This is a second article reflecting on two of the major global crises of our time: Covid-19 and anthropogenic climate change. In the last article, we looked at similarities between the ways in which these crises have been promoted and handled. In this article, I reflect on my own experience of first questioning the Covid narrative, and later starting to question much of what I had once believed as an environmentalist about climate change. My story is illustrative of how well-meaning, caring people can become complicit in promoting what amounts to Trojan horse narratives – virtuous-sounding causes, concealed within which are efforts to erase human rights and freedoms, and even to justify a reduction in the number of people on the planet.
In a recent video interview with Belgian Alternative Media (BAM!), Nick Hudson, Chairman of PANDA identified patterns that indicate that a global crisis may be a scam :
The general rule of thumb … is that if any problem is being presented as a ‘global crisis’ then it is a scam. The pattern that we are confronted with is the fabrication of global crises … followed by the assertion that the only solutions that are permissible are global ones that require a global authority, global control.
The other thing you can observe is, instead of presenting science as an ongoing evolving activity, it is presented in terms of static knowledge – consensus. And you see the cancellation and censorship of dissident voices, rather than engagement with them. These patterns are proof of the scam. That is what people need to understand.
Two sectors characterised by care
The Covid and climate change crises focus on things people care deeply about: the health of humanity, and the thriving of the planet we call home. While much has improved in both of these areas, such as increased longevity  in most countries, and enhanced global greening , we are also acutely aware of risks, threats, and challenges to human and planetary wellbeing.
The public health and sustainability sectors attract people who care deeply about addressing threats to the flourishing of people and planet. We see what we do as a vocation – a ‘calling’. We tend to be passionate about our work, and – although many of our efforts may be relatively poorly remunerated or even voluntary – we derive a great deal of satisfaction from helping to ‘make the world a better place’. The goodwill of the people involved has conferred upon these sectors a sense of trustworthiness.
Many of us in the caring professions tend to be somewhat naïve, however. Believing that we are doing good by serving the greater good, we seldom question our assumptions or the agendas and goals of the organisations and programmes within which we work. Most of us are unaware of the extent to which our sincere efforts are influenced (and even manipulated) by unelected supranational organisations and corporations that often benefit from the very global crises they purport to combat.
Much has been written and many videos have been shared by people in the health professions who suspected early on that ‘Covid-19 as a global pandemic’ might be a scam. Looking back and using Nick Hudson’s criteria as a checklist, we note that Covid was quickly labelled a global pandemic [✔] by the World Health Organization (WHO)  – a global agency of the United Nations (UN)  [✔], which tossed out their own pandemic guidelines  published the previous year and, like the pied piper, led unsuspecting, unprepared governments to demoralise their people through lockdowns, prohibit the use of cheap and effective treatments, and roll out at ‘warp speed’ the single global solution to the crisis – a mysterious, novel, inadequately-tested injection [✔]. ‘The Science’ (aka Dr Anthony Fauci) could not be questioned [✔], and all manner of tactics were used to silence and expel from their professions and society in general those who disputed ‘the consensus’  [✔].
From personal health crisis to Covid scepticism
My trust in ‘dominant narratives’ started eroding over ten years ago when a mid-life health crisis woke me up to some of the myths perpetuated over decades by Big Agriculture, Big Food, and Big Pharma. In my case, the impact of multiple antibiotics plus a diet based on the traditional carbohydrate-laden food pyramid resulted in dysbiosis, insulin resistance, and associated general malaise.
It was worth facing the discomfort of cognitive dissonance – realising that what I had believed was ‘good for me’ was incorrect – to experience the benefits of stable blood sugar and a healed gut. Little did I know then that the demonising of Dr Tim Noakes , an early promoter of low-carb eating in South Africa, would prefigure the vicious censorship and deplatforming of multiple health professionals, scientists and others who would later question the Covid narrative.
Due to my personal health journey, when Covid was declared it didn’t take me long to realise that there was something seriously wrong with the advice we were being fed by WHO, governments and media. I understood health holistically and recognised the role of social contact, time in nature, positive emotions, exercise, and natural remedies in keeping oneself well. If ‘fighting the virus’ was what we needed to do, it made no sense at all to outlaw these healthy behaviours, or to raise stress levels by promoting fear, isolating people, mandating crazy rituals, preventing people from working, and banning tried-and-tested remedies.
A few other factors helped to turn me into a Covid sceptic. Firstly, having majored in biochemistry and microbiology, I was able to make some sense of the ongoing debates around Covid and was increasingly convinced by the arguments of many who were questioning the Covid response. Secondly, I really do not like being told what to do – especially when the instructions are clearly illogical. What really tipped me over the edge, though, was contacting our local radio station to enquire why they were not covering topics like a cost-benefit analysis of lockdowns, or repurposed medications that were showing promise, like hydroxychloroquine … only to be summarily shut up. All my buttons pressed, I stopped listening to my erstwhile favourite radio station in May 2020 and turned to the alternative media, voraciously learning all I could about the unfolding detective story that was Covid.
From dream to disillusionment
Most of my professional life was spent in the environmental movement, educating children and teachers about nature, ecology, and caring for the Earth. I entered the field because of my passion for these topics and my love of sharing them. Almost imperceptibly, however, the field was shifting. The tenor was changing from wonder, connection, and first-hand experiences of exploring and caring for local environments, to worry, blame, and abstract models that exposed the biophysical, social, economic, and political roots of ‘all the problems in the world’, resulting in them feeling far too complex to address. Perhaps I paint too naïve and romanticised a picture of ‘the early days’, but the truth is that, after my initial intellectual fascination with this increasingly wide-ranging definition of ‘the environment’, I started burning out.
Looking back, I recognise that this local-to-global shift started gaining momentum after the UN ‘Earth Summit’ held in June 1992 in Rio de Janeiro, where an unprecedented number of world leaders gathered and committed to pursuing development that would protect the environment and non-renewable resources . Delegates signed a number of agreements, including the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change , which required countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and Agenda 21 , which literally set the agenda for sustainable development  in the twenty-first century. Those were heady days for the environmental movement. It felt like the needs of Nature were finally being taken seriously. What it feels like to me now, though, is that this was the beginning of the establishment of a massive global bureaucracy that in time would come to exert a similar level of control over populations in the name of sustainability as WHO exerts in the name of public health.
The anthropogenic climate change agenda started influencing my work in the early 2000s. Being in the environmental movement, I was an early adopter of this narrative, trusting that the scientists involved were unbiased and that their modelled predictions were accurate. When Al Gore released his documentary An Inconvenient Truth in 2006, I assumed that his over-sized graph showing global temperatures rising in step with increasing atmospheric CO2 levels was the truth and accepted the horror of our predicament without question. I played my part in developing educational projects and materials that warned about the countless negative impacts that rising CO2 levels would have on us all, never stopping for a moment to ask a couple of obvious questions like: will there be no positive outcomes of this trend; and, if CO2 is plant food, won’t a slight increase in its concentration be good news for revegetation and agriculture?
I remember the moment when my growing eco-pessimism became personal. I was driving home, reflecting on the automatic ‘green filter’ that I used to judge my activities and purchases. (I’ve been addicted to reading product labels for a long time, assessing E-numbers, parabens, food miles, GMO- and gluten-contents, and whether the product is organic.) But suddenly it hit me that, no matter how hard I tried to make the ‘right’ choices, I was actually the problem. When I breathe, I exhale CO2 … and one day when I die, my cremation will do the same. I was guilty as charged … responsible, by simply being alive, for contributing to the destruction of the planet. This insight may sound ridiculous, but it’s where my deep belief in the anthropogenic climate change narrative had taken me. And I think it bears confessing, because a very large number of good, caring people around the world now feel about as desperate about this issue as I did in that moment.
So great was my disillusionment that I could no longer continue in the career that had once felt like a calling. And, if the global nature of the environmental crisis was too great a burden for me to carry, what about children and their teachers? Knowing too much about an issue we can do too little to address can leave us feeling hopeless. Ethically, I could no longer continue promoting a narrative that I found so distressing. I just had to walk away.
From Covid scepticism to a climate awakening
It is only recently that I have experienced a resolution of my eco-pessimism. Surprisingly, this happened while researching the roots of the Covid crisis and stumbling across a video  (and since then the original article ) about the rather opaque history of Professor Klaus Schwab, founder and chairman of the World Economic Forum (WEF). The article notes that Schwab was influenced by an elite think tank, the Club of Rome, to establish his annual symposium. I was vaguely aware of this organisation, as articles on the origins of the environmental education movement had referred to it in relation to Limits to Growth , a very influential book published by them in 1972. What I had been unaware of was the extent to which this and other publications, as well as club members themselves, promoted a neo-Malthusian view of humanity. Johnny Vedmore explains :
The Club of Rome was long controversial for its obsession with reducing the global population … in the Club’s infamous 1991 Book, The First Global Revolution, it was argued that such policies could gain popular support if the masses were able to link them with an existential fight against a common enemy.
[The book] contains a passage entitled “The common enemy of humanity is Man”, which states the following: “In searching for a common enemy against whom we can unite, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like, would fit the bill … All these dangers are caused by human intervention in natural processes … The real enemy then is humanity itself.”
I felt like I’d been shaken awake. This is where my career-ending experience of existential angst had originated. It wasn’t a mistake. It was a strategy. Glib statements like, “There are far too many people in the world!” and “Human beings are a cancer on the planet!” echoed in my head as it dawned on me that eugenics is alive and well in the twenty-first century. I thought of the many young people deciding not to have children because of the CO2 their offspring will emit throughout their lives ; and the rushed Covid injections that have been linked to a significant increase in excess mortality . It felt conspiratorial, but could Covid and climate change be part of a long-term plan to protect the planet by controlling the population?
Paradoxically, this shocking experience strengthened a sense of solidarity with other human beings that the hard lockdowns had triggered. Then, recognising that the authorities were doing their best to separate us from one another, I had done exactly the opposite, making a point of smiling at people whenever possible and offering hugs to perfect strangers. Now I felt an even deeper appreciation for the miracle and potential that is human life. And, what’s more, remembering the obvious fact that my CO2 exhalations are not ‘pollution’ after all, but rather food for the plants I love so much has released me from the terrible bondage of ecological guilt.
Having said that, I still feel tremendous grief about the despoilation of the Earth. What has shifted, however, is that I no longer trust centralised grand plans to ‘save the planet’, especially when these plans are founded on demonising CO2 – one of the most life-giving molecules on Earth. And I am deeply suspicious of absurd technocratic ‘solutions’ like dimming the sun ; culling millions of cattle  and replacing them with insects, or ersatz, lab-grown facsimiles ; surveillance and monitoring of people’s ‘carbon footprints’, which may evolve into control of the populace through a social credit mechanism ; and rapidly transitioning to expensive and inefficient renewables, which will consign millions of people to energy poverty. 
Covid-19: training wheels for climate tyranny
It has taken many years of effort to convince the general public that the primary environmental issue of our time is a rise in the concentration of a gas that comprises only 0.04% of the atmosphere, and that this increase is mostly our fault. Prior to Covid, most people were relatively unconcerned about this issue – they had more immediate and palpable concerns to deal with. But it appears that the Covid event represented our ‘training wheels’ to get us riding the bicycle of climate change. 
Without Covid, few would have accepted the suppression of human rights and freedoms represented by lockdowns, surveillance, suppression of dissent, and demonisation of sceptics – but these are now starting to characterise the response to the climate crisis. The Covid years demonstrated the power of propaganda to sow fear, cause multitudes to acquiesce to authority, and – using the time-honoured strategy of ‘divide and rule’ – destroy social solidarity. Covid taught us how to ‘shelter in place’, and (if we had the means) to work, socialise, transact, and ‘consume’ entertainment through our own personal screens.
Post-Covid we are being bombarded with news and visuals of horrific fires , floods , droughts , and even ‘hurriquakes’  – all being blamed on climate change . As in the case of Covid, there is one clear villain, one simplistic narrative, and no room for dissent. There is no acknowledgement of the complexity of factors – from solar cycles , to destruction of ecosystems , to weather modification through geoengineering , and old-fashioned arson  – that are contributing to these extreme events.
The trouble with one-size-fits-all explanations is that, if the foundational assumptions are proven to be incorrect, the whole edifice collapses. Consequently, there is no place for doubt in this totalising story.
How do we become complicit in the rise of crisis narratives?
While globalist and government propaganda  plays an important role in promoting crisis narratives, author and professor of psychology, Matthias Desmet, reminds us of Hannah Arendt’s observation that the masses are also responsible for their perpetuation:
[The totalitarian] state has an extremely destructive impact on the population because it doesn’t only control public and political space—as classical dictatorships do—but also private space. It can do the latter because it has a huge secret police at its disposal: this part of the population that is in the grip of the mass formation and that fanatically believes in the narratives distributed by the elite through mass media. In this way, totalitarianism is always based on “a diabolic pact between the masses and the elite” … 
For global crisis narratives like Covid and anthropogenic climate change to gain traction, millions of well-meaning, caring people need to become convinced of their validity and virtuousness, and then unwittingly complicit in perpetuating perspectives that justify the relinquishing of our freedoms and rights – even our right to life.
It’s safe to assume that people who work in the public health and environmental sectors want to make a positive difference. But we are not free agents. Agendas are set and programmes developed at supranational levels, often by UN agencies like the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), which produced Agenda 21, and WHO, which is currently developing the so-called ‘pandemic treaty’ or WHO CA+ . Countries are signatories to numerous UN agreements, some of which are binding, meaning that government officials and partners are held accountable to deliver on the UN’s goals.
And what about corporations? In 2019, the WEF and UN signed a strategic partnership framework  to strengthen cooperation and accelerate the implementation of Agenda 2030. (Interestingly, two of the six focus areas of the partnership framework are health and climate change.) Through the WEF’s leadership role, and also through the implementation of Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) investing (an initiative of the UN , which the WEF is currently reinvigorating ), the UN can exert significant influence over the corporate sector.
Global crises have spawned a vast, interlocking global bureaucracy involving supranational entities, government departments, non-governmental organisations, corporates, research and educational institutions, consultants, and donors. It is so complex that it is hard for both employees and the public to grasp the big picture. Efforts of these diverse players are, however, brought into lockstep by the UN’s goals, in particular the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of Agenda 2030 .
Being dependent on salaries and benefits, most employees happily work on projects without questioning the central premise of the goals. Even private contractors are not truly independent, as project- and funding proposals need to be in line with these goals in order to be successful. In the end, we become cogs in a giant machine that pays our salaries while serving the globalist elites. We perpetuate dominant narratives by trying to do good within a rigged system.
Beyond the workplace, in our everyday lives we find ourselves adopting these narratives because of two very human characteristics: the need to belong to a group, and the need to be viewed as virtuous. In a sense, believing in these global crises has much in common with a religious belief. In a world where many people no longer follow a particular religion, we are offered a community to belong to that espouses virtuous goals, and provides commandments and high priests to obey, rituals to practise, sacrifices to make, and good deeds to perform, all in the hope of ultimate salvation.
Sadly, this also results in the division of society into believers and non-believers. The heretics – who must be either misguided or morally bad – then deserve to be denounced, shunned, reported, and excommunicated. As author and speaker, Charles Eisenstein observes:
Our political discourse is rife with good-versus-evil narratives. It is obvious to each side that they are good and the other side is evil … Both sides agree on that. Therefore, both sides also agree on the strategic template for victory: arouse as much outrage and indignation as possible among the Good Folk so that they will rise up and cast down the Evil Folk. No wonder our civic discourse has degenerated into such polarized extremes. [33 p. 15]
Can we heal the divide?
2020 was a watershed year – a year that created a fundamentally new divide in society. Families, neighbourhoods, workplaces, faith communities, and clubs split along an entirely novel fault-line into two camps: those who believed in the Covid narrative, and those who did not. Mattias Desmet identified the Covid phenomenon as a psychologically powerful mass formation event, which created these two new groups as it sucked energy away from previous social bonds. 
According to Desmet, the elites and global institutions believe that the way to address global crises is to merge humans with artificial intelligence and create a worldwide surveillance state in which they can control society using technology. This technocratic, transhumanist ideology discounts core human values and takes rationality to dangerous extremes. Desmet warns, however, that nothing good will come of trying to fight against those who would control us. It is not just the elites who are in the grip of a rationalist ideology – we all are. Even if the resistance was able to vanquish the technocrats in a violent revolution (which it cannot), this would only result in the rise of another ruling elite.
Desmet explains that the dominant rationalist ideology is essentially materialist, viewing the universe as a dead machine that can be completely understood and therefore manipulated. While rationality is necessary, it is inadequate, as the rational mind is limited and cannot grasp the mystery of life, the richness of our connections to one another and to nature, or the essence of the ethical principles that are the foundation of life-affirming societies. These aspects are best grasped through a sense of resonance – or what rings true to us individually.
This period of what the WEF has dubbed a ‘polycrisis’  is revealing the inhumanity of a technocratic world, both in relation to the plans being devised by globalist leaders, and the willingness of people to implement them without question. But crises are also opportunities. Since the start of the Covid event, we have had an opportunity to experience a taste of a transhuman future. It has been a rude awakening – and many are now awake. Having caught a glimpse of this anti-human world, many of us are now far clearer about what we truly value. We are no longer waiting for a leader to show the way, as most have shown themselves to be untrustworthy. So, it is up to those of us who believe in a future for humanity to live true to the principles that have carried us through crises and calamities in the past, to live into the fullness of what it means to be human and, as Desmet encourages us, to invest time, energy, and love in strengthening the bonds between us as individuals.
So, can we heal the divide? I believe we can. But this healing will require humility – not the hubris of grand plans, god-complexes, and settled science. It will require that, instead of virtue-signalling, we strive to live truly virtuous lives. And it will ask of us to develop both our rational capacities and a resonance with the mystery of life. Then this crisis, like many in the past, will signal an evolutionary step towards the fullness of our human nature.
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