What Is a Rich Climate Activist to Do? 'Responsible Yachting'

AP Photo/Ambros Boli Berani, File

Climate alarmism is, for the most part, a luxury belief. 

Sure, plenty of young people are deeply invested in the cause, but these are not people who work for a living. They, too, are a luxury that few societies can afford, the perpetual adolescents. 


But for the most part, climate alarmism comes from the credentialed class, the transnational elite, and the billionaires with too much money and too little sense. They can afford to be deeply alarmed and really need to be in order to feel alive and useful. If you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth, you would be looking for a cause too. 

The thing is that they are awful people. 

Really. The worst. Arrogant, indifferent to the concerns of others, and hypocritical enough to be TV evangelists. The more they talk, the more and more the average person fantasizes about a mass revolt. 

It's why populism is on the rise. And it's why I, about as anti-populist in theory a person as you can find, am as glad about its emergence as I am about the directions it might take us. Populism can be volatile and stupid, but the current direction we are traveling leads to authoritarianism and societal collapse. 

I choose populism

The greatest threat to Western civilisation comes not from China, Russia or Islamists, but from the very people who rank among its greatest beneficiaries. In virtually every field, the midwives of our demise are not working-class radicals or far-right agitators, but, as the late Fred Siegel called it, the ‘new aristocratic class’, made up of the well-credentialed and the technologically and scientifically adept.

Virtually every ideology that’s undermining the West has its patrons in these ruling cognitive elites. This includes everything from the purveyors of critical race theory and Black Lives Matter to transgender activists and, perhaps most egregiously, campaigners for the climate jihad. In each case, these elite activists reject the market traditions of liberal capitalism and instead promote a form of social control, often with themselves in charge. The fact that these ideologies are destructive, and could ultimately undermine the status of these very elites, seems to matter little to them. That they also infuriate the middle and working classes doesn’t seem to register, either.


As angry as I am about what is happening to our civilization, I still understand that anger is a horrible basis for a political movement. It's just that I don't see much of an alternative. When your political opponents see rioting and screaming as high intellectual discourse, about the only thing you can do is strike back. As our legal system, our electoral system, our nation's finances, and our greatest cities are being destroyed, tut-tutting will not make a damn bit of difference. 

Radical groups like Just Stop Oil--the soup-throwing a$$holes--are funded by the wealthy. Billionaires donate to the most bizarre and often violent causes, while avoiding all the consequences. 

The clear hypocrisy of the greens does not go unnoticed by the masses. Those same elites who demand climate austerity for the many are widely known to enjoy the use of private jets, build $500 million yachts and own numerous, often enormous mansions. The fact that the most recent climate confab, COP28, had a session on ‘responsible yachting’ tells people all they need to know about the hypocrisy of the super-rich.

The damage being done by the oligarchs’ green agenda is now fuelling a rebellion from the beleaguered European, British and American middle and working classes. Many are becoming increasingly sceptical of elite environmentalism, just as they have been consistently hostile to woke ideas on law enforcement, transgender issues and racial quotas.


Responsible yachting. At the COP 28 conference. People flew on private jets to learn how to yacht in an environmentally responsible way. 

Sponsored by the United Nations, most of whose member countries have citizens living well below the Western poverty line. 

RESPONSIBLE YACHTING for the IPCC mucketymucks, but no electricity for you. 

Public hostility towards what Adrian Wooldridge has labelled ‘the progressive aristocracy’ is now all too clear. In the US, there are declining levels of confidence in large corporations, tech oligarchs, big banks as well as the media. Similar patterns can be seen in the EU and the UK. This disquiet has led to such things as the 2016 election of Trump, the Brexit vote and the rise of populist parties and farmers’ protests across Europe.

So far, the elites seem barely aware of this discontent. This may stem from the fact that the oligarchs and their minions live in a very different reality from most people. They are shielded from the consequences of the policies they promote, whether from the job losses brought about by eco-austerity, or the rising crime and disorder resulting from efforts to ‘defund the police’ and the refusal to penalise street crime. They live in closeted, gentrified urban neighbourhoods, elite leafy suburbs or country retreats.

You see this perfectly in the BBC interview of the President of Guyana. He is trying to help his citizens out of poverty, while the BBC presenter is worrying that he will accomplish this by selling oil. 


In what possible universe can a BBC presenter feel free to lecture a man trying to drag his country out of poverty this way? Especially since in all likelihood that oil will be sold to much richer Westerners. 

Stay poor, peasants! 

The populist revolt is not, in the end, the result of right-wingers riling up the masses against a benevolent technocratic elite trying to do good. It is that technocratic elitist clique that keeps slapping ordinary people in the face, lecturing them, all while living it up themselves. People are flocking to the populists because they need an alternative, and rabble rousers are it. 

And, like Trump, those rabble rousers might be unpolished compared to the creased-pants set, but they are in the main right. The system is corrupt, and needs to be replaced. 

Trump is, in the end, like another Andrew Jackson or Theodore Roosevelt. Rough, brash, reformist. They made people cringe too. 

You can't imagine any of these men thinking about "Responsible Yachting." And that is a very good thing. 

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