You might remember Switzerland, the country that played banker to some really evil dudes in the 30s and 40s. And banker to a whole bunch of lying, cheating but very wealthy scumbags for decades after we hanged their previous clients at the end of WWII.
Switzerland is known for its secretive, accommodating banks but it's also known for one corporate giant, the Nestle company. And Nestle is increasingly known for the rightwing crap that spews out of the mouth of its chairman, Peter Brabeck. He stirred up a shitstorm a couple of years ago when he declared that water should be treated as a foodstuff, a commodity, for companies like his own to flog to the highest bidder.
Now Brabeck is back in the news denying that man-made emissions are the cause of climate change. Brabeck warns that we mustn't play God... well, perhaps except for him.
While scientists point to the near certainty that human activity is driving up temperatures, Brabeck argues that it is largely down to Earth's natural cycles, and warns against trying to play god by seeking to stop global warming. Instead, he believes society should focus on adaptation.
Sitting in the Swiss mountain ski resort of Davos after we have both listened to the Tanzanian president tell the heartbreaking story of how global warming is making life increasingly unbearable for his people, Brabeck told me that:
"Climate change is an intrinsic part of the development of the world. Since the world has existed we have had climate changes and we will have climate change as long as the world exists ... For me the issue is more about what can we do in order to adapt to climate change and perhaps to try to gain more time … Are we God to say the climate, as it is today, is the one we have to keep? That's the way it's going to be? We are not God. What we have to assure is that climate change happens within a timeframe that humankind can adapt to."
Let's see, the chairman of a company notorious for trying to corner water markets downplaying climate change which is fueling water insecurity. Am I missing something obvious there?