Ben Pile of Climate Resistance joins me to chat about the problem of the Green agenda. We discuss:
- How this Green movement is funded
- ESG meeting with reality
- Are these outcomes intentional?
- Hypocrisy of green warriors
Stephan Livera links:
- Show notes and website
- Follow me on Twitter @stephanlivera
- Subscribe to the podcast
- Patreon @stephanlivera
Stephan Livera – 00:00:00:
Ben, welcome to the show.
Ben Pile – 00:00:02:
Thanks for having me Stephen. Great to be here.
Stephan Livera – 00:00:04:
Yeah. Ben, I’ve been following your work. I enjoy it. I think you do a lot of great work in terms of challenging the Green Agenda and some of your written work as well as I have seen a couple of your YouTube videos as well. So do you want to just tell us a little bit about yourself, just briefly in terms of what your focus is nowadays, in terms of what you’re writing and speaking about?
Ben Pile – 00:00:26:
Yeah, well, the Green Agenda is this quite a broad thing and in the past I think there was much more of an interesting discussion about what the Green Agenda was. It was sort of looked at the history of the Green movement and was quite clear about trying to get to the bottom of what kind of world Greens want to create. But in the 2000s I think sort of descends to science, right, that people are very interested in what science says and skeptics and people who wanted to sort of ask questions about the Green Agenda were harried into accepting science as the only vehicle for that discussion. Now, okay, we can have the technical debates about how much climate change is happening and what its causes are and what the consequences are. And those are very extremely important things to discuss. But there’s a gap in the market, so to speak, for that old fashioned view of looking at environmentalism and the Green Agenda as a political thing aside from its technical and scientific claims. So that’s why I started writing on that. Many took the form of a blog and then later on writing a few more articles to different people. I’ve been producing a few videos and for a while I worked for Gopher Bloom, who I think you’ve interviewed before. It was great fun to work with and who brought lots of ideas to the criticism of the Green Agenda. And he was very sympathetic to that view as well. And I think what he says the Green issue is a political dynamic, he used to say, and we were very much agreed in the need to unpick what what Greens claim, because it’s not just like Greta saying people are dying. That’s the whole truth of the matter. And so therefore something must be done. Stop all these people dying. I say if you look not far beneath the surface, they want to reorganize society. And it’s not clear to me that that’s going to produce any environmental benefit whatsoever, even if climate change is happening, even if quite radical climate change is happening, as other people have said. I think maybe they said it too forcefully in this respect. They are green on the outside and red in the middle. They’re communists in this Green campaign, which is a fair enough criticism and people shouldn’t be afraid of making that. But I think there is more complexity to it than that, but we can’t take their word for it and we can’t take scientists’ word for it, that they’re just acting in good faith on the basis of science either.
Stephan Livera – 00:03:04:
Of course. And as you rightly say, a lot of the debate and the online discussion is this idea of all the science is settled and therefore now we need to do all these economic central planning things. And there’s not enough of a discussion about the political and economic ramifications, because just because the science says certain things does not necessarily mean this is the economic answer. Because they’re very different, aren’t they?
Ben Pile – 00:03:28:
Yeah, they’re very different. And so one of my favorite examples is they’re so keen on banning the car, they’ve put banning the car far ahead of delivering anything that can sort of reduce CO2 emissions in a meaningful way. Right? And they sometimes pretend they’re a, like, for, like, replacement card, like EVs. Right. But EVs are going to cost people the better part of a year’s salary, perhaps more, for quite a lot of people. A lot of people depend on, like the economics of car ownership, certainly in the UK, probably elsewhere, as well as such that I can pick up, or I could pick up before the green agenda really started going, I could pick up a second hand car, maybe ten, maybe even 15 years old, for maybe a week’s wages, maybe two weeks wages, right? And then I could get it legit, I could get it roadworthy for not very much money. And that would enable my whole family transport. So someone who’s got a couple of young kids, they’ve got a couple, they’ve maybe got elderly parents or other elderly residents they need to look after, they could have transport and it could be their holidays as well. Let’s not forget the leisure opportunities that are created for almost nothing in historical terms, just a few weeks worth of work. And so denying that opportunity to people is probably going to have a much greater consequence for them than any sort of claimed damages to their life from storms. Even if you multiply the, the number of storms 10 or even 100 times, perhaps that’s unlikely to interfere with their lives in any meaningful way. But the Greens, I argue, are worse than climate change for people because now that family cannot take its children to its sports activities and to its social events, it can’t go and visit Grandma at the weekend because the public transport is always going to be far too expensive for most people to afford on a regular basis. It means they can’t take their relatives to hospital and other appointments. I mean, they’re imagining a utopia in which there is abundance, or they’re promising a utopia in which there is an abundance, which, as we’re seeing now through prices and supply crises and so on, it just is not going to be delivered. And so, yeah, I think Green policy is worse than climate change policy is worse than climate change, and that’s the future we need to watch out for.
Stephan Livera – 00:06:00:
Very well made points. And I’m curious, Ben, as well, in terms of your focus, are you focusing mainly on the UK or are you seeing yourself as commentating and writing about the global green agenda?
Ben Pile – 00:06:11:
Would you say, yeah, I must make apologies because sometimes I do speak too much to the UK audience or too much to the European or even perhaps the Anglosphere audience. I try to keep a balance between those things, but it’s very tricky when what you experience of green policy is direct, it’s on your doorstep, it affects your life personally, but it very much is a global movement. It’s an attempt to build institutions above democratic control or above the level of a nation state, such that the nation state is essentially obliged to these global institutions and the ordinary people have no access to that decision making process. And I think that’s part of what we need to unpick with green ideology and with green politics is that they’ve had designs for global political institutions that use the environment as the source of their political authority and ideas about how the environment is being degraded as the source of their political authority. They’ve been doing that for a very long time. So if you go back to the late 1960s, really picking up in 1972, attempts to use simulations in exactly the same way forecasting the collapse of society, the collapse of civilization, not on climate change, but in exactly the same way that they now use climate change as the story, to urge hugely significant changes to politics and to society and to the economy. All of which predictions, by the way, have failed. So this is an ideological movement that has survived. It’s the failure of its claims to truth, just to science. It’s predicted it claims to have authority in science, but all of its testable scientific claims have failed. They failed pretty early on. So, famously, people like Paul Ehrlich were saying that there would be no Britain in the year 2000 and that India would be dissolved, or I’m not entirely sure, I can’t quite remember. But these predictions all failed and they were all designed around these simulations and these prognostications. And if you can find if you can find it online, it’s a really amazing video in 1972 at the launch of the United Nations Environment Program, which is a project of some green billionaires, almost precisely the same kind of billionaires that we’ve got doing this stuff now. And it looks like the only thing that has really changed, apart from the clothes and the quality of the cameras, because it was all shot on film, is the issue of climate change. So you’ve got all the world leaders lining up, apart from the Soviet Union incidentally, interestingly, perhaps all the world leaders standing up to say exactly the same thing. We’ve got ten months to save the planet. We’ve got two years to save the planet. If we don’t do it now, then we’re all going to perish. That momentum towards global political institution building has not faded, but the story has, the scientific claims have. I think we’ve got to be cognizant. We’ve got to remember that.
Stephan Livera – 00:09:35:
And as you say, there have been many catastrophic predictions made for decades now and these people seem to not lose credibility over it. So they make this crazy prediction. And even well known politicians, or even in the US. AOC has made this prediction that I can’t remember it was something very catastrophic, that it’s going to happen in twelve years, by 2030, and then that date will roll around. And why are they not losing credibility? Is it that they are not being challenged on this, that nobody’s criticizing and saying, wait a minute, you said this in 2018, you said this, but now it hasn’t happened by now, or you said this back in 2000 and it hasn’t happened by now. What gives?
Ben Pile – 00:10:18:
Yeah, I guess I think maybe one answer is that they have sort of ultimately set themselves up as the source of authority and credibility. You can’t just declare yourself the source of all authority, of course, and it’s hard to give a number to it, but there are just immense resources available to that movement. I mean, it’s unstoppable because the United Nations Environment Program, as I mentioned in 1972, was bankrolled essentially by the Rockefellers. And I don’t get conspiratorial about it, but it was the likes of Ben Morris Strong, who was a Canadian oil tycoon, who was very much this sort of global political player who went around sort of forming all the agreements. And even today, a lot of the research I’ve done shows that there would be no green movement whatsoever anywhere in the world without the backing of really, really wealthy individuals, and only a couple of dozen of them. The biggest one we’ve come across so far is Jeff Bezos, who has created this Earth Fund of, I think, $10 billion through which he funds various NGOs. And so behind every big outfit that’s lobbying every single government at every single level, the local governments, we found people, we found staff being placed in local council, senior parts of local government offices being placed by NGOs, right. To sort of deliver, I don’t know, anti car policies in this is in Britain. The same is true in the States where billionaires such as Mike Bloomberg very much an anti fossil fuel guy, anti car guy, he uses a lot of his money to tell you that you can’t drive, or that this city or that city should become car free, but he has got two helicopters and three or four private jets. There is an awful lot of money coming from these billionaires who’s a billionaire philanthropists who think they’ve got a better idea about how society should be organized than anyone else now, I’m careful here. I don’t think it’s a grand scheme of billionaires like the guy in Simpsons, sort of the archetype of villain. I just think that they want to secure that mr. Burns that’s it, yeah. I think that they just want to secure their legacy because there are these new hyperaccumulations of capital like BlackRock and the others that are misfortunes that billionaires have amassed, which makes them slightly different from their predecessors. And I just think they’re vanity project, essentially. But there is a sort of movement that has developed to service that need that desire, essentially. A few hundred years ago would have been statue builders, right? But now it’s this sort of ecosystem of NGOs that depend in turn on the benevolence of billionaires. So they say, well, we’ll help you solve this global problem, this intractable global problem, and everyone will remember you as this amazing man who saved the planet. I think that’s the real dynamic, rather than necessarily plots, but into the bargain. And I would point it out, the likes of Bloomberg made huge amounts of money out of Lockdowns and a lot of the adjacent policy agenda, the climate agenda, and so I think we need to look at that. And if it’s not a distraction from your question. I’d point out I made a video recently which looks at a couple of billionaires. In fact British billionaire Christopher Hohn and Mike Bloomberg. Who financed the ESG movement. Which is a sort of group of shareholder lobbyists and over that time. The mid 2010s to the end of Lockdowns. They increase their portfolios by this extraordinary amount of money and they were very active in persuading companies or not persuading. Forcing companies to adopt ESG policies. And at the same time we’re running campaigns that sort of pushed investors towards ESG products. So I think there is an element of profit making in that too. So I’m not ruling that out either. So I’m saying on the one hand statue building, and on the other hand it’s just great investment, or was a good investment to fund green NGOs.
Stephan Livera – 00:15:34:
It’s a good point you make and I think it’s interesting because there’s one angle of just when it’s a government mandate, right, so governments are regulating and saying no, it must be this much renewable or this much wind and solar and we don’t like coal and natural gas as an example. But there’s another critique which is saying, oh, well, it’s actually the market, right? So there’s sort of people who are coming out and saying this idea that it’s not even government regulation, it’s the market deciding. But in reality there’s this weird dynamic where there are these big funds or big money management companies. So the Black rocks, the vanguards, the state streets of the world, where they essentially because so many people are stacking in ETFs, basically they’re buying ETFs. These large companies get a big say in what happens in the companies they invest in because they typically get a seat at the board and they may say, okay, and then this person can sort of dictate how the company grows or what investments and projects get taken up. And so it’s really interesting because for years we’ve heard almost the opposing argument as well. Right, so you hear this argument from the green people as well. They say, oh, look, for so long it’s been the oil companies who are funding the propaganda against the science and won’t the people just listen to the scientists because they’re saying we need to stop the emissions and decarbonise and all of these things. But it’s very easily forgotten that there’s all this money in the green world as well, isn’t it?
Ben Pile – 00:17:00:
Yeah, absolutely. And you make several points over the first one. I would say the use of corporate governance, so to speak, as in reality government policy. The UK government is completely complicit in using the financial markets to execute what it could not deliver by legislation. And you can see that in the bank of England, which I could go into the work of the bank of England to develop ESG metrics particularly focused on the E so as to starve. I mean, it’s explicit, the intention to use the financial markets to restrict capital to fossil fuel companies as a explicit goal because they knew if they passed a law saying thou shalt not buy petrol or that prohibited the market, then they would just be out of office within a few weeks. But if it’s sort of done organized on the basis of the market, exactly as you said, then it’s my money, my choice. All these people making their own investment decisions, not people who have been prodded into making these decisions. I think there’s an investor in the States who has just set up a new fund which is going to counter this, that’s going to say, unfortunately, I forgot his name Ramaswamy.
Stephan Livera – 00:18:24:
I think it’s like this idea of I can’t remember the exact name of the company, but that’s one of the points I’ve heard he has made, which is this argument of like the Vanguard, the State Streets and the black rocks of the world are controlling a lot of companies. But the irony this is the point he’s making, is that basically they are pushing companies in a direction that the underlying investors of those funds would not agree with. So as an example, you might just be a firefighter or a policeman or something and your pension money is being invested by the Vanguard, BlackRock State Streets and some of these other fund managers and they’re driving it in this very greeny ESG direction. But the average guy on the street didn’t want that. You just wanted to be able to buy a cheap car, as you said, to be able to take your family out or to feed your family, to drive to work. And so there’s this big injustice there that I think a lot of the Zoom class laptop employee, people who can just work on their laptops and work online, they don’t see that because they don’t have enough of connection out to the real world and people who are actually doing the jobs that are not just on a laptop.
Ben Pile – 00:19:27:
Yeah, and that really speaks to the other point you made about the alleged fossil fuel funding because it doesn’t exist, right? So the guy, I think, use the example of the firefighter and he’s got his pension in Britain. There’s a lot of people who work in the public sector who had these funds and they were approached by the likes of Greenpeace or someone saying, hey, all of this pension fund is in exxon and BP and Shell, you’ve got it the best, otherwise everyone’s going to hold you responsible for destroying the planet, right? And then they put it to the fund holders, they say, well, should we move this into, should we move all the money into ASG companies? And so your firefighter there may be saying, well, hold on, this sounds a bit shonky to me, but what’s going to happen is that he’s going to be overwhelmed by either all of the other members or some of the organizations that intervene in that process. So these organizations are green organizations funded by the interests we’ve already described. There’s quite a number of them who will just sort of overwhelm that criticism. There is no counter, there are no counter movements that exist funded by big Oil to provide individuals, ordinary people, with the information about what ESG is and how it will or will not help to solve the climate crisis. That guy is completely on his own and the story of the oil funded denial machine or propaganda machine, whatever, is just a myth and a lie. I mean, if you look into it, a number of those organizations have made these claims and they pretended, they’ve claimed to have done research linking conservative think tanks to interests like the Cock brothers or something. And then it just amounts to these dribbles of money, maybe a few hundred thousand for a year, for five or six years for a range for that think tanks range of outputs. Whereas if you count the money that’s available to Green NGOs, it’s just orders of magnitude greater. I mean, at least three orders of magnitude greater. There’s absolutely billions funding the climate change movement to intervene in the market in this way and there isn’t anything on the other side. It’s totally asymmetric, of course, and I think that’s going to have economic consequences.
Stephan Livera – 00:22:08:
And on the topic then of pushing back, so I can imagine that maybe this is a hypothetical world, but hypothetically, should there not be politicians who are trying to push back on that? And maybe we’re starting to see some of that now. But I’m curious, your view, if you just look at this whole energy debate, green debate around the world. Why is it that we’re not seeing more politicians who are actually talking about this and actively proactively, trying to push back again?
Ben Pile – 00:22:34:
It’s quite difficult to get a global picture again because I only speak English as well, so I can speak about the Anglosphere in the main. So there’s been a hollowing out of democratic politics across the west since Cold War. There hasn’t been a difference between political parties and there’s been a historic detachment from the public. The government has sort of detached and all political parties have somewhat detached from the public. So this Green Agenda in the UK, and I apologize for that, being British centric again, the rise of the Green Agenda coincides with the Green Agenda is going like this. The number of people voting was falling for a long time, so people were not engaged in politics. And at the same time, you’ve got the institutions like the European Union being built and you’ve got the UN, especially in the post Cold War era, the UN sort of really seizing the moment in sort of capturing policy agendas and political agendas. And I guess people just sort of thought, well, that’s okay, the UN. And you’ve got experts doing their job and you’ve got, you know, the NGOs, the lovely NGOs who are just trying to make everything nice. So no one really noticed that there was quite a fundamental political change going on. There was some degree of utopianism and quite irrational ideas were being planted in the top strata of political establishments. I think we’ve seen the fruits of that degeneration coming to bear now. So famously in Germany now, we’re seeing people warning that critical industries are about to go under completely. Germany’s, all that, sacrificed its auto industry. Of course, this is sort of marred by the point I’m making, is somewhat muted by the fact of the war. But the other fact is that Germany chose its energy path, right? And it was saying that it could be self sufficient in wind and solar PV isn’t able to and Donald, this is something that Donald Trump was warning them of. I believe a few years ago that they were increasing their energy dependence on Russia. The Green Agenda has hit something of an obstacle in that. Now, European, in particular Western European countries, are unable to say that the green infrastructure that they built was not dependent itself, increased dependent on fossil fuel imports, right? So the Green Agenda, all it has done is exported manufacturing to the east and materials production to the east. And I mean, that’s great for people elsewhere and I’m sure it’s helped lift a lot of people out of poverty in global terms is probably a good thing. But it shifted its energy production elsewhere as well and then claimed these are European countries across the board. They claimed that they had succeeded in reducing their emissions. Look, they claim we have decoupled resource use and economic growth, but it was just fancy because as we can see now, you’re not making anything and you’re exporting on now you’re in this moment of crisis. So I think that’s going to create some realism, certainly in Europe where they have just sort of reclassified natural gas as green energy, much to Greta’s annoyance, right, she’s having a little surprise for.
Stephan Livera – 00:26:20:
Years after they had been going against gas for years now, they’ve turned it around. And I think it’s very interesting you point out as well with Germany because they have put in a massive amount of money effort into trying to go renewable and this is now coming back. And I suppose there will always be arguments about exactly what’s caused this problem recently. Even with that, I think last year in Texas, with the failure in ERCOT, there were all these different competing stories about what was the truth of the matter and people were saying at first it was blaming of the wind and solar, so then it was sort of saying, oh no, the fossil fuels failed. But then there was also an argument that because of all this environment, they weren’t able to winterize or actually sufficiently upgrade their grid to protect the fossil fuel energy generation. And so it’s kind of yeah. I’m curious of your view on what’s going on in Germany in terms of how much of a percent renewable did they go and what caused their problems recently.
Ben Pile – 00:27:24:
I can’t remember the exact proportion actually, but they announced the closure of their nuclear power stations in the wake of the Fukushima accident, even though, actually, if you take a step back, it was a vindication of nuclear energy. I think that power plant is older than me, certainly. I think significantly older. I think it’s a 50s or 60s design, if not a 50s or 60s building. So it withstood a tsunami. Yes, the top came off, but it withstood otherwise withstood a major catastrophe. So Germany, I think at the last record it was coming up to have, it was getting close to having spent half a trillion euros on green energy, solar and wind, and as you say, it has very little show for it, similar to the case you mentioned in Texas. The problems, the catastrophe was encoded in that agenda. As soon as you hit a bump in the road, the whole car falls apart. Because that’s the nature of green policy. I guess it should have been possible to predict that there was going to be an energy crisis caused by maybe conflict in Europe or maybe an economic situation or any number of things that there should have been contingencies for. So I don’t know what the proportion is. I think that’s coming to a big explosive point and we’ll see that in the next few months, if not in the winter.
Stephan Livera – 00:29:13:
Sure. And just turning back to UK politics as well, obviously, where you’re based, what are your thoughts on Boris Johnson’s, let’s say tenure, and his thoughts around net zero, because I think he was, even though being a Conservative, he unfortunately counted out a little bit and went for the whole Green policy. So what are your views on what he was saying? Did it make any sense at all?
Ben Pile – 00:29:37:
I think that’s a better example of what I was just trying to say, actually, because there are Greens now trying to say, oh, he’s been ousted because he turned a blind eye to sleaze in his party and he broke the rules and that’s why he’s lost the confidence of the party and the public. Whereas people, perhaps more on my side of things, are saying, well, look, he’s backed the Green agenda and now people are facing extraordinary rises in bills, I think three or four times the amount For energy that we were paying few years ago, and that was already an increase. He’s very much, to most people’s view, he has very much put a globalist Green agenda ahead of the public’s interest. He said he claimed we were going to be the Saudi Arabia of wind. He said, Green is great, green is good, green is right. This was very much the flagship policy of Boris Johnson, who’s a man who wasn’t content to have just delivered what everyone knew he was there to do, which was deliver Brexit. He’s a man who needs very expensive grandpoget to identify himself with. He needs totems to himself again. It’s a statue thing. It speaks to his vanity. So in the discussions I’ve been having with people, in the debates and the arguments I’ve been having with people, I’ve been pointing out, but if he had just done what he was supposed to have done and delivered Brexit, and actually, in the words of his predecessor, cut the Green crap, if I may say so, on your channel.
Stephan Livera – 00:31:19:
Yeah, that’s fine.
Ben Pile – 00:31:22:
If he’d have not gone ahead with Net Zero, there’s a very good chance he would have had the support of a lot of the public, and that would have been enough to have for him to have survived the attacks on him from within his own party, from within the establishment media and within parliament. But he put all of his capital, as it were, in pretty much just the continuity agenda. And it shouldn’t be difficult to understand for a man like him that people had had enough of the EU for more than just the fact of the EU. It wasn’t an arbitrary distaste for the EU, because it was the EU, it was that we were bored of more than bored. People were fed up with technocracy, with having our interests put second to political projects, big political projects, and people’s interests not being met by ordinary politics. So he could have done very differently. But I don’t think any politician is going to learn that lesson, certainly not his successor, and certainly not from within the Conservative. Party. I hope I’m wrong. I hope to God that in a few weeks time someone who understands that the Green agenda is dangerous and toxic to their own career will turn up. I can only hope, of course.
Stephan Livera – 00:32:56:
And it’s also interesting to see that politicians are obviously not a fan of them, but they are trying to have their cake and eat it too in many cases. So previously, if we looked back a few years ago, they would be explicitly telling us, hey, we’re trying to stop fossil fuels, or hey, we’re trying to make it more expensive, hey, we’re trying to make fossil fuels. And even, I think Joe Biden even maybe one or two years ago was saying, yeah, we’re going to end fossil fuels and now they’re going to turn around and then in Joe Biden’s case, go cap in hand to the Saudi Arabians and say, please make more oil for us. On one hand, they caused this problem and on the other now they’re trying to sort of paper it over for now while still maintaining the overall green agenda.
Ben Pile – 00:33:45:
Yeah, it’s a crisis of their own making and it’s amazing to see Joe Biden something else. I mean it’s the whole collapse in Microcosm and I think he was even trying to blame the people who own the pump stations, the petrol stations where you fill up. He was trying to say that they were responsible, I think even blaming the public at one point and just this desperate search for blame and for oil. And there was Macron explaining to him that his sort of jaunts around the world are going to be are not going to result in any more oil or oil or gas. And so there’s this a real awakening to the reality of what they’ve created. I don’t want it to sort of be too Joe centric either and it’s denial across the board. This is a slow motion car crash, of course.
Stephan Livera – 00:34:46:
And I think in some ways what we’ve seen in recent months is reality catching up with these people because there’s only so much green propaganda that they can put out and there’s only so much cost of living and inflation crisis that people will take. And I think probably a good example to chat about now and to get your thoughts as well is you’re seeing the Dutch farmers, right? We’re seeing big protests going and it’s in response to it’s almost like the every man is rising up against the globalist people who are trying to say, no, we want to control how you produce things, but these people are rising up and saying, no, we’re not having it.
Ben Pile – 00:35:25:
I hope so. Yeah, there’s Canadian truck drivers too, wasn’t there? And there was very similar in constitution to the Dutch farmers and of course the yellow vests in France were the sort of precursor to all of this and I mean, I hope they just get what they demand because the idea of turning into revolutions is really ugly. Unattracted protest movements are just not good for anyone. I mean, I think it was really damaging to France. But in the case of the Dutch farmers they’re talking about the legislation causing the closure of up to 30% of Dutch farms. So I mean there are lots of ideas about what’s behind that, including land grabs and attempts to force people off the land and return it to nature. But this is making a lot of people have nothing to lose. The explosive nature of that seems to have escaped the likes of Biden when they go off. And this is an interesting point I make, I think is that whereas the targets that are made so we’re going to reduce CO2 emissions, or in the case of Holland, in this instance, we’re going to reduce nitrogen emissions by so much, as you were saying before, these come with all these sort of aren’t we making the world great, aren’t we making the world wonderful? And it will create green jobs and it will create green economic growth and this and the other. So they sell all these upsides to the public on the back of this agenda. They say this is going to be this wonderful new green economy, but only the targets are legally enforceable, right? So you don’t get any of the job. You don’t get an organization saying you promised us 1000 green new jobs so we’re going to take you to court, UK government or Dutch government and force you to make these jobs. What you get is green organizations. In the case of Holland, I think it’s called the environment, the Mobilization for Nature, I think it was called. They took the Netherlands government to court to force them to implement the nitrogen emissions reductions. This is environmental lawfare and we see this a lot, climate warfare. And it’s them that’s forcing the Government’s hands because in many respects the government’s don’t necessarily want that level of confrontation. But those governments have set the targets, they were lobbied to set those targets by the same organizations that take them to court for not enforcing those. It’s a bit like the way that the market is used to governance. It’s the other side of that because you see sort of just as every sort of contract has to be legally enforceable, you see the market sort of creating these things and then there’s always the iron fist in the background. If you do not commit to these agreements then we’re going to smash you. I’m probably straight from your point, but the reality of the political ideology is being made. What kind of world it wants to create and how it wants to create. It has been made very clear in three very significant countries in Canada and Holland and in France. And they’ve used the state to try and stop those protests. But so gosh, I hope that it causes some reflection before those strikes or those protests become much wider and start to cause real damage to society.
Stephan Livera – 00:39:19:
Of course, on the topic of just wind and solar and the viability sustainability, actually economic sustainability of this kind of energy, I’ve seen all kinds of different critiques of what’s going on in terms of wind and solar and how it’s being mandated in certain ways, or, as we were saying, in an ESG way, it’s being mandated. I’m curious if you have any critiques on them or anything around battery technology or things like this that you would want to highlight.
Ben Pile – 00:39:50:
Yeah, wind and solar are sort of just imagined to be green by this move. There’s an amazing clip of Boris Johnson with his former chancellor in visiting this sort of very kind of fashionable, probably ESG rated energy retailer in the UK called Octopus. They’ve also got to have these silly postmodern names. Why would you go to an energy company called Octopus? It’s kind of weird. Why not? The energy company should be sufficient, right? So they’re already very fancy pants. They’ve got a lot of marketing, they’ve got a lot of trendy sort of design about them. And they were sort of extolling the virtues of these smart meters. And they were saying, you can use these smart meters to help you reduce the amount of energy use and to use your appliances when energy is cheaper, so they’re going to get time of day pricing. So the more demand there is and the less energy is being produced by wind turbines, the higher the price is going to be. So if you’re poorer, you’re going to be on, your smart meter is going to beep when electricity rises above a certain threshold, and that’s it. You may not be able to have a shower before you go to work. You may not even have your lights on because there’s no guarantees as to what the price is going to be. So it’s all very well and good to talk about these great big ways of producing electricity, but ultimately it’s taking us back to the point in time at which your life, your whole day, what you do, is organized around the weather, which is hardly the 21st century as I’ve imagined it when I was ten or something. And that’s the reality that’s not explained to people, though. Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak said isn’t it amazing? You can plug your EV. If you can afford EV, you can plug your EV in, and then the smart meter will automatically turn on the charger at 02:00 in the morning when everyone’s when no one’s using energy. The reality, of course, is that at 02:00 in the morning, all of those smart meters are going to be competing for any surplus energy that is on the grid, and so the price isn’t going to go beneath a certain point. They haven’t seen any of it through, they haven’t thought anything through. Lots of people have been pointing out to them lots of critics in the press and not enough think tanks, but organizations in Britain, such as the Global Warming Policy Foundation have been pointing out this out to them for a long time. But there is no representation of those arguments at the sort of wider intergovernmental level or the global level. And contemporary politicians are pretty much indifferent to that kind of criticism or debate. They don’t really want to have the argument, they just want to appear in nice little cute little videos on Twitter with the trendy energy company saying we’re saving the planet and our policy agenda is doing these great things, if you see what I mean.
Stephan Livera – 00:43:03:
Yeah. And so I think it’s important for everyone who is cognizant about this to talk about it and try to get more people thinking in a rational way about energy. Because I really think obviously this is mainly a bitcoin focused show, but I think it’s one of those things where because of the energy use, this energy debate, bitcoin and bitcoiners advocates of bitcoin will get dragged into this debate. And I think it’s important that we have good arguments and actually are able to articulate why a lot of these things are not making sense. Why these things are not making sense. Because if not, then there is a risk of technologies being banned or regulated. And of course, I think from a bitcoin point of view, I think it still wins either way. But certainly it would be nicer if things are legal and understood as opposed to being forced underground in a way, because I think maybe even like an example could even be just the way people are thinking about nuclear or fossil fuels energy. That because people have weird ideas about them, it’s stopping our use of them. And as you were saying, it’s going to lead to less and less people who have access to reliable energy. And that might mean instead of young people who are growing up being able to actually study and learn things, they’re now stuck without light or they can’t go and advance their knowledge and become a professional in some field or work in a certain field because they just lost the opportunity because there’s just no energy.
Ben Pile – 00:44:35:
Yeah, there’s a growing sort of view from energy realists that people should look into. I think if you’re interested in those arguments, that points out so a guy called John Constable doing this, the GWPF I just mentioned as well, and one of the things he’s pointing out is that really the amount of energy that a society uses is a reflection of its sophistication. And that’s not to say that you can just set fire to a whole tank of oil just for laughs and that sort of registers as a more sophisticated culture or society, but that there is something essential to energy is economics, essentially. There is a there is a thermodynamics of the economy and that if you’ve got a lot of energy. If you’re using a lot of energy, the sophistication means that there’s fewer people working in primary production and there’s more people doing websites and more people doing bitcoin, if you like, doing those sort of things. Right? So it creates all of these opportunities. Whereas if, again, you’re sat around waiting for the weather to change, to have your shower, to get ready to for work or to charge your car, the reality is you’re going to be forced society is going to be forced into a less sophisticated mode of operation. So that’s going to be much more manual work and much more manual labor and a much less surplus, much less profit to go around to do all the nice stuff. That’s all the nice things to make things that are worthwhile, to make life worthwhile. Greens are easily characterized as hair, shirts, very aesthetic and sort of mean, as it were, and they’ve done a lot to shake off that image. They’ve invested a lot of money and people like Greta and Slick design and sort of happy videos and expensive PR. But there is a reality to that, denying the abundance of energy and the affordability of energy. We just look to your own life and look to the benefits that is created. Like if you’ve ever flown, if you go on holiday, if you travel, if you visit family in other countries, if you go for a day out, it all requires enormous amounts of energy. And once that’s denied to you, that’s denying all sorts of people further on in the economy, that freedom and that ability to so, yeah, I think there’s a new sort of realism dawning on the necessity of energy. And that would be great if we can get that idea to hold soon enough to stop the sort of strange, utopian ideas about energy taking hold.
Stephan Livera – 00:47:31:
Fantastic, well I think that’s a great place to leave it. Listeners, make sure you follow Ben, he’s on Twitter @clim8resistance. I’ll put the links in the show notes and check out his website. It’s climate-resistance.org. Ben, thank you for joining me.
Ben Pile – 00:47:45:
Thanks for having me again, Stephan.
Stephan Livera – 00:47:46: