A lasting side-effect of Covid-19 is the universal growth of state power. Despite global death rates peaking last April and immunity building even without a vaccine, authoritarian leaders are clinging to their recently acquired powers. No doubt they view individual freedom as an optional extra not an inalienable right and want their new powers to become a normal part of governing. The Victorian government is legislating to that effect.
Ironically, it was their gross incompetence, or deliberate intent, which gave them the present commanding heights. First, despite clear evidence of Covid’s virulence, the World Health Organisation kowtowed to Beijing by playing down the risks of infection. Then, when the spread threatened the capacity of global medical resources, health authorities modelled catastrophic scenarios to frighten citizens into submission and to justify enforceable, draconian lockdowns imposed without regard for basic rights or economic cost. Much of the ‘expert’ advice relied upon has since been exposed as politically biased, not scientifically based.
The response to Covid follows closely the approach taken by global warming activists. But as Prince Charles puts it, ‘The threat of climate-change has been more gradual (than the pandemic) — but its devastating reality for many people and their livelihoods around the world, and its ever greater potential to disrupt, surpasses even that of Covid-19’. He argues we have ‘a golden opportunity to seize something good from the crisis’.
The World Economic Forum, a Geneva-based non-profit foundation whose ranks include Prince Charles and other climate change crusaders like Al Gore and Greta Thunberg, together with the secretary general of the United Nations, the president of the European Central Bank, the secretary-general of the OECD, the managing director of the IMF, George Soros, world trade union leaders, chief executives of Big Tech and representatives of NGOs like Greenpeace and WWF, believes climate action must be top of the global agenda as we emerge from Covid-19.