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My Message to Davos Elites: Act As If Our House Is on Fire. Because It Is.

My Message to Davos Elites: Act As If Our House Is on Fire. Because It Is.

Greta Thunberg

The following is a slightly edited version of remarks delivered by 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg to attendees at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Friday, January 25, 2018.

Our house is on fire. I am here to say, our house is on fire.

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This brave young woman is ringing the alarm bells in the right forum with the right message. We must ACT as if our house is on fire because it is. I wonder if these assholes at Davos are even listening, let alone going to act… nah…too much money to be made while the accelerate the sixth great extinction.

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Maybe they think that money can insulate them from the coming disaster. Maybe it can for a while. Maybe just enough for them to pass a comfortable, long life in their bunkers and refuges among their stockpiles and generators.

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I think the enormity of the present predicament is so ‘daunting’ that drastic measures are needed - now. Yes, people’s governments can force the construction of renewable-energy infrastructure, and create publicly-owned Green Banks to magnify local investments through targeted loans. Conversion to Green Energy is the most valid use of ‘printing money’ I can think of (much better than going into debt over war for oil, as the United States does). In a nation of fiat currency, and in keeping with MMT theory, a nation can and should go into debt, but only for the right causes. This is one of them.

But one major obstacle looms, and that is the ‘money power’, that which we see in the Davos gathering. They will fight with every self-serving and propagandizing tool in their toolbox to prevent nations from converting to Green Energy, so they can preserve their return-on-investments in oil and coal reserves. The result will be doom for civilization, over a situation in which the world would have run out of oil anyway 50 years from now.

My understanding is that the nations and companies which own the oil reserves have already ‘mortgaged’ most of their 1.6 trillion barrels of proven reserves, and international banking is holding the notes. Or, another way to put it is the reserves have already been pledged as collateral for loans in general.

The people will have to confront the money power. It will resist. So, getting to my point, I think the people of the world should go into debt (nation by nation) to buy out the owners of oil (and also coal). But, the owners will have to share in the pain. This can be done by forcing them by carrot and stick to divest and abandon their oil fields, locking them down so that the fossil fuels stay in the ground, permanently. But, we the people will pay them 20 cents on the dollar, in the form of either tax credits or cash payments, for their closed fields and existing infrastructure. 20 percent is a portion of, and not the full amount of, the present worth of their holdings (which is, say, 50% of $160 trillion dollars), so it also includes a sacrifice on their part to accept losses in the expected profit from their future sales and development.

Because of their forced losses, I propose we also grant them a 20 percent tax credit for investing in solar, wind, and tidal energy. So, say Exxon closes $100 billion in oil fields, they receive $20 billion in cash, and another $20 billion in tax credits, if they invest $100 billion in Green Energy. The people gather a debt of $40 billion, and conversion is complete. The above payout is the carrot. The stick is the law created by legislatures to force this sell-off (or what might be called the ‘nationalization of the oil industry’).

One could call this plan the “VISION 20-20” plan for closing the world’s oilfields and assisting the major stockholders and financiers in the fossil fuel industry to go green. The name also correlates with the year of the next election cycle - 2020.

While some may argue that this plan capitulates to the oil industry, it achieves the salvation of the planet’s habitability and will alleviate much predictable suffering. I estimate the time it will take to do this is 30 years. The US could go into debt, say, $15 trillion over that time frame, but it would be worth it. Everywhere would be electrical charging stations for transportation, and wind and solar farms for distributed electricity. As the US is responsible for roughly one-fourth of world consumption, the world total debt for conversion would be estimated at about $60 trillion. This should satisfy the owners of industry that we force to convert.

Thank you .

David Hamilton, Civil Engineer

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David, I like your idea. There are two glitches that I see, however. One is that we only have 12 years to cut emissions worldwide by 50% to save humanity from extinction. Secondly, The fossil fuel reserves in the ground amount to trillions of dollars. The investors of all these fossil fuel projects only have to hang on and drag things out for another 10 to 20 years to get back their sunk investments with a whole lot of return to boot. It’s all about the stock value which is which is based on the perceived value of those reserves. Once people get a clear idea that those reserves may never be brought to surface, the whole ponzi scheme will come crashing down.

Until the crash, there is no bargaining with these fossil fuel oligarchs. They don’t care. They know this crash is coming and will cash out before other stock and stakeholders wakes up and find all of their investments and assets are worth zero because there will not be any buyers.

If we peons thought the debt crash of 2008 was a nightmare, we are in for a really rude awakening in the not to distant future.

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I’m not much up for paying the oil-igarchs for their oil.

  • First of all, they haven’t actually invested the amounts equal to what they believe their reserves are worth, so paying on the basis of the oil’s supposed current worth would be a major mistake.

  • Second, it’s a common business risk that your product can be regulated out of existence. They took that risk when they invested their money. They should be made to bear the risks they undertook.

  • Third, they’ve known for a long time what’s up with climate change, so they are not really entitled to any equitable relief. If anything, they owe us forfeiture of their investments, plus damages for the havoc they’ve wreaked upon us all.

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A simpler and quicker way to reverse global warming is to tax all plowed land and redirect the subsidies now directed to industrial agriculture to regenerative agriculture. Soil can hold 2-3 times the carbon as the air and above ground vegetation combined. Rodale Institute has had a 30 year comparative study that shows that regenerative agriculture can sequester more carbon than is being burned in fossil fuels.
Those at Davos care little if their house is burning. They have several houses, all fully staffed. They are psychopaths and money no longer motivates them. Control does. True wealth lies in land, labor and resources. They can create almost infinite amounts of money from the Cloud but more land and fresh water cannot be made in a computer. The Bush family, not the sharpest pencils in the .00001% drawer, recently purchased 300,000 acres in Uruguay over the Guarani Aquifer, the largest fresh water rreservoir in the world. That is a circle of land 25 miles across adequate to create a self sufficient feudal estate with plenty of labor willing to sell themselve to survive, This oil family is ready to switch to being a water family.
Forget about shaming those at Davos, They are psychopaths that only act human and are beyond shame. Grow your own eat organic, grass fed and pastured meat, dairy and eggs. Keep chickens and bees in the back yard. Celebrate a neighborhood pot luck feast accompanied by a biodynamic wine from fire ravaged Mendocino, Napa or Sonoma Counties. Biodynamic vineyards survived because the extra carbon and moisture in the soil protected them.

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I hear that their stock values will drop as it gets more and more costly to extract the stuff. But offsetting this will be increasing demand as more and more population growth and people everywhere wanting the good life of having a car and abundant electricity. So how do we get them to convert to battery-powered cars? Nationalize the oil industries and put them out of business? Even if we had the national will to shutter them, those old industries are still needed to carry on the transition. I say help them along a bit even though we resent them deeply, if nothing else than to prevent them from winning the propaganda battles that would ensure our doom. As for 12 years, yes, but we will be well along toward a meaningful reduction in fossil-burning by that time, if we start now, and there are other ways to win besides nationalizing the old energy industries - like carbon-trading and subsidizing individual electric car and home conversion .

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You are right on all your points, RockyMountainView. But my understanding of a massive mobilization like WWII to convert to green power means a planned transition is necessary, with all hands on deck. I wouldn’t want to put these uncaring players and their powerful banker friends totally out of business - they must pay dearly for what they have done, but they could develop a lot of the solar, wind, and tidal farms we must have. I guess I am saying, as time runs short, that their power is too great and we the people can move things along by conceding - part way only - to paying 20 cents on the dollar, say $20 for every $100 barrel of oil reserve that they own, and locking it up forever. They might concede this, as a way out of their regulatory predicament.

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“Hope” plus three bucks buys a cup of coffee.

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And a child shall lead them.

A 15 year old with more wisdom and grace than the entirety of the global CEO class combined.

They should feel shame. If they were only capable.

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When I hear Greta Thunberg speak---- I see a wondrous brain and a fearless commitment to LIFE and to the planet. A short speech, but so clear: "—carbon budget—the bigger the carbon budget, the bigger your responsibility! "
Clarity like that and from a 16 year old------every once in a while someone comes along that is the right person to inspire and lead a crashing and fearful world. Sometimes it seems that certain people were born to lead an event.
because they have Clarity, Vision and Commitment-----a 16 year old girl can save the world if enough believe as she does—and I do.

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"Adults keep saying: “We owe it to the young people to give them hope.” But I don’t want your hope. I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act.

I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if our house is on fire. Because it is."

  1. At 16, Greta is a young woman, not a child.

  2. And she has a way of putting things - brilliant.

Davos and its moneyed people remind me of the Hollywood glitterati - totally clueless. “Free Solo” is not just a documentary - it is without a doubt in my mind the best movie - period - in years. But it is too real for the fantasy land people, and Alex Honnold too much a man. Both Alex & Greta are in touch with reality - a rare thing these days !

  1. Greta Thundberg - woman of the year; Alex Honnold - man of the year.
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The Davos elites don’t care about the 99%.

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Bravest Girl On Earth (senryu/haiku quartet) “Teenager Greta - Thunberg kicks ass and takes names - of Davos Gotblings”; “I don’t want your hope - I want you to panic; the - house is on fire”; “They came by private - plane, she by train; they stay in - suites, she in a tent”; “There is no grey; it’s - black or it’s white; either we - survive or we don’t”

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As per Tim Garrett, each 1990 dollar of economic activity produces one pound of CO2. No free lunch

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Anything made from Hydrocarbons in oil can just as easily be made from carbohydrates in vegetable crops like Hemp.
Dependence is Humanity’s Achilles Heel.

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If you haven’t seen this already, here is a one hour video of how the psychopathic banksters and oilers, which not accidentally are the same, took over and submerged humanity in a self destructive spiral. You are right petroleum is just ancient plant matter. Henry Ford, George Washington Carver and others have shown that anything made from fossil fuels can be made from hemp or lawn clippings.


David Blume summarizes the advantages of ethanol here
http://www.permaculture.com/node/518
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Nobel Peace Prize perhaps?

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HI many summits: I know of Greta’s work, but I am sorry —who is Alex Honnold. With so much happening in the world , I can miss important people n the news.