While we are sometimes tempted to exclaim “O tempora O mores” to see who salutes, we do concede that hypocrisy was not invented in the 21st century. Just as the weather is not in fact getting worse, nor is the human capacity for self-interested inconsistency. But it is certainly still a problem whenever it appears. Such as in National Geographic, which lately has gone from good clean family fun and wonder at the world we live in to full-bore (in both senses) woke, yet is now cosponsoring “a once-in-a-lifetime trip spanning 10 iconic destinations across three continents” by private jet. Yes, you too can swan about with “a top-notch team of experts and leading journalists” spewing carbon and nibbling delicacies while the peasants toil in the fields below, smaller than ants, invisible to the naked eye.
Let’s face it. You’re worth it. Thus “From the Pacific to the heart of the Silk Road to Scandinavia, you’ll travel alongside archaeologists, editors, photographers and entrepreneurs to gain unprecedented insight into ‘the future of everything.’” Which is quite a bargain at just … aaack… $99,995. Well, starting at. But if you had to ask, you couldn’t have afforded it anyway. (As we at CDN by the Sea are forced to make virtual visits to various less than luxurious spots.)
We’d ask why they don’t just get these people together to put their “unprecedented insight” into a book they could sell for, say, $99.99. But we fear the pitying glances we would get. So instead we dared click the “Learn more” button and landed on a page whose tab bar identifier starts with the frankly somewhat incriminating “Luxury Private Jet Around The World”.
This sort of “Qu’ils mangaient de la brioche” takes some gall when the first item in “Expedition Overview” is “Gain unique perspectives on advances in science and technology – from urban design to climate change – with insights from National Geographic Experts and Wall Street Journal reporters and editors.” Gain unique perspectives on climate change… as a perpetrator. Mind you at some point further down in the expedition you’ll get to “Witness firsthand the consequences of climate change on business, security, and everyday existence in the far north as you meet with local business owners or hike with reindeer herders.” And cause it, to hear NG tell it most of the time. (And this feature, while exceptionally lavish, is not unusual; in May the publication had touted “Soak up the sun at 20 of the world’s best beaches” from Greece to Indonesia though to be fair a few were in the U.S. or Mexico so we could drive our gasoline-powered car to those ones.)
As for switching to a plant-based diet and all that guff, “We stay in world-class or best available hotels throughout the expedition.” Like the Ottawa Climate Action Fund bringing a guy from Germany (h/t Parker Gallant) to explain what is “low-carbon, resilient transportation in Ottawa” after flying across an ocean. Is there nobody in Ottawa who knows? Or could, say, send Holger Dalkman a Zoom link?
Of course when you’re saving the planet, what’s a bit of trashing it? As for instance our Environment and Climate Change Minister spending over $100,000 to take five staff to Glasgow last fall for COP26. Food alone cost the six over $12k, so two grand each. Airfare $37,171. Hotels a stunning $49,265. So not the Holiday Inn, then? As for our Prime Minister flying from Ottawa to Winnipeg and back on Earth Day, well, ha ha or something.