The rich and powerful gathered in Switzerland once again for the 54th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) under the theme of “rebuilding trust.”
This year’s summit includes nearly 3,000 corporate and government leaders from 120 countries. The American delegation will include U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and national security adviser Jake Sullivan.
“Rebuilding trust in our future is paramount,” the WEF stated. “Open, transparent conversations can restore mutual trust between individuals and nations who, out of fear for their own future, prioritize their own interests.”
This endeavor to rebuild trust takes place at a time when many who aren’t in Davos, Switzerland, this week are feeling skeptical, even resentful, about policies that elites have been imposing on them.
Although attendees at last year’s summit also worried about popular resistance to the WEF’s agenda, public recalcitrance appears to only have grown over the past 12 months.
Given this reaction, some consumer groups have suggested that the WEF could earn more trust by considering what people want versus imposing mandates on them to force compliance.
“The best thing the Davos crowd could do to restore trust is simple: stop with the social engineering,” O.H. Skinner, executive director of the Alliance for Consumers, told The Epoch Times.
Frank Lasee, president of Truth in Energy and Climate, which has criticized the global warming narrative, made a similar observation.
Building Trust by Fighting Climate ChangeAccording to the WEF, however, stabilizing global temperatures is a key to rebuilding trust.
“Climate change is a clear threat to current and especially future generations,” the WEF stated, “[but] with technological progress, cheaper renewable energy is readily available and can substantially contribute to a more equitable world, with far-reaching impacts on the environment, life quality and longevity.”
The result has been an array of corporate, financial, and regulatory actions, including the defunding of the coal industry; efforts to curtail oil and gas production; heavy state subsidies for wind and solar power and EVs; attempts to eliminate gas stoves, gas heating, gasoline-powered cars, and outdoor power tools; and new restrictions on dishwashers, washing machines, and other home appliances.
But some argue that the climate movement’s single-minded drive to cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions has made things such as energy and appliances less affordable and less reliable, reducing people’s quality of life while not reducing CO2 emissions.
“The only thing World Economic Forum can do to rebuild trust is to repudiate their aims of lowering living standards for the entire world, except for themselves,” Will Hild, executive director of Consumers’ Research, told The Epoch Times. “The reason no one trusts them is because they have bad intent.”
Many consumers are experiencing the net-zero movement, not as what President Joe Biden in 2022 called an “incredible transition,” but rather as a struggle to afford basic necessities.
Deindustrializing for Net ZeroThe net-zero movement has also taken its toll on companies, some of which are relocating out of regions like Europe, which leads in the transition to wind and solar energy, to countries where they can find affordable and reliable energy and taking jobs with them.
As part of what Mr. Huntsman calls a “deindustrialization” to cut CO2 emissions, Germany is experiencing “a collapse in energy-intensive manufacturing.” These industries didn’t cease emitting, they simply relocated to other countries such as China, where they could access affordable, reliable, and predominantly coal-based energy.
Mr. Lasee suggested that the WEF could rebuild trust by being more candid about its climate agenda.
“We’ve been lied to on virtually every front with this so-called energy transition,” he said. “I say ‘so-called’ because we really haven’t transitioned anywhere, other than adding a lot of expensive wind and solar energy to our electric grid.”
According to Marc Morano, founder of the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, “the greatest threat the WEF faces to people trusting them is when their policies actually get implemented.”
Asked what the WEF could do to rebuild trust, he said, “Nothing.”
“The only reason they succeeded thus far is no one really paid attention to them,” Mr. Morano told The Epoch Times. “But they say the quiet part out loud all the time, so my advice to them would be, they should go into stealth mode.”
The more people learn about the WEF’s agenda, “the more horrified the general public is,” he said.
“[The WEF’s agenda is] anti-human at its core,” Mr. Hild said. “If they stopped obfuscating and told everyone their true goals, people would trust them even less.”