Jeff Bezos, Prince Albert of Monaco, Prince Charles and many many other wealthy and notable VIPS all flew into Scotland recently. Around 400 private jets, actually.
In fact, there was so much private jet air traffic, some jets had to drop off their passengers to private limos and SUV’s in Glasgow and Edinburgh before taking to the skies again to land 30 miles away. There was simply no place to park.
Why the arrival of all these private jets carrying important people?
It was for the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference.
You know, where we save the world one private jet, Land Rover, limo and SUV at a time.
Now, wealth does not upset me. Let me be crystal clear about this.
I am not upset Bill Gates' had a birthday party on his super-villain style mega yacht, a boat so large it is practically a cruise ship, and guests were "helicoptered" in.
I'm not upset by this.
I'm not upset that many of the private jets at the COP26 were rented, so the identity of their passengers remain a mystery.
I'm not upset that the mayor of San Francisco was out partying at a speakeasy style event without a mask, singing and dancing and breathing on everyone (see also: every other politician who has done the same thing)
I'm not upset Gavin Newsom ate dinner indoors at a fancy restaurant or that Nancy Pelosi got her hair cut and colored in a salon, both during the height of the pandemic.
None of that upsets me.
What DOES stick in my craw is that the people who shape policy and define the rules feel they are somehow exempt from them; that they don't have to live by the same rules.
AND WE LET THEM GET AWAY WITH IT.
From running multiple mansions to yachts to private planes to limos, these people use more energy in a week than the average person uses in a year. And yet, somehow, we allow these folks to make decisions for the rest of us.
OMG. WHAT IS WRONG WITH US?
As an American, allow me to hone in on something close to home.
John Kerry is the "climate czar" for the United States.
Now, the "Great Reset" is a plan to dramatically increase the power of government and fundamentally transform much of society. Supporters of the plan, including this administration, say the world needs a “Great Rest” of capitalism using the Covid pandemic and global warming as justification.
In John Kerry's words: "“The Great Reset will happen. And I think it will happen with greater speed and with greater intensity than a lot of people might imagine.”
Nope. Don't like that.
And, to be clear, I'm not upset that John Kerry, like his fellow elites, has a lifestyle few can imagine: winter homes, summer homes, private jets, etc.. And we're not talking a condo he rents out as an AirB&B when he and hiswife aren't using it. I'm talking multi-million dollar homes that are heated, cooled, and maintained year round:
12-room town house in Boston
23 room town house in Georgetown
90 acre "farm" in Pennsylvania ( I use the word "farm" only in the the Pinterest sense)
18 acre waterfront home on Marth's Vineyard
The kind of wealth that can pay to get the city to move a fire hydrant in Boston's posh Beacon Hill so your wife can park her car in front of your multi-million townhouse.
Yeah, it’s extravagant, but I'm not upset at any of that. Live and let live.
But what does NOT bode well, is that THESE are the people making the rules that apply to everyone...but them.
Think about this: the "Climate Czar" for the United States used a private plane to fly from the US to Iceland so he could receive in-person an award for his "work" on climate change. His carbon footprint alone is that of a small town.
John Kerry lecturing Americans on Climate Change as he travels in his private jet to accept an award is like me lecturing Americans on the dangers of alcohol as I sit in a bar, sipping vodka.
This recent Climate Change Conference, though, gave us a GREAT visual. And it wasn't the President of the United States apologizing for America. It was the picture of all the people "fighting climate change" with their private jets, limos, Range Rovers, drivers, and personal staff. It was the visual of new restrictions and greater government involvement in your life in the name of "Saving the Planet."
Talk about a sense of privilege steeped in narcissism. Oh boy.
And the fact that these politicians and elites and VIPS and CEO's see nothing wrong with it should shout at you so loudly, it blows your hair back. I mean, how do you climb out of your private jet and into your chauffeured SUV and then say with a straight face that we need to make better decisions about energy and the climate?
And while I am not the sharpest tool in the shed, the unabashed hypocrisy does make one wonder if the new restrictions and legislation and government intrusion is really about the planet at all. Might it be more about power? Namely, who has it, who is allowed to keep it and who is forced to surrender it.
I mean, if the people telling us an issue is serious don't take it seriously themselves, then how serious is it, really?
'Cause I promise you, friends: nothing will change for the people who make these rules, be it at a city, state, federal or global level. Their life will continue as it always has.
But it WILL change for the rest of us, if we allow it.
(Note: I wonder if all the attendees, drivers, pilots, servers on jets, personal staff, etc..were all vaccinated. I mean, the United Nations doesn't require vaccinations at its meetings, so I'm going to bet they weren't. Meanwhile, here in the US, your livelihood will be taken away from you if you aren't.
Remember, this, too.)