Davos - Hypocrisy at its Worst
Image Courtesy: Bloomberg

Davos - Hypocrisy at its Worst

The world’s leaders are meeting again at the Davos World Economic Forum.  The media is also there, hungrily running after attendees to get their comments on everything from economic projections, environmental challenges, and political realities.

Davos, Switzerland is a great place to meet.  Every year, corporate, government, academic and other leaders come together to wrestle with the great issues of the day.  Or, at least that is what they say.  In fact, that’s what they have said year after year, ever since this much-touted boondoggle was first held in 1971.    

The website for the non-profit foundation underwriting these annual meetings notes that it is “independent, impartial and not tied to any special interests. The Forum strives in all its efforts to demonstrate entrepreneurship in the global public interest while upholding the highest standards of governance. Moral and intellectual integrity is at the heart of everything it does.”

But, in fact, the meeting is nothing but a sham, a playground for the rich and famous to spend some time talking about important issues and world trends, to drinking and eating wonderful fare, and to ski till the cows come in.

This year, the attendees hypocrisy was particularly on display.  At the Davos airport were lines and lines of expensive, large private planes owned by many of the participants.  Although private planes are not new to this event, this year the number, the size and gas guzzling quality of the planes exceeded all records.  Indeed, according to the Guardian, experts were predicting some 1,500 individual planes coming in and out of the airports servicing the meeting.

So, it is time to recognize the Davos meeting for what it is -- a playground for the rich and famous, and little more.  It would be best to lend a deaf ear to any pronouncements from the attendees about global warming, new sources of energy and the need to preserve the world’s energy resources.

Daniel Socolow
Daniel Socolow: President, Socolow Group. Former Director of the MacArthur Fellows Program, President of the American University of Paris, Vice President of Spelman College. BA, MA, Ph.D.


Comments

  • Nordic Skier

    February 13, 2019

    Davos is really good for Nordic skiing, great World Cup venue, never been but one of these days! If most of these attendees concentrated on skiing, particularly Nordic skiing they would prioritize issues associated with global warming, which is affecting our sport.

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