The Stirrer

Merely asking the question that forms the title of this piece is going to invite accusations of being a ‘conspiracy theorist’.

However, in some of the online circles I’ve been mixing in since 2020, it’s a question that has been raised quite a few times. It’s certainly something I’ve been thinking about for some while now, particularly given the way the news agenda has been moving recently. So, at the risk of being accused of being a ‘conspiracy theorist’, I’m going to do my level best to start the process of trying to answer that question. I feel it should be pointed out that I’ve reached the point in my life where accusations and insults have ceased to make any impression – water off a duck’s back and all that. I am however, open to reasoned discussion and debate.

The weather and the climate has been in the news a lot over the last few months. Currently, much of the focus is on the heatwave in southern Europe. Back in June here in the UK, the focus was on it being one of the hottest months ever recorded. Let’s just say that my subjective memory which goes all the way back to the 1960s suggests otherwise. To put things into context, I’m currently writing this piece wearing an extra layer as the weather here in the West of England appears to have fast forwarded to October! According to the experts, that’s down to a wonky jet stream: Jet stream remains stubborn – Weather & Radar | 24.7.23.

It’s clear to anyone following the news agenda that the weather and the climate certainly are the flavour of the month in the media. A media which is getting dumbed down and relying ever more on click bait techniques to lure in readers and appease the advertisers. A media which allowed itself to be used for the dissemination of fear propaganda during the Covid ‘crisis’ in 2020/21. A growing number of people are thinking for themselves and as a consequence, the number of people who trust the media is falling. Which is why a growing number of people are questioning the climate change agenda.

It could be argued that in some ways with the climate agenda and the activism that’s a key part of it, matters are coming to a head and things could start to get ‘interesting’.

So, those nefarious elements using the media while ruthlessly manipulating and exploiting the concerns of many activists to set an agenda, may well be getting a bit panicky as their window of opportunity is slowly starting to close. When we get to a situation like that, without wanting to come over as being paranoid in any way, let’s just say it’s best to be as prepared as you can for things to take a weird turn…

With what feels like a distinct ramping up of the reporting of weather events and the meshing of that into the broader discussion about climate, it’s understandable that a number of people are starting to think that maybe there’s an agenda being played out’. The question of whether they will be a ‘climate lockdown’ has and is being mulled over by a fair number of people who came out to protest the Covid lockdowns and vaccine mandates. With such an overlap, it’s inevitable that anyone asking whether there is going to be a climate lockdown is pretty much automatically branded as a ‘conspiracy theorist’. You certainly don’t need me to tell you that as soon as someone gets branded a ‘conspiracy theorist’, the legitimate questions they have raised are off the table for any kind of discussion or debate. Such is the way of the world we have to endure.

Trawling through the internet turns up a lot of articles that essentially dismiss any questions as to whether there will or won’t be a climate lockdown as ‘conspiracy theory’. Here are three that I’ve picked out which have relevance to the situation here in the UK:

So, what’s this about a “climate lockdown”? – SPICe Spotlight | The Scottish Parliament | 27.1.23

Recently, there has been considerable social media chatter, and some newspaper commentary, around an idea that has come to be referred to as a “climate lockdown”. Commentators argue that, while not a stated policy goal, climate and traffic management measures being pursued by national and local government are ultimately intended to prevent people from travelling outside their local community. In essence a climate inspired version of travel restrictions that were applied during the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

This post investigates whether this is the case…

No, a traffic management plan is not a ‘climate lockdown’ to confine people to their neighborhoods – Kristin Hugo | PolitiFact | 15.12.23

The claims on social media paint a dystopian picture: Residents of a county in England, the claim states, “will be confined to their local neighborhood and have to ask permission to leave at all to ‘save the planet.’”

However, the actual proposal in Oxfordshire doesn’t stop anyone from going anywhere and isn’t focused on climate change. In fact, it’s similar to rules already in effect in other places.

From COVID to climate change: How green conspiracies about celebrities and lockdowns are spreading – Sanya Burgess | Sky News | 12.11.21

COVID-19 conspiracy groups who have attempted to undermine efforts to bring the pandemic under control are increasingly sharing climate change misinformation.

The most common green conspiracy is the claim of an upcoming “climate lockdown”, where countries will be locked down for long periods to meet climate change targets.

There we have it, denials plus accusations of being a ‘conspiracy theorist’ aimed at anyone asking if we are being nudged down the path towards some form of climate lockdown.

The consequence of these accusations is any rational discussion as to whether or not we’re being nudged towards a form of climate lockdown is pretty much off the table. Being of a cynical and suspicious bent, the more vehement the denials and the smearing get, the more I’m inclined to think that we are being nudged towards some form of climate lockdown. If we are, it won’t be anything like the Covid ‘crisis’ lockdowns because the powers that be are coming to realise that they can only pull that trick once. They know that if they try anything as blatant again, they will face a lot more in the way of opposition.

Why would those who presume to rule over us be even remotely interested in a climate lockdown? This article and the interview within it goes some way to explaining that interest and what the consequences are for us mere plebs:

What a scam this is!” Assessing COP27 and Modern Climate Activism By Michael Welch, Prof. Claudia von Werlhof, and Cory Morningstar | GlobalResearch | 25.7.23

Claudia von Werlhof: So, the first thing – what I see is, the system is going to be quantitatively reduced. This means – and this is what is one of the main propaganda issues of the whole world climate question – is to reduce consumption, to reduce production, and to reduce population. So, this will be the quantitative changes we are expecting. And on the other hand, you will have a qualitative change, and this is the technological one. So, there are a lot of new technologies developed since a hundred years or within the 20th Century, and they are going to be applied now, called The Fourth Industrial Revolution. This is a very interesting point, because in the climate question, for instance, this will be – play a major role because people are supposed to identify and to be integrated into the machinery, the system of the mega machine, as it is called. And this will be the second step they are approaching, and they are preparing. This is the most interesting step besides the reduction of the system, as such.

I’ve made it pretty clear in previous pieces I’ve written that we live on a finite planet and that at some point, there has to be a discussion as to how we can all live satisfying and harmonious lives within the constraints set by our planet. This is one such piece I’ve written: The future of movement on a finite planet 21.2.23. I’ve also made it pretty clear that this discussion has to take place on our terms, not those of the elites who want to not just hang onto their wealth and power, but to increase it. Our rulers and the global super rich whose interests they serve think that there are too many of us plebs, consuming too many of the resources they want to sustain their wealth and power. So the game at this point is to manage down expectations and if that fails, nudge them down and if that fails, blatantly batter them down!

The Covid ‘crisis’ lockdowns were a useful learning curve for the elites in what they could and couldn’t get away with when it came to imposing restrictions on people’s lives.

While the level of fear mongering is pretty much the same, they’ve learnt that the strategy and tactics they need to deploy will have to be a lot subtler than before. Obviously, it always helps to have a few useful idiots pretty much openly stating that some form of climate lockdown may actually be a good idea:

Will Climate Lockdowns Be Necessary to Fight the Climate Crisis? – Rayna Skiver | Green Matters | 17.1.23

At the beginning of COVID-19, lockdowns were a necessary tool for fighting off and controlling the deadly virus. People stayed inside — we went to the store less, didn’t go out to eat, and entertained ourselves at home all to avoid exposure to other people.

And for a minute, the Earth started to reflect those actions. Emissions started decreasing and it seemed that something positive was emerging out of a negative situation. This experience raises the question: Would climate lockdowns help us tackle the climate crisis?

Our First Climate Lockdown Anniversary – Andrew Griffiths | LinkedIn | 23.3.21

It’s taken me a bit of time to come to terms with the grim implications of the words “first climate lockdown” and what that could mean for our future.

However, it has helped me create a direct connection in my mind between the phenomenal work being done all over the world to advance sustainability and combat climate change with the coronavirus crisis.

I don’t know about you, but after an entire year of this, I don’t relish the idea of anything similar happening ever again if we can help it. And we can.

Climate Lockdown #ProtestInPlace

If you think the Covid-19 pandemic is bad, wait till you see how climate change will hit us in the near future if we do nothing now.

With more than half of the planet on lockdown, climate change protests across the globe have been canceled. In the absence of collective action convincing policymakers of the continued need to work toward a sustainable future, measures aimed at keeping carbon out of the atmosphere are being swiftly rolled back.

Addressing the inability to gather, the CLIMATE LOCKDOWN is a protest-in-place. It reframes the sheltering in place many of us are doing as a form of protest, of resistance to shortsighted environmental planning while we, as a planetary community, gain resistance to this new coronavirus.Transform pandemic anxiety into an engine for change!

The CLIMATE LOCKDOWN is a recognition that the current coronavirus crisis, like climate change, is a result of our destruction of the nonhuman world. We are a part of nature. The health of the world reflects the health of each of us.

So, in amidst a sea of denials and accusations of ‘conspiracy theory’ aimed at anyone suggesting that a climate lockdown could happen, as you can see from the above, there are some people discussing the idea and suggesting that it may actually be a good idea!

You will of course have noted the close linkage between the Covid lockdowns and the prospect of some kind of climate lockdown. So, what exactly are we supposed to think? My reading of the situation makes me think that what could be described as a climate lockdown is definitely on the cards but, it will not resemble anything like the shutdown we had imposed upon us in 2020/2021. It could well be more of an incremental process with a lot of initiatives here and there which won’t all obviously connect or make people think ‘this is a climate lockdown’. There will also be a lot of grey areas where reasonably sound ideas to improve the environment get co-opted by those with a more nefarious agenda of managing people’s expectations downwards while exerting greater control over our lives. That will pit a lot of people against each other. Divide and rule tactics to keep us fighting each other while the bastards tighten their grip over us.

One really grey area concerns the ongoing debate about ‘liveable neighbourhoods’ that’s currently ongoing in Bristol. Not to be confused with clean air zones or so called 15 minute cities, all of which have different aims, as I explained in this piece: The future of movement on a finite planet 21.2.23. With a ‘liveable neighbourhood’, the aim is to restrict vehicle use in a defined area as far as possible to residents of that area. The aim is to make the streets more pleasant to live in by eliminating ‘rat running’ which is basically people using side roads to avoid nearby congested main roads. At one level, I can sympathise with the desire to live in a neighbourhood with less through traffic running through the side roads. However, at another level, I get narked with people who at the end of the day are acting out of self interest, not giving a lot of consideration to neighbouring areas that will experience an increase in traffic because of the diversion. I get really pissed off when some of them adopt green language to sugar coat what is basically blatant self interest!

On the other hand, the top down implementation of so called ’15 minute cities’ with the accompanying monitoring and tracking technology that will nudge and ultimately control how people move around bears a number of the hallmarks of what could be described as a climate lockdown. This is particularly the case when there’s a push towards high rise apartment living in a growing number of cities here in the UK, with my neighbouring city of Bristol being one example: Piled high and stressed out – your dystopian future awaits you 22.7.23. This dystopian nightmare that is getting foisted upon us should not be confused or conflated with living in an area where a lot of what you need is within a fifteen minute walk but you’re free and able to travel to other areas: A new concept? 23.2.23.

As mentioned earlier in this piece, we live on a finite planet and the elites who presume to rule over us think us plebs need to lower our expectations and consume less so that they can not only hang onto, but also, grow their wealth and power. It should also be noted that if there were fewer of us plebs consuming resources, the elites would indeed be very happy about that. That’s something to think about, isn’t it? But, that’s another area of discussion that requires a lot of research and some very careful wording…

So, as things currently stand, nudging and managing down expectations until we’re in a situation that could objectively be described as a climate lockdown is something that would serve the interests of the elites.

While sometimes, this agenda may be presented in quite an open and blatant way, there are many times when it won’t be. There are and will be many times when it will be an absolute bastard of a job to pick out any signal from the cacophony of the noise. There will also be a lot of grey areas and confusion – that will be intentional. As already mentioned, there will also be a lot of divide and rule along with distraction tactics. But, at the end of the day, the objective is one of control and a life of limited expectations. An existence rather than a life, because it will be one played out in a panoptic control matrix.

We live on a finite planet and there’s no escaping that stark fact. At some point that means having a serious discussion about how to live within the constraints of a finite planet while enjoying a fulfilling life that has some meaning. A life that as I’ve indicated in other writing, would have more of a spiritual orientation than a material one: Taking a step back in a search for some spiritual depth 11.7.23. A life that takes place on our terms. The barrier to that is the elites who presume to rule over us and their depraved desire for more wealth and power. There’s a battle to come…