk about how to deal with global climate challenges by making us punters reduce our carbon footprint.
That number is an increase on the estimated 1,300 aircraft movements seen at last year’s forum, despite climate change registering as the top risk factor identified for the global economy then as well. In a survey of World Economic Forum (WEF) movers and shakers last week all placed the need to reduce carbon emissions highly among their priorities, yet none travelled by train and few by commercial airline.
Sir David Attenborough, a lead speaker this year, has already stated that climate is the issue of our time. The veteran broadcaster, 92, used his acceptance speech to tell business leaders and governments to come up with “practical solutions”. Speaking at the beginning of the forum on Monday, the Blue Planet and Dynasties narrator told the crowd he is “quite literally from another age” and warned of “man-made disaster of global scale” that lies ahead.
Were Attenborough have serious about his pleas for the environment, he ought to have used his platform to condemn events like the WEF, the United Nations Climate Conferences, G7 and G20 economic summits and so on. Industry group Air Charter Service calculated the private jet flights over the week, as delegates fly in to hear the likes of Attenborough speak at an event boasting a basic entry ticket price of U.S.$60,000 – per person. Around 3,000 participants are expected for the 2019 edition of the WEF.
Andy Christie, Private Jets Director at ACS, told the Guardian how the numbers are determined: “Davos doesn’t have its own airfield and, whilst we have several clients who fly into the town by helicopter, the four main airfields that private jet users attending the forum use are Zürich, Dübendorf, St. Gallen-Altenrhein and St. Moritz.
Working with WingX, we looked at private jet activity at those airports over the six days of each WEF week since 2013 – from one day before the event to one day after. Last year was the busiest year for private jets so far, showing an 11% increase on 2017, with more than 1,300 aircraft movements. If we see a similar increase this year, we could be looking at almost 1,500 aircraft movements over the six days.
Countries with the most arrivals and departures over the past five years at Davos are Germany, France, the UK, U.S., Russia, and UAE, respectively.”
Demand for private jets far outstrips other events that also loom large on the private aviation calendar, such as the Super Bowl or Champions’ League final, according to Mr. Christie.
“We have had bookings from as far as our operations in Hong Kong, India and the US ?- no other event has the same global appeal,” he said in a statement.
No wonder, those 3000 paying punters will be accompanied by their entourages, persdonal assistants, PR consultants, technical advisers and other people employed solely to make their bosses feel important. And the trend is towards even more expensive, larger private jets such as the Gulfstream GV and Bombardier’s Global Express. This may be in part due the long distances travelled, but according to aircraft industry sources is mainly due to business people not wanting to be outdone by rivals.
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Speaking at the World Economic Forum last week, UN chief Antonio Guterres warned that the world is “losing the race” on climate change as he demanded that governments make bolder commitments beyond the Paris accord. “Climate change is the defining issue of our time”, he told an audience at the annual WEF jolly for the super rich in Davos, Switzerland …
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Greenteeth archive vol 33