It has been clear for many months and pointed out endlessly by more thoughtful and humane commentators in the Media that the chief victims of the whole Covid lockdown palaver have been the young.
It is worth reminding ourselves that all the studies carried out have shown no evidence that school attendance is a major vector for the disease. Much is routinely made of rises of so-called “cases” which are almost always simply positive test results, a vast majority of which are false positives, and of the genuine positive test results the majority are asymptomatic (and therefore non-contagious). There is little evidence that school children infect their teachers and equally little that they infect their families.
It can even be argued therefore that it is a GOOD THING that the virus spread amongst children and young people where it can do very little harm, but that takes us back to the Great Barrington Declaration which is not what I intended to write about.
No, the point is that these unfortunate innocents have been denied the best part of two years of their education, which will affect disproportionately poor children, and they can never recover this time. Their exams and qualifications have been messed up hopelessly. They have been inculcated with fear, and a permanent undertone of dependency on the government as opposed to on their family and themselves.
Even younger children and babies are reportedly suffering retarded cognitive development as a result of rarely seeing an uncovered human face.
And they have lost two of what should have been the happiest years of their lives.
They have been unable to access grandparents, many of whom have died lonely deaths as a result.
And all this (ostensibly at least) for a disease which is vanishingly unlikely to cause them any harm.
But it doesn’t end here.
In the mean while the government, trying to buy itself popularity with the people’s money, have spent hundreds of billions on more or less misguided policies supposedly designed to mitigate the disaster they themselves have created with no good justification.
This money will need to be paid back by the same young people whose lives have already been so cruelly blighted by the lockdown. There will be decades of austerity and inflation while this hysteria is absorbed.
But it doesn’t even end here.
As part of Boris Johnson’s personal crusade to get his leg over on a regular basis, the country is embarked on a dash for a hopeless goal of “net zero” by 2050 or 2040 or possibly 2035 – anyway sometime far enough away that the present generation of politicians will be safely retired by the time it arrives but near enough to look ambitious.
It is often said that the technology to achieve net zero doesn’t exist. But of course it does, although it was mostly abandoned around 1000 years BC, a fact that doesn’t prevent the comfortably off class warriors of Extinction Rebellion campaigning to return to it (a notable feature of those days was the nailing up of inconvenient, long haired lunatics, a point which should probably be made more often).
But the serious point is that the case for “net zero” has been based to date on a heroic exaggeration of man’s contribution to the small amount of warming that has or may have occurred (depends really when you choose as your starting point for comparison). There has been a total misrepresentation of the likely effects on living conditions on the earth (life a couple of degrees warmer and greener will not be unpleasant). All the concerns about increasingly extreme weather have been shown on closer analysis to be wrong. Statistics show that lives lost due to extreme weather have declined by 99% over the last 100 years despite a huge increase in the global population. And there has been a blissfully “moonbeams and cucumbers” approach to the yet-to-be-developed technologies which will enable us to maintain our way of life whilst preserving the planet.
Heat pumps! Hydrogen! Zoom calls!
There is abundant evidence from sceptical experts who have done the sums that there is absolutely no way that net zero is achievable any time soon whilst maintaining anything like the material comforts we enjoy today. The most obvious example is the outsourcing of heavy industry to China, whose environmental standards and oversight are much laxer than ours, and who is currently building dozens of new coal fired power stations to power it all. This is wholly counter productive by any possible measure. Another example which really makes my blood boil is the conversion of Drax power station from coal to woodchips. This is because woodchips are, by the definition of the greens, considered “sustainable” so there are vast subsidies available (paid for of course by rising energy prices, which it of course the poor most of all). However the woodchips are harvested from virgin forest in the USA, shipped to the UK and then are significantly less efficient than the (locally sourced) coal they replace. The amount of CO2 released by harvesting, preparing and transporting them is never considered. As is the CO2 released manufacturing the hideously ugly and grossly inefficient windfarms that are supposedly riding to the rescue, slaughtering rare birds all the way. By some estimates 90% of the energy they produce in their design lifetime goes to replace the energy (coal fired, in China) used to make them in the first place.
But the effort to do so anyway will impoverish us all in material terms, and the vast limitations on our freedoms that will be imposed (we have had a covid-flavoured foretaste of it and nobody really enjoyed it very much) will impoverish us as a civilization.
There will be no business travel except for the favoured elite, no foreign holidays, limited central heating, rationed electricity. Rationed meat, and a limit on the car you can own and when and where you can drive it, enforced by a road pricing scheme which will monitor the whereabouts and doubtless, the speed of every vehicle, all the time. Physical spaces and on-line space will be constantly monitored and cash will have been outlawed, so that all transactions will be routinely monitored and our ability to buy and sell stuff (what we buy and when we buy it) will be at the whim of the bureaucrats at the Treasury. There will quite possibly be a Universal Basic Income to keep people “happy” whose jobs have been outsourced to China but which will be withdrawn for non-conformity to certain rules. For example, a refusal to accept the covid vaccine might lead to a reduction of your UBI, your meat ration or your CO2 ration. This might sound far-fetched but the infrastructure is already in place for most of it and the political heavylifting is well under way.
Just as political leaders around the world but especially in the Anglosphere (supposedly the bastion of liberty) copied the Chinese approach to zero covid, is it really such a stretch to think they might not copy aspects of the social credit system? For our own good of course. Listening to some of the rhetoric , I don’t think so.
There is a frightening possibility that, taken altogether, for the first time in Human history we are deliberately, with malice aforethought, bequeathing a worse world to our children than the one we were born into.
That would truly be the Crime of the Century.