Why HRH is ahead of the curve, the new global arms race, and mooching about with ‘The Mooch’: Paul Blanchard reports from the third day of the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos
Prince Charles must have a lot on his mind at the moment, but he’s here in Davos to address delegates on climate change and sustainability – the theme of this year’s summit. His message is obviously important, but I believe he deserves special credit for being ahead of the curve. Charles has been one of the longest standing advocates of sustainability and economics who put the environment first. His patience and steadfastness is quite incredible. I felt for him having to diplomatically weigh the words ‘we are now in the middle of a crisis that is, I hope, well understood’.
Al Gore and the legendary Jane Goodall are also here speaking on the sustainability of the Amazon. Like Charles, they too often attract criticism for being privileged and highlighting issues of scarcity, neglect or exploitation. But, of course, that is exactly what they should be doing. They’ve spent time researching, learning and advocating in order to qualify as spokespeople for these issues; often at great personal cost.
People shouldn’t have to suffer the slings and arrows of ignoramuses, especially when they’re standing up for such worthy causes, so I commend all three of them for keeping on for so long. I hope Greta Thunberg will be remembered for inspiring the statesmen and women here at Davos – and billions of other people around the world – to take action against climate change. But it’s worth remembering that even she was once inspired herself.
According to historian Yuval Noah Harari, who spoke today at a panel on the implications of the fourth industrial revolution, the nations of the world are in the middle of an ‘arms race’ . But, this time, there’s a difference.
‘I understand the current arms race as an imperial arms race,’ Harari said. ‘You don’t need to send the soldiers in if you have all the data on a country.’
Even for private citizens, getting hacked is a very real risk. ‘If you have enough knowledge, you can hack my body, my brain, my life. You can reach a point where you know me better than I know myself. Once we reach that point, and we are very close to that point, then democracy, the free market and, actually, all political systems and authoritarian regimes, have no idea what happens.’
Mooching about with ‘The Mooch’
I was able to catch up with my good friend Anthony Scaramucci, a.k.a. ‘The Mooch’, last night. The former tsar of White House comms runs his own all-star conference, SALT in Las Vegas, with an edition in Abu Dhabi too. He’s been asked a lot of questions about his former employer, Donald Trump. I won’t divulge our own conversation, but I feel his Twitter account says it all: ‘The truth hurts. The people around you know how incompetent you are they are just afraid to put their names out there – for now.’